Only two days after cutting ties with Chuck Fletcher, ending his nine-year run as general manager, the Wild already has begun to search for his replacement.
The team met with Predators assistant general manager Paul Fenton on Wednesday in the Twin Cities, a source said.
Fenton is in the midst of his 20th season with the Predators and 12th as assistant general manager, a tenure in which he’s helped assemble a dynamic core for Nashville through effective drafting, shrewd trades and key free-agent signings.
With the Predators, Fenton oversees amateur player development, manages the pro and amateur scouting staffs and advises GM David Poile on player personnel decisions.
From 2003 to 2008, he coordinated the team’s draft efforts — with defensemen such as Ryan Suter and Shea Weber among those picks.
He also doubles as the GM for the Predators’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.
The 58-year-old also interviewed for the Wild’s general manager job in 2009 when Fletcher was hired; he also crossed paths with owner Craig Leipold when Leipold owned the Predators from 1998 to 2007.
Fenton’s continued to be mentioned in other GM searches, emerging as a candidate for a promotion while the Predators have thrived — becoming a Stanley Cup finalist in 2017 and a contender again this year. Nashville’s second-round series starts Friday against Winnipeg, which eliminated the Wild in five games in Round 1.
After that early exit, the team announced it would not renew Fletcher’s contract. Leipold said he and team President Matt Majka will conduct interviews to find a successor who will bring a fresh outlook to the team without orchestrating a massive overhaul.
A native of Springfield, Mass., Fenton played college hockey at Boston University before an 11-year professional career that included 100 goals in 411 NHL games.
The left winger’s best season came when he scored 32 goals for the Jets in 1989-90.