Unbelievable: Hextall & Chiarelli Mentioned as Non-Joke GM Candidates
The NHL is a great league in spite of itself.
Good thing that there are no other competing leagues, because the NHL is a joke sometimes.
Despite over a decade of rock-solid unimpeachable proof that the use of data and analytics do an exponentially better job at drafting, trading and signing players than the traditional way of just asking an ex-NHL player to guess, many hockey teams continue to flounder in the past.
The inanity of the NHL was again on display today as the Minnesota Wild fired GM Paul Fenton and the favorites to fill the job were a host of ex-GMs who have already failed spectacularly.
The Wild were definitely right to fire Fenton. His trades sucked, his signings sucked, he made his son head of scouting and his comments regarding tall players were widely mocked.
He was awful for many different reasons and the franchise is lucky to be rid of him.
But if the rumours are true and they want to hire an "experienced manager" after going with Fenton, then they should just fold.
Paul Fenton might have been on his first NHL job, but he's a hockey lifer who not only played in the NHL but has been mentioned for years as the next big thing in hockey management.
Whether or not he had actual NHL GM experience is irrelevant - he was a typical hockey hire. Therefore, doubling down on the experience thing is pretty stupid.
If you have NHL GM experience and are currently available for another job, the odds are you sucked in the first place.
This begs the question why doesn't the NHL open up the field of potential hires to beyond the circle of failure and sadness that is the Old Boys Club?
You don't need to have played in the NHL to be a good GM - the league is filled with experienced managers who are terrible. Paul Fenton was terrible, but he's far from the worst.
What the Wild need is someone who understands where the game is going. He (or She, I mean, why not? How could you do worse?) can be old, young, an ex-player or not. The team should have no preconceived notions.
What they should be doing however, is avoiding name-brand failures like Hextall or Chiarelli. The fact that either of those two guys will ever again be mentioned as potential NHL GM candidates is an embarrassment to the league, and a complete joke.
Not to mention an insult to the fans.
The Wild have the resources of a professional sports team, and they should score the earth for someone who understands analytics, understands the way the game has changed in recent years, and most of all, someone who is open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.
The Leafs hired Brendan Shanahan - he's an ex-player and it's worked out great. But it's dumb to limit yourself to just ex-players.
The fact is, if you have a twitter account and know what Corsi is, you're a better candidate than Ron Hextall or Peter Chiarelli.
Those guys need to be exiled, not mentioned for every job opening.
The best choice the Wild could make is hiring someone smart and open minded. Not someone who is blindly struggling to understand a game that has changed beyond all recognition since what they consider the glory days.
The best candidate is someone we've never heard of, not some retread ex-player with a kick-ass Rolodex.