Chuck Fletcher Out In Minnesota

On Monday morning the Minnesota Wild announced the organization will not renew the contract of Executive Vice President and General Manager Chuck Fletcher.

Fletcher had been the GM in Minnesota for nine years, but another first round playoff exit appears to have sealed his fate. The Wild has been eliminated in the first round six times during their last eight postseason appearances.

34 thoughts on “Chuck Fletcher Out In Minnesota

  1. Fletcher went as far as he could in Minnesota with the hard working, defensively sound, low risk approach that made them tough and frustrating to play against over the years but they always lacked that high end offensive potential.

    The twin free agent signings of Zac Parise and Ryan Suter was actually a shock to the hockey world in the 2012 offseason, as they were the two top unrestricted free agents on the market. They signed them to twin 13 year $98 million contracts. Think about that….they have SEVEN more years to go! And they are both 33 years old right now! Ouch!

    That was their big chance to take a step forward and compete with the big boys. However, Patrick Kane (and Bryan Bickell actually) pretty much destroyed them in the playoffs in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

    Nothing illustrated this more that Kane’s game and series winning OT backhander goal he roofed from an impossibly tight angle against Minnesota goalie Ilya Bryzgalov in the 2014 playoffs. Youtube this if you’ve never seen it. It’s the kind of series winning play that Minnesota never had anyone with the talent to come close to pulling off.

  2. Suter and Parise have been loaded with injuries over the last couple of years. It really doesn’t help them that they have one of the WORST coaches in the NHL.

    We’ll see if a new GM brings in a new coach.

  3. That seemed like quite the coup when they signed Parise and Suter but they could never get over the hump against other Central Division teams in the playoffs.

    Parise missing 88 games over 6 seasons with the Wild and those injuries along with the natural tail off due to aging is a big factor.

  4. The Suter & Parise deals were poor the day they were signed not sure when these GMs will learn it’s not a good idea to sign long term deals to guys. The bigger red flag for Fletcher has to be his player development. The Wild had one of the better rated minor league and it hasn’t panned out, not surprised he isn’t coming back.

  5. Remember when Chicago tried to get Parise?
    He’s a really good player but im glad Minnesota won out.

    Fletcher getting Hanzal last year was the pivotal point last year. He wrecked the chemistry of the team and the owner spoke up aboot it last summer.

    Boudreau may now get one more chance.

    Go ‘Hogs!

  6. That’s right. Go Hogs! Hey idiot Chicago sportscasters, stop calling the Wolves our home team. Unless you like Vegas more than the Blackhawks.

  7. Minnesota’s players pretty much quit on Mike Yeo. He gets the axe and Torchetti gets the reins and they do well. Torchetti doesn’t seem to have even been in mix for the head coach job and Boudreau comes away with it.

    Yeo goes to St. Louis in that weird deal where he’s assistant head coach to Hitchcock. Hitchcock is gone and Yeo takes over. The Blues don’t even make the playoffs as they choke in the second half.

    In the aftermath, both teams are not in the greatest of shape. Both have been hurt by injuries but even with the Wild making the playoffs both teams have regressed. They’re tied to each other in their respective declines.

  8. Nice photo of Suter & Parisie; they look like babies there, they haven’t aged well whatsoever. I’ll say this for Kane & Toews (Seabrook &Keith as well), they look a lot better (and two more Cups to boot) than those two guys.

    Dunlop, Boudreau needs to stay away (cold turkey) from the buffet & steakhouses. The same can be said about a lot of coaches. Laviolette has gained a gazillion lbs. the last few years; Hitchcock was gaining lbs. as often as Q hits his local equine wagering parlor. I will give Q tons of credit, he keeps in good shape, he looks slim and fit, not eating his worries away like these other Buffet Brothers.

  9. This my friends is what teams who want to move forward do with incompetent G.M`s
    Our little Stan should have been cut ,.,.Q as well ,.,.but the powers that be lack the balls and insight to pull the trigger .

  10. Yes the more turmoil that Minny goes through it helps the Hawks in the division.

    I wouldn’t look to them as an example of executives with balls letting go the GM and coach as a good thing. Whenever that happens, you essentially set your organization back at least a few years because the prospects, drafting, scouting has all occurred to support a specific playing style and team concept the GM and coach have. When you hit reset on that, that whole mixture changes and you essentially start from scratch.

    So this helps the Hawks. Believe me if Q was let go they would be all over him trying to get him as coach. Not so sure they’d be going after Stan though…

  11. Should be an interesting offseason for the wild. I would expect them to entertain trading some players off for draft picks. Staal,Zucker and maybe spurgeon.

  12. What playing style is Chicago shooting for Mike ? What system is throwing your line up into a blender every night ? What team concept is it to have 4 or 5 D men who are not qualified to be in the n.h.l. ? What team in the n.h.l. leaves the goalie position so poorly covered when your number 1 goes down . I think we have more of a concoction than a mixture here Mike ,see a mixture is like a recipe ,you assemble ingredients ,mix them ,follow instruction and out comes something yummy and good , a concoction on the other hand are ingredients randomly thrown together and out comes ,.,.,well need i say more .

  13. The playing style the hawks have installed is the same as it was in 2013. Puck possession, fast pace, moving as a group of 5 up to the attack transition game. Unfortunately, they no longer have the pieces in place to play that way. They lack probably two defensmen and one center to be able to pull that off.

    Let me just say how much it sucks the Hawks have no 2nd round pick this year. At the top of the round that will be a damn good player going to Montreal, for giving us Fleishmann and Weise, AND we gave them Danault to boot! Should have been the player or the pick, not both!

  14. Very good posts by Hawktalk. I have been saying for years to watch out for Stan’s bad drafting, trading, and signings. This has now come home to roost. Stan had eight years to draft a young stud goalie as an eventual starter. Our D is in the worst state in more than ten years. I do disagree about Q. With all of the roster turmoil handed to him, would give him another year to see if he can sort this out.

    As Mike states, the Fleishmann and Weise rentals came at a very stiff price. You can’t keep renting so many players in a short time (Vermette and Ladd also) and expect to re-stock for the future at the same time. The Hawks may be out in the wilderness for a while.

  15. Original-yes some of them hurt for sure-but their thinking was tied into ‘One Goal’ and a 4th Cup (one last Cup with the main pieces vs. re-stocking after the 3rd, which if we are honest wouldn’t have gone over well)–you can’t have both if your all in and now the piper in being paid.
    The not having a goalie to cover for Crow is a mistake in my opinion–the drafting is debatable and we are short of legitimate depth in key areas—but it’s happening for a reason.

    The best part of a decade ever in Hawks history-is over. But glad to have witnessed it and hope for a renewal at some point.

  16. Looking around at the other playoff teams, it seems the Hawks WILL be in the wilderness for quite a while unless something drastic is done to inject the roster with more high end (Defense) and mid range (forwards, backup goalie) talent.

    There are too many needs to take care of them all in one year.

    Backup Goalie (and maybe starter)
    Center position
    -do we have a number 1? Can Toews be that again, or is he a 20 goal, 50 point guy now?
    -Is Schmaltz a center or a wing? 40% face offs won’t cut it, or his weak play in the dzone. Needs to get stronger. If moved to wing, need a 2nd line center.
    -Is Anisimov too slow to be a center, or traded? If so, need a 3rd line center.
    Defense
    -Keith needs a legit top pairing partner
    -Need at least one additional top 4 dman
    Wing
    -Who are our top 2 line wingers besides Kane and Dcat? Saad is another, but more because he makes $6 million than because of his play this past year.
    -Can we construct a legit 3rd line that can score? Because all the successful playoff teams have one.

    I think the Hawks have a lot of holes and going into a deep draft with no 2nd round pick won’t help a whole lot unfortunately. If some brave trades can be made, and we get lucky in the draft…..and by brave trades I don’t mean the Hammer trade or the Panarin trade as examples. Problem is probably not many teams want many of our players looking at their performance vs salary.

  17. Does anyone on this board have confidence in the gm of this team, to do the right things to get back on track. if past performance is any indication were on a slow boat to china with bowman. god i wish we had made cheveldayoff gm now hes in the peg cooking up a cup.

  18. Chevy followed the Chicago model, he was a Chicago guy and a part of our management team before going to Winnipeg. To be fair, no one fires their GM after winning a Cup to hire one of his assistants. This is how it works, teams cherry pick from you when you win to see if the talent you have can work for them.

    Chevy followed the Chicago model. Draft and develop well, take your lumps at the NHL level, don’t shortcut the process, and in the end you have a tier of talent that all comes to the NHL together and learns to win together. At the same time he took advantage of other teams bad cap situations (Chi) to pluck talent that is not normally available (Byfuglien, Ladd) at bargin basement prices.

    Not all their picks were top ten picks yet they have some really fine players they found in the draft.

  19. Bowman likely be heading to Denmark next week for worlds and we could see a couple of signings. Jokiharju after a good performance in Sweden tournament he will continue to try to build his case for a roster spot in the fall. Kahun will be there and maybe more possible bottom 6 forward help. Goaltending depth could be addressed too and not being cash strapped this time he doesn’t have to look for just red light specials. Maybe he has a legitimate top 4 dman he can sign in sights. Won’t answer all questions but a first look at who a couple of them could be.

  20. The Hawks track record with getting UFAs from Europe and college signed is outstanding. These UFAs often have loads of teams trying to sign them, and the percentage the Hawks get to ink a contract is amazingly high, Panarin being maybe the best example of that.

    Having said that, if there is a top talent like a Panarin type, then there will be 31 teams trying to sign him. So it is another avenue to get talent into your system but far from a guarantee.

    Which is why again not having a 2nd round pick when we have a top 10 pick really, really irks me. The Danault and a 2nd trade to Montreal was so one-sided it was practice for gifting Panarin to the Blue Jackets for Saad.

  21. HEREISMIKE completely agree in hindsight Danault and a 2nd rounder was too much. If Weise had worked out the way they wanted him to though and helped provide another long playoff run would we view it different. Nashville’s 1st pick which will be last 5 1st rounder helps but both picks would be better. Kempnys will be a low 3rd rounder basically just own 3rd after 2 4ths in 1st round in first 3 rounds is not really great in this draft.

  22. Schmaltz having a 40% in faceoffs has learned to perfrct the takeaway to offset that. His 86 takeaways were 3rd in the league and Toews with 53, Kane 47 and Saad 45 were the only other Blackhawks withmore than 40. His 2.8 takeaway ratio was best of the top 1o takeaway league leaders. So not worried about his ability to be a top center or that his fo numbers will improve each year as that is not uncommon.

  23. I think some of the playoff matches we’ve just seen have highlighted how there is not a great deal of depth in the entire league when it comes to goaltending. For instance in the Boston – Toronto game last night there were a combination of tremendous saves and some soft goals by both teams. So if the front line guys like Rask and Andersen are examples of not shutting things down (granted, it is playoff action against talented scoring offenses) there can’t be a ton of backup NHL quality goaltenders available. Stan has his work cut out for him there.

    And in saying that, I think it poses the question that the answers to the blue line per Tab’s previous thread become all the more important.

  24. To add to that Big Indian-like Pittsburg last year, the Leafs don’t have a deep, well known D and pushed the Bruins to 7. It’s the right kind of guys, that can move the puck, hold their own physically and be part of a good team concept.
    Now somewhere in the line up you need a stud or two. Someone to take over a game when necessary.
    (And a good goalie)

  25. Pastrnak kid… great find/draft for Boston…

    kid looks “Kane” like in his ability to be patient… and hold on to puck – to snipe

    Wouldn’t mind if SB/Hawks – go “off the board” late 1st pick or in other rounds and Draft and take chances on some of these Czech U-18’s — putting up really good numbers in U-18 tourney now…

    Find the next Hossa/Pastrnak- Please!!!

  26. I know Schmaltz has had a great year for the takeaways….but take his whole game and he still is not good defensively. He has speed, and he uses it to catch people from behind and take the puck, and he is good at it, …but that is the extent of his defensive proficiency. He can’t win one on one battles down low. When the puck is in our zone deep, it is the center’s job to act as a 3rd defenseman and take the 3rd forward who is deep one on one. He doesn’t win the puck in those situations. Hardly ever. And we are in a division with plenty of centers and wingers with size, see Winnipeg and Nashville.

    He’s not a bad player don’t get me wrong, his speed is elite……but he, like Teuvo a few years ago, needs to add size and strength to become a more effective player, and he is so far behind the NHL curve there we won’t see it for about 3 years yet assuming he works hard enough on it.

    This Saturday is the Draft Lottery!

  27. Hereismike… agreed on Schmaltz…

    Lots to like… lots of skill

    But watching these PO’s… Jets, Preds, B’s, Vegas… these teams/guys have plenty of size and snarl/compete… and I don’t mean just Physical/hitting guys… but guys that compete on boards and PAY the Price– take hits to make plays…

    Hawks/Schmaltz- can still be effective– but need to surround him with the next Ladd/Frolik type guys- Mix of Moxy/skill/Compete – to make Schmaltz/TT types to “Look” better at getting (and keeping out of D zone) where – TT/Schmaltz guys can’t win battles…

    Of Course- A real D with #1’s and #2, #3’s… would also- be a major factor– of NOT getting stuck/hemmed in the D zone too often– and moving the puck in O direction

  28. The Hawks have a 6.5 percent chance to win the lottery and draft Dahlin first overall.

    That doesn’t seem too likely, but they have a 20 percent chance to end up in the top 3. That would be a huge win for the organization, and while it wouldn’t do much for the blue line depth, drafting in the top 3 would allow them to add a blue chip forward to their depth chart that would have a decent chance of making the team next season. After Dahlin the next 3 top guys are all wingers.

  29. Agree more support from the forwards will be key in an improved defence. Oilers and Leafs defence probably looked worse due to that this year although both have issues also. Tampa is very small upfront, even smaller than Blackhawks, especially at center and are successful. They have good size and mobility on the back end though. Hopefully the Blackhawks back end next year will add some of that.

  30. The Devils and Flyers GMs have been given the green light to spend spend spend this summer; of course trade could be included. Vegas also should have some cap room. Blackhawks will may have a tough time getting any free agent.

  31. Wall wouldn’t mind seeing Saad and Hino with Schmaltz, they had best set of possession numbers of any Hawks wingers. Saad gets a bounce back on his shòoting % and he will be fine, alot believe Hino will have a breakout year and numbers support that theory. Schmaltz becomes a scoring threat when he doesn’t have Kane and tries to pass too much.

    Put Debrimcat with Toews and Kane. Highmore could be that speedy, gritty buzzsaw needed with Sikura and Anisimov who can give you 15+ goals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *