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Todd Richards is new coach of NHL's Wild

Todd Richards is new coach of NHL's Wild
Minnesota Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire (top) gestures to his team against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at the Pepsi Center in Denver on April 6, 2008. Colorado beat Minnesota 4-3 in a shootout to earn the right to face Minnesota in the first round of the NHL playoffs. (UPI Photo/Gary C. Caskey) | License Photo

ST. PAUL, Minn., June 16 (UPI) -- Minnesota native Todd Richards was introduced Tuesday as the coach of the NHL's Minnesota Wild.

Richards, 42, replaces Jacques Lemaire, who was the team's coach for the first eight seasons of its existence. Lemaire amassed 293 wins, including 40 last season, as coach. Lemaire resigned at the end of season.

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Richards reportedly favors a more up-tempo game than Lemaire, whose teams were noted for tough defense. The team was second in the NHL in goals allowed last season but 22nd in scoring goals.

Richards joins the Wild after one season as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks. Before that he was head coach of the Wilkes-Barre-/Scranton Penguins and led the team to the AHL's Calder Cup Finals. He played collegiately for the University Minnesota.

"Todd's track record as a player and coach speaks for itself," Minnesota General Manager Chuck Fletcher said Tuesday. "He is a proven winner and is an ideal fit as the Minnesota Wild's new head coach."

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