Update: The Houston Chronicle is reporting the hiring will happen.
According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, the Wild is close to hiring Penguins assistant coach Mike Yeo (right) as the head coach of its AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros.
He would replace former Penguins head coach Kevin Constantine who was fired from Houston last month.
Yeo, 36, was the Aeros captain when they won the IHL's Turner Cup in 1999. He has been with the Penguins organization in some capacity since the 1999-2000 season when he appeared in 19 games as a defenseman with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins prior to a career-ending knee injury. He returned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the following season as an assistant coach under head coach Glenn Patrick. He remained in that position under Patrick's replacement, Michel Therrien, who came to the Penguins in 2003-04. When Therrien was promoted as head coach of the NHL Penguins midway through the 2005-06 season, he brought along Yeo as an assistant coach.
Yeo has held that position ever since then, even as Therrien was fired and replaced by another Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach, Dan Bylsma in 2009. Throughout his tenure with the NHL Penguins, Yeo has been in charge of the much maligned power play. He was a member of the Stanley Cup-winning squad in 2009.
Were Yeo to take the position, he would be re-united with Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher who was the Penguins' assistant general manager for three seasons before being hired by Minnesota in the 2009 offseason.
EN Says: This might not be the way Penguins fans envisioned getting rid of Yeo, but we're guessing a few of you might be happy with this news.
We like the still hypothetical move from the Wild's perspective. Yeo is very good in terms of dealing with younger undeveloped players. While with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, he had a hand in the development of NHL regulars like Colby Armstrong, Rob Scuderi, Maxime Talbot, Erik Christensen and Brooks Orpik.
Minnesota has one of the worst farm systems in the NHL and someone like Yeo can help in terms of developing NHL talent should he take the job.
Conversely, we're not sure what Yeo can offer established veterans or superstar talent. What is he going to teach a star like Sidney Crosby or a grizzled veteran like Bill Guerin?
Should this move occur, it might be for the best for each the Penguins and Yeo.