Mike Yeo, NHL Draft weekend 2012
|Born|| July 31, 1973
|Current general manager||Chuck Fletcher|
|Current team||Minnesota Wild|
|Previous team(s)||Pittsburgh Penguins (assistant)
|Stanley Cup wins||one (2009)|
|Years as a coach||1999–present|
|Years as an NHL coach||2010–present|
|Years with current team||2011–present|
Michael "Mike" Yeo (born July 31, 1973), is the current head coach of the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League. Yeo grew up in a small community in northern Ontario. He was formerly an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins and head coach of the American Hockey League's Houston Aeros.
In 1999 Yeo was signed as a minor league veteran by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the top affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the onset of their inaugural season, in what would eventually become the first of eleven years of service with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. After a serious knee injury ended his playing career after just 19 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Yeo accepted an offer to remain with the team by becoming an assistant to head coach Glenn Patrick, a position he continued to hold when Michel Therrien replaced Patrick in 2003. Yeo was promoted along with Therrien in 2005 to the Pittsburgh Penguins as Therrien's assistant after the firing of Eddie Olczyk and his coaching staff. With his primary responsibilities focused towards special teams, Yeo aided Therrien in laying the groundwork for the Penguins rebuild towards future successes, ending the franchise's six-year playoff absence in the 2006-07 season, and leading the Penguins to their second-highest points total in franchise history in 2007-08. Continuing to work as an assistant under Therrien's successor, Dan Bylsma, Yeo began to have health issues with his blood pressure and in one game "felt lightheaded and dizzy and had chest pain...[his] blood pressure was really high" although he persevered and helped the team to a Stanley Cup victory in 2009.
On June 16, 2010, Yeo left the Penguins to take up the vacant head coach position at the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League, at that time the top AHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild, replacing Kevin Constantine. The season prior to Yeo's hiring, the Aeros finished in last place in the West Division with low expectations. However, the Aeros added numerous offensive players such as Robbie Earl, Patrick O'Sullivan and Jed Ortmeyer. Under Yeo, the revitalized roster improved massively, reaching the AHL conference championships in Yeo's first year behind the bench.
Yeo was announced as the head coach of the Minnesota Wild on June 17, 2011. The Wild under Yeo won their first game 4-2 at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Wild started the season 15-7-3, but failed to secure a winning record through each of the final five months of the season. 2011-2012 marked a down-year for Yeo, as his team ranked last in number of goals scored in the NHL with a meagre 177 compared to the NHL average of 240. The team also did not make the playoffs, came 3rd last in power play percentage, and were known for streaky play. The Wild tended to lose games in streaks, losing 32 out of 36 games in groups of two or more games. The team lost 8 straight in December and 7 straight in February effectively removing the Wild from playoff contention.
Early in the 2013-2014 season, Yeo was at times rumored to be at risk of losing his job. However, in the second half of the season, the Wild were able to make the playoffs for the second straight year. The Wild defeated the heavily favored Colorado Avalanche in seven games before losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round. On May 31, 2014, Mike Yeo was given a three year contract extension with the Minnesota Wild.
During the 2014-2015 season, Yeo was rumored again to be at risk of losing his job. However, a mid-season trade for goalie Devan Dubnyk saved not only his job, but also the team's season. The team had a record of 18-19-5 prior to the trade and finished the season with a record of 46-28-8. The Wild qualified for the playoffs with a win at Chicago on April 7, 2015. They were then eliminated by Chicago in the playoffs for the third consecutive season, losing in 4 games, scoring only 7 goals the entire series.
With the hirings of Jeff Blashill by Detroit and John Hynes by New Jersey during the summer of 2015, Yeo is no longer the youngest head coach in the NHL, a title he had held for his first four seasons.
Career player statistics
NHL coaching record
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||OTL||Pts||Division Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|MIN||2011-12||35||36||11||81||4th in Northwest||–||–||–||Failed to Qualify|
|MIN||2012-13†||26||19||3||55||2nd in Northwest||1||4||.200||Lost to Chicago Blackhawks in 1st Round|
|MIN||2013-14||43||27||12||98||4th in Central||6||7||.462||Lost to Chicago Blackhawks in 2nd Round|
|MIN||2014-15||46||28||8||100||4th in Central||4||6||.400||Lost to Chicago Blackhawks in 2nd Round|
Statistics updated as of 5/7/15
†Lockout shortened season
- Molinari, Dave (2006-03-13). "Q&A with Mike Yeo". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Russo, Michael. "Russo: Wild updates on the eve of free agency". startribune.com. Star Tribune. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
|Head coach of the Minnesota Wild