A Flin Flon-born coach has been given a shot at an NHL head coaching spot.
According to The Athletic and other sports media sources, Dean Evason, a decorated ex-NHL forward, was named interim head coach of the Minnesota Wild Feb. 14. Evason was promoted after former head coach Bruce Boudreau was fired. Evason has served with the Wild as an assistant coach since 2018.
Born in Flin Flon and raised in Brandon, Evason played junior hockey in British Columbia, earning a berth on the Canadian World Junior Hockey Championship team in 1983-84. From there, Evason joined the Washington Capitals, setting off an NHL career that saw him play in Washington, Hartford, San Jose, Dallas and Calgary – 803 games in total. 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 former team, 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 is an honoured member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.
This season, the Wild are 27-23-7, sitting second-last in the NHL’s Central division but only two points out of a playoff spot.