There could be something to what Patrick mentions in his Twitter post. I’m sure some guys liked Zimmer and didn’t take his behavior personally. But just because a few players were okay with what feels like an old-school coaching style doesn’t mean everybody will be. Clearly, many players felt the locker room and culture of the team had become toxic. After eight years and very little success, once things become as allegedly toxic as they were, it’s time to move on.


Like most franchises, Minnesota has gone in the opposite direction with O’Connell. Zimmer was the typical defensive hard-ass coach. O’Connell is offensive-minded and feels like a player’s coach early on. He hasn’t coached a regular season game yet, but there are already high expectations for what he can do with this team. At the least, he’ll need to rebuild a positive culture and make everyone forget about the latter days of the Mike Zimmer era.