Darryl Sydor apparently can't enjoy retirement. After ending a stellar 18-year, 1,291 game, 507 point career that included two lifts of the Stanley Cup, Sydor is wasting no time in starting his coaching career.
Sydor and former Houston Aero Brian Wiseman were named Assistant Coaches on Aeros' Head Coach Mike Yeo's staff on Tuesday. Both are expected to arrive at the Wild Development Camp this week.
After two months of the Aeros being without a single coach, there is a championship pedigree at the Wild's top developmental affiliate. In addition to Sydor's two Cup rings, Yeo has one after winning one as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009. Wiseman was a member of Houston's Turner Cup winning team in 1998-99. His Aeros career followed a decorated collegiate career at Michigan, in which he led the Wolverines to two Frozen Four appearances.
"We were looking for people that were passionate about the game, had great character and great work ethic," said Yeo. "These two guys fit that bill perfectly, and both bring in a different degree of experience."
Yeo has background with both, having coached Sydor in Pittsburgh and played with Wiseman in Houston. He reached out to Sydor this summer to gauge his interest in the job.
"I had the great opportunity to coach him, and I got so see firsthand his professionalism," explained Yeo. "The way he conducted himself as a player is something that will be invaluable to our guys. I knew from back when I coached him that he would be a great coach, and this is a great opportunity for him to get started."
Yeo acknowledged that it probably wasn't easy for Sydor to walk away from the game after such an illustrious career.
"You're letting go of a very big part of your life," said Yeo. "I think it helps that he's staying in the game and he'll get to have a big impact on each an every game."
In addition to resumes, the Houston staff now boasts quite a bit of youth with Yeo (36), Sydor (38) and Wiseman (39) all under 40. Sydor has never coached, and Wiseman spent one year each as an assistant at Princeton University and as a video coach for the Dallas Stars.
"That's not something that we set out and and said 'we want to be young,'" said Yeo. "But I think it can be beneficial to the players, in particular Darryl who isn't far removed from the game and he'll know what those players are feeling each and every day."
With two new assistants in Texas, an offseason of change in the Wild organization - albeit much smaller in scale as compared to a year ago - is nearing an end. The only coaching item left on the agenda is to find a replacement for Wild Assistant Coach Mike Ramsey, who stepped down last month after eight seasons behind the Wild bench.