Minnesota Wild Fire General Manager Paul Fenton After Just One Season
After only one season at the helm of the Minnesota Wild, the team has decided to part ways with general manager Paul Fenton. Michael Russo of The Athletic tweeted the news on Tuesday afternoon.
The Score says that Wild owner Craig Leipold called Fenton Tuesday morning to inform him that he was being let go.
In a media release on Tuesday afternoon, Leipold was quoted as saying:
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.
Under Fenton's watch, the Wild missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-2012 season, and a number of big trade moves were made, including sending Mikael Granlund to the Nashville Predators for Kevin Fiala, Charlie Coyle to the Boston Bruins for Ryan Donato, and Nino Niederreiter to the Carolina Hurricanes for Victor Rask.
Russo reported in his piece for The Athletic (paywall) that there was no particular move that led to Leipold's decision to get rid of Fenton, but a "series of arguably bad trades and other personnel matters" and other team culture issues accumulated to lead to the decision to part ways.
Fenton's approach in his year with the team was clearly to shake up the roster, which had made it to the playoffs several years running, but never had been able to make a serious run past the first round of the playoffs.
Prior to his time with the Wild, Fenton had worked for the Predators as the assistant general manager. With the preseason just over a month away, the team is now on the search for a new GM candidate to take over for Fenton and try to steer the Wild back on to the playoff path. The Wild said the search for a new GM is already underway, and until a replacement is found, Assistant General Manager Tom Kurvers will serve as acting General Manager.