Wild fire head coach Bruce Boudreau in the middle of a playoff race

The Minnesota Wild are chasing a playoff spot, and yet have let go head coach Bruce Boudreau of three years on Friday.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau will not be leading the Minnesota Wild to a surprise playoff appearance this season. On Friday, the Wild announced that general manager Bill Guerin has relieved Boudreau of his head coaching duties, effective immediately.

Minnesota will have assistant coach Dean Evason be named interim coach for the time being for the Wild.

The move is a surprising one, to say the least. The Wild are, as of Friday, in the hunt for a playoff spot, with a 27-23-7 record and 61 points on the season. Minnesota is three points back of a wild card spot in the Western Conference and has multiple games in hand on the current wild card holders, Calgary and Arizona.

In their last 11 games this season, the Wild have gone 7-3-1 under Boudreau’s watch, making a legitimate playoff run despite starting off the first month of the season on a 4-9-0 skid.

However, the Wild have been active at the trade deadline this year. Earlier this week, the Wild sent forward Jason Zucker to the Pittsburgh Penguins, in a move that signaled that the team was possibly looking more to retool than to make a playoff run this season.

Despite that, general manager Guerin was adamant that the Wild were set to push his team to contention, no matter what it took.

If there is quit, there will be more trades … I wholeheartedly expect this team to compete for a playoff spot. We are right there. If there’s any signs of anybody taking their foot off the gas, that will be an indication (of what I have to do).

Over his nearly 1,000-game head coaching career, Boudreau has the third-best points percentage (.635) among coaches to coach at least 500 games. He will finish his time in Minnesota with a 158-110-35 record, having taken the Wild to the first round of the playoffs twice during his tenure.

Boudreau was also in the final year of his contract with the Wild, which would have expired in the offseason in a mere few months.

The Wild are set to play the San Jose Sharks in Minnesota on Saturday.

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