Todd Richards Named Wild Head Coach: Minnesota Miracle Man?

Nick MaxsonCorrespondent IJune 17, 2009

ST. PAUL, MN - NOVEMBER 13:  Andrew Brunette #15 of the Minnesota Wild celebrates after scoring Minnesota's second goal against the Phoenix Coyotes November 13, 2008 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Minnsota won, 4-0. (Photo by Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and owner Craig Leipold announced that former San Jose Sharks Assistant Coach Todd Richards would be the second head coach in Wild history.

Richards, a native of Crystal, Minnesota, Played for the University of Minnesota between 1985-1989. He was team captain his senior season and went all the way to the National Championship game before losing to Harvard in overtime.

Richards was drafted 33rd overall in 1985 in the NHL entry draft by Montreal and then appeared in eight games in two seasons earning three assists.

After his time in the NHL, Richards moved to the IHL's Las Vegas Thunder, and was named top defenseman in the 1994-1995 season.

Richards spent the next six seasons with the Orlando Solar Bears and led them to win the IHL championship in 2000-01.

After spending one season with the Servette Geneve of Switzerland, Richards moved back to the U.S to begin coaching.

Between 2002-06, Richards was the assistant coach of the Milwaukee Admirals. Richards helped lead the Admirals to two West Division Titles (in 2003-04 and 2005-06) and two Calder Cup Finals, winning in 2003-2004.

Richards was then named head coach of the Wiles-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL in 2006 and led the team to the Calder Cup Finals in 2008.

Richards was recognized for having the most wins (98) and win percentage (.653) in Penguins history in his two seasons as head coach.

The most impressive stat, however, is that Richards has made the playoffs all 13 years as a player and all seven as a coach according to

“Todd’s track record as a player and coach speaks for itself,” said Chuck Fletcher to “He is a proven winner, and is an ideal fit as the Minnesota Wild’s new Head Coach.”

Richards was the assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks last season under Todd McLellan and helped lead the Sharks to win the Presidents Trophy with a 53-18-11 record.

Richards was also in charge of the team's power play which was third best in the league at 24.2 percent.