Since the Predators joined the NHL in 1998, Paul Fenton had been part of their front office, first as a director of player personnel and then as assistant GM. He became one of the most respected executives in the league. Through the years, he interviewed with a number of teams for GM vacancies while taking his name out of consideration for dozens more.
The right fit never arrived until an old friend came calling.
On Monday, Fenton, 58, was named the GM of the Wild, who are owned by Craig Leipold, the Predators' founding owner. Fenton replaces Chuck Fletcher, whose contract wasn't renewed after close to nine years as GM.