The Wild have found their new general manager.
Less than a month after the firing of Paul Fenton following only a year-and-a-half at the helm, the Minnesota Wild announced they have tapped former NHL great Bill Guerin as the club's new GM on Wednesday.
Guerin comes with a powerful resume, which not only included the last eight seasons spent with the Penguins front office but 18 seasons on the ice and a combined four Stanley Cups.
"Bill has been a winner throughout his hockey career and I am extremely pleased to be able to add his experience to our organization and The State of Hockey," noted Wild owner and chairman Craig Leipold in the team's press release.
i have an announcement: a new human joined our team pic.twitter.com/JNOEifDPTT
— mnwildpup (@mnwildpup) August 21, 2019
A power forward who was never afraid to drive to the net, Guerin racked up 856 points and 1,660 penalty minutes in a 1,263-game career that included stops with New Jersey, Edmonton, Boston, Dallas, St. Louis, San Jose, Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders. He captured Stanley Cups with the Devils in 1995 and the Penguins in 2009 and was a four-time All-Star. The Massachusetts native finished his career as the 13th highest-scoring American-born player and helped the United States win silver at the 2002 Olympics and upset Canada at the 1996 World Cup.
Guerin officially hung up his skates in December 2010 and shifted to the Penguins front office the following June as a player development coach. After three seasons he was promoted to assistant GM and oversaw Pittsburgh's AHL team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Over the course of his eight seasons with Pittsburgh, the team accumulated two Stanley Cups (2016. 2017) and according to Wild.com, an NHL-best 370 wins and 802 points.
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While his last few years were spent keeping tabs on the Baby Pens, he'll now shift to Minnesota as the club's fourth-ever GM and take over an aging NHL roster that missed the playoffs in 2019 for the first time in eight seasons. And with less than a month until training camp opens restricted free agent Kevin Fiala remains unsigned and an extension for defenseman Jared Spurgeon is high on the to-do list.
And Guerin has immediately gotten to work. Less than two hours after his hiring was announced, Minnesota signed restricted free agent Joel Eriksson Ek to a two-year, $2.975 million contract.
"I think the lineup here is good. I like a lot of the pieces that we have," Guerin told Dan Myers of Wild.com. "I know what a special opportunity this is. I just want to come in here and get better. This team can definitely get better and if we do the right things at the right time, everything is here for us to win.
"It's a great market, a great community, great fans . . . everything is here. We just have to put our nose to the grindstone and get to work."