Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Scott Stevens was hired as an assistant coach of the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
Stevens, who served as an analyst on NHL Network this season, was an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils for two seasons (2012-14) before stepping down from that role. He returned to the Devils in December 2014 as a co-coach, alongside Adam Oates and Lou Lamoriello, focusing on the defensemen. When John Hynes was named Devils coach in June 2015, Stevens decided to pursue other opportunities.
The Wild hired Bruce Boudreau as coach on May 7, after he was fired by the Anaheim Ducks the previous week. Minnesota assistant coaches Rick Wilson and Darryl Sydor were not retained after the season.
"Just to bring in his expertise and history, I think that's a real bonus for us," Boudreau told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "He is one of the greatest defensemen. I think he'll have instant respect. Any team would have loved to have him, but until now, he wasn't ready to leave New Jersey."
Video: Scott Stevens hired as assistant coach of Wild
Stevens will inherit a talented defense corps led by Ryan Suter.
"That team has a lot of potential in it," Stevens told the wild website. "I really have admired watching Ryan Suter his whole career, and this year was one of his better years as an all-around defenseman. That's what I like about Ryan. He can play big minutes. I'm very excited to have him."
Wild forward Zach Parise knows Stevens from their days in New Jersey.
"He's the quietest and humblest Hall of Famer you'll ever meet," Parise told the Star Tribune. "He's going to be so good for us and our [defense] and [penalty kill]."
Stevens played 22 years in the NHL for the Washington Capitals, St. Louis Blues and Devils. The 13-time NHL All-Star captained the Devils to three Stanley Cup championships in 1995, 2000 and 2003, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2000.
In 13 seasons with the Devils, Stevens ranks first with a plus-282, fourth with 956 games, and is second among defensemen with 430 points. His 1,635 NHL games rank second all-time among defensemen, 16 games behind Chris Chelios. He is fourth in penalty minutes (2,785), 11th in shots (3,240) and 12th in points (908) among defensemen. He is 13th all-time with a plus-393 rating.
In 233 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stevens had 26 goals, 118 points, 378 penalty minutes and a plus-34 rating.