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Lalonde leaving Walleye to coach AHL's Iowa Wild

06/18/2016, 6:13pm EDT
By By MARK MONROE BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Announcement is expected to be made early next week

Lalonde leaving Walleye to coach AHL's Iowa Wild

Toledo Walleye coach Derek Lalonde will become the next head coach of the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League, The Blade has learned.

The announcement is expected to be made early next week, according to a source.

Lalonde has led Toledo to a 97-35-12 record in his two seasons as head coach. He guided the Walleye to back-to-back ECHL Eastern Conference and North Division regular-season championships.

Lalonde, 43, became a hot coaching commodity last summer after he was named ECHL coach of the year. In his first season with the Walleye, Lalonde led Toledo to a 50-15-7 record and the Brabham Cup as the regular-season champions.

Lalonde then led the Walleye to a second consecutive playoff berth and a 47-20-5 record this past season.

Lalonde, a native of Brasher Falls, N.Y., will move up to the AHL with the team based in Des Moines.

The Iowa Wild had hired David Cunniff as the team's interim coach in February. Cunniff, 45, was named the third head coach in the franchise's history, replacing John Torchetti, who was promoted to the NHL's Minnesota Wild.

The Detroit Red Wings hired Torchetti earlier this month as an assistant coach.

Last summer, Lalonde interviewed with the Grand Rapids Griffins and San Diego Gulls of the AHL.

Before coming to Toledo, Lalonde spent three seasons as head coach of the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League. In 2011-12, he led the club to a 47-9-4 record and the league title.

Lalonde also coached the United States World Junior U-19 team, which captured a Gold Medal in 2013.

Walleye officials were unavailable for comment.

Contact Mark Monroe at: mmonroe@theblade.com, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.

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Walleye coach Derek Lalonde talks to his team during a Jan. 23 game. He will become the next head coach of the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League, The Blade has learned. BLADE/ANDY MORRISON

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