NHL News: Minnesota Wild Fire GM Paul Fenton

The Minnesota Wild have fired general manager Paul Fenton according to The Athletic’s Michael Russo.

“After giving much thought to this difficult decision, I informed Paul today that he was not the right fit for our organization going forward,” Leipold said in a release from the team. “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.”

The Wild could look for an experienced GM this time around with potential candidates being Ron Hextall, Peter Chiarelli, Dean Lombardi and Garth Snow.

During their GM search last time they spoke with Tom Fitzgerald, Bill Guerin, Bill Zito, John Ferguson Jr and Dave Nonis.

NHL.com: The Wild fired GM Paul Fenton and assistant GM Tom Kurvers will be their acting GM until they hire a new one.

Cap Friendly: “With @RussoHockey reporting that Paul Fenton has been fired as GM of the #Wild after only 1 year, 2 months & 8 days, here’s a recap of what he did as GM in that time.

Players Signed: 32
Total Contract Value: $144,054,125
Players Drafted: 16
Trades: 12″

Jason Gregor: “Fenton fired in Minny after one season. Hired May 21st, 2018. Fired July 30th, 2019. Trades:
Acquired Rask for Niederreiter
Hunt and 6th for a 5th.
Donato and 5th for Coyle.
7th for Hendricks.
Fiala for Granlund.

UFA signings: Zuccarello, Hartman, (2018) Pateryn and Miller.”

Thoughts from the media

Jeff Marek: “So does Jason Zucker stay now?”

Lance Lysowski: “Bizarre timing. Why allow him to run a draft and spend so much in free agency? Fenton’s plan seemed odd, but he didn’t step into the best situation, either.”

Jonathan Willis: “The funny thing is that Minnesota has some decent options on the open market even if they decide not to do a full-on search. Ron Hextall and Mike Gillis are the first names that come to mind (with Hextall specifically mentioned in the piece).”

Murat Ates: “Huge news in Minnesota. Can’t say I ever felt like I understood the Wild’s plan under Fenton but that may just be me.”

Greg Wyshynski: “On the one hand, kudos to the Wild for being proactive in ending a situation that clearly wasn’t working with Fenton. On the other hand, you just fired a GM that oversaw 8 draft picks and committed $35 million to UFAs on July 1. WTF with this timing?”

  • Eric Engels: “Have to think Parise’s comments to @RussoHockey pushed Leipold over the edge. Hard not to see it that way given the timing of this decision…”

Down Goes Brown: “This is clearly a highly unusual move, so much so that you wonder if something crazy happened behind the scenes. That said, NHL history is filled with bad GMs (or bad fits) and teams that wish they’d moved on immediately rather than wasting years on what they knew wasn’t working.”

Mike Halford: “fenton hasn’t been good since coming aboard, but the timing of this move is absolutely bananas. he’s only been on the job for 14 months…and the season starts in two.”

Greg Wyshynski: “Leipold is speaking this afternoon, and I only want to hear two things: 1. What his vision for the team is vs. what Fenton’s was 2. Whether he fired him because he was genuinely afraid what the next player metaphor was going be after that whole lizard tongue thing.”

Adam Vingan: “From a distance, Paul Fenton being fired as Wild GM reminds me of when Adam Oates was coach of the Capitals. Some guys just aren’t suited to be the boss.”

Dobber Hockey: “The damage a GM of a billion-dollar company can do after one year. So here’s a thought – do some due diligence when hiring for this position. Stress business background as the key, with hockey background secondary and NOT vice-versa.”

Travis Yost: “The Wild still have Boudreau, if you are looking for a real positive here.”

Shayna: “Minnesota is really working hard to shed their title of ‘most boring team’ eh?”

Stephen Burtch: “Firing Fenton is a pretty massive indictment of his moves in the short term (which were generally very atrocious). Dismissing your analytics team because hockey is a stupid maneuver btw. Just don’t do it.”

J.D. Burke: “I didn’t think it would happen this quickly, but then again, there’s no denying he earned it. Paul Fenton did an undeniably horrible job in that one year in Minnesota — although, two solid drafts. When I heard ‘rebuild on the fly’; I knew he was doomed.”