Instead, his face was covered in shades of black, gray, and white lately as he waited at his Twin City home for the NHL to restart, and hoped for another chance to prove he deserved a more permanent post behind the Minnesota Wild Bench .
Evason, 55, was appointed temporary head coach for Wild on Valentine’s Day, after Bruce Boudreau was dismissed. Under Evason’s direction, the team won 8 of 12 matches and pushed for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference when the season was stopped on March 12 due to a coronavirus pandemic.
“We are happy about where our group is and where our game is. “We think that we play very well, with lots of excitement, energy and speed, and we play the game the right way,” Evason said in a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday morning, April 22. ” Clearly everyone was disappointed, like us, that it closed with us one point from the playoffs and really felt good about our game. “
Evason said that he and his assistants had a detailed multi-day plan prepared to quickly get Wild players back on the ice if the league continued playing. He acknowledged it would be a big challenge, with players scattered throughout North America and Europe. In normal autumn, when players report for training camp, they usually skate during the summer. If the NHL gives two weeks notice that the game will be played again – with or without fans, on a neutral site, whatever – most players will be out for a month or more.
“Of course, that will be difficult, but we will adapt and the players will adapt. They will find out. “Evason said.” I’ve heard people say that the playoffs won’t be that strong. I do not believe that will happen. After the game is played and the chip falls, the players play the game. “
Meanwhile, Evason has a sports bike in one of his condominium bathrooms, he has a portable heater installed there so he can stick to the hot yoga routine, and like most hockey do it in spring in Minnesota, he is already out on the golf course since the governor opened it.
The NHL Draft has also been postponed, but refilling a pool of prospective customers is only one task that must be handled by Wild’s general manager, Bill Guerin, beyond this strange spring. He also needs to decide whether the next team’s permanent head coach is working.
Evason did not lament that, after several seasons as a minor league head coach and assistant coach of the NHL, his first chance to run his own team at the top level in a match might only last a dozen matches. He focused on what might happen in the future if the game returns in the coming months. He hoped that his short trials behind the team bench were enough to erase the word “temporary” in his title.
“Hopefully we have done enough to advance,” Evason said.
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