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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Eventually The Minnesota Wild Will Need To Rebuild

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The Minnesota Wild are burdened by their gigantic contracts with defenseman Ryan Suter and winger Zach Parise, who will count a shade more than $7.5 million against the cap each season until 2025.

Previous general manager Paul Fenton gave free agent winger Mats Zuccarello, 32, five years and $30 million this summer before getting the axe. Then new GM Bill Guerin one-upped him by giving defenseman Jared Spurgeon, 29, a seven-year deal for a shade over $53 million.

(That contract reminds us that Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo will get paid for real on his next contract. Lesser defensemen are getting crazy money in the league.)

The Wild could surprise this team by making the playoff bracket this season and winning a round or two. But at some point a total rebuild will become inevitable, given the advancing age up and down their roster.

more topics include the RFAs and around the league notes...

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Minnesota Wild Signs Jared Spurgeon To A Seven-Year Deal

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed defenseman Jared Spurgeon to a seven-year, $53,025,000 million contract extension ($7,575,000 million average annual value) that goes through the 2026-27 season.

Spurgeon, 29, set career highs in goals (14), assists (29), points (43) and games played (82) during the 2018-19 season. The 5-foot-9, 166-pound native of Edmonton, Alberta also set career highs in shots on goal (152) and hits (91) and tied his career high with 20 penalty minutes (PIM) last season. He led the team in blocked shots (145), ranked second in TOI/game at 24:09 (17th in the NHL) and fifth in goals, assists, points, shots on goal and hits. His 14 goals ranked T-3rd in franchise history by a defenseman in a season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jared+spurgeon

Minnesota Wild Sign Kevin Fiala To A Two-Year Contract

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has re-signed forward Kevin Fiala (pronounced fee-A-lah) to a two-year, $6 million contract ($2.5 million in 2019-20 and $3.5 million in 2020-21).

Fiala, 23 (7/22/96), recorded 39 points (13-26=39) and 36 penalty minutes (PIM) in 83 games last season with the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators. He set career highs in assists, PIM, games played and TOI/game (15:38) and was one of three players in the NHL to play in more than 82 games last season. Fiala was acquired by Minnesota from the Nashville Predators in exchange for Mikael Granlund on Feb. 25, 2019 and tallied seven points (3-4=7) in 19 games with the Wild. He recorded his 100th career point with two assists vs. the New York Rangers on March 16 and skated in his 200th NHL game against Montreal on Feb. 14.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+fiala

Looks Like Bill Guerin Will Be The New GM For The Minnesota Wild

 

added 2:20pm, Minnesota Wild press release is below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+guerin

Video- Season Preview For The Minnesota Wild

from Jessi Pierce at NHL.com,

The Minnesota Wild are a team in transition this season. Not only are they looking to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they're also searching for a general manager.

Paul Fenton, the third GM in Wild history, was fired July 30, 14 months after he was hired; assistant GM Tom Kurvers is serving as GM until a replacement is found. The Wild reportedly interviewed Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin and former Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall for the job.

"Our organization and our culture were a little different than the way [Fenton] wanted to handle things," Wild owner Craig Leipold said. "We just felt this was the time to do it and we were going to move forward in a different direction.

"We need to get recharged, refocused on who we are as a team and don't let the outside elements distract us."

continued

Below, watch the season preview on the Wild.

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Morning Line- Bruce Boudreau

I think if we’re hungry, I still think we’re a good team. I thought we were a good team the beginning of last year and I still think we’re a good team now. Obviously, last year went awry when we ran into some injuries and made some significant roster changes in January and February. We’re a different team than the start of last year, but quite frankly, my experience in this league tells me that all the teams are fairly similar. So whichever team wants to work hard enough and play the right way is going to be successful on those nights.

-Bruce Boudreau, head coach of the Minnesota Wild.  Michael Russo of The Athletic has much more (paid) from Boudreau.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau

What Is The Plan For The Minnesota Wild?

from Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune,

The Wild might be a fringe playoff team, but isn’t being good but not good enough precisely why Leipold cut ties with Chuck Fletcher?

Leipold demanded tweaks and not a rebuild in starting fresh with Fenton, even though the owner admitted after the 2018 season, “I just don’t see us with this team getting to the championship series.”

Has his thinking changed? And what message will he convey to fans publicly and to his new general manager privately?

The Wild — and Leipold, specifically — appear caught in a tug-of-war between reality and wishful thinking. Leipold likely dreams about the St. Louis Blues’ magic carpet ride last season from misery to sipping champagne out of the Stanley Cup.

Yes, hockey playoffs are wonderfully unpredictable. Get in, get hot, you never know. But is that really an organizational plan?

more

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Don Waddell Interviewed For The GM Job In Minnesota

from Michael Russo of The Athletic,

The Wild’s search for a new general manager continued Monday in Racine, Wisconsin, with two more in-person interviews, and one is as unique as it gets in any offseason, let alone this late in an offseason.

Why?

Because believe it or not, he’s a current NHL general manager.

In addition to the Wild interviewing Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin on Monday afternoon for the second consecutive offseason, multiple sources tell The Athletic that owner Craig Leipold and team president Matt Majka interviewed current Carolina Hurricanes president, general manager and alternate governor Don Waddell on Monday morning.

continued (paid)

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Why Paul Fenton Is No Longer The GM For The Minnesota Wild

from Michael Russo of The Athletic,

All season, but especially the second half and into the offseason, there was often some sort of fire, ranging from small to inferno, that had to be put out by Leipold or his trusted lieutenants.

Fenton, 59, loved to say that he valued turning the Wild into one big family atmosphere, but the way he and some close to him treated people created low morale throughout the organization.

That irked Leipold, who also values a family atmosphere and wants a happy, healthy staff that enjoys coming to work every day. That’s what the owner meant when he said Tuesday that Fenton didn’t fit into the Wild’s culture.

much more ($$$$)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Report- Paul Fenton Out As GM Of The Minnesota Wild

from Michael Russo of The Athletic,

After 25 years of paying dues in order to rise to a general manager post in the NHL, Paul Fenton’s rocky tenure with the Wild came to an abrupt end after only one non-playoff season, multiple sources told The Athletic.

In a late-summer decision that will send shockwaves throughout the State of Hockey and the entire league, sources said owner Craig Leipold called Fenton at his offseason home in Cape Cod late Tuesday morning and cut ties with him a little more than 14 months after naming the longtime Nashville Predators assistant GM the Wild’s third GM in team history.

continued (paid)

added 2:05pm, Wild release is below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+fenton

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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