Minnesota Wild Fire General Manager After 14 Months
When a team makes a change at a position like Head Coach or General Manager it generally comes after 2+ seasons. You look at that person's body of work, as they tend to bring in people that reflect their values or share similar ideas. The Minnesota Wild on Tuesday fired only their 3rd GM, Paul Fenton, in team history after only 14 months on the job. It comes on the heels of a last-place Central Division finish, and the first time in 6 consecutive years the hockey club has missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In a 1:00 PM post on the clubs website, the team's owner Craig Leipold, gave a statement as to the firing of Fenton.
"After giving much thought to this difficult decision, I informed Paul today that he was not the right fit for our organization going forward. I believe we have a good hockey team, a team that will compete for a playoff spot this year, and I look forward to hiring a General Manager that will help us win a Stanley Cup. I would like to thank Paul for his time with the Wild and wish him and his family the best in the future." - Minnesota Wild Owner Craig Leipold
The club's release also stated that in the interim "Assistant General Manager Tom Kurvers will serve as acting General Manager." The club vowed that the search for a new GM will begin immediately.
The announcement comes at an odd time for a move in the NHL, as most firings happen at the conclusion of the season. With Fenton being let go today, it results in the Wild for 2019 having already had the draft and gone through the majority of the free-agent signing period.
In Fenton's time with the team, he became a seller at the trade deadline, a first in about 7 years for the club, and dealt 3 of the more popular players for trades that didn't produce for the team. Three of those moves were: trading Nino Niederreiter for Victor Rask, trading Charlie Coyle for Ryan Donato, and trading Mikael Granlund for Kevin Fiala.
The first General Manager of the Minnesota Wild was Doug Risebrough who was GM for the first 10 years after being relieved of his duties in 2009, the second GM was Chuck Fletcher who was GM from 2009 to 2018.