Wild fire head coach Dean Evason, reportedly hire John Hynes as replacement

Minnesota is making a change behind the bench after starting the season 5-10-4 and losing seven in a row.

The Minnesota Wild have fired head coach Dean Evason — and assistant Bob Woods — after a disappointing start to their 2023-24 season.

The team has reportedly replaced him with former New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators bench boss John Hynes.

Minnesota had made the playoffs in every season during Evason's tenure, which began in midway through 2019-20 when he replaced Bruce Boudreau as an interim coach.

The 61-year-old did not lead his team past the first round of the postseason in four attempts, but his regular-season record was a solid 147-77-27. Since his first game as the head coach in Minnesota (February 15, 2020), the Wild's 321 regular-season points rank eighth in the NHL.

The Wild did not appear to be on pace for another postseason appearance when they made the change after a 5-10-4 start to their campaign. Minnesota was also in the midst of a seven-game losing streak that resulted in Evason calling out his players on Sunday.

Evason will not be around to see if his message gets through to the Wild players, who have underachieved this season.

Part of the team's woes can be explained by awful goaltending by a tandem of Filip Gustavsson and Marc-André Fleury that posted a .919 save % last season only to see that number plummet to .878 to begin 2023-24.

That's tough to lay at Evason's feet, but the veteran coach and his staff's ability to build functional special-teams units has been an issue all season as well. Minnesota's power play ranks 24th in the NHL (16.2%) while its penalty killing unit has the worst success rate in the league (66.7%).

Those numbers helped sink a Wild squad that had been competent at 5v5 with a goal differential of minus-2 and an expected goal rate of 50.40% even as their top star, Kirill Kaprizov, struggled to make a difference at even strength.

Minnesota has an uphill battle ahead to reach the playoffs for the 11th time in 12 seasons. The team currently has the third-worst point percentage in the Western Conference (.368) and's playoff odds give them a 24.5% chance of reaching the postseason.