MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Wild has fired head coach Todd Richards.

The team made the announcement Monday morning.

WCCO-TV’s Mark Rosen said one name that could be considered as a possible successor is Ken Hitchcock, though that decision is a long ways away.

The Wild’s season ended Sunday with a 5-3 win over Dallas, which kept the Stars out of playoff contention.

Richards, 44, had a 77-71-16 record in two seasons as the Wild’s head coach. He took over for Jacques Lemaire, the only other coach in franchise history.

In both seasons under Richards, the Wild was in playoff contention through the winter. However, the team ended both seasons without a playoff appearance.

On the Minnesota Wild’s website, Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher posted a statement regarding the firing of Richards.

“I would like to thank Todd for the hard work he provided to the Minnesota Wild organization the last two seasons and wish him the best in the future,” the statement said.

Fletcher also admitted the decision was a tough one to make.

“Todd and his staff worked extremely hard to help this team win hockey games and ultimately these are tough decisions. I just felt going forward we needed a new voice to lead this team into next season. Certainly, the disappointment of not making the playoffs had a part in this, but I also feel that going forward we needed a new voice; we needed a new direction. Once you come to that decision the important thing is – for the organization and for the individuals affected – the important thing is to do it as quickly as possible,” the statement continued.

Stay tuned to WCCO-TV and WCCO.com for more updates as they become available.

Comments (23)
  1. Twinswin1 says:

    Wow, way to give a guy a chance. The Wild only need one or two key players and then they’re playoff bound, I’m sure.

    1. Ron says:

      Maybe the Wild can sign Kevin McHale to help them turn around.

      1. Twinswin1 says:

        Ha, could be that Kevin was coaching the wrong sport. He was meant to be a hockey coach instead.

    2. Mikey says:

      Wild and the Red Wings have close to the same salary, I think we have good players already. I agree with the move

      1. WRONG Mikey says:

        wow you dont know your hockey

    3. OUR GM Sucks says:

      I blame our GM! there were plenty of big names on the waiver wire right when we needed to make a move and push for a playoff run. This is not Richards fault and it is known that coaches build three year plans. We should have atleast gave him one more year.

  2. MARK says:

    I never agree with firing a guy after just one year. Do the Wild really think this is move is going to make them a playoff contender next year? In case they haven’t heard the news, Jacques Lemaire retired and isn’t coming back.

    1. Jon says:

      Or two seasons, in this case, I guess. Wow, time flies. LOL

    2. Rob Wagner says:

      He’s been here more than 1 year.

  3. John Sherman says:

    I think it would be more appropriate to fire the GM as well as his support staff in drafting and acquiring players it a sickness in all of Minnesota sports teams the culture of losing and that includes the T- wolves,Vikings and record setting losing at the University of Minn,funny lets see National Champs at UMD in 2 sports,St Thomas and the girls volleyball team at Concordia but rest?

  4. S Gerold says:

    Richards overachieved with a bunch of very average players, with 2 or 3 stars(and thats pushing it). The team owes the community for selling that place out for 10 years and getting noyhing in return, if they don’t start spending money on talent and making smart draft picks, I hope it’s a empty as the target Center from now on, The tickets are way overpriced for the product they provide

  5. Tom says:


    I would have thought that Fletch might attain some actual talent this off season for Richards to work with before considering this. 77-71 record is actually pretty good considering all he had to work with was has beens, mis-fits and AHL’ers since he was hired.

    I really think this is a mistake.

  6. Brose says:

    Time to get Ted Nolan back into the league. Seriously. That guy turned Buffalo and NYI from 70pt teams to 90pt teams in one year. That guy needs a look Russo. Admit it!

  7. woody says:

    Bad contracts, mediocre players, unwillingness to obtain talent or keep it. Todd wasn’t given much to work with in two years. Upper management needs to be fired in order for change to take place. Next year is going to be same ol’ same ol’. Who’s going to want to come coach here when upper management wont work with them.

  8. Realist says:

    He got paid and that is the defined fact to all of this. Nobody cares, you must win but all can’t…the expectation is still there. It is just as ridiculous as all kids have to feel special who play sports and all have to play and come away with a smile…no scores and no win/loss tracking…

    Life isn’t that way and never will be, there are winners and losers and also those who get paid for failing. He was just the face of failure, it is the GM who is and should be held responsible, they process the “talent”.

    Money will equal success, just as success breeds growth in any situation. At the pro level it isn’t the coaching as much as it is the “suits” hired to run it.

  9. Jeff from s 'water says:

    Amazing …. another MN team that flounders and it’s always the coach that’s the fall guy.
    If one gonna clean house you need to go all the way up.
    Hmmmmm – the U of M could take a clue here too, eh!

  10. Tea Says says:

    I have to agree with the people who think he was booted too quickly….we had some bright spots this year he could have built on!

  11. Pennie says:

    I had a sneaking suspision that Todd Richards wouldn’t be the Wild coach next seaoson, I just didn’t see it happening so soon. I think Todd Richards will make a very good NHL coach someday, he just needs a little more time in the minor leagues. I wish Todd Richards all of the best.

  12. John says:

    Fletcher, see if Scott Sandelin is available? Oops…he is better off at UMD no GM to fire or blame him. Maybe Sandelin should be a GM, he knows how to put a team togeter that wins.

  13. Greg says:

    This team has some really good players and some that have potential to be really good. What they are lacking is a few Elite players which would change the teams dynamics and put them on a winning track. Unfortunately they are at the Salary cap and we won’t be seeing any changes like that. So your essentially looking at the same team for next year. Richards couldn’t do anything with them so lets give someone new a chance. Even though I agree with those that think we should be changing managment because of wrong team make up. Bottom line is we have the same team coming back next year.

  14. Mike says:

    wow I thought they should have given him one more year. 1st year doesn’t count, it’s not really his team.

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