Wild fire GM Paul Fenton after 1 season
The search for Fenton's replacement will begin immediately. For the time being, assistant GM Tom Kurvers will serve as acting GM.
Wild owner Craig Leipold said in a statement issued by the club that Fenton was "not the right fit for our organization going forward," a sentiment the chairman reiterated in front of reporters later Tuesday.
Leading up to Fenton's firing, "numerous accounts of unhappy employees throughout the organization and countless other turbulent incidents ... made their way into Leipold's office," sources told The Athletic's Michael Russo.
Before hiring Fenton last May, the Wild interviewed New Jersey Devils assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin, former agent Bill Zito, Boston Bruins executive director of player personnel John Ferguson Jr., and Ducks assistant GM Dave Nonis, among others, according to Russo. All five of these candidates remain available.
The Wild have already reportedly reached out for permission to speak to former Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall for the vacant GM position.
Under Fenton, the Wild missed the postseason for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign.
Fenton wasn't very active last summer but made a handful of trades during the season. His first major move, dealing Nino Niederreiter to the Carolina Hurricanes for Victor Rask in January, backfired almost immediately. Niederreiter totaled 14 goals and 30 points in 36 games with the Canes, while Rask registered just three points in 23 contests with the Wild.
Leading up to the trade deadline, Fenton sent Charlie Coyle to the Bruins for Ryan Donato and a fourth-round pick. Coyle went on to be an integral part of Boston's run to the Stanley Cup Final, tallying 16 points in 24 postseason contests.
He also attempted to trade Jason Zucker on multiple occasions. A deadline-day trade to the Calgary Flames fell through. During the offseason, Zucker appeared to be Pittsburgh-bound until Phil Kessel - who was reportedly heading the other way - refused to waive his no-trade clause due to a belief the Wild wouldn't contend.
Fenton made one major splash during free agency, inking 31-year-old Mats Zuccarello to a five-year, $30-million contract.
Before his brief tenure in Minnesota, Fenton worked in the Predators organization for 20 years - 12 of which he spent as David Poile's assistant GM.
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