The Wild continues to evolve under new general manager Paul Fenton, with the team naming Tom Kurvers as assistant general manager Tuesday.
Kurvers, 55, will be Fenton's top assistant, which includes taking charge as GM of the American Hockey League's Iowa Wild and working with the organizations' pro and amateur staffs. He lives in Brainerd and has been in the scouting area of the Wild press box for many home games over the past years.
“He’s going to be very valuable,” Fenton said. “I think he adds to the mix we have here.”
Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Brent Flahr remains with the team, as do assistant GMs Andrew Brunette and Shep Harder, but Fenton is in the process of clarifying everyone’s responsibilities.
Flahr was the right-hand man to former GM Chuck Fletcher.
Earlier this offseason, the Wild added Fenton's longtime mentor Jack Ferreira as a senior advisor and Dean Evason was hired as an assistant coach after the team decided not to bring back John Anderson.
“What I want to do is have some definition to be able to make sure that we have experts in every area is how I’d tend to describe it,” Fenton said. “If we can get to that point where we’re all comfortable having contributions to everything that we do, then it’ll be a very good staff.”
Kurvers spent the previous 10 seasons with the Lightning, serving as a senior advisor to the GM the past seven. He also worked as an assistant GM from 2008 to 2011 and oversaw the Lightning's hockey operations on an interim basis from April through May in 2010.
Before joining the Lightning, Kurvers was with the Coyotes for 11 seasons, a stint that included three seasons as director of player personnel.
As a player, Kurvers posted 421 points in 659 NHL games during 11 seasons with Montreal, Buffalo, New Jersey, Toronto, Vancouver, the New York Islanders and Anaheim. The defenseman won the 1986 Stanley Cup with the Canadiens after getting drafted by the team in the seventh round (145th overall) in 1981.
The former Bloomington Jefferson standout played at Minnesota Duluth for four seasons, where he was an All-American and set school records for career goals (43) and points (192) by a defenseman. Kurvers also captured the 1984 Hobey Baker Award.
He and Fenton have known each other for years; the two tried out for the 1984 Olympic team and played together for the Maple Leafs and internationally.
“We really have a good, professional relationship,” Fenton said. “Talking philosophy, hockey, what have you, we’ve always had a really good conversation that saw eye-to-eye on a lot of things. When he and I had talked over the years if either one of us got a job, we always talked about maybe we’d be able to work together. Fortunately, it’s worked out that way.”