Hynes coached previously for New Jersey and Nashville
Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin announced Monday that head coach Dean Evason and assistant coach Bob Woods were relieved of their duties. Hours later he named former New Jersey and Nashville head coach John Hynes as the Wild’s new bench boss.
“Dean did an excellent job during his tenure with the Minnesota Wild, especially as head coach of our team,” Guerin said. “I am very thankful for his hard work and dedication to our organization.”
Evason was in his fifth season as the Wild’s head coach. He took over on an interim basis during the 2019-20 season and was later named the head coach. He has a career record of 147-77-27. His teams made the playoffs in each of his seasons at the helm but never got out of the first round.
The Wild are off to one of their worst starts in franchise history with a 5-10-4 record and have lost seven straight.
Woods was an assistant with the Wild since 2017.
“I would also like to thank Bob for his hard work during his time as an Assistant Coach with the Wild,” said Guerin. “I wish Dean, Bob and their families all the best in the future.”
The Wild issued a press release about Hynes Monday evening. Hynes is a veteran of eight seasons as an NHL Head Coach and owns a career record of 284-255-63 (.524) in 601 regular season games with the Nashville Predators and New Jersey Devils. Hynes, 48, joins the Wild after most recently serving as Head Coach of the Nashville Predators for parts of four seasons (2020-23). He was named Head Coach of the Predators on Jan. 7, 2020, and went 134-96-18 in 248 games (.576) and qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs three consecutive seasons (2020-22). Prior to his time with the Predators, Hynes spent four-plus seasons as Head Coach of the New Jersey Devils and went 150-159-45 in 354 games (2015-19).
Prior to his time with the Devils, Hynes served as Head Coach of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins in the American Hockey League (AHL) for five seasons (2010-15) and one season as an Assistant Coach (2009-10). He led Wilkes-Barre to a record of 231-126-27 in 384 games (.636) and five consecutive appearances in the Calder Cup Playoffs as Head Coach. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton allowed the fewest goals in the AHL in four of his five seasons and he was named the Coach of the Year in 2011.
In between assistant coaching positions at Mass-Lowell (2000-01) and the University of Wisconsin (2002-03), Hynes spent nine seasons on the coaching staff of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, serving as an Assistant Coach (1998-2000, 2001-02) and Head Coach (2003-09). Team USA claimed four medals during his time with the National Team Development Program at the IIHF World Under-18 Championships, including gold medals in 2002 and 2006.
The native of Warwick, R.I., has also served as an Assistant Coach for Team USA at the 2004 IIHF World Junior Championship, where the Americans won gold for the first time and earned their first medal in the event since 1997. Hynes was also Head Coach of Team USA at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, an Assistant Coach at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and an Assistant Coach at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
He played forward at Boston University (1993-97) and helped the Terriers advance to four consecutive Frozen Four appearances and win the 1995 NCAA championship. Hynes was inducted into the Rhode Island Hockey Hall of Fame on August 23, 2023.
He and his wife, Sarah, have three daughters, Sophia, Julia and Anna.