For Mike Yeo, the first three years as the Minnesota Wild’s head coach has been a process. In his second season, Yeo guided the team to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in five years. This season, the bench boss led Minnesota to its first playoff series win since 2003.
Yeo and the Wild will continue the process, as General Manager Chuck Fletcher announced the club has agreed to a multi-year contract extension with Head Coach Mike Yeo.
”I am very excited to continue to coach the Minnesota Wild and pursue a Stanley Cup for the State of Hockey,” said Yeo. “Our fan support has been amazing and it went to a new level during the playoffs this season. We are all motivated to reward them.”
Minnesota went 43-27-12 this season and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the second time in franchise history (2002-03). The club’s 98 points ranked 11th in the NHL and tied for second most in franchise history.
The Wild has posted a record of 104-82-26 (.552) during his three seasons as head coach, ranks 10th in the NHL in wins since the start of the 2012-13 season and is one of 11 teams to advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs the last two seasons. Yeo was named the team’s third Head Coach on June 17, 2011.
“Mike has done a very good job the last three seasons as our Head Coach and we look forward to his leadership going forward,” said Fletcher.
He helped lead the Houston Aeros to a 46-28-1-5 record and the Calder Cup Final in his first season as a Head Coach in 2010-11. The Aeros led the Western Conference and ranked third in the AHL with 46 regular season wins after it did not qualify for the playoffs in 2010. Prior to being named the Aeros Head Coach, Yeo served as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins (2005-10). During his tenure in Pittsburgh, the Penguins claimed the 2007-08 Atlantic Division title, advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals twice and won the Stanley Cup in 2009. He joined the Penguins coaching staff when Michel Therrien was named Head Coach on Dec. 15, 2005. During his first full season in 2006-07, Yeo helped the Penguins to a 47-point improvement from the previous season, the fourth-largest turnaround from one season to the next in NHL history. In his second season, he helped lead the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since the 1992 season. Yeo remained on staff in Pittsburgh during the 2008-09 season after Dan Bylsma replaced Therrien on Feb. 15, 2009, and the Penguins went on to win the Cup.
He began his coaching career as an Assistant Coach with the Penguins’ top minor-league affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2000-05). Yeo helped the Penguins earn a Western Conference title (2001), an Eastern Conference title (2005) and two appearances in the Calder Cup Final (2001, 2004). In 2005, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton set an AHL record for the best start to a season by boasting a 21-1-2-1 record with 15 straight road wins before Yeo was promoted to Pittsburgh.
The left wing played five seasons with the Aeros (1994-99) and accumulated 127 points (55-72=127) and 511 penalty minutes (PIM) in 317 games. The native of North Bay, Ont., served as captain of Houston’s 1999 Turner Cup Championship team. He played 19 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 1999-2000 before suffering a career-ending knee injury.