The Minnesota Wild are closing in on their next GM, as Michael Russo of The Athletic (subscription required) reports that team owner Craig Leipold will sit down with Paul Fenton today and Tom Fitzgerald on Thursday before making a final decision. Fenton, the Nashville Predators assistant GM, has been a candidate for countless jobs over the past decade but stayed with his current organization as the right hand of David Poile. Fitzgerald, a rising star in the New Jersey Devils front office, apparently “thoroughly impressed Leipold” in his first interview and is now a legitimate finalist for the job.
Minnesota let long-time GM Chuck Fletcher go after a disappointing first-round exit at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets, and are looking for something of a new direction under their next executive. The team has routinely made the playoffs in recent years, only to quickly bow out and try again the following season.
- When CapFriendly released their offer sheet compensation yesterday, one couldn’t fault a Minnesota fan from feeling fearful when reading the list of restricted free agents. Two of the very best—Jason Zucker and Mathew Dumba—belong to the Wild, and could potentially draw offer sheet interest. Zucker is coming off a breakout 64-point season and is already 26, while Dumba lived up to his seventh-overall draft position with a 50-point season from the blue line. Both players are integral parts of the Minnesota team, and key negotiations for whoever becomes the next GM. If someone were to sign either to a big-money offer sheet, it may be hard to turn down what would be an expansive compensation package.
- The NWHL has expanded to the state of hockey for the 2018-19 season, as the Minnesota Whitecaps will become the league’s fifth team. Joining the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota will be the league’s first foray outside of the north east. The Whitecaps have operated independently for several years, playing exhibition games against NWHL teams but never being an official part of the league. The organization will initially be owned by the league.