Wild owner Craig Leipold fires GM Risebrough

Thanks to the tip from Kukla's Korner, we have news that Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold has dumped his GM, Doug Risebrough, who was been with the franchise for its entire 8-year existence.

From the highly regarded Russo's Rants:

“The entire Minnesota Wild organization is forever indebted to Doug for his substantial efforts in establishing this franchise’s solid foundation and winning tradition,” said Leipold. “The positive impact of Doug’s service will be felt for many years to come. We wish Doug the very best.”

The search for a new General Manager will begin immediately. The first order of business for the incoming General Manager will be to select the Team’s next Head Coach.

When Craig Leipold goes shopping for a general manager, is current Nashville Predators GM David Poile a potential target? Leipold hired Poile to launch the Predators, and together they built up a Stanley Cup contender in the 2005-6 season, which ultimately got dismantled when they lost in the first round of the playoffs and Leipold opted to sell the team.

So, in a nightmare scenario for Preds fans, might Leipold make Poile an offer he can't refuse, a chance to work in a hockey-mad market, with the ability to spend to the salary cap if he cares to?

One aspect of Poile's situation that I recall (but can't find a link to) was that after the ownership change, he went to year-to-year contracts with the Predators. I did receive word from someone who directly asked Poile about his status, and he indicated that he is signed with the team through next season.

Will that stop Leipold from making a run at Poile? Who knows. I'm sure most of the fans in Nashville are fine with the Wild taking Marek Zidlicky, but don't want the Wild even sniffing around our GM.

UPDATE: This afternoon the Predators reaffirmed the commitment between the team and David Poile, and clarified that part of the purchase agreement when Leipold sold the Predators stipulated that he wouldn't hire Poile away.

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