Thursday, April 16, 2009

Risebrough Fired

The Minnesota Wild fired GM/President Doug Risebrough Thursday. Risebrough had been the only GM the team had ever known, and the move was a complete surprise. Assistant GM Tom Lynn will serve on an interim basis until a permanent GM can be found and the draft is approaching quickly, expediting the GM search. It was also reported on WCCO Radio and by the Star Tribune's Michael Russo that a new head coach will not be hired until a permanent GM is found.

The move is a surprise, given that Head Coach Jacques Lemaire only decided this past Saturday that he was not returning, and Risebrough attended Lemaire's press conference on Monday. Also, owner Craig Leipold has often said he would stay out of hockey-related affairs, but the firing suggests that Leipold either had a falling-out with Risebrough over a hockey-related matter, or that simply he wanted to bring in his own man as GM. Leipold took over as the team's principal owner last summer from original owner Bob Nagele, Jr., and had been the principal owner of the Nashville Predators since their inception in 1998. Leipold's GM in Nashville, David Poile, has served in that capacity since day-one.

No speculation on replacements yet, but I can assure you that Mike Milbury is not a candidate. For argument's sake, here's a random Donny Puck list of possible replacements (pure speculation, unless one of these guys is hired and then I'll gloat for a month straight):
  • Wild Assistant GM Tom Lynn
  • Montreal GM Bob Gainey (soon to be fired in Montreal, perhaps)
  • Buffalo GM Darcy Regier (soon to be fired in Buffalo, perhaps, and Lindy Ruff could come to coach in a package deal)
  • Former NY Rangers/NY Islanders GM Neil Smith
  • Detroit Assistant GM Jim Nill (my top choice if the team wants to completely re-build)
  • Former Tampa Bay, Ottawa, Florida GM/Current Chicago Assistant GM Rick Dudley
  • Boston Director of Player Personnel Don Sweeney
  • Former Dallas GM/Current St. Louis VP of Player Personnel Doug Armstrong
  • Los Angeles Assistant GM Ron Hextall
We'll be back later with more updates on this story as well as documenting the Twins vs. Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays....

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