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Rick Wilson becomes the Minnesota Wild’s new assistant head coach

The Minnesota Wild added Rick Wilson to their coaching staff today, filling a gap left by departed assistant coach Mike Ramsey. Here is more from Glen Andersen of the Minnesota Wild’s Web site.

After a long, hurdle-ridden process, Wilson signed his contract in the Wild’s corporate offices today, his 60th birthday.

The Wild had several outstanding candidates for the vacant position, but none possessed as much experience as Wilson, who has coached in the NHL since 1988, and most recently was an associate coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning last year.

This will actually be Wilson’s second stint in Minnesota. He was an assistant for the North Stars during the 1992-93 season before relocating with the franchise to Dallas, where he won a Stanley Cup in 1999. Wilson was with the Stars for 16 years, which included seven division titles, two Western Conference championships and two President’s Trophies. He was also Dallas’ interim coach in 2002, when he led the club to a 13-11-7 mark.

Wilson’s expertise is working with defensemen, which was a priority in Head Coach Todd Richards’ search. Under Wilson’s guidance of the Dallas defensive corps, the club finished in the top three for fewest goals against in 2002-03, 2003-04, 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Wow, an assistant coach at the age of 60? I’m guessing he’s comfortable with the fact that he’s not likely to get more than an interim head coaching gig in the future, although you never really know.

It seems like a solid hire by the Wild, as the Stars’ worst years on defense seemed to come by the time he left the tea,.