Botterill: Guerin ‘well-prepared’ to be Wild GM


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Bill Guerin. -- Matt Sunday / DKPS

Bill Guerin is starting down a path Jason Botterill began to travel just over two years ago.

That's why Botterill, who left the Penguins' front office to take over as general manager in Buffalo in the spring of 2017, is so familiar with the challenges that Guerin, who took over as GM in Minnesota last week, will face with the Wild.

Why he recognizes how the demands of his new job will differ from those Guerin experienced as an assistant GM with the Penguins. Especially the part in which Guerin now will have to make decisions, rather than simply helping to shape them.

Nonetheless, Botterill said today that he expects Guerin to do well in Minnesota, at least in part because of the training he received with the Penguins.

"For the most part, he'll be very well-prepared," Botterill said. "That's what I would expect, after working under both Ray Shero and Jim Rutherford, the experiences they gave you and the responsibilities they gave you. When you move into the big chair, there's going to be a lot more things going at him, just the organization of everything. But there won't be a lot of things that Billy hasn't seen or been a part of before, because Jim and Ray did a great job of giving people the responsibility for things and allowing them to do those things.

"But also having a very collaborative model, of being involved in a lot of important decisions. I don't think there will be a lot for him that will be surprising. It's just very different that he'll have to be organizing it all, that instead of giving recommendations, you have to make the final decision."

Wild owner Craig Leopold chose Guerin to replace Paul Fenton, who was fired after little more than a year as GM. Much as Botterill had been a few years earlier, Guerin was high on most people's lists of candidates capable of taking over an NHL operation.

"His name has come up for a few different positions, so it doesn't surprise me at all that he's now taken the next step," Botterill said. "You just look at his experience in Pittsburgh, working in player development and then being part of a group that's certainly in a win-now mindset on how to tweak their team each year to make a run at the Stanley Cup. Having experience in both of those areas makes him very marketable, as an NHL executive."

He added that Guerin's personality and outgoing nature will be assets as a GM.

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