Flin Flon-born Evason named Minnesota Wild head coach

Flin Flon officially has an NHL head coach. Dean Evason, the interim head coach of the Minnesota Wild, was named the team’s full-time head coach July 13, signing a two-year contract with the club.

Evason took over the job after former coach Bruce Boudreau was fired Feb. 14. Before Evason took over the reins for the Wild, the team was two points of a playoff spot and second-last in the NHL’s Central division with a 27-23-7 record. Since then, the Wild had an 8-4-0 record. 

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The team will be participating in the NHL’s expanded play-ins this year as the 10th seed and will take on the Vancouver Canucks in a best-of-five series in Edmonton.

Evason was named to the Wild’s coaching staff in 2018 as an assistant coach.

Born in Flin Flon and raised in Brandon, Evason played junior hockey in British Columbia, earning a berth on the Canadian World Junior team in 1983-84. After that, Evason joined the Washington Capitals, starting an NHL career that saw him play 803 total games in Washington, Hartford, San Jose, Dallas and Calgary. Evason was also a part of the 1997 gold-medal winning World Championship Canada team, serving as the team’s captain.

After hanging up his skates, Evason moved behind the bench, first as an assistant with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen, then as a head coach elsewhere in the WHL, including for his former team, the Kamloops Blazers. Evason made the jump to the pro ranks as an assistant coach for the Washington Capitals, another one of his former teams, in 2005. He served as an assistant coach there for seven seasons before becoming the head coach of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. He coached in Milwaukee for six seasons before joining the Wild’s staff.

Evason has family connections to the Flin Flon Bombers, despite never playing for the team. His late brother, Dan “Heavy” Evason, was the Bombers’ director of hockey operations from 2000-2002 and served as the executive director behind the 2001 RBC Cup in Flin Flon. Both Evasons are members of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.

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