Sources with the Penguins have been speculating for the past week that Assistant GM Chuck Fletcher would draw considerable interest from the Minnesota Wild, due to Penguins General Manager Ray Shero working for current Wild owner Craig Leopold when Leopold was the owner of the Nashville Predators.
While there have been no talks between the Wild and Fletcher to this point, as the Wild are in the beginning stages of their hiring process, I spoke briefly to Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune today, who told me the Wild are interested Fletcher.
Plenty of names including Fletcher are already getting mentioned as potential candidates.
Russo reported last week that former Vancouver and Toronto GM Pat Quinn, former Columbus GM Doug MacLean, former Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Florida GM Rick Dudley and former Tampa Bay GM Jay Feaster have already expressed interest in the job.
The Colorado Avalanche are also in the market of hiring a new GM but NHL sources tell me,
Fletcher is getting minimal consideration from the Avalanche as the early process has begun. Analyst Pierre McGuire and former Lightning GM Jay Feaster are believed to be at the top of the Avalanche wishlist.
A few more jobs may open up but Minnesota will likely show the most interest in Fletcher, unless Florida fires Jacques Martin, as we’re told Fletcher will be a top candidate. He is highly regarded in the Panthers organization.
Fletcher had done a sound job with the Penguins. He orchestrated the Ryan Whitney ‚Äì Chris Kunitz trade.
Constantine on the outs in Minnesota?
Minnesota Wild AHL head coach Kevin Constantine went from the front runner to replace Jacques Lamaire as head coach under former GM Doug Risebrough but with Risebrough fired, Constantine will also be let go.