The Minnesota Wild have announced the hiring of Bill Guerin as their next general manager.
The 48-year-old spent the last seven years with the Pittsburgh Penguins as part of their front office. He was assistant general manager for the last five years.
Fenton had been permitted to reshape much of the Wild roster, so it will be interesting to see how long it takes for Guerin to put his fingerprints on the franchise.
“I think the lineup here is good. I like a lot of the pieces that we have,” Guerin said. “I know what a special opportunity this is. I just want to come in here and get better. This team can definitely get better and if we do the right things at the right time, everything is here for us to win.”
Those pieces include new acquisitions like Victor Rask, Kevin Fiala and Ryan Donato. Fenton played a key role in setting those players up, plus he traded away the likes of Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter. He also signed forward Mats Zuccarello.
Guerin has about $9.4 million remaining in cap space after the Fenton moves. There are deals to be made for RFAs Fiala and Joel Eriksson Ek, so that will be on his plate in the immediate future, but most of the other critical elements are locked in to significant contracts. That could become a problem with players like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, who’re already in their mid-30s and have six years remaining.
That said, it does seem like Guerin perhaps has the philosophical bent to make hard decisions.
“The only teams that win are the teams that put the team first,” Guerin said. “We all have to put the team first. Anybody’s individual agenda comes second. The team winning comes first and foremost and that’s it. Everybody sacrifices their personal interest for the betterment of the team.”
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