What in the World is Happening Inside Minnesota Wild Front Office?

Photo Courtesy of the Minnesota Wild (@mnwild - X)

On Thursday, news broke that Minnesota Wild president of hockey operations, Bill Guerin, had been investigated by an independent party for allegations of verbal abuse against an employee.

The report came via Michael Russo (The Athletic), per usual, and it included the name of who filed the complaint against Guerin, Wild director of team operations and player relations, Andrew Heydt.

Russo confirmed via Twitter later that Billy was at Xcel Energy Center Thursday night watching the Wild beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 in a shootout. Andrew Heydt, it appears, was not.

Multiple simultaneous investigations into the Minnesota Wild front office at one time…?

But last night’s surprise report isn’t the weirdest recent investigation into the Wild’s front office. Just over 24 hours earlier, another Russo scoop informed the public that the Wild’s assistant general manager Chris O’Hearn had been dismissed, following a completely separate investigation.

Unlike the Heydt verbal abuse investigation, however, we have no idea what got Chris O’Hearn dismissed or what forced he and the Wild to ‘mutually agree to part ways’.

Why was Chris O’Hearn dismissed?

In a radio interview on KFAN Thursday morning, Russo noted that whatever did cost O’Hearn his job, he has not recently been acting like someone worried about being fired, even in the days and hours leading up to his exit. Chris traveled with the Wild on their road trip and showed no signs of anything being amiss.

“It was 100% sudden, 100% sudden. And I don’t think [Chris O’Hearn] sensed it coming because he was on [the last] four-game road trip. Bill Guerin was not and and Chris was around the team was jovial showed nothing wrong with accessible to us.

The game against Seattle, if I remember correctly, he was sitting in the press room having dinner at the table I was at and showed [no signs that anything] was amiss here. But I gotta be a little careful of the way that I discuss this because what I’ve reported today in The Athletic is really all that I’m able to share right now, until I continue to report things further and feel comfortable to report it.”

Michael Russo – KFAN Radio

Russo could only tap-dance around the details of O’Hearn’s dismissal, limited to cryptic hints that tried to push a more positive light on O’Hearn.

Then, a bit later in the day before news broke in the evening about the investigation into Bill Guerin’s alleged verbal abuse of Andrew Heydt, another local insider Darren Wolfson (KSTP, SKOR North) weighed in with information he had heard about O’Hearn’s situation, from his own sources.

He even attests that whatever it was that got O’Hearn fired, it wasn’t his fault. If that’s true… why was Chris the one who had to go? And whose fault was it? What in the hell was it that happened? Again, we just don’t have enough details to make sense of this ongoing story.

“The Wild are calling it a ‘mutual parting’, but there’s certainly way more to that story. Billy, who’s an open book, you know, as transparent an executive as we’ve had in town in a long time… is not responding to messages. So just… there’s some weird stuff going on right now.”

“My understanding is it’s not anything that Chris did wrong. And so… just very, very interesting, the timing of all this; middle of the season… mid-December, that the assistant general manager is now gone… who recently signed a new contract, by the way. Just… the whole thing, it’s just weird. There’s way more to that story, put it that way. Way, way more.”

Darren Wolfson – Mackey & Judd Show (SKOR North)

Two HR Investigations into Bill Guerin lead to two high-level staffers out of the organization?

All signs so far lend us to believe that the independent HR investigations into the Wild front office, which recently wrapped up, were both investigating something about the conduct of president of hockey ops, Bill Guerin.

If true, then surface-level evidence says two pretty high-level Wild employees were just fired due to the findings of two separate human resource investigations into the behavior of their boss, Bill Guerin? Yet, Guerin comes out of it unscathed?

I’m not looking to cast blame on Guerin, especially after two independent investigations seem to have found him not-guilty of any fireable offenses. I’m strictly trying to collect all public evidence out there so far, which then leads to assumptions because we do not have all the information.

Clearly, there are more details still to come. Hopefully, everything will make more sense, at that point.

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