OSTRAVA, Czechia -- John Hynes, depending on mood and situation, can deliver a message multiple ways.

It just depends on what the situation calls for, according to Matt Boldy.

"He does a good job with the room, kind of managing it," said Boldy, who's played under Hynes for the better part of six months both with the Minnesota Wild and Team USA at the 2024 IIHF World Championship in Czechia. "He knows when the guys need kind of a kick in the butt and when things are just not going well and the puck's bouncing weird and you don't need to yell at that point.

"I think he does a really good job of balancing that."

Boldy has seen Hynes juggle both -- depending on the vibe of the team -- since he was hired to guide the Wild on Nov. 28.

Hynes, a veteran of nine seasons behind an NHL bench, was hired to replace Dean Evason early into the season, turning a 5-10-4 Minnesota start into a 34-24-5 team over the course of the final 63 games of the regular season.

"I just think he's smart," Boldy said. "He knows the game, added a lot of elements to our team that made us better and created more offense. We're playing more connected, knowing where guys were and being predictable.

"That was probably the biggest thing that I've noticed."

Others will certainly notice the same out of the 49-year-old bench boss.

But Hynes has some personal touch in his approach, too.

"I would say he's pretty easy to talk to, actually," said Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson, who has seen Hynes twice in Ostrava -- once on the ice and once away from the rink.

"Some coaches are kind of difficult to talk to. He comes up to you, is easy to talk to, talks to you a little bit about everything and keeps it light. That makes you feel a little more comfortable around him, just talking outside. We met him at the restaurant. He came up and talked to us and was asking us about the tournament and preparations for it.

"For me he's been easy to talk to."

It's an approach Hynes has long been working to perfect -- balancing the on-ice rigours of a difficult, demanding NHL schedule mixed with notes of an off-ice relationship.

"I think the longer that I do this, you realize guys need to see your personality, the human side of you... whether you laugh and joke or have coffee with guys," he said. "You recognize their situations away from the rink, whether it's wives, kids, family situations. That's part of that communication and being in it together.

"The hockey part, obviously needs to be detailed and dialled in and that's the work part of it, but when the players feel like you care about them as people -- and you have to make the effort to do that as a coach... it's easy to sit behind a computer and do the X's and O's -- but getting out and being in the locker room, seeing them away from the rink, seeing them on the road, communicating with them and talking to them about all kinds of things other than hockey, that's what you're trying to work towards."

That doesn't necessarily mean Joel Eriksson Ek is ready to bust out his bag of tricks to play a practical joke or two on the skipper.

Not just yet, anyway.

"I don't think I would try," Eriksson Ek said. "No one has tried to do it yet.

"I think he likes being around the room and feel what the players are thinking and feel what the group is saying. He'll have some of his own rules as well, a strict system. You have certain areas where he is strict but he can let it be loose as well."

Luke Kunin might have a better feel for it.

Kunin, who spent parts of three seasons with Minnesota from 2017-20, had Hynes as a coach with the Nashville Predators prior to his arrival with the Wild.

It's been a welcomed reunion.

Pulling a prank does come with some careful advice.

"We have a good relationship, I think, but you've always got to walk that fine line," Kunin cautioned. "He's always been great to me and I love playing for him and I'm happy to be back playing for him again.

"I think he's very, very competitive. He wants to win, wants to do what's best for his players and team to give his guys the best chance to have success.

"It's been fun to be with him again."

Hynes has guided three benches in his NHL tenure, including the Wild, Predators and New Jersey Devils. He's amassed a 318-279-68 record through 665 regular-season games, and has steered his club to four appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs over that frame.

He's also spent time at the American Hockey League level, guiding the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the minor-league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, from 2009-15, and had the unique opportunity of coaching with the U.S. National Team Development Program for nine years.

Each experience has helped shape him into the coach he's become with the Wild.

And an approach, he hopes, can help return them to the perennial playoff team Minnesota has been known as.

"I try to create an efficient environment where you do things effectively, things are clear for the players, clear communication," Hynes said. "I think the longer and longer I do this, you realize the importance of developing relationships with the players and making it a partnership. There certainly needs to be a high level of accountability, but we're in it together.

"That's the type of environment I like to try to produce and create as a head coach."

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