A little over three weeks ago, Chuck Fletcher was named the second General Manager in the Minnesota Wild's franchise history. Now it appears Fletcher has found the club's second-ever coach.
According to the Associated Press, Todd Richards has been named to succeed Jacques Lemaire, who stepped down following the regular season. A person with knowledge of hire confirmed it to AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not yet been made. The Wild called a press conference for 12 p.m. on Tuesday to introduce the new coach.
Richards, 43, spent this past season in San Jose as an assistant to Todd McLellan. He was formerly hired by Fletcher to coach of Scranton-Wilkes/Barre of the AHL in 2006 and compiled a 98-49 record in two seasons, including an appearance in the Calder Cup Finals.
Richards was also an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Admirals, who won the Calder Cup during his tenure in 2004.
Prior to his coaching career, Richards was a defenseman selected by Montreal in the second round of the 1985 Entry Draft. He had four assists in eight regular-season games for Hartford from 1990-92 and three assists in 11 postseason games.
"Maybe that wasn't his dream as a high schooler or a grade-school kid growing up, to be coach of a National Hockey League team, but sometimes you're in positions where it just flows for you," said Doug Woog, who coached Richards at the University of Minnesota.
Tom Lynn, the assistant general manager in Minnesota, has also been relieved of his duties, Fletcher announced in a news release Monday.
Material from wire services was used in this report.