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Bill Guerin has his hands full in Minnesota

August 21, 2019, 1:57 PM ET [81 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Bill Guerin is no longer affiliated with the Pittsburgh Penguins. For the past nine years he has been climbing the ladder in the organization culminating with being the Penguins Assistant General Manager and the Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins General Manager. He will now run the Minnesota Wild.

It isn't easy being a first time general manager in the NHL. You are usually taking over a less than ideal situation because the last guy screwed up enough to get the boot. The Wild gig is no exception. They are a mess. The Wild went for it the past number of years and came up woefully short. Unlike the Penguins they did not leave with anything tangibly satisfying. They are stuck in purgatory at the moment. Not good enough to contend and not bad enough for the owner to want a rebuild. Guerin is going to have to not only be good at his job, but lucky as well.

As far as the impact on the Penguins I don't think this is going to be something the organization cannot overcome. There is speculation that Guerin was one of the voices who wanted the Penguins to play "heavier". This of course has not worked out at all. The Penguins have become slower and less skilled, especially on the back end. After Guerin assumed the general manager duties in WB/S the team has been in decline. They had the fewest standings points (82) that they've had since 2001-02, their third year as a franchise.

According to Jim Rutherford it is likely the Penguins will promote from within. Jason Karmanos is the likely candidate for promotion. According to his bio on the Penguins website Karmanos was responsible for

"Spearheaded the revamping of the Penguins' use of hockey analytics to assist management in their decision-making process"

If Karmanos is given more responsibility and adheres to that mission statement the team is positioned to benefit. If the team is just throwing platitudes out there to appease people and make it seem like they want to take those things seriously then they are where they've been the past couple of years, misguided.

The Penguins biggest gaffes the past three offseasons could have been easily avoided with just a basic understanding of hockey statistics. Rutherford is ultimately to blame as the man at the top of the food chain making all final decisions. Time will tell how much influence Bill Guerin had on things the past few years. I'm guessing it wasn't overly positive.

From the article above

Guerin gained a reputation as a strong talent evaluator, a hard worker and a leader that can motivate co-workers. Guerin was in every trade conversation the past few years and somebody Rutherford relied upon for advice and analysis.

Thanks for reading!
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