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CreaseAndAssist

Is Wild GM Paul Fenton In Over His Head?

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I examine his first year as Wild GM and discuss what lies ahead and things he may want to work on in order to improve.  Enjoy and discuss...

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If anyone asked me what's happened or going on with the Wild, I'd say "Read this". :) 

 

I'd have to believe Fenton knew overall 'most' of the issues when he took the job. 

And on paper he had an idea of the players he had but wanted to wait and see how they performed in person.

For that I agree. I think most didn't expect such a drop off from certain players to this degree.

Hard to say if Coyle and Nino were part of his general plan or was it a reaction move.

 

One thing most can agree is we don't really know what Fenton's 'plan' is...

Like stated. "Younger/ faster" and yet he bows to Staal's wishes and resigns him, Things like that.

 

The new management over at the Twins have done a solid job and now in their 3rd season the effects are showing.

That team is now relevant and legit.

I'm willing to give Fenton some time to see if his plan has some real answers.

We have pretty much lost any patience with the team and rightly so, But Fenton does need some time to be fair.

There's no quick fix for this mess we're in.

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This is a must read article! If Russo ever quits his job the Athletic should be interested 👍

 

Just that one fact that Fenton does not trust the media (Russo and Souhan talked about this as well in their podcast) tells it all. How can a manager not recognize the necessity and value of free press!? He should try to co-operate with the media instead of beginning witch hunts. The media will reveal the emperor has no clothes - and after the shame of it the organisation can start again from a realistic basis.

 

 

He does not trust people, hires his son who he thinks he trusts, and I bet that the people working in the Wild organisation don't trust him either.

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11 hours ago, lynxrattle said:

This is a must read article! If Russo ever quits his job the Athletic should be interested 👍

 

Just that one fact that Fenton does not trust the media (Russo and Souhan talked about this as well in their podcast) tells it all. How can a manager not recognize the necessity and value of free press!? He should try to co-operate with the media instead of beginning witch hunts. The media will reveal the emperor has no clothes - and after the shame of it the organisation can start again from a realistic basis.

 

 

He does not trust people, hires his son who he thinks he trusts, and I bet that the people working in the Wild organisation don't trust him either.

 

Thanks a lot!  It means a lot!  

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12 hours ago, ClusterChuck said:

If anyone asked me what's happened or going on with the Wild, I'd say "Read this". :) 

 

I'd have to believe Fenton knew overall 'most' of the issues when he took the job. 

And on paper he had an idea of the players he had but wanted to wait and see how they performed in person.

For that I agree. I think most didn't expect such a drop off from certain players to this degree.

Hard to say if Coyle and Nino were part of his general plan or was it a reaction move.

 

One thing most can agree is we don't really know what Fenton's 'plan' is...

Like stated. "Younger/ faster" and yet he bows to Staal's wishes and resigns him, Things like that.

 

The new management over at the Twins have done a solid job and now in their 3rd season the effects are showing.

That team is now relevant and legit.

I'm willing to give Fenton some time to see if his plan has some real answers.

We have pretty much lost any patience with the team and rightly so, But Fenton does need some time to be fair.

There's no quick fix for this mess we're in.

 

Thanks.  I would agree...he says one thing and then does something that flies in the face of that.  Its hard to know what he'll do and that's why I fear him just throwing dumb money at older players and hoping to buy the way out of their problems.  I'd rather just be bad and build through the draft.  To hell with #11 and #20, they're not in their prime anymore IMO anyways...

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Good article. 

 

To be fair, I think Fenton needs time. Not every move a GM makes is going to be a home run, or to his teams advantage. Sometimes trades just don't work out.

 

However, many of his moves are curious to say the least.

 

I get Nino/Rask deal. Sometimes a change of scenery is what a player needs. But like @CreaseAndAssist said, why trade for a guy that was going to be cut loose by his team this summer? You could have picked him up for far less than $4M/season. And then still traded Nino to someone at the draft. I'd lump the Aberg/Kloos trade in here too. Hoping for a change of scenery to ignite Aberg and giving up a player that was never going to see the inside of the Wild locker room. But it looks like change of scenery did little to change Aberg's attitude or production.

 

Claiming Anthony Bitetto and sending Nate Prosser packing. Sure, Bitetto is younger by a few years, but he is nothing short of a defensive disaster. Sure, Prosser was never going to win the Norris Trophy, but he was a solid #6/7 defenseman who knew his role and by all accounts was a total stand up guy in the locker room. This was a minor move, but still, it smacks of making a move just to make a move. 

 

The Granlund/Fiala trade made zero sense, especially if the intent was "to still make the Playoffs". Granlund was probably one of the few players on the Wild who can make a pass to another player and actually put it on their stick and not in their skates or 10 feet in front or behind them. So who is supposed to distribute the puck to all these fast young players now? And not to mention he still had a year left on his deal. He wasn't a rental. He had a lot of value that could have been leveraged at the draft, probably for a player/prospect and multiple picks (See the 2013 Pominville Trade). Fiala is certainly not a gamebreaker. Not in the sense of what I consider a gamebreaker: a player that will change the course of a game, ala Ovechkin, Crosby, Gadreau, MacKinnon, etc.

 

Re-signing Eric Staal. So much for younger and faster. And then giving him a NTC to boot?🤦‍♂️

 

He created all this cap space, but if he brings in a bunch of older UFA's, where are all the young guys going to play? You can't keep shoving the young guys onto the third and fourth lines just to give the vets prime time on the #1 and #2 lines.

 

And it seems to me the "core" was never Coyle, Niederreitter, Granlund and Zucker. The core seems to be Koivu, Parise and Suter, and still appears to be those three. Which is backwards. Those three should be supporting the young core, not the other way around.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, IllaZilla said:

Good article. 

 

To be fair, I think Fenton needs time. Not every move a GM makes is going to be a home run, or to his teams advantage. Sometimes trades just don't work out.

 

However, many of his moves are curious to say the least.

 

I get Nino/Rask deal. Sometimes a change of scenery is what a player needs. But like @CreaseAndAssist said, why trade for a guy that was going to be cut loose by his team this summer? You could have picked him up for far less than $4M/season. And then still traded Nino to someone at the draft. I'd lump the Aberg/Kloos trade in here too. Hoping for a change of scenery to ignite Aberg and giving up a player that was never going to see the inside of the Wild locker room. But it looks like change of scenery did little to change Aberg's attitude or production.

 

Claiming Anthony Bitetto and sending Nate Prosser packing. Sure, Bitetto is younger by a few years, but he is nothing short of a defensive disaster. Sure, Prosser was never going to win the Norris Trophy, but he was a solid #6/7 defenseman who knew his role and by all accounts was a total stand up guy in the locker room. This was a minor move, but still, it smacks of making a move just to make a move. 

 

The Granlund/Fiala trade made zero sense, especially if the intent was "to still make the Playoffs". Granlund was probably one of the few players on the Wild who can make a pass to another player and actually put it on their stick and not in their skates or 10 feet in front or behind them. So who is supposed to distribute the puck to all these fast young players now? And not to mention he still had a year left on his deal. He wasn't a rental. He had a lot of value that could have been leveraged at the draft, probably for a player/prospect and multiple picks (See the 2013 Pominville Trade). Fiala is certainly not a gamebreaker. Not in the sense of what I consider a gamebreaker: a player that will change the course of a game, ala Ovechkin, Crosby, Gadreau, MacKinnon, etc.

 

Re-signing Eric Staal. So much for younger and faster. And then giving him a NTC to boot?🤦‍♂️

 

He created all this cap space, but if he brings in a bunch of older UFA's, where are all the young guys going to play? You can't keep shoving the young guys onto the third and fourth lines just to give the vets prime time on the #1 and #2 lines.

 

And it seems to me the "core" was never Coyle, Niederreitter, Granlund and Zucker. The core seems to be Koivu, Parise and Suter, and still appears to be those three. Which is backwards. Those three should be supporting the young core, not the other way around.

 

Thanks!  I agree 100%.  The bolded portions, especially so.  By the way, would you want to get together for the draft again?  

Edited by CreaseAndAssist

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On 4/24/2019 at 8:01 AM, CreaseAndAssist said:

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I examine his first year as Wild GM and discuss what lies ahead and things he may want to work on in order to improve.  Enjoy and discuss...

VERY solid article.  I feel very much the same way.  I have been looking for a PLAN, and I really don't think Fenton had/has one.  I think at this point, he has done a lot of 'trading to make a trade,' and has completely mismanaged not only his existing assets (NN, Granlund, etc), but has tried to repair stupid trades (acquiring a useless Center like Rask), by reversing his 'go younger/faster plan' by resigning Staal (old and slowing, and redundant with Koivu, but better) to account for how $hitty Rask is on the Wild.  His reliance upon cast-offs (Bittetto), or validating his regimes old picks (Fiala) smacks of a GM 'way over his head.'  It is also just inexplicable that if he saw what an abysmal pick the Wild scouts were touting in Fenton's first draft (Johannson), why he would NOT step in and encourage a different pick, as opposed to becoming the idiot in charge of picking a player that ranged from 3rd round (best) to 7th round (worst) in the first round.

 

I think I have made myself VERY clear with the NN/Rask trade, but I also hated the Granlund/Fiala trade, and was mixed on Donato/Coyle.  I think in all cases, assets were NOT maximized.  This is a key for any GM, as is having a PLAN.  On both counts, Fenton FAILED, and subsequent actions prove this.  I am willing to give him time, but if he is as 'thin skinned' as we are hearing, he will be out as GM in another year, and never realize another GM opportunity again.  For F#$%s sake, I hope he has at least realized that 11, 20, and 9 are NOT the core - he needs to reach this understanding and acceptance by his boss (CL) too.......Not hopeful for our #12 pick this year

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16 hours ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

Thanks!  I agree 100%.  The bolded portions, especially so.  By the way, would you want to get together for the draft again?  

 

Sure. Where and when?

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On 4/26/2019 at 7:45 AM, IllaZilla said:

 

Sure. Where and when?

 

Reid's?  Or do you have another suggestion?  As long as I can watch the draft and we can talk about it or whatever.  Anyone else is free to join us.  I'll have a bunch of draft info material.  

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

Reid's?  Or do you have another suggestion?  As long as I can watch the draft and we can talk about it or whatever.  Anyone else is free to join us.  I'll have a bunch of draft info material.  

 

Reid's works. What time you want to meet?

 

I need to burn a bunch of vacation time, so I can get to Reid's anytime. Just so I don't come out of there with a $200 bar tab...

Edited by IllaZilla

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On 4/27/2019 at 4:49 PM, IllaZilla said:

 

Reid's works. What time you want to meet?

 

I need to burn a bunch of vacation time, so I can get to Reid's anytime. Just so I don't come out of there with a $200 bar tab...

 

6:00PM on Friday, June 21st?  

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1 hour ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

6:00PM on Friday, June 21st?  

 

I should be there providing I’m not visiting a college somewhere. 

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It will be interesting to see what he does with the pick in June. Defense is a big need for the Wild, but there are going to be some excellent forwards still available at 12. One of Krebs, Caufield, Dach or Zegras should still be available. If he drafts goalie Spencer Knight he should be fired immediately. 

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24 minutes ago, Jagged Ice said:

It will be interesting to see what he does with the pick in June. Defense is a big need for the Wild, but there are going to be some excellent forwards still available at 12. One of Krebs, Caufield, Dach or Zegras should still be available. If he drafts goalie Spencer Knight he should be fired immediately. 

 

Well, he took Filip Johansson a projected third rounder in the first round. This while Nils Lundqvist, Nicholas Beaudin, Rasmus Sandin, Alexander Alexeyev, Matthias Samuelsson, Bode Wilde and a bunch of other higher rated defensemen were still on the board. Not to mention forwards Dominick Bokk , Joe Veleno and  Serron Noel.

 

So no, it wouldn't surprise me if he takes Knight in the first round...

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Russo's latest podcast was a good listen.

 

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Makes it sound more and more like Fenton has no plan what-so-ever and is just doing stuff to do stuff...

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On 5/4/2019 at 12:48 PM, IllaZilla said:

Russo's latest podcast was a good listen.

 

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Makes it sound more and more like Fenton has no plan what-so-ever and is just doing stuff to do stuff...

 

I listened to it twice.  I don't think he has much of a plan either.  I'm still good to go for the NHL draft.  @MNSOTA will likely be with me.  

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1 hour ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

I listened to it twice.  I don't think he has much of a plan either.  I'm still good to go for the NHL draft.  @MNSOTA will likely be with me.  

 

It appears that Fenton is keen to move Zucker for whatever reason. My question is why did he re-sign him if he was going to move him in a year? Especially if it seems all Fenton is interested in doing is getting one-for-one "hockey" deals.

 

So if he moves Zucker, he now has an open slot to bring in a UFA (providing he trades Zucker only for picks or non-NHL ready prospects). But again, you are moving a player out of a top six role and instead of inserting a younger player in there, you are looking to an older UFA. It flies in the face of his "younger and faster" mantra.

 

I should be there too. Unless I'm visiting a college somewhere...

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If y'all get a chance check out Russo's latest interview with Fenton(about what his plans for the Wild may be in the near future) on The Athletic's website earlier this week. He pretty much blows Russo's questions off, giving no real answers. 

Fenton's a real piece of work....🤨

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22 hours ago, sweetshot said:

If y'all get a chance check out Russo's latest interview with Fenton(about what his plans for the Wild may be in the near future) on The Athletic's website earlier this week. He pretty much blows Russo's questions off, giving no real answers. 

Fenton's a real piece of work....🤨

 

Oh yeah. Russo stated several times that Fenton has a really adversarial relationship with the media. A month after the end of the season (for the Wild) he still wouldn't reveal what injury Eriksson-Ek has (lower body). He almost sounds paranoid. That's why the stats guy got fired. Fenton was convinced that he was leaking stories to the media so he fired him. Turns out reporters were doing their jobs and asking other GM's who FENTON talked to about various trade rumors and then asking Fenton to confirm those rumors.

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He is over his head if they do not make the playoffs next year, if they win the first round matchup he is a genius. 

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On 5/14/2019 at 2:41 PM, TonyOday said:

He is over his head if they do not make the playoffs next year, if they win the first round matchup he is a genius. 

He's probably planning for Koivu being gone after next year and is looking at long term as a reason if things don't change much next season.

And yet he signs Staal to 2 years....🤔

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Over in the IIHF championships things have looked good for the Wild. Fiala with very good stats, Kunin motivated, Kaprizov playing in a line with the Russian big boys. It's only the IIHF, but hopefully that is some indication  of good things to come. I still think Fenton was wrong with Fiala, but hope for the best anyways.

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9 hours ago, lynxrattle said:

Over in the IIHF championships things have looked good for the Wild. Fiala with very good stats, Kunin motivated, Kaprizov playing in a line with the Russian big boys. It's only the IIHF, but hopefully that is some indication  of good things to come. I still think Fenton was wrong with Fiala, but hope for the best anyways.

Agree.They all(Fiala,Kunin, Kaprizov) did pretty well there. Interesting that Nino after Stanley Cup playoffs joined Fiala with a Switzerland team and played against a very competitive Canada team in  quarterfinals. Fiala and Nino had assists in that tough game, but unfortunately lost in OT. Fiala had 4 goals and a couple assists in that tournament. Kunin played hard too with USA team against Russia team in a quarterfinals , but lost with a score 3:4. Kaprizov put one goal for the Russia team in that game and having so far 2 goals in that World Championship.

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Fiala dominating against Austria doesn't mean much to me.  The World Championships features a few 'A" teams, some "B+" teams and a bunch of clear B/C teams.  Suter looked like crap for Team USA.  Kaprizov was a minor player for fairly star studded Team Russia.  Still, Fiala has to be a stud considering what Fenton gave up to get him.  That's not Fiala's fault, that's all 100% on Fenton for putting all his eggs in one basket.  Fenton's latest miss, with the Kessel swap again flies in the face of the younger faster pledge.  Did anyone catch Russo talking about how Johansson wasn't Flahr's pick as much as he was Fenton's choice.  Ouch.  

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      That's not all. Apparently everyone in the Wild organization told Fenton trading for Kessel when they didn't even know who was on his No Trade list was a bad idea and to not do it. But The Smartest Guy in the Room does it anyway, and then gets mad when Kessel tells him "Your team isn't even close to being a Cup contender. I'm not waiving it for you." And this was even after Suter talked to Kessel to try and get him to come to the Wild.   Also, Fenton's apparently been shopping Zucker t
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      Over in the IIHF championships things have looked good for the Wild. Fiala with very good stats, Kunin motivated, Kaprizov playing in a line with the Russian big boys. It's only the IIHF, but hopefully that is some indication  of good things to come. I still think Fenton was wrong with Fiala, but hope for the best anyways.
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      I read an article on him after the Wild hired him and everyone is saying how hard working and thorough he is and what a great judge of talent he is and everything he has done so far has flown in the face of that description.  Trade Nino for Rask basically on a whim without even looking at Rask’s stats or learning that the Canes were going to buy him out this summer? Trading Granlund, the top scorer on the team with a year left on his contract, for a single prospect? And not even Nashville’s best
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      Hidden Content Give reaction or reply to this topic to see the hidden content.   I examine his first year as Wild GM and discuss what lies ahead and things he may want to work on in order to improve.  Enjoy and discuss...
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      Good article.    To be fair, I think Fenton needs time. Not every move a GM makes is going to be a home run, or to his teams advantage. Sometimes trades just don't work out.   However, many of his moves are curious to say the least.   I get Nino/Rask deal. Sometimes a change of scenery is what a player needs. But like @CreaseAndAssist said, why trade for a guy that was going to be cut loose by his team this summer? You could have picked him up for far less than $4M/
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      Be interesting to see how many off the board picks this team makes. Russo thought they were going after Spencer Knight since Caulfield will be gone at 12. Not sure how I feel about that. Yeah, he's a great goalie, but to spend a first round pick on a goaltender, he better be the second coming of Jacques Plante...and it doesn't matter how great a goalie you have in nets IF THE TEAM CAN"T SCORE...
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