Minnesota Wild: Derek Lalonde Hired as Iowa Wild Head Coach


The Minnesota Wild took a huge strep Saturday to ensuring their future by hiring Derek Lalonde as the new Head Coach of the Iowa Wild.  Lalonde will be looking to take his successful coaching career at three different levels to Iowa and help them climb out of the AHL cellar.

Michael Russo of the Star Tribune is reporting that the Minnesota Wild took a huge step Saturday to improve their future by hiring Derek Lalonde to be the next head coach of the Iowa Wild. Lalonde is taking the helm of an Iowa team that was worst in the league last season and will be looking to rebound with a fresh infusion of new young talent.  Lalonde has lots of successes in the USHL, NCAA, and ECHL as a head coach and assistant and will be looking to prove himself in the AHL as he makes it to that level for the first time in his career.

Lalonde started his coaching journey as an assistant at Ferris State in Michigan in the CCHA.  After three seasons he moved on to be an assistant at one of the biggest college programs in the nation at the University of Denver.  While there Denver appeared in four NCAA tourneys and he coached Maple Leaf star Tyler Bozak and the Wild’s own Jason Zucker over his five seasons with the Pioneers.

Then in the 2011-12 Lalonde made the jump to the professional ranks to the USHL to become a head coach.  In his first of three seasons in Green Bay he won the league championship after succeeding current Tampa Bay HC Jon Cooper.  After the USHL he moved up the ECHL for last two seasons with the Toledo Walleye where’s put together an impressive winning record of 97-35-12.

In Iowa this upcoming season, Lalonde will be inheriting one of the more talented groups in recent years.  With players like Mario Lucia, Sam Anas, Pavel Jenys, Alex Tuch, and Nick Seeler joining the team he’ll have a good place to start from.  With the talent future of the Wild in his hands Lalonde will certainly have to be ready.

Perhaps the most important thing he’ll have to do is bring the remaining Iowa players into his new system.  With John Torchetti moving on after two seasons it will no doubt be a challenge to rebuild the culture of the team.  The sudden move up last year of Torch to Minnesota left Iowa in a tough spot, and Lalonde will need to work to get the team back on track.  With his new players he can do it, but it’ll still take some work.

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The future of the Wild is in good hands it seems.  With his successes at different levels it stands to reason that Lalonde will continue that success with Iowa.  He’s got something to prove, and that’s an important motivator as the Iowa Wild look to dig themselves out the AHL basement with a new head coach.