Milwaukee names Evason coach

Nashville Predators president of hockey operations/general manager David Poile and Milwaukee Admirals owner/CEO Harris Turer announced today that Dean Evason has been named the head coach of the Admirals.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dean to Milwaukee to guide the Admirals ship,” said Turer. “With 10 straight playoff appearances, we have a rich tradition of success on the ice and of developing players for the next level. We look forward to watching him add to that streak and help cultivate the next Pekka Rinne, Shea Weber or Ryan Suter.”

Evason, 47, becomes the 20th head coach in Admirals history. He has spent the past seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals, helping them claim four straight Southeast Division titles, reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the past five seasons and win the 2010 President’s Trophy.

In his time as an assistant in Washington from 2005-12, the Capitals compiled a 294-206-74 record (.577). Evason’s responsibilities included face-offs (helping the Caps finish among the NHL’s Top 10 five times in his seven seasons) and the penalty kill (which finished as high as second in the league under his watch in 2010-11), while also being in charge of the team’s forwards.

Evason coached many American Hockey League alums during his tenure with the Caps including former Admirals Tyler Sloan, Kyle Wilson, Nolan Yonkman, Petr Sykora, Kris Beech, Timo Helbling, Matt Hendricks and Tomas Vokoun.

“Dean Evason brings the knowledge, insight and expertise of 20 years of NHL playing and coaching experience to the organization, and we are excited to have him guiding our young players and prospects as our development coach,” Poile said. “Given his success working with a diverse group of players and coaches, and his ability to alter his style to their strengths, we feel our young players and prospects are in great hands.”

Prior to joining the Capitals, the Flin Flon, Man., native spent six seasons as a head coach in the Western Hockey League. He began his coaching career with the Kamloops Blazers – where his roster included Predators 2002 first-round pick Scottie Upshall – compiling a 109-83-17 record in three seasons from 1999-2002. Evason moved on to guide the Vancouver Giants to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2002-03 and 2003-04, before co-coaching the Calgary Hitmen to a 34-23-9-6 record in 2004-05 on a team that included NHL stars Andrew Ladd and Ryan Getzlaf.

Washington’s third-round selection in the 1982 Entry Draft, Evason amassed 372 points (139 goals, 233 assists) and 1,002 penalty minutes in 803 NHL games with the Capitals, Hartford Whalers, San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames from 1983-96.

An honored member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, Evason spent his rookie pro season in the AHL with the Binghamton Whalers, recording 27 goals and 49 assists for 76 points in 65 games in 1984-85.

Following his NHL caereer, Evason served as a player/coach for Team Canada during the 1996-97 season, captaining the team to a gold medal at the 1997 World Championship, and also played two seasons in Germany.

Evason replaces Ian Herbers, who left the organization after being named the head coach at the University of Alberta in May. Stan Drulia, who was hired by Herbers as an assistant coach last season, will continues those duties behind the bench.