The Minnesota Wild began an interesting job hunt a few weeks back. Having made the playoffs for six straight seasons, they still found themselves without a General Manager after Chuck Fletcher's contract was not extended after an early exit in the playoffs.
They needed some fresh blood on the personnel side, but weren't looking for a complete overhaul. They wanted someone with experience but someone that would fit the mold that was already in place.
According to Wild owner Craig Leipold this morning, the organization got their "number one" guy.
Fenton's name popped up early as the search kicked off last month but the success of the Predators in the playoffs continued to delay his availability. So the Wild began the process of interviews with candidates of varied backgrounds, Fenton included. Right away, they knew Fenton was their guy.
“Paul, was No. 1 on my list and stayed No. 1. After the second-round of interviews,” Wild owner Craig Leipold said this morning.
By all accounts it was the experience that he developed in Nashville that helped Fenton rise above the rest. That experience includes but is clearly not limited to talent evaluation through the draft, free agent targeting and trade opportunities. All of which were strengths of his with the Predators, more on that HERE.
But as the playoffs wore on, and as the clock was ready to strike midnight on the Predators 2018 playoff run, Leipold honed in on Fenton and Fenton alone. A week or so later and he was introduced in St. Paul as the teams new general manager.
"On all measures Paul won the job," Leipold said.
Now it's off to the races, and quickly.
One month from today, the NHL will hold their 2018 Entry-Level Draft and Fenton will be put to the test right away. Typically, general managers put in much more time than one month into their draft preparation so it will be right to the grind for Fenton and his staff.
"I don't think I'll sleep for the next month," Fenton said joking about the work ahead of him.
He may be laughing now, but he's not kidding about the time table. He's got a lot of work ahead of him.
Good thing he's got all that experience to lean back on!