Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Dane Mizutani: Wild GM Bill Guerin Doesn’t Regret Buying Zach Parris-Ryan Suter, And Shouldn’t

For the next few seasons, Wilde is going to be living in salary-cap hell. He ensured that final season by paying Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to go.

More specifically, General Manager Bill Guerin made sure of it by daring to take such a big step.

Although he understood the financial implications of the buyouts – $12.74 million in dead-cap money in 2022-23, $14.74 million in dead caps in 2023-24 and $14.74 million in dead caps in 2024-25 – Guerin believes Was that it was the only way. Wilde was the one to leapfrog for a chance to be a Stanley Cup contender.

The status quo was not working. Something needs to change.

With a fresh start this season, Wilde finished the regular season with an impressive 53–22–7 record and a franchise-record 113 points and lost to the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs.

Q: Was the purchase worth it? Answer: Absolutely.

While it may be difficult to see progress after another early exit in the playoffs, Wilde is in a better place this off-season.

It finally looks like this group is building up to something bigger, not just scratching and clawing to stay on the periphery of the playoff picture.

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With captain Jared Spurgeon in charge, and alternate captains Marcus Foligno and Matt Dumba leading with him, Wilde felt different and different on the ice this season.

It really felt like a team rather than a group of individuals working together.

“This is the first season (since I’ve been here) that management, coaches and players alike were able to do things exactly the way we wanted them to,” Guerin said. “We took such a huge step in the right direction in our mind, and it gives me great hope for what’s to come.”

It doesn’t take talent to read between the lines of that response. Although he never called him by name, Guerin was talking about Paris and Sutter was no longer around.

They left and the culture got better. Its as simple as that.

As much credit as Paris and Sutter deserves for helping the franchise return to relevance—Wild missed the playoffs only once during his nearly decade-long stint at the Twin Cities—they were also at the epicenter of a locker room that Rarely was it the same page.

It’s no coincidence that Spurgeon, Foligno and Dumba go out of their way to talk about inclusion inside locker rooms these days.

It’s no coincidence that coach Dean Evans constantly mentions how much his players “love” each other.

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It’s no coincidence that Guerin hasn’t regretted buying for Nanosecond, despite the financial implications.

“I’ll do it again,” Guerin said. “We knew exactly what situation we were putting ourselves in. We’re going to deal with it. It’s not something where we go into the office like, ‘Oh my god, we have to deal with this.’ No, it is. We knew what we were doing.”

Now, there’s no doubt that the buyout will make things more difficult on Wild in the short term. They most likely won’t be able to tolerate star winger Kevin Fiala this off-season because of the Dead Cap, and moreover, Guerin will have to do something final to fill up his roster.

But Guerin is confident that Wilde will be as competitive next season because of the culture he has.

“We’ve taken some steps over the past few seasons to mold things,” Guerin said. “We wanted to create something that was special without any constraints.”

Those obstacles are gone. Now Wilde needs to keep moving in the right direction. They can no longer blame Paris and Sutter for their shortcomings.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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