Ottawa’s search for a new head coach is underway.
Per the Sun, Sens GM Pierre Dorion met with ex-Wild bench boss Mike Yeo over the weekend.
Yeo, 42, is believed to be held in high regard by the organization, and Yeo’s former employer — Wild GM Chuck Fletcher — is extremely close with outgoing Sens GM Bryan Murray, who will remain in Ottawa’s front office in an advisory role.
So the connections are there.
The Sens have to get it right with their next coaching hire. The club has gone through six bench bosses in the last nine years. Constant upheaval behind the bench has been one of the staples of the Eugene Melnyk era, which is probably why, in explaining what he wanted in his next head coach, Dorion pointed to a guy with previous NHL experience that had a “commitment to have our players play defense.”
Yeo earned a reputation for his strong defensive system in Minnesota (“defense-first Yeobots” is how one columnist described the players.) He’s also relatively young, at least by NHL coaching standards, which could set him up for the potential of a longer run in the Canadian capital.
That’s something Dorion thinks is important.
“Whoever that [new head coach] is, I hope they are here for a long time,” said Dorion last week. “I know there’s going to be pressure with every decision I make, but this is going to be a big one.
“This is huge.”