Russo is reporting that Todd Richards has been offered the Wild's head coaching job, to pretty much nobody's surprise. The team announced they will be introducing the new coach Tuesday at noon in Minnesota.
Richards was the coach of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (and took them to the Calder Cup Finals last season) when the Wild's new general manager, Chuck Fletcher, was the GM of the WB/S Penguins. So they have a good relationship already.
Richards' style is billed as up-tempo, go-go-go, which will probably blow the minds of most anybody whose been watching the Wild and the suffocating defensive style Jacques Lemaire brought to the table. (Then again, how much go-go-go talent was he provided by the organization? And how much will Richards really have to work with?)
The first bit of fallout from this was the firing of Tom Lynn, Wild assistant GM and GM of the Aeros. He was basically, along with the coaching staff in Houston (particularly Troy Ward), the architect of the Aeros, so his departure means the trickle-down effect will likely keep rolling ever closer to Houston.
Nothing has been said yet about what is to become of Kevin Constantine and his staff. Some conjecture is that his style is too defensive and won't prepare the kids here for Richards' style. I tend to disagree with that perspective, however, as I think the tools KC is giving these guys translate into any system. Every hockey player needs to be detail-oriented and defensively responsible. If you watched the Stanley Cup Finals the last couple of weeks, that was clear, right?
Things should start to shake out pretty quickly now. The entry draft is less than 2 weeks away and free agency is right on its heels, so AHL ringer types of guys should start getting signed and we can start to see the team unfold. Of course, Tom Lynn's replacement will drive that aspect of the signings, so that hiring is one we'll be keeping a close eye on and keep you posted.
Exciting times for the Wild organization, top to bottom.