clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Exit Interviews: Meeting with Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher

New, comments

No longer a young and inexperienced general manager, the end result of every season now rests squarely on the shoulders of the man at the helm - Chuck Fletcher. Those results may now have him on the hot seat, and for good reason.

Another disastrous campaign could mean the end for Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher.
Another disastrous campaign could mean the end for Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Chuck. Please, come on in and take a seat. Can I interest you in a cup of coffee? No problem, you bet.

Well, let's just get down to business, shall we? You've been the man at the helm of the Minnesota Wild for several years now, so we feel it's safe to say this roster and prospect pool is completely of your own design. You've brought stability in the form of four straight postseason appearances - something we don't take lightly, we want to assure you. A big reason for this success is the twin signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, which was arguably the greatest moment in franchise history. You've also drafted reasonably well, as several of your young draftees - Mikael Granlund, Jonas Brodin, Matt Dumba, Darcy Kuemper, Jason Zucker, Erik Haula etc. - have all developed into quality NHL players. That said, you've yet to draft a sure-fire game-changing superstar, and have made some questionable trades while also squandering many picks on rental players (Matt Moulson, Chris Stewart, Sean Bergenheim) and the occasional prospect that doesn't pan out (i.e. Zack Phillips and Brett Bulmer).

We're at a difficult point in the franchise. Four straight years of playoffs have been wonderful, but untimely exits have left us with no hardware and middling draft picks. You've used those middling picks well in our opinion. Alex Tuch and Joel Eriksson Ek both look like quality picks, and Gustav Olofsson was a very shrewd top pick after losing our 2013 first to Buffalo in the Jason Pominville trade. We feel you're drafting well, but band-aid trades these past few seasons have severely depleted the organization's supply of draft picks. It's important to win now, but don't sacrifice the future to do so. With just a first, fourth and two sevenths at your disposal in next month's draft, we highly suggest you see what trade options are available to you. Kuemper, or a young defenseman, may be your best bait, and there are some options in goal when it comes to available free agents.

Hiring Bruce Boudreau was the best thing you could've possibly done to kick start the drive to the 2017 Stanley Cup, both for the Wild and your career. After hiring (and firing) two rookie head coaches, your leash is very short, and it was quite prudent of you to hire such a winning veteran like Boudreau. Feel free to give him your input (and ours), but Bruce knows what he's doing, and you might just sit back and watch what he can do with the players you give him.

Zach, Ryan, Jason and Mikko Koivu aren't getting any younger, and it's past time your young players step up and lead on the ice. Adding a young top line center is a must, and you may have to trade a quality blue liner like Brodin to do so. Fortunately, defense is our biggest strength, so do what you have to do. We also suggest you present tape of Granlund playing on Koivu's wing both with us and at this month's World Championships to Bruce. He may think Granny is a center, but we both know better in this regard. Finally, as far as we're concerned, the more ice time Nino Niederreiter receives, the better. There's no reason why he shouldn't receive just as much ice-time as Parise, Koivu and Granlund.

You've put together a good team, and you've finally given them a great coach. If you can add an elite young center, we may have something special cooking. Playoffs are expected; a deep run would be appreciated; a disastrous season is unacceptable and cause for immediate termination.

So, how's the coffee?