Minnesota Wild Owner, Craig Leipold, announced today that the organization will not renew the contract of President and General Manager, Doug Risebrough, beyond the 2008-2009 season. "The entire Minnesota Wild organization is forever indebted to Doug for his substantial efforts in establishing this franchise’s solid foundation and winning tradition," said Leipold. "The positive impact of Doug’s service will be felt for many years to come. We wish Doug the very best." The search for a new General Manager will begin immediately. The first order of business for the incoming General Manager will be to select the Team’s next Head Coach. Until a replacement is found, Assistant General Manager Tom Lynn, will be acting-General Manager.
I don't know for sure what there was to agonize over, but this is a move that was necessary for the Wild to stop treading water. Now it's up to Craig Leipold to make the right choices to fill some very important spots.
According to two outside NHL sources, Wild GM Doug Risebrough has been fired by owner Craig Leipold. It is unconfirmed inside the organization.
Leipold was said to have agonized over the decision but decided, in the final analysis, that a change in direction was called for. - Russo
EDIT: 4:30 pm CDT
All from Russo
“I got a call from [assistant coach Mario Tremblay] and he told me this and I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ It was shocking, it was shocking. I never expected it. I never thought he’d be fired after I left,” former Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. “We tried to get this team better. What Craig thought was something different.
“Us, I thought we did some decent things there. We don’t know anymore what to think there. It just shows you the owner has a different perspective than a lot of people could go.” - Jacques Lemaire
Lemaire was unable to get in contact with Risebrough.
Lemaire, by the way, does not want the job.
From the Leipold conference call:
- He made his decision a month ago.
- He told Risebrough Tuesday, and he took it professionally.
- The new GM will only be GM, and not GM and President
- On whether Lemaire would have been fired if he didn’t quit, Leipold said he hasn’t thought about that because he always assumed Lemaire was leaving.
- He has a little of former GM’s and bright stars he’s interested in. Candidates have solicited him already today via call and email.