Guerin Wants Both Goalies Back; Fiala Good as Gone
Bill Guerin is must-see TV anytime he steps in front of a microphone and Tuesday morning was no different. After Minnesota Wild players gave their season-ending interviews with media on Monday, it was the GM and head coach’s turn today.
After answering questions about their playoff loss to St. Louis and the disappointment that followed, the conversation turned to the team’s future. Are the Wild trying to bring back both Marc-Andre Fleury and Cam Talbot? Yes. Jake Middleton, Matt Dumba? Yes.
And what about Kevin Fiala? Well… Bill Guerin conveyed more uncertainty when asked about the star winger.
-Guerin said he will try to re-sign Marc-Andre Fleury and that doesn't affect Cam Talbot. "There's no controversy. There's no drama," Guerin said. "We like both goalies. We like both people. We want them both back, and we think we can be successful with both of them."— Sarah McLellan (@sarah__mclellan) May 17, 2022
Guerin said there’s “uncertainty” with Kevin Fiala. “We’d love to have Kevin back. I don’t know if it’s going to be possible. I’m uncertain. I am. We can do anything, but at what cost?”— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) May 17, 2022
Different Players, Different Answers
We know about the salary cap squeeze the Minnesota Wild are forced to work around over the next three seasons, given the ridiculous price they had to pay to buy out Zach Parise and Ryan Suter’s contracts. Because of that, roster decisions this offseason were always going to be difficult.
But Bill Guerin answered the direct question, regarding Fiala’s future, much differently than he answered questions about Fleury, Talbot, Middleton or Dumba; all of which aren’t guaranteed to return (for the same reasons as Fiala). And there’s no upside in Guerin underselling the Wild’s determination to sign Fiala.
Overselling would make more sense. Trying to convince other teams that you are fighting to re-sign Fiala could, in theory, raise his potential asking price. But what we saw from Guerin today is derived from honesty. He’s just admitting what we already know.
Letting Kevin Fiala walk is the easiest and most logical route to cap compliance for the 2022-23 Minnesota Wild. This is just Bill Guerin admitting what is likely inevitable, just like Fiala did himself on Monday.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan