The Minnesota Wild have named Paul Fenton as their new general manager. The team made the announcement Monday.
Fenton is the replacement for Chuck Fletcher. Minnesota chose not to renew his contract, ending a nine-year tenure with the franchise.
“Paul is uniquely suited for this job having played 10 years of professional hockey and holding 25 years of management experience in the NHL,” Wild owner Craig Leipold said.
Fenton arrives with 20 years of experience with the Nashville Predators organization. He spent a dozen years as assistant general manager, and was part of the group that drafted players like Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Roman Josi, and goalie Pekka Rinne.
The 58-year-old was instrumental in shaping the Predators as we know them today and his club qualified for the playoffs in 11 of the past 14 seasons.
Interestingly, the Wild were interested in Fenton before. Leipold interviewed him for the post nine years ago before the hiring of Fletcher.
“My relationship with Paul goes back to my early days in Nashville, and I know that Wild hockey fans are going to love Paul’s infectious passion for the game and unsurpassed work ethic,” said Leipold. “He’s the right person to deliver a Stanley Cup to the State of Hockey.”
Leipold, coincidentally, owned the Predators. He bought the franchise in 1997 and eventually reported some serious losses before almost selling it to Jim Balsillie, who had an interest in moving the club to Hamilton. Leipold subsequently bought the Wild in 2008.
Minnesota finished with a 45-26-11 record this season, good for 101 points and a third-place post in the Central Division. They were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Winnipeg Jets.