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Boudreau to return as Wild coach next season

GM Fenton expects to discuss new contract

by Jessi Pierce / Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Bruce Boudreau will return as coach of the Minnesota Wild next season.

"Bruce is my coach next year," Wild general manager Paul Fenton said Tuesday. "I have total confidence in him. … Bruce is my coach and he's going to be the guy that is going to lead this team back to where we want to go."

Boudreau will be entering the final season of his contract. Fenton said a new contract has not been discussed but he's "sure we will" during the offseason.

The Wild (37-36-9) finished seven points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. It's the second time in Boudreau's 12 seasons as an NHL coach that his team has missed the postseason, and first since 2011-12, when he took over midseason for the Anaheim Ducks.

"We've got a lot of work to do," Wild forward Zach Parise said. "You can't sugarcoat it right now. You look at how many times we got shut out in the year, the lack of scoring that we had at the end of the season. … As individuals we need a lot of improvement. And as a group there's just a lot of work to be done."

Parise, who led the Wild in goals (28) and points (61), said he played the final six weeks of the regular season with a broken foot and a knee injury. He broke his foot blocking a shot during a 3-2 win at the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 26 and injured his knee during a 2-1 win at the Washington Capitals on March 22. The injuries kept him out of six of the Wild's final 18 games, but each is expected to heal with rest.

Fenton said there were no other significant injuries, and that he is optimistic that defenseman Matt Dumba and forward Mikko Koivu will be ready for training camp. Dumba missed 50 games with a ruptured right pectoral muscle sustained Dec. 15. Koivu missed 29 games with an ACL and meniscus tear in his right knee sustained Feb. 5.

"You have to be patient with it," Koivu said. "It's not like you can tell right now that it's good and then it'll be ready to go (by training camp), and I don't want to say that. But I do strongly believe that."

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