Penguins assistant Bill Guerin named Wild general manager | TribLIVE.com
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Penguins assistant Bill Guerin named Wild general manager

Jerry DiPaola
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Bill Guerin will be named the fourth general manager of the Minnesota Wild.

Pittsburgh Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin, who won a Stanley Cup with the team as a player in 2009 and advanced within the organization to perform simultaneous front-office roles, was named the fourth general manager of the Minnesota Wild.

He will be introduced by the Wild on Thursday during a news conference.

Guerin has worked for the Penguins for the past eight years. He was a player-development coach for three years and assistant GM for the past five. Within his duties as Penguins assistant GM, he also had been GM of the the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins since 2017, looking for depth free agents and signing players to AHL contracts.

Guerin, 48, had been a trusted assistant of Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford almost from the day he retired as one of the finest American-born players in NHL history. After he was promoted to assistant GM in 2014, the Penguins won Stanley Cups in ’16 and ’17 with Rutherford and Guerin at the helm.

“I’m happy for Bill. He’s worked toward this. He deserves the opportunity,” Rutherford said. “He’s a guy who has prepared himself for the job.”

On the other side of it, however, Rutherford said, “We lose guy in the front office who has worked closely with me.”

“He had voice in player transactions, in running Wilkes-Barre, did a good job in player development. These are areas where the other people are going to pick up the slack.”

Rutherford said he doesn’t expect fill Guerin’s position immediately.

“We’ll move the duties around. I’ll take my time,” he said.

“Right now, I feel unless somebody comes along that I haven’t thought about, I’ll think I’ll leave that assistant GM position open.”

He said the recent addition of former player Matt Cullen to the front office will help.

“The other thing where Billy had worked was talking to some players about things that he can bring to the coach (Mike Sullivan) or bring to me,” Rutherford said. “Hiring Matt Cullen was important in that area. He will work with the coaches and work with me. He’ll pick up some of Billy’s duties.”

As a player, Guerin recorded 429 goals and 427 assists over 18 seasons. Most of that time was spent with the New Jersey Devils. He played for eight teams and won the Stanley Cup twice as a player, with the Devils in 1995 and the Penguins. He’s also a three-time Olympian, representing Team USA in 1998, 2002, and ’06.

Other candidates for the Wild job reportedly included former Flyers GM Ron Hextall, current Hurricanes GM Don Waddell, former Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli, New Jersey assistant Tom Fitzgerald, Columbus assistant Bill Zito and others.

Guerin’s clearest link to the Wild organization is via the team’s executive advisor, Mike Modano, a teammate of Guerin’s with the Dallas Stars from 2002-06.

“Bill has been a winner throughout his hockey career,” Wild owner and chairman Craig Leipold said in a statement. “I am extremely pleased to be able to add his experience to our organization and The State of Hockey.”

“Great guy, a very honest, tell-it-like-it-is guy,” Cullen told Wild.com. “He’s done a real nice job in Pittsburgh and has really good relationships with the players there.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Penguins
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