Bill Guerin was hired as the new general manager of the Wild on Wednesday, and we’ll learn a lot more about him when he is introduced at an 11 a.m. Thursday news conference.
In the meantime, here are five things to know about the new Wild GM:
1: Before being hired by the Wild, Guerin was No. 2 in command with the Penguins behind general manager Jim Rutherford and also was in charge of Pittsburgh’s top minor league team. He held that role since 2014 and was a player development coach for three years before that.
2: Guerin, 48, is the fourth general manager in Wild history and the third to have played in the NHL (in addition to Paul Fenton and Doug Risebrough. Chuck Fletcher was the only GM who wasn’t an NHL player). Guerin had the most successful playing career of the Wild GMs. Guerin, a classic big forward, played 18 seasons in the NHL, scoring 429 career goals with eight different teams while winning Stanley Cups with the Devils in 1995 and Penguins in 2009. When he retired in 2010, he ranked No. 7 all-time among U.S.-born players with those 429 goals. In a 2003 ESPN profile, Stars general manager Doug Armstrong described Guerin like this: “Power winger. Score ya 30 or 40. Got a mean streak. Sticks up for his teammates on the ice. Good in the room. And come playoff time, makes ya harder to beat.”
3: Guerin was born in Massachusetts and played at Boston College. Guerin’s father was Irish and his mother, Ligia, Nicaraguan. Per a Masslive.com story in 2010: “His late father, Bill Guerin Sr., enjoyed watching his son play for the Bruins and was often quick to note he was the first player of Latin American heritage to make an impact in the NHL.”
4: The Penguins won Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017 while Guerin was assistant GM. It’s hard to say exactly what his style will be as the person in charge of Wild personnel decisions — will he, for example, embrace analytics? But as the search unfolded, former Star Tribune Vikings writer/current Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hockey writer Matt Vensel wrote, “The Wild are looking for a leader and a ‘hockey guy.’ Guerin fits that mold.”
5: Guerin does figure to be a commanding presence. Per a recent article by The Athletic’s Rob Rossi, this is what Penguins star Sidney Crosby — who knows Guerin as both a teammate and an executive — had to say about him: “He just came at me, chirping me, and I didn’t know what to think. At the time, I think I was, like, ‘Is this guy for real?’ But it didn’t take long before you learn that’s just him being himself. He gives it with the best of them. He takes it, too. … He doesn’t mind telling you anything. But that’s what makes him who he is. There’s nobody like Billy G.”