Fenton Fired as GM of the Minnesota Wild

14 months in charge was all that Paul Fenton had in Minnesota, as the Wild announced that they parted ways on the 30th of July. His time in Minnesota has been rocky, to say the least. It started out with a subpar first draft, where the first-round pick of Filip Johansson was heavily criticized. Later he traded Nino Niederreiter for Victor Rask, in a trade many saw as the worst trade of the season and to add insult to injury the Wild missed the playoffs.

However, the lack of results on the ice doesn’t appear to be the reason Fenton was sacked by the Wild. The owner of the team, Craig Leipold said that the reason for Fenton’s departure was due to a lot of smaller issues. These issues were according to Leipold the organizational stuff, like staff management and motivation. Abilities that are essentials to be a general manager in the NHL and something that it seems Fenton lacked. This was why he had to be fired. There simply was too much turmoil within the organization and most of it seems to have been Fenton’s responsibility. And when that is the case, the best way to handle things is by departing with the GM. That was why we saw the end of Fenton’s tenure with the Wild.

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What’s Next?

After Fenton was relieved of his duties the obvious question becomes what is next for the Wild. Or rather who is next? Early signs point to Ron Hextall being the frontrunner for the job as Elliot Freedman has stated that Minnesota has contacted him for the position. An experienced GM, who has previously been with Philadelphia Flyers. This is a change from the route they took with Fenton, who at the time was an unproven but talented assistant GM in Nashville.

Some of the other candidates mentioned have been Mike Modano, Peter Chiarelli, Mike Milbury, and Garth Snow. Regardless of all the uncertainty surrounding Minnesota one thing is clear. The next GM, whoever it might be, has a monumental task ahead. The Wild have some very promising pieces, but it’s not going to be easy to turn them into a Stanley Cup contender.

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