The hockey world is in mourning today after news emerged that Tom Kurvers, Minnesota Wild assistant general manager, has passed away at the age of 58. Kurvers had been diagnosed with lung cancer in January 2019, but continued working for the Wild and is still listed as AGM.
The Minneapolis native had a long playing career before taking up his position in an NHL front office. In 1984, serving as captain of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Kurvers was named the Hobey Baker award winner as the best college player in the country. He had scored 76 points in 43 games that year, despite being just a seventh-round pick in 1981. He stepped directly into the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens the following season, scoring 45 points as a rookie. His Canadiens won the Stanley Cup the following year, though he did not play in the postseason. A long winding career took him through Buffalo, New Jersey, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Anaheim, and even to Japan for one season. Though he scored 421 points in 659 games, his impact was perhaps even greater in the front office.
Soon after his retirement, he became a scout in the Phoenix Coyotes organization and started the long climb of management. In 2015 he was promoted to director of player personnel and then in 2008 he was given his first opportunity as an assistant GM, this time with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He remained with the Lightning through the 2017-18 season, before following Paul Fenton to Minnesota. Even though Fenton was let go less than two years later, Kurvers stayed on with new GM Bill Guerin.
Along with the rest of the hockey world, PHR would like to send condolences to the Kurvers family.