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Wild Coach Jacques Lemaire quits

ST. PAUL, Minn., April 12 (UPI) -- Minnesota Wild Coach Jacques Lemaire, the only coach the club has had since joining the NHL in 2000, has decided to step down.

Lemaire, 63, made the announcement after Saturday's season-ending 6-3 win against Columbus, the Wild's third straight victory.

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"I think it's time for the team, the organization, to get a new coach," he said during a post-game interview with Tom Reid, Minnesota's radio analyst.

He said he wasn't retiring but doesn't know what his next job will be.

The Wild played in the post-season in each of the last two seasons, but finished out of the playoff race this season with a 40-33-9 record (89 points), ninth in the Western Conference.

In his eight seasons (2004-05 was locked out) with Minnesota, Lemaire had 293 wins, 255 losses, 55 ties and 53 overtime losses. He earned the NHL's coach-of-the-year Jack Adams Award in the 2002-03 season when the Wild reached the conference playoff finals.

His overall coaching record is 540-414-124-53 in stints with Minnesota, New Jersey and Montreal. He took the New Jersey Devils to the first of their three Stanley Cup titles in 1995, and was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 1984.

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He won eight Stanley Cups as a player with Montreal.

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