The Minnesota Wild shocked the hockey world earlier this week, firing general manager Paul Fenton just slightly over a year into his tenure at the helm of the team. In doing so, they opened up a last-minute gig for all of the funemployed former general managers floating around out there doing freelance scouting work and golfing.
Thanks to his excellent work in scouting and player development with the Nashville Predators, Fenton was a highly-coveted assistant general manager viewed as somebody who could come in an turn a franchise around. He took over the middling Wild and, in just one year, made them substantially worse. He dealt stud winger Nino Niederreiter for the underwhelming Victor Rask, he got poor returns on Mikael Granlund and Charlie Coyle at the trade deadline, and handed out an absurd contract to Mats Zuccarello in free agency.
Given how things went for Minnesota with their new-school guy, I would venture a guess that they want somebody with experience coming in to mop up the mess. Among the names thrown out for the vacant Wild gig are recently-fired general managers like Garth Snow, Dean Lombardi, Ron Hextall, and our old pal Peter Chiarelli.
Personally, I would love to see Pistol Pete get back in the saddle to run another NHL team
into the ground. I think it would be great for the Oilers if one of their Western Conference rivals hired somebody who routinely loses trades and manages the salary cap poorly Wild to bring in somebody with Stanley Cup pedigree to lead the ship.
That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday SLOW NEWS DAY, DRINKS BY THE POOLSIDE FUN TIME FRIDAY EDITION! Earlier today on TSN 1260, Dan Tencer and Lieutenant Eric asked fans of the Oilers to give the Wild some reference letters for Chiarelli. How would you pitch Peter Chiarelli to the Minnesota Wild to fill their vacant general manager role? I want to see your best, most detailed ringing endorsements to help get Pistol Pete into a new gig.
Here are some things that I would touch on…
- He’s got Stanley Cup pedigree. Unlike guys like Steve Yzerman, Kyle Dubas, and Doug Wilson who are constantly praised for their ability to put together good regular season teams, Chiarelli’s Boston Bruins got the job done in Boston in 2011.
- He can play three-dimensional chess with his long-term decision making. As a commenter pointed out to the guys on TSN 1260, Chiarelli dealt two draft picks to the New York Islanders for Griffin Reinhart. While people complain the Oilers traded Mat Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier for a player who was clearly a bust, what he actually did was protect himself from the expansion draft. The Golden Knights took Reinhart in the expansion draft, ensuring the Oilers wouldn’t lose Jujhar Khaira, who they had to leave unprotected.
- He helped Connor McDavid face adversity early in his career. McDavid, being a whizkid with generational talent, was never challenged in his youth. He breezed through the OHL like it was a beer league and came into the NHL not understanding what it’s like to struggle. Chiarelli demolished Edmonton’s forward depth, giving McDavid the biggest challenge he had ever faced in his life of carrying around a team by himself. He’ll come out of it stronger.
- He can generate talking points among the fanbase. The Minnesota Wild are the most boring team in all of North American professional sports. They have no identity whatsoever. Can you tell me who their best player is right now? Who their most promising prospect is? Of course you can’t. Chiarelli will come in and rock the ship, whether you like it or not. If not for things like the Milan Lucic signing and Taylor Hall trade, what would we argue about all winter?
What say you, Nation? How would you pitch Pete to the Minnesota Wild? Let’s see your best letter of reference.