Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: doug risebrough
Ask any Minnesota Wild fan what has been the most impressive highlight of Chuck Fletcher’s reign as GM, and the answer you get back will most likely revolve around the influx of new talent in our farm system. Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, and Jonas Brodin highlight a recent draft haul that now includes newly acquired (via trade) Charlie Coyle - all of whom give hope and optimism for the near future of our team.
With good reason too. When Fletcher arrived in our state in 2009, the cupboard was essentially bare. Former general manager Doug Risebrough had attempted to placate a demanding fan base by going into “win now” mode, even though history proves that very few NHL expansion franchises have immediate success. Sure, the unexpected run to the 2003 Western Conference Finals had St. Paul buzzing - but poor roster structure and a short-term vision would cause the Wild to be stuck in the mud for several years.
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,
It was exactly a week ago that team owner Craig Leipold told Risebrough he would not renew his contract after nine years and eight seasons spent building Minnesota’s second NHL expansion franchise.
“Yes, I was in shock, because there was no discussion about it,” Risebrough said at press gathering in St. Paul. “There was no discussion that day, or about my extension. And that’s OK.
“I totally appreciate the situation; a guy like myself makes decisions, and sometimes they’re difficult. For somebody who has made a decision like Craig has, I respect that he’s come to that decision, and he’ll have to live with that decision.
“There wasn’t a lot of discussion about it, which I was fine with. I’m moving on, and he’s going to find a new GM.”
from Russo’s Rants,
(Craig) Leipold was said to have agonized over the decision but decided, in the final analysis, that a change in direction was called for.
Here’s the memo from the team:
Minnesota Wild Owner, Craig Leipold, announced today that the organization will not renew the contract of President and General Manager, Doug Risebrough, beyond the 2008-2009 season….
Update 2:48pm ET: From the Pioneer Press—
I’ve got just three words for Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold:
Bring back Jacques.
Not as the coach. Jacques Lemaire, he’s been there. He’s done that.
Now that Leipold has fired Doug Risebrough, the Wild have an opening for a president and general manager.
That’s the job for Lemaire.
Update 3:36pm ET: From John Shipley at the Pioneer Press:
Asked if he’d be interested in the general manager job, Lemaire said, “No, no, no, no. I wouldn’t look at it. We had a good thing there, that’s it.”
Lemaire said he doesn’t question Leipold’s decision to fire Risebrough, but added he doesn’t see the reason for it.
“Not myself,” he said, “but I was involved in it. When you’re involved in it, you see what you’re trying to do. We were going through tough times, but everybody does, and you keep working.
Update 3:38pm ET: More thoughts on a replacement from Bob McKenzie at TSN.
Risebrough says he has not had any trade conversations regarding Gaborik and has not gotten any calls from other GM’s (which I find hard to believe on the latter). He says he’s only concentrating on signing Gaborik before the Oct. 11 opener.
He wouldn’t answer hypotheticals when asked if he feels he’d have to trade Gaborik before the season if the winger makes it clear he won’t sign an extension.
Risebrough said he doesn’t plan to respond to any trade rumors during this process. “A lot of people on your side are fiction writers, and I’m not dealing with all the fiction writers. So the best thing is not to deal with any of [the rumors].”
more at Russo’s Rants
From Michael Russo at Russo’s Rants,
As for the big-shot Bergeron, I talked to Risebrough twice Tuesday, once before his flight to Toronto for the goalie equipment trimming meetings and once after. He believes Bergeron will be a guy who can play regular minutes, not just a bunch of power-play minutes. He says part of the motivation was to be a fill-in for Foster while he’s out, but “that doesn’t mean it’s one or the other. It will be an improvement to have both when Foster’s back.”
Bergeron has a club option for next year at $1.653 million. The Ducks almost certainly wouldn’t have exercised that. So why didn’t the Wild wait for free agency? Risebrough says other teams were interested in Bergeron, and Brian Burke was definitely going to trade him. In other words, he wouldn’t make free agency, according to Risebrough.
Russo’s Rants has a Q & A with Doug Risebrough and Jacques Lemaire…
(DR) “I don’t want to comment on Rolston and Demitra. But I will say this about Roli. I remember when we were trying to get legitimacy here. We were just an expansion team that was working hard and we were getting the same types of players. Then Rolston wanted to come here. That seemed to change a lot of people’s opinion of Minnesota. For a general manager that likes to remember a lot of things, that plays into it. I remember when players play hurt. I remember when players play hard. This has a bearing on how I’ll deal with Roli.”
Do you want to comment on Demitra? “No.”
Does it bother you that you haven’t been given more at the last two trade deadlines?
(JL) “I’m coaching the guys given me. We talk about different stuff, but I know how tough a job GM is. It’s hard to get players with the cap and everything that surrounds it. a GM job is not like the past. It’s a tough job now. I’m telling you. It’s hard, it’s unreal, unbelievable how hard that job is.
From Kent Youngblood at the Star-Tribune,
So when the NHL returned, so did Lemaire—for the long term. And tonight he’ll become the 14th man to coach 1,000 games.
And that begs the question: Has Lemaire had more impact as a player or as a coach? Lemaire played 12 seasons with Montreal. Including playoffs, he played in 998 games, totaling 974 points.
“I’m probably the wrong guy to ask, because I can see it in both cases,” said Wild GM Doug Risebrough, who was Lemaire’s teammate in Montreal for five seasons. “I guess it depends on your time frame. Your younger players probably don’t realize how good a player he was. ... He was the best two-way player I’ve ever seen play. Not of my time, but ever. He was the centerman who could pass, he had a great shot, he was smart. He played with two good players [Steve Shutt and Guy Lafleur] because he was so good defensively.”