With Friday's announcement of Mike Yeo as the third head coach in Minnesota Wild history, the new coach has plenty on his plate heading into next week's NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center and two weeks away from the start of free agency. Yeo must also complete his coaching staff, move his family of four from Houston to Minnesota and meet his new players, all before the start of a new hockey season -- all in about the next 100 days.
With that in mind, Wild.com chatted with Yeo in attempt to learn more about Mike Yeo the fisherman, Mike Yeo the family man and Mike Yeo the sports enthusiast.Wild.com: When you won the Stanley Cup in 2009, what did you do on the day you spent with it?Yeo:
We have a cottage up in northern Ontario and we took the Cup up there. A lot of family and friends came over, and we were lucky enough to have it for about a day and a half. We also brought it into a hospital in Sudbury and to North Bay, my hometown. They planned a great day there at the city rink and a lot of people were able to come visit. After that, we took it back to the cottage. It was a special day to share with family and friends. It's amazing how important they are along that ride with you.Wild.com: What would the people back home say about Mike Yeo?Yeo:
You'd have to ask them. What I would say about myself is that I'm an honest guy and what you see is what you're going to get. I have a great understanding of what it is I want and I consider myself a fighter and I'm willing to fight for any way to get it.Wild.com: Tell us about your parents. What do they do?Yeo:
My dad does just about everything but he's an amazing carpenter. He's had a number of different jobs, but right now, he's an inspector for an insurance company. My mom has been a teacher her whole life. I also have an older brother and a younger sister, and they all live up in North Bay. We're a very, very close family.Wild.com: What is your favorite opposing city to visit?Yeo:
I've spent a lot of time in the Eastern Conference, so when we went into Philadelphia, it was a great rivalry; New York, Washington were great rivalries. I always love games when they mean something, when the stakes are high and you know they're going to be playing their best. [Growing up] close to Toronto and Ottawa, those were always special for me, too.Wild.com: Do you have a favorite childhood memory from back in North Bay?Yeo:
I can't say that there's one. I had a lot of great memories growing up. My family and I always spent a lot of time at the lake in the summer. It was a really good time for us, the amount of time and the quality of time we spent together.Wild.com: When they're on TV, what NHL players do you have to watch?Yeo:
I'm just a fan of the game. Obviously, you like to watch the superstars for all the teams, you really have to appreciate what those guys can do. I'm always trying to watch other coaches, to see what they're putting into their game. But I have a lot of appreciation for the guys that go out there and play the game hard. Guys that are willing to pay a price and do things the right way for their team.Wild.com:
Did you have a player you idolized growing up?Yeo:
I was always a guy who liked the Cam Neely's, the Wendel Clark's, the Rick Tocchet's; guys that played the game with a bit of an edge. I had a lot of respect for those guys because they played the game hard each and every night.Wild.com: What do you know about Minnesota? Do you have any connections here?Yeo:
All I know about it is what I've heard. Because of the excitement about the game of hockey, not only at the professional level, but at the amateur level. I have two kids that play hockey, so they're excited to get started here. But more than anything else, everything I've heard about the people here. I'm very much looking forward to making this our home.Wild.com: Off the ice, what do you enjoy doing?Yeo:
I love fishing. I love spending time with my family. I know you're supposed to turn your brain off from hockey for awhile, but I love to go watch my kids play hockey. But when I have the opportunity to get out on the water, and spend a little time fishing, that's my biggest escape.Wild.com: What's the biggest fish you've ever caught?Yeo:
I caught a 42-inch lake trout. I've caught some real nice bass. When we were fishing my parent's lake, it was a good lake trout lake. They had some good smallmouth bass. The lake we're on right now has some good walleye and northern pike.Wild.com: Do you have a favorite sport or a favorite team away from hockey?Yeo:
I appreciate sports and winners. When I was in Pittsburgh, I really enjoyed cheering for the Steelers. I was really impressed with the way that they operate. They're able to sustain their success. But I'm a fan of anybody that accomplishes what they want to get done. I liked watching Dallas this year and what they were able to accomplish in the [NBA] playoffs, obviously in the NHL, watching the Bruins and how they were able to get things done. I always admired the Twins, too, and I can't wait to get out to Target Field for a game this summer.