The Minnesota Wild suffered a disappointing if somewhat predictable exit in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs after falling to the Vancouver Canucks in the Qualifying Round, however unlike in the past this time you get the sense that real tangible changes are coming to the organization.
On Monday Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin hinted at some big changes that might be on the horizon when he discussed the goaltending that his team received in the playoffs. Guerien made it clear that he had been disappointed by the performance of goaltending tandem Alex Stalock and Devan Dubnyk and in fact even went one step further than that by choosing not to say anything. When asked about his tandem and whether or not he would return with them next season Guerien would not commit to the move, and that in and of itself spoke volumes.
It was. to be blunt, an awful season for Devan Dubnyk, his worst since signing a long term contract to be the Wild's netminder. Over 30 appearances he recorded a 3.35 goals against average and a .890 save percentage, eventually losing the starting role to Stalock. Stalock performed better than Dubnyk during the regular season but faltered in the playoffs posting a .897 save percentage over 4 games and a 3.03 goals against average, not the kind of numbers that usually lead to a team advancing in a series.
Of course whether or not Guerien makes an actual change of goaltender remains to be seen, but what we do know for certain is that he does in fact seem to be committed to making changes at that position. During his media availability Guerien revealed that Bob Mason has not had his contract renewed, perhaps not a big deal to the casual fan but a move that represent a major organizational shift at the goaltending position. Mason has been the Wild's goaltending coach for the past 18 years, when you consider the fact that the team was only founded in 1997 that is most of Minnesota Wild history right there.
The motivations behind Mason's firing were not made public and it may merely be that the two sides mutually agreed to part ways, but I suspect given the way the goaltending situation played out this season that this was not the case.