Shero joins Wild as senior adviser to general manager | Pro Hockey News

Ray Shero was named senior adviser to Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin on Wednesday.

The 58-year-old was GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins when Guerin won the Stanley Cup as a player in 2009, and the Penguins reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his eight seasons (2006-14).

Shero was GM of the New Jersey Devils from 2015-20; in 2017-18 they reached the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

The Wild (35-16-5) were third in the Honda West Division, improving their points percentage (.670) from last season (.558) and 2018-19 (.506). They lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in seven games in the Stanley Cup First Round and have not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since 2015.

Shero joins a front office looking to re-sign forwards Kirill Kaprizov, Kevin Fiala and Joel Eriksson Ek, who each can become a restricted free agent July 28. Kaprizov is a finalist for the Calder Trophy voted as NHL rookie of the year after leading first-year players in goals (27), points (51), power-play goals (eight) and shots on goal (157) in 55 games. The 24-year-old was second in even-strength points (38) and power-play points (13), and was tied for third in plus/minus rating (plus-10).

“We love Kirill, I don’t think there’s any secret there, and what he’s brought to our team,” Guerin said June 3. “We will do what we can to get a fair deal.

“We’d prefer a longer deal. There’s two sides to the coin. You have to be open-minded. Like I said, it’s a process, so there’s some going back and forth and things like that.”

Fiala was second on the Wild behind Kaprizov in goals (20) and points (40) in 50 games. The 24-year-old scored two points (one goal, one assist) in seven playoff games.

Eriksson Ek scored an NHL career-high 19 goals and 30 points in 56 games. The 24-year-old scored three points (two goals, one assist) in seven playoff games.

“We see those guys being here long-term,” Guerin said. “They’re part of the foundation of this organization and our team. You could see it on the ice that they’re — whether they like it or not, I know they’re young players — but they’re leaders on our team. And they provided us with a lot on both sides of the puck. So, yeah, they’re a priority.”

Zach Parise, a 36-year-old forward, has four seasons left on a 13-year, $98 million contract ($7.54 million average annual value) he signed with Minnesota on July 4, 2012. He said he will speak with Guerin and Wild coach Dean Evason during the offseason.

“You never sign a deal and not fully intend on seeing it through,” Parise said. “I understand things change, but from my standpoint, I’ve always enjoyed playing here.”
Image courtesy of NHL.com