With today's dismissal of Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette, I thought about the Wild's coaching situation. Exactly how short is the leash on Head Coach Mike Yeo? There are two different ways to look at this: How short is Craig Leopold's leash and how short should it be?
Let's start with Leopold. He has shown patience so far, allowing things to develop. Yeo did take the team to the playoffs in a shortened season last year, but the team struggled to get in, losing several key games near the end that would have resulted in a more favorable playoff matchup. The team appeared to improve a bit, so Yeo was given another year. My feeling is that Leopold will give Yeo the entire 2013-14 season to see what he can do, but if the team fails to qualify for the playoffs, Yeo will be out.
That brings me to the "how short SHOULD the leash be" question. While I would not have had any problems with Yeo being fired this past offseason (see earlier posts for reference), I full understood why he was brought back. Having said that, mid-season coaching changes have proven to be effective in motivating teams for the short-term, so if I were Leopold, I would have to dismiss Yeo if the team got off to a terrible start after 25-30 games. I am convinced the Wild has the talent to be a Top 4 team in the Western Conference, so if they continue to underperform, changes will have to be made.
That said, we are only 2 games in, and the jury hasn't even been seated yet.