The Minnesota Wild GM search continues and though Michael Russo of The Athletic believes a decision won’t come until later in the month, more information about potential candidates has emerged. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that the Wild asked for permission from the New York Rangers to interview assistant GM Chris Drury, but were turned down. Friedman notes that the Rangers have now declined requests from two different teams on Drury, the other being the Buffalo Sabres.
Drury has been with the Rangers for the last several years and was given control of the Hartford Wolf Pack in 2017. He was also the choice as GM of Team USA at the most recent World Championship, a team that actually underperformed despite an excellent roster. Despite that unfortunate result Drury is a very well-respected young executive who has been on the radar of several teams over the last few seasons and is an important part of the Rangers rebuild.
The Wolf Pack have actually failed to make the playoffs in both of the years under Drury’s leadership, but at the same time have continued to develop some of the important young talents for New York. Minnesota would have been a much different task, trying to get a team back to the playoffs quickly without much appetite for a full rebuild. Wild owner Craig Leipold was clear he didn’t want a rebuild earlier this year when he sent a video to season ticket holders.
Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell, Pittsburgh Penguins AGM Bill Guerin and former Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall have already interviewed for the position, among others. It is not clear when the request to speak with Drury was made.