The Minnesota Wild suddenly fired head coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday morning, and here are five candidates to replace him.

The Minnesota Wild have won seven of their last 11 games to move to within three points of a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. But on Friday morning, as first reported by Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, head coach Bruce Boudreau was fired.

Michael Russo of The Athletic has reported assistant coach Dean Evason will be named interim head coach. In terms of hiring a permanent replacement, Darren Dreger of TSN has reported that move will come in the offseason.

Boudreau was in the the fourth and final season of his contract, so his firing is not all that surprising in the bigger picture. He was inherited by two general managers, Paul Fenton and now Bill Guerin, and the heat on his seat was natural. But the timing is curious, at minimum, with the Wild surging toward a playoff spot.

The Wild have looked like a trade deadline seller, with this week’s trade of Jason Zucker the first of what could be multiple moves, while Guerin has also tried to keep this year’s bar high in terms of making the playoffs. That’s a tough fence to sit on, and it’s hard to know what a coaching change accomplishes right now even if Boudreau was not going to be back next season.

Looking toward a full search for a new coach, here are five candidates to replace Bruce Boudreau as head coach of the Wild.

5. Dean Evason

Evason was in his second season as an assistant for the Wild, and he also worked under Boudreau in Washington. Prior to that Evason spent six successful seasons as head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL, and worked in the WHL as an assistant and a head coach for many years before he went to the Capitals.

Evason will be getting his first experience as an NHL head coach as the interim guy for Minnesota. If the Wild do make the playoffs, it’ll greatly bolster his case to get the permanent post or even become a candidate for other head coaching openings this offseason. At minimum, and perhaps regardless of the results over the rest of this season, he should get an interview with the Wild.