The Minnesota Wild are set to begin the second round of interviews for their vacant general manager position next week.
Among the remaining candidates expected to get a second chance at the job are Nashville Predators assistant GM Paul Fenton and New Jersey Devils assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Fenton and Fitzgerald were among multiple candidates for the Carolina Hurricanes GM job but both men dropped out of that race in March before the Hurricanes officially named Don Waddell the team’s new GM earlier this week.
The Wild decided not to renew now-former GM Chuck Fletcher’s contract after the team was eliminated by the Winnipeg Jets in April.
Fletcher had been with the club for nine years and Wild owner Craig Leipold said it was a difficult decision to make.
“Very agonizing,” Leipold said at the time. “I like Chuck. Probably more than I like Chuck, I respect him tremendously. I didn’t decide on this definitely until a couple of days ago. In our new practice facility, we have a motto. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door: ‘Good is not good enough.’ I went through the practice facility about two weeks ago, and I felt that was a signal for me. It starts with me.”
The Wild are one of only three teams in the NHL that have qualified for the playoffs in each of the past six seasons, yet they have failed to advance beyond the second round during that time. The team has been ousted in the first round of the playoffs three years in a row.