According to a report from Mike Russo of The Athletic, the Minnesota Wild are set to name Nashville Predators assistant general manager Paul Fenton as the team’s next general manager.
If indeed Fenton is the new boss in Minnesota, he’ll replace longtime general manger Chuck Fletcher who was dismissed from the position following yet another disappointing playoff finish. Fenton has been with the Predators organization since their inception in 2000 and has served as the team’s assistant general manager for the past decade. Fenton recently interviewed for the GM job with the Carolina Hurricanes, but withdrew his name from contention shortly thereafter.
According to Russo, Fenton and the Wild are still negotiating terms of his employment, but an announcement on the hire could be made as early as today.
That chatter has indeed circulated around the NHL for 36 hours. And while multiple sources had told The Athletic since Saturday afternoon that they believe Leipold offered the job to Fenton roughly 36 hours ago, sources didn’t confirm until Sunday night that Fenton has been offered and accepted the job.
Negotiations had been underway since Saturday, but sources tell The Athletic the process had not yet been formally completed as of Sunday night.
One thing possibly delaying things is Fenton’s agent, Neil Glasberg, has been at the world championships in Denmark. If a deal can be finalized after he returns, an announcement could come as early as Monday and a news conference as early as Tuesday.
It’s been nearly a month since Wild owner Craig Leopold cut ties with Fletcher and has reportedly interviewed Fenton, New Jersey Devils assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin, Tampa Bay Lightning assistant GM Julien BriseBois, Columbus Blue Jackets assistant GM Bill Zito and former NHL GM’s John Ferguson Jr. and Dave Nonis.
Fenton takes over a team that has earned a playoff berth for six consecutive seasons, but has failed to get past the first round in four years. The Wild got stomped 4-1 in back to back seasons, first at the hands of the St. Louis Blues and most recently at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets. The newly hired Fenton will be tasked with helping a deep and talented Minnesota squad get over the playoff hump and to the promise land.