SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Wild Owner Craig Leipold today announced the hiring of Paul Fenton to a multi-year contract as the team's General Manager and Alternate Governor. He will oversee the Wild's hockey operations department including all matters relating to player personnel, coaching staff, scouting department and minor league operations.
"It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Paul Fenton as the General Manager of the Minnesota Wild," said Leipold. "Paul is uniquely suited for this job having played 10 years of professional hockey and holding 25 years of management experience in the NHL. His gift of evaluating talent is obvious in Nashville's roster and recent success. My relationship with Paul goes back to my early days in Nashville and I know that Wild hockey fans are going to love Paul's infectious passion for the game and unsurpassed work ethic. He's the right person to deliver a Stanley Cup to the State of Hockey."
Fenton, 58, spent the previous 20 seasons with the Nashville Predators, including the last 12 as Assistant General Manager. He was instrumental in acquiring many of Nashville's core players that helped the Predators advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 11 of the last 14 seasons, reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2017. Fenton served as Nashville's Director of Player Personnel during its first eight seasons in the NHL (1998-2006) before he was promoted to Assistant General Manager on June 5, 2006. As Assistant General Manager, Fenton oversaw amateur player development, managed the team's professional and amateur scouting staff and advised General Manager David Poile on player personnel decisions.
The native of Springfield, Mass., also served as General Manager of the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League (AHL), who made 12 consecutive playoff appearances from 2002-14, while also focusing on prospect development. Milwaukee became the first team in AHL history to post 40-or-more wins and 90-or-more points in eight consecutive seasons (2003-11). The Admirals advanced to the playoffs in 17 of their 20 seasons in the IHL and AHL and won the 2004 Calder Cup. He also managed the NHL Entry Draft for Nashville from 2003-08, helping the Predators select Roman Josi, Pekka Rinne, Ryan Suter and Shea Weber.
Prior to joining the Predators, Fenton spent five seasons with the Anaheim Ducks (1993-98), serving as a scout for three seasons and chief professional scout the last two seasons. He has also served as Associate General Manager for Team USA at the 2011 World Championship and Director of Player Personnel for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Fenton collected 183 points (100-83=183) and 198 penalty minutes (PIM) in 411 career NHL games during eight seasons (1984-92) with Hartford, the New York Rangers, Los Angeles, Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary and San Jose. He notched a career-high 32 goals and 50 points with the Jets in 1989-90. Fenton tallied five points (4-1=5) in 17 career Stanley Cup Playoff contests. He also recorded 402 points (228-174=402) and 279 PIM in 355 career AHL/IHL games with Peoria, Binghamton and New Haven and was an All-Star selection three times. Fenton notched 74 points (36-38=74) in 63 games during three seasons at Boston University (1979-82).
He and his wife, Nona, have two sons, P.J. (wife, Stefanie and daughter, Emerie) and Owen.