Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold fired general manager Paul Fenton on Tuesday, just over 14 months after hiring him.
“After giving much thought to this difficult decision, I informed Paul today that he was not the right fit for our organization going forward,” Leipold said in a statement. “I believe we have a good hockey team, a team that will compete for a playoff spot this year, and I look forward to hiring a General Manager that will help us win a Stanley Cup. I would like to thank Paul for his time with the Wild and wish him and his family the best in the future.”
Assistant GM Tom Kurvers will serve as acting general manager during the search for Fenton’s replacement.
According to The Athletic, the firing was not caused by one issue but rather “the lingering fallout” from various personnel decisions, as well as “internal issues” that caused “low morale throughout the hockey operations department and dressing room.”
–The Tampa Bay Lightning got some salary-cap relief by trading injured forward Ryan Callahan to the Ottawa Senators for goaltender Mike Condon. The teams also swapped 2020 draft picks, with the Lightning giving up a fifth-round selection and receiving the Senators’ sixth-rounder in return.
Callahan, 34, is not expected to play again due to a degenerative disc disease in his lumbar spine. He was placed on long-term injured reserve last month. His cap hit for 2019-20 is $5.8 million, but insurance will pick up 80 percent of his $4.7 million salary due to his IR status.
Callahan had seven goals and 10 assists in 52 games last season. In 13 years with the New York Rangers (2006-14) and Lightning (2014-19), he tallied 254 points (132 goals, 122 assists) in 450 games.
–Fifteen-year NHL veteran Chris Kunitz retired from hockey and was hired by the Chicago Blackhawks as an adviser. Kunitz, 39, won the Stanley Cup four times (2007 with the Anaheim Ducks; 2009, 2016, and 2017 with the Pittsburgh Penguins) and an Olympic gold medal with Canada in 2014.
Kunitz was undrafted out of Ferris State in 2003 before he signed with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He played in 21 games during the 2003-04 season before spending the lockout season in the AHL.
Kunitz spent nine years in Pittsburgh. His best stretch of play was from 2011-2014, when he netted 83 goals and had 98 assists over the three-season stretch.
–The Colorado Avalanche re-signed forward Vladislav Kamenev to a one-year contract for the 2019-20 season. No financial details were released. Kamenev, 22, had two goals and three assists in 23 games last season before sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury in early December.
He was a second-round pick by the Nashville Predators in 2014 and was traded to Colorado in November 2017 in the three-team, Matt Duchene deal that included the Ottawa Senators.
Kamenev, who captained Russia to a silver medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, also has 105 points (39 goals, 66 assists) in 146 career games in the American Hockey League.
–Field Level Media