Report: Penguins assistant coach set to coach in AHL
By Joe Yerdon Wed Jun 16,2010 12:51 AM ET
The off-season coaching carousel isn't immune to assistant coaches. According to sources close to Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune, Penguins assistant coach Mike Yeo is on the move.
According to sources, the Wild is close to hiring Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Mike Yeo as head coach of the Houston Aeros, the team's American Hockey League affiliate.
Yeo, a former Penguins prospect, was captain of the Aeros when they won the IHL's Turner Cup championship in 1999.
While the Minnesota Wild get their guy and someone that will be a hometown favorite of sorts in Houston, the other side effect here on the Penguins is interesting as well. Yeo is the guy who managed (mis-managed?) the Penguins power play the last few seasons working under both Michel Therrien and Dan Bylsma. A source of many Pens fans' frustrations with the team came with the Penguins streaky play on the power play.
You'd have to think that a team that throws Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal out on a power play unit would be able to score more often than not, but the Penguins checked in this season scoring on 17.2% of their power plays, good for 19th in the league. Compare that with the Capitals who were tops in the league scoring at a ridiculous 25.2% rate and you can see why the fans, and perhaps the Penguins management, might be all right with letting Yeo go and work on his head coaching style in the AHL.
I'm not too upset about losing Yeo. Although I don't throw all of the blame of the pp failure on him, he has to be held accountable to a degree. I trust Bylsma to bring in a solid replacement and maybe even an upgrade. Just wishful thinking; wouldn't it be great to see Mario behind the bench?