Wild owner Leipold: GM Chuck Fletcher not on the hot seat

Jason Spezza scored a goal and added an assist as the Dallas Stars defeated the Minnesota Wild to take a 3-1 series lead.

Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is not on the hot seat — even if his team is.

Wild owner Craig Leipold squashed any potential chatter about his GM’s future Thursday, allowing the GM to rest easy — at least as far as job security goes.

The Wild are currently on the brink of elimination, down 3-1 to the Stars in their first-round playoff series.

“If there are rumors – and I haven’t seen them – then they aren’t something Chuck or anyone else should be worried about,” Leipold told the Star Tribune Thursday.

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“Listen, I should put this to bed right now. There is absolutely no way Chuck is not going to be here next year. He is our guy. I continue to have a high level of confidence in Chuck and his staff and we’re already talking about next year.”

Fletcher has served as Minnesota’s GM for seven years, during which time the club has seen two coaching changes — including the firing of Mike Yeo earlier this season. Despite plenty of inconsistency from both veterans and youngsters alike, this the third straight year the Wild are playing in the post-season. (They just barely made it in this year with 87 points to claim the final wild card in the West.) They haven’t advanced past the second round during Fletcher’s tenure.

“Let’s just say that Chuck’s going to be with us and we haven’t gotten into any detail, but Chuck knows he is not on any hot seat with me.”

The Wild will try to stay in the series when the puck drops on Game 5 against the Stars Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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