Minnesota surely has more prominent coaches—think Mike Zimmer or Cheryl Reeve. But both have been blessed with extraordinary talent. Bruce Boudreau’s task falls in a far less opulent realm. Before he arrived in St. Paul, Boudreau’s teams won their divisions eight times in his first 10 years as an NHL coach. Yet the Wild are a quintessentially Minnesota team—a starless roster filled with the slightly above average. Boudreau’s nonetheless made them a contender every year. Though fans may lament their habit of first-round-and-out playoff performances, he’s consistently managed to keep the Wild playing at a level above the team’s native talent. It’s a testament to the red-faced man behind the bench who, despite an aging roster with little firepower, continues to create a competitive team while sell-out crowds remain the norm.
Readers’ Choice: Lindsay Whalen