Wild GM Bill Guerin pushes back on one-and-done narrative in season wrap-up news conference
The Wild have exited the playoffs seven consecutive times after the first round. But general manager Bill Guerin wants to fight back on that narrative, suggesting a good core of the team hasn’t been around for many of those defeats.
In a wide-ranging season wrap-up news conference Tuesday, Guerin and coach Dean Evason covered myriad topics.
Guerin did acknowledge that his job is a lot harder with the $12.7 million dead cap hits from the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter contract buyouts of 2021. However, he doesn’t apologize for those moves.
The buyouts will eat up $14.7 million of the 2023-2024 cap. In other words, it’s on Guerin to figure out how to build a title contender while being handcuffed.
***Click the video box above to watch the news conference***
Other notes from Guerin:
- He said they haven’t discussed yet if there will be any staff changes. Evason is expected back, but don’t be surprised if at least one assistant coach is replaced.
- Guerin is confident a new contract will get worked out with goalie Filip Gustavsson, who finished the regular season second in the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage. Guerin doesn’t see Gustavsson in that top-tier goalie $6-8 million per year range.
- Forward Freddy Gaudreau needs surgery for an abdominal injury that he had been playing with for the past few months.
- Forward Mats Zuccarello was playing through a groin injury during the playoffs.
- Forward Ryan Hartman hurt his knee badly in the Game 1 win at Dallas. After missing Game 2, he played the rest of the series, but was limited.