May 23, 2018

By Jacob Born (@Jacob_Born)

Yesterday, Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold introduced Paul Fenton as the team’s third general manager in history. Fenton will oversee the Wild’s hockey operations department including all matters relating to player personnel, coaching staff, scouting department and minor league operations.

Fenton joins the Wild after spending 20 seasons with Nashville Predators, serving as assistant GM for the past 12 seasons. During his time with the Predators, 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 team held the introductory press conference at Xcel Energy Center Tuesday, during which Leipold introduced Fenton, who then met with the media for the first time. To watch the full press conference, click here.

Below are a few of the impact statements made by Leipold and Fenton.

Craig Leipold on why Fenton got the job

“We conducted a very thorough interview process and spoke to numerous qualified candidates. But there was one person that stood out among all of them really throughout the entire process, and that would be Paul. On all measures, Paul won the job, but the areas that stand out with Paul are his overall experience, his strength as a player evaluator, his work and ethic and most importantly, he wants to win a Stanley Cup.”

Craig Leipold on what Fenton can bring from Nashville to Minnesota

“His record in Nashville in building their current roster, primarily through drafting and developing, speaks for itself. Paul has been a key contributor in Nashville’s success. Paul also has been involved in key trades that put the finishing touches on that roster in Nashville. That experience will serve him greatly here.”

Craig Leipold on Fenton’s drive

“In the interviews we had, Paul was the one that we felt was best experienced, most experienced. The people that I spoke with about Paul could not in any greater terms, describe a person that wanted to win more than Paul wants to win it, and who will work harder to do it.”

Paul Fenton on the upcoming NHL draft and the Wild’s prospects

“The strength of every organization is the draft. It’s the way we develop, it’s the way we’re going to put our minor league system in place. I’ve run Milwaukee for pretty much 20 years, I had a hand in there even when I was director of player personnel. I believe that your minor league team has to be your vaulting stone to get to the next level. That’s the biggest part, to draft and develop and put the right plan in place and then go forward.”

Paul Fenton on the use of analytics

“Certainly, looking at the information that’s provided by the analytics team is always something I will look at and go for. I don’t believe that any decisions are going to be primarily made by analytics, but it will support everything that we do with our eyes. That’s the most important thing. I will use every resource that we have.”

Paul Fenton on the existing staff with the Wild

“I know some of these guys from being out in the field and various things, but I’m just going to try and get to know the staff here. I think we have a very good staff in place. I just want to get to know them and see how we mesh together. Again, it’s a getting to know process now.” 

You can view the full press conference here.  

Back to All