The Minnesota Wild have officially fired general manager Paul Fenton just one year into his job with the organization.
The news was first reported by Wild insider Michael Russo of The Athletic:
Check it out:
Check out these quotes from Russo’s latest column for The Athletic:
After 25 years of paying dues in order to rise to a general manager post in the NHL, Paul Fenton’s rocky tenure with the Wild came to an abrupt end after only one non-playoff season, multiple sources told/The Athletic./
In a late-summer decision that will send shockwaves throughout the State of Hockey and the entire league, sources said owner Craig Leipold called Fenton at his offseason home in Cape Cod late Tuesday morning and cut ties with him a little more than 14 months after naming the longtime Nashville Predators assistant GM the Wild’s third GM in team history
Sources said there were numerous accounts of unhappy employees throughout the organization and countless other turbulent incidents that made their way into Leipold’s office. Sources said for weeks that it was becoming abundantly clear to Leipold that Fenton was not fitting into the culture that he and CEO Matt Majka had worked to create since Leipold purchased the team in 2008.
So rather than giving Fenton another year’s chance to right the ship on the ice and off of it, Leipold obviously felt he better pull the plug now rather than allow further potential damage to come. While there’s little doubt Fenton was blindsided by Tuesday’s phone call, it’s believed he knew he was on thin ice after meetings with Leipold about his job performance this offseason.
So... who replaces Fenton both in the short and the long term?
More from Russo:
Sources said Leipold and Majka will immediately launch a GM search, and it’s likely that assistant GM Tom Kurvers will be named acting GM until a replacement can be found. No other changes in the front office have been made yet, so as of now Fenton’s senior advisor, Jack Ferreira, remains with the team, as does Fenton’s son, P.J., who co-ran the draft table.
During the last search, Leipold and Majka interviewed a long list of candidates that included Fitzgerald, Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin, former agent Bill Zito, Bruins executive director of player personnel John Ferguson Jr., now-Lightning GM Julien BriseBois and Ducks assistant GM Dave Nonis.
After Fenton, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Wild decided to go the experience route this time around. If that’s the case, there’s really only a small list. Some candidates include former Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall, former Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, former San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi and former New York Islanders GM Garth Snow.
One thing's for sure... the offseason just got a LOT more interesting for Wild fans.