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After working a quarter-century in the NHL Reshad Jones Jersey , including two decades in management, Paul Fenton finally has the opportunity to run a team.
The new general manager of the Minnesota Wild has been tasked with retooling a roster that has produced a consistent regular season winner but, more importantly, scant success in the playoffs.
”I’m confident we have a very good team in Minnesota and believe Paul shares that same belief. The goal remains to bring a Stanley Cup to the state of hockey,” owner Craig Leipold said. ”No pressure, Paul, but that is where it starts.”
The 58-year-old Fenton was introduced on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center, where the Wild have reached the postseason six straight times to match the longest streak in the Western Conference with the Anaheim Ducks. The problem is they’ve won only two series during that run, both in the first round. That’s why Leipold dismissed Chuck Fletcher after nine seasons and, after a month of interviewing and considering candidates, turned to Fenton for a fresh perspective .
”As we went through the process, we kept hearing good things about our team,” Leipold said. ”We kept feeling better and better, and it really reinforced what we thought. This is not a rebuild. It’s a tweaking.”
Existing contracts essentially make a teardown impossible. Center Mikko Koivu Morgan Cox Jersey , left wing Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter accounted for almost 30 percent of the Wild’s salary cap in 2017-18. Koivu’s two-year extension kicks in this summer. Parise and Suter are signed for seven more seasons. All three players attended the news conference, as did coach Bruce Boudreau and several holdover hockey operations staffers.
”It obviously doesn’t need to be overhauled,” Fenton said. ”We have a lot of really good veteran pieces, young guys that are coming, and I’m just looking forward to trying to put on some finishing touches to help us win.”
Even without no-trade clauses, the Koivu-Parise-Suter core would be difficult to move with their current deals. There are plenty of other valuable players that Fenton could use as assets in trades, though, and there’s precedent for him doing just that.
During his 12-year tenure as assistant general manager of the Nashville Predators, Fenton teamed with general manager David Poile to pull off several bold moves. They shipped Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens for P.K. Subban in a swap of standout defensemen two summers ago after sending defenseman Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Ryan Johansen about six months earlier, deals that set the stage for the Predators to reach the Stanley Cup finals in 2017. They had the best record in the league in the 2017-18 regular season.
Fenton declined to make any evaluations or proclamations about the Wild during his session with reporters, but he did give a definitive answer to a question about whether he’d keep the aggressive approach to trading.
”I like to think outside the box,” he said, later adding: ”I’ll look at small trades. I’ll look at big trades. Whatever is going to improve this organization going forward to give us a chance to win the Stanley Cup, we’re going to look.”
As for feeling limited by the Koivu-Parise-Suter contract situation he inherited Jaron Brown Jersey , well, if he was daunted by it he wouldn’t have been hired.
”Everybody has the same problem,” Fenton said. ”We’re all cap driven.”
Fenton was accompanied by his wife, Nona, who was once his high school sweetheart in Massachusetts, and his two adult sons, P.J. and Owen, and daughter-in-law Stefanie. There’s a granddaughter in the family as well.
Suter was a familiar face to Fenton in the crowd, too. The Predators drafted him in the first round in 2003 while Fenton was director of player personnel. Leipold owned the Predators then, too.
”We have mutual friends that say good things about each other, so I don’t think it’s going to be a difficult transition at all,” said Boudreau, who will enter his third season with the Wild. ”We’re hockey guys, and when we’re getting together we’re going to be talking hockey all the time. That’s what we love to do. He spent a lot of years looking at the minors. I’ve been a lot of years in the minors. I think it should end up being a really good relationship.”
Stephen Curry and Golden State turned all those Houston bricks into a road back to the NBA Finals.
Needing not only all their firepower but also 27 straight misses by the Rockets during an epic cold streak from 3-point range Tarvarius Moore Jersey , the Warriors rallied to keep alive their hopes for a repeat.
Kevin Durant scored 34 points, Curry sparked another third-quarter turnaround, and the Warriors earned a fourth straight trip to the NBA Finals by beating the Rockets 101-92 in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals on Monday night.
The defending champions trailed by as many as 15 in the first half after falling behind 17 in Game 6.
Curry, who finished with 27 points, scored 14 of Golden State’s 33 points in the third quarter as Houston’s shooting didn’t just go cold, it froze. The Rockets missed all 14 3-point attempts in that quarter as part of a 1-for-21 second half from long range.
The Warriors will host LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 on Thursday night in the fourth straight matchup between the teams.
WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) – Celtics general manager Danny Ainge says point guard Kyrie Irving was unable to attend Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals because he was recovering from nasal surgery.
Ainge said on Monday that Irving had a deviated septum. The injury occurred in November when he was hit in the face by teammate Aron Baynes. Irving wore a mask while healing from the facial fracture.
Irving has not played since March because of a knee injury. But his absence on the Boston bench was noted when the Celtics played his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Ainge joked: ”I don’t think he wanted to be seen in public and ruin his movie career.”
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Commissioner Gary Bettman says an NHL team in Seattle would have the same favorable expansion terms given to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Bettman says the league could vote on adding its 32nd franchise in Seattle later this year, although it won’t happen in June. Bettman remains just as amazed by the Golden Knights’ inaugural season as the rest of the sports world as they host the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup Final.
Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly both confirmed the NHL plans to keep the same rules on the next expansion draft. If it happens within the next two years, as increasingly expected, Vegas won’t have to lose any of its players.
ZURICH (AP) – FIFA’s bid inspectors will hold a meeting in Zurich on Wednesday with the North American and Moroccan candidates hoping to host the 2026 World Cup.
Officials from the joint United States-Canada-Mexico team and Morocco are invited to answer questions from a FIFA-appointed panel evaluating their bids ahead of the June 13 vote, FIFA said Monday.
No date is set to publish the evaluation reports ahead of the vote by up to 207 FIFA member federations in Moscow.
Though voters are not obliged to factor the reports into their choice, FIFA put a more rigorous assessment system in place after criticism of the 2018-2022 World Cup hosting votes in December 2010.
CHESTER, Pa. (AP) – Josh Sargent scored in his American debut Larry Csonka Jersey , fellow 18-year-old Tim Weah added a goal in his second international match and a young United States team beat Bolivia 3-0 in an exhibition Monday night.
Walker Zimmerman put the Americans ahead in the 37th minute and Sargent doubled the lead in the 52nd. Weah, the son of former FIFA Player of the Year and current Liberia president George Weah, scored in the 59th.
Weah, born on Feb. 22, 2000, became the fourth-youngest American to score when he displaced Sargent, who was born two days earlier. Sargent’s goal was particularly memorable – with his back to the goal, he intercepted a pass over his head from the goalkeeper, played the ball to himself and put it in the net with a strong right-footed shot from about 11 yards.
With no World Cup to play for, interim U.S. coach Dave Sarachan went with youth. He gave six players their debuts, raising the total to 15 in four matches since the Americans were eliminated in qualifying. Defenders Erik Palmer-Brown and Antonee Robinson and goalkeeper Alex Bono joined Sargent as debutants in the starting lineup, and defender Matt Olosune and midfielder Keatan Parks entered on the second half.
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