In case you missed it earlier today Minnesota Wild fired general manager Paul Fenton after just 14 months on the job.
Check it out:
The news was first reported by Wild insider Michael Russo of The Athletic:
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? Again according to Russo, it sounds like assistant GM Tom Kurvers will take the reigns in the short term:
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.
That makes sense. How about in the long term? Buckle up, Wild fans...
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.
Peter Chiarelli, Garth Snow... how's that make you feel, Wild fans? Ron Hextall and Dean Lombardi are obviously worthwhile candidates, but after seeing just how badly Chiarelli and Snow decimated the Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders franchises how can they be in consideration?
For what it's worth, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman is now reporting that the Wild have reached out to the Flyers to speak with Hextall about their newly vacant GM position.
Check it out:
One thing's for sure... the offseason just got a LOT more interesting for Wild fans.