It seems as though a former multi-time Stanley Cup Champion and former captain in the National Hockey League has done quite a lot to impress Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold.
According to a report from Minnesota Wild insider Mike Russo of The Athletic, it now appears as though former NHL player, and current Pittsburgh Penguins assistant general manager, Bill Guerin may now be emerging as the frontrunner for the vacant general manager's chair in Minnesota. Now to be clear Russo has stated that there remain a number of candidates in the mix here, however Russo is also reporting that Guerin has already had a second interview, this before some of the other candidates on Leipold's shortlist have even had their first meeting with the Wild owner. It would appear to indicate that whatever happened in the first interview impressed the Wild, which resulted in the organization bringing in former NHL superstar Mike Modano to sit in for the second interview.
Guerin was a very well respected player during his time on the ice, but since retiring as a player and taking on a front office role the respect for his talents has only seemed to grow. Guerin was brought in by the Penguins in 2011 and quickly moved up the ranks of the organization, starting in player development in 2011 and eventually being named as an assistant general manager in 2014. Since Guerin has taken over that role the Penguins have gone on to win a pair of Stanley Cups and he has often been viewed as a future general manager in the making.
Although the possibility of adding such a well respected figure to their front office has to seem rather enticing for the Wild, it would also be a huge blow to the Penguins front office if Guerin were to leave. It is important to note here that not only is Guerin viewed by many as the number two guy in the Penguins organization behind general manager Jim Ruthford, but he also has strong ties to the players in the way many general managers do not. Guerin is not so far removed from his playing days, days in which he played on the top line alongside Penguins star Sidney Crosby, something that has to give him a unique perspective within that organization.
Candidates like former Flyers general manager Ron Hextall and former Maple Leafs assistant general manager Mark Hunter remain in the mix as well, but as of this writing it seems that Guerin is the clear frontrunner.