It took longer than many expected, but the Wild named Paul Fenton as their general manager on Monday. The team made the announcement in a press release and said the 58-year-old Fenton signed a multi-year contract.
“It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Paul Fenton as the General Manager of the Minnesota Wild,” Wild owner Craig Leipold said in a statement. “Paul is uniquely suited for this job having played 10 years of professional hockey and holding 25 years of management experience in the NHL.
“His gift of evaluating talent is obvious in Nashville’s roster and recent success. My relationship with Paul goes back to my early days in Nashville and I know that Wild hockey fans are going to love Paul’s infectious passion for the game and unsurpassed work ethic. He’s the right person to deliver a Stanley Cup to the State of Hockey.”
Fenton spent the previous 20 seasons with the Predators, including the past 12 as assistant general manager and knows Leipold from the time when he owned that franchise. He was instrumental in acquiring many of Nashville’s core players that helped the Predators advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 11 of the last 14 seasons, reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2017.
Fenton, who replaces Chuck Fletcher as the Wild’s GM, served as Nashville’s director of player personnel during its first eight seasons in the NHL (1998-2006) before he was promoted to assistant GM in June 2006.
Before joining the Predators, Fenton spent five seasons with the Anaheim Ducks (1993-98), serving as a scout for three seasons and chief professional scout the last two. Fenton had 183 points in 411 career NHL games during eight seasons (1984-92) with Hartford, the New York Rangers, Los Angeles, Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary and San Jose.
The Wild reportedly interviewed more than a half-dozen candidates for the position and brought in New Jersey Devils assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald for a second interview last week. Fenton also had a second interview earlier in the week.