DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Wild introduced Derek Lalonde as their new head coach Monday at Wells Fargo Arena.
The 43-year-old is now set to lead the Wild after coaching the East Coast Hockey League’s Toledo Walleye for the past two seasons, where he accumulated an impressive 97-35-7-5 overall record with two playoff appearances.
Lalonde also led the Walleye to the ECHL regular season title in 2015-16, before falling in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs to Reading in seven games. In his rookie season as head coach of the team, Lalonde was named ECHL Coach of the Year and made a profound impact by posting a 58-point improvement from the previous season.
Lalonde brings a proven coaching style to Des Moines where he’ll try to turn the organization around after the team ended the season with the lowest point total in the AHL for the second year in a row.
“It’s culture based, just an everyday approach coming to the rink, holding guys accountable on winning habits,” Lalonde said, in regards to his coaching style. “Winning becomes contagious just like losing does. It’s always a hard balance because development is first but I think winning speeds up development.”
Before coaching Toledo, Lalonde spent three successful years coaching the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers and also boasts international assistant coaching experience with the United States World Junior U-19 team.