A new general manager can easily come in and change everything before the season even kicks off. However, newly appointed GM for the Minnesota Wild Paul Fenton did the right thing, coming in this summer and not making a clean sweep on the roster. However, he made sure that one very important message was heard from the first game of the season.
According to Sarah McLellan of the Minnesota Star Tribune, the Wild’s veteran core, which includes Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund, Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle, Eric Staal, Devan Dubnyk, Nino Niederreiter and Matt Dumba, have all been told that changes could be coming if they once again fall short in the playoffs.
The Wild managed to clinch a playoff spot in each of the past six seasons but advanced beyond the opening round just twice. Fenton took over this spring as general manager and is looking at major trades that could be coming once his final assessment is made for what is best for the Wild to be a real Stanley Cup contender.
“That’s the reality of this business and professional sports,” Staal said to the Star Tribune. “If he’s not liking what he’s seeing, and he doesn’t have a good vibe with our group, then he’ll be inclined to make changes. That’s just the way it works. But I think the reality is I feel and I think a lot of our guys feel we’ve got good players. We’ve got a good team.”
The Wild will need to prove that they can make it far into the postseason to convince Fenton not to act on his threats. So far, he is right to apply pressure on his team as the Wild has yet to win a game this season. It is still early however, the roster needs to take this seriously. Staal is due to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and if a new contract is not in the cards before the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline, he could become a useful bargaining chip for Fenton.
“We gotta push the gas down here pretty soon,” Parise said, “or who knows what’s going to happen.”
Yeah... who knows. It seems like Fenton is the only one getting the better idea...