And We Have a Shortlist

Mike Russo posted a blog early, early this morning (burning the midnight oil during the off season…The sign of a great writer) that essentially outlined the Wild’s shortlist for the GM position.  You can check the full blog out here and the article he wrote here.  Anyway, here are my thoughts on the candidates:

Chuck Fletcher: Pittsburgh’s Assistant GM has been considered the front runner for this position over the last week or so and is already well respected within the NHL.  At 41 years of age, he already has 16 years of experience under his belt with Florida, Anaheim and Pittsburgh and has worked alongside many of the NHL’s most respected executives.  He has obviously had a large hand in the resurgence of the Penguins over the last few years and, in all honesty, I think the job could be his to lose.  Reports say that Fletcher is to be in town later this week to interview.

Pierre McGuire: McGuire, while the unconventional choice, could bring an interesting viewpoint to the Wild’s front office.  He has long been looking to get into management in the NHL and I would think that you would be hard pressed to find anyone more knowledgable about the talent in the NHL than McGuire.  That said, he has absolutely zero experience with working with the cap.  He is the other of the two front runners for this job, but I think that the recent failings of Barry Melrose in Tampa (whether it was his fault or not) may cause Leipold to shy away on this one.  He is reportedly scheduled to interview tomorrow.

Pat Quinn: I’m not going to make any bones about it.  I love Pat Quinn.  I do think, however, that he’d make a better coach than a GM and he has been saying that he would like to get back into coaching.  He has family in Minnesota (Eden Prairie to be precise) and expressed immediate interest in both the GM and coaching position.  I honestly think that he will likely be the next coach if he is still available when the GM is hired.

Tom Lynn: Lynn is an obvious for consideration for this position, as he was Risebrough’s Assistant GM.  I have a hard time believing that Leipold will go with Lynn, however, as he has repeatedly said that he wanted a fresh look at the team; which I don’t believe Lynn would give.

Paul Fenton: I think Fenton could be the dark horse in all of this.  He and Leipold know each other well and he has certainly been successful in Nashville at helping mold a winning organization.  I would be surprised if Leipold goes with Fenton, but I also think it could certainly be a possibility.

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