Former Blazer head coach joins NHL's Minnesota Wild

Ex-Blazer nabs Wild job

It's been nearly 20 years since he stood behind the home team's bench at the Sandman Centre (back when it was the Sport Mart Place), but Dean Evason has made it to the big time.

Today the Minnesota Wild named him their full-time coach; he's been interim head coach since Valentine's Day this year.

"Dean has done a fantastic job as our interim head coach and deserves this opportunity. I look forward to watching our team under his leadership going forward," says Wild GM Bill Guerin in a press release.

Evason has spent time in Kamloops arenas a couple different times. He was a Kamloops Junior Oiler in the early 80's for a couple season before being drafted by the Washington Capitals.

After playing for 12 seasons in the NHL with the Capitals, Hartford Whalers, San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames he went to Europe for a couple seasons before returning to the Tournament Capital in 1999 as the Blazers head coach for three seasons.

Since then he's continued coaching. He's been the head coach of WHL and AHL teams, and assisted behind the bench on NHL teams, most recently Minnesota. For the past two seasons he's been an assistant; when Bruce Boudreau was fired earlier this season Evason took over.

Now, as the Wild prepare to take the Vancouver Canucks on in the upcoming altered playoff format, he's being asked to step up. The two teams will start a five game series Aug. 2 in Edmonton.

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