by PuckStopsHere on 05/23/09 at 01:26 AM ET
The Minnesota Wild are at a turning point in their history. They have chosen their second GM in franchise history in Chuck Fletcher. Fletcher is a relatively young GM who has a great resume and lots of potential.
Chuck is Cliff Fletcher’s son. He is a Harvard graduate who has experience working for Hockey Canada, working as a player agent and working as an assistant GM and other front office positions for the Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks and Pittsburgh Penguins. He is somebody who has long been seen as a very good GM candidate by those in the hockey world.
In Minnesota he will have a bit of tough work ahead of him. The previous GM Doug Risebrough was unable to bring many talented players to Minnesota. The Wild consistently placed higher in the standings than their talent would have predicted due to some great coaching by Jacques Lemaire. Lemaire has departed as a coach. Franchise top scorer Marian Gaborik is an unrestricted free agent and will likely depart. It will be very hard to prevent the Minnesota Wild from dropping in the standings, at least for the short term. Their recovery from these losses will be Fletcher’s job. It won’t be easy. If he is as good as his resume suggests, within a year or two these problems will seem like distant memories.
Minnesota is a team in transition right now. It will be hard for them to do as well next year as they did this year and this year they missed the playoffs. Successfully recovering from these changes will be a sign that Chuck Fletcher is up to the job as an NHL general manager.
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