Wild insider blows the lid off of allegations against GM Bill Guerin
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Wild insider blows the lid off of allegations against GM Bill Guerin

Michael Russo calls out names! Gets to the bottom of a crazy story in Minnesota.



UPDATE: Minnesota Wild insider Michael Russo has issued an update to a story that broke yesterday concerning the dismissal of Wild assistant GM Chris O'Hearn.

The latest from Russo seems to indicate that both O'Hearn and Wild GM Bill Guerin were under investigation for alleged abuse, which resulted in the dismissal of O'Hearn. Guerin, it appears though, has been cleared of any wrongdoing but there's a belief that the NHL is still reviewing all of the facts and, so for that reason, Guerin is still under an investigation of sorts.

Some more insight on the situation from Russo:

Bill Guerin, the Minnesota Wild’s president of hockey operations and general manager, has been the focus of an investigation following a human resources complaint by an employee who alleged verbal abuse in the workplace, five team and league sources have confirmed to The Athletic.

The alleged incident that led to the investigation occurred in late November and was reported to the team’s HR department, which commissioned an outside law firm to investigate. Two attorneys traveled to St. Paul and interviewed more than 15 members of the organization.

Two team sources indicated that the investigation into Guerin’s alleged behavior was complete and the findings were delivered to upper management and ownership early this week. Wild management determined that Guerin had not committed a fireable offense, team sources said Wednesday.

While the investigation was proceeding, Guerin did not attend the NHL’s Board of Governors meeting in Seattle nor the Wild’s four-game road trip to western Canada and Seattle. That was odd considering it was new coach John Hynes’ first long road trip with the Wild.

Guerin didn’t reply to a text message seeking comment late Thursday afternoon.

The Wild declined to discuss details of the investigations but said in a statement to The Athletic: “The Minnesota Wild takes its code of conduct seriously. We recently concluded two separate investigations into alleged violations of that code of conduct, and have taken appropriate steps to address the matters raised to our attention. The club will not comment further.”

The employee who filed the complaint, according to team sources, is Andrew Heydt, the Wild’s director of team operations and player relations. Heydt has been in that position for 10 years and oversees team travel, logistics, and player and alumni relations.

Heydt has been absent from work the past couple of days after traveling with the team on its most recent road trip. In his role, Heydt interacts with Guerin on an almost daily basis.

- Michael Russo

More to come on this developing story. Read below for our earlier report.

It's been nearly a two weeks since veteran NHL forward Corey Perry released a statement following his contract termination from the Chicago Blackhawks and denied rumors that he had a relationship with Melanie Bedard, mother of former teammate Connor Bedard.

Read below for Perry's full statement:

"I would like to sincerely apologize to the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, including ownership, management, coaches, trainers, employees, and my teammates. I would also like to apologize to my fans, and my family. I am embarrassed and I have let you all down."

"As a result of my actions, there has been speculation and rumors. I am sickened by the impact this has had on others, and I want to make it clear that in no way did this situation involve any of my teammates or their families. Most importantly, I want to directly apologize to those who have been negatively affected and I am sorry for the additional impact to others it has created. My behavior was inappropriate and wrong."

"I have started working with experts in the mental health and substance abuse fields to discuss my struggles with alcohol and I will take whatever steps necessary to ensure this never happens again. I hope to regain the trust and respect of everyone who has believed in my throughout my career."

"Once again, I am deeply sorry."

- Corey Perry

Since then, it's been reported and confirmed that Perry was dismissed from the team for inappropriate and unacceptable conduct, fueled by alcohol consumption. So, in other words, Perry got drunk and then did or said something stupid while in the presence of the team's employees and/or corporate partners. 

From NHL insider Frank Seravalli last week:

"According to sources, an alcohol-fueled incident involving Perry was alleged to have occurred during an event that included corporate partners and team employees in attendance."

- Frank Seravalli

It appears now that we may have a similar situation playing out in Minnesota.

While it don't yet know exactly what has transpired, the Minnesota Wild have abruptly parted ways with assistant GM Chris O'Hearn. Wild insider Michael Russo broke the story yesterday and has been somewhat cryptic in his description of what exactly happened between O'Hearn and the team. O'Hearn has been GM Bill Guerin's right hand man since 2019 and, by all accounts, the pair shared a close personal and professional relationship.

Joe Smith of The Athletic reports this morning that there has been "multiple investigations into executives, handled by an outside firm" as it relates to this situation.

We can only speculate as to the reasons by O'Hearn was so hastily dismissed by the club, but it's clear that something happened that necessitated such an abrupt change. Stay tuned for details as they become available.

Source: Michael Russo