Wild hire hall of famer Scott Stevens as assistant coach
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Bruce Boudreau has his first assistant coach. After clearing out the team's coaching staff last month, general manager Chuck Fletcher announced the hiring of Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Scott Stevens an assistant coach on Tuesday.
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Bruce Boudreau has his first assistant coach.
After clearing out the team’s coaching staff last month, general manager Chuck Fletcher announced the hiring of Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Scott Stevens an assistant coach on Tuesday.
Stevens, 52, will stand behind the team’s bench with head coach Boudreau and another yet-to-be-determined assistant. Longtime goaltender coach Bob Mason, who started under Jacques Lemaire, was retained from the previous staff.
Stevens, known for his physical play in 13 years as an NHL defenseman, will work closely with the Wild’s blue liners and the team’s penalty kill. He said today’s game revolves around speed, adding that he’s excited to work with a group of Wild defensemen known for their skating.
“Having speed is essential,” Stevens said. “We see it in the (Stanley Cup) Final right now. So having defensemen that can skate is something you want. You want to be a team that brings the puck out of the ‘D’ zone well and supports the rush and can help on offense. It’s so important to create offense from your backend, but we want to create responsible offense. To have players that can skate and are intelligent like the Wild have, it’ll be fun to work with those guys.”
Stevens’ 1,635 games played rank seventh in NHL history and second among defensemen. He totaled 908 points, 2,785 penalty minutes and a plus-393 rating in his career. Stevens won three Stanley Cups (1995, 2000, 2003) with the New Jersey Devils, taking home the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2000 as playoffs MVP.
He began his coaching career as an assistant with the Devils in the 2012-13 season and was named co-head coach during the 2014-15 season.
After that season, Stevens began working as a TV analyst for NHL Network but said he had been looking for a return to coaching.
“I love teaching, I love being around the game. That’s the biggest reason,” Stevens said. “I enjoyed the teaching and the coaching part. And I just like hockey. Hockey is what I’m very passionate about. I grew up loving hockey and wanting to play in the NHL. Now I’m very interested in helping and coaching and enjoy the X’s and O’s part of it.”
Stevens and Boudreau had never met before Boudreau drove to Stevens’ house in New Jersey last month.
“But I feel like I’ve known Bruce for 20 years after just meeting him,” Stevens said. “It’s very neat when you have that chemistry off the hop. We talked hockey for a couple hours and it felt like it was only 30 minutes. It went very smooth, and I really was impressed with Bruce and I look forward to learning from him.”
Stevens is the first of two assistant coaches Boudreau will hire.
The other will work with the new Wild head coach on the power play and with the team’s forwards.