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  • The Wild Should Guarantee A Roster Spot For Danila Yurov


    Image courtesy of Eric Bolte-USA Today Sports
    Tony Abbott

    It's getting impossible to ignore Danila Yurov's dominance in the KHL. Thanks to various factors, they got Yurov, a top-10 talent in his draft class, with the 24th pick of the 2022 Draft. Checking in about 20 months later, Yurov might be a top-5 member of his class at this precise moment. Heck, maybe even better than that.

    Few members of the 2022 class are making an impact in the NHL this early on. Defenseman Pavel Mintyukov is something of a revelation for the Anaheim Ducks, with 19 points in 40 games. Meanwhile, just a bit east in the desert, Logan Cooley has 25 points in 48 games for the Arizona Coyotes. Everyone else is currently more accomplished in other leagues than in the NHL.

    As for Yurov, he might be shining the brightest in arguably the second-best league in the world. Yurov entered Tuesday's action sitting in the top 20 in the KHL in goals (21) and points (45). If that kind of production sounds absurd for a 20-year-old, that's because it is.

    Here's the list of 20-year-old KHL players with as many or more points per game as Yurov has this season:

    Vladimir Tarasenko, 2011-12: 0.87 PPG
    Kirill Kaprizov 2017-18: 0.87 PPG
    Evgeny Kuznetsov, 2012-13: 0.86 PPG
    Danila Yurov, 2023-24: 0.83 PPG

    When you're head-and-shoulders above someone like Artemi Panarin at age 20 (0.62 PPG in 2011-12), you're cooking. When you're a more prolific goal-scorer than Kuznetsov and Kaprizov at that age? Let's go.

    And Yurov might leave Metallurg Magnitogorsk next season. While the Wild are reportedly fine with their star prospect developing another season in the KHL, his Russian squad doesn't seem to want to pay him like a player who's leading his team in goals and points.

    If Metallurg lowballs Yurov, what would stop him from jumping to North America? The sticking point would likely be their strong preference for starting their top prospects in the AHL, making them work their way up to the big show. 

    The Wild have done this at nearly every turn under Bill Guerin, even when it didn't make sense. When Matt Boldy signed out of Boston College in Spring 2021, burning a year of his Entry-Level Contract no matter what, Guerin refused to give his star prospect a sniff at the lineup. That came even after Boldy torched the AHL for six goals and 18 points in 14 games.

    Infamously, the same thing happened with Marco Rossi over the past two seasons. Rossi was nearly a point-per-game center for the Iowa Wild, whose parent club desperately needed help at his position. Guerin summed up his philosophy during this ordeal. "He's got to go through the process," Guerin told The Athletic's Michael Russo and Joe Smith in December 2022. "You really have to work for it. It's not just given to you. You really have to earn it."

    Brock Faber has been the only exception to this rule. In fairness, Boldy was ready for primetime the second he signed out of the University of Minnesota last season. Still, wasn't Boldy also at that point two years before? Perhaps Guerin's philosophy is evolving.

    But if he remains dogmatic in his "earn it" philosophy, why would that stop Yurov from coming over? If he plays in the NHL, Yurov would make more than double the $330K that is apparently on the table for him to stay in Russia. The catch is that he has to be in the NHL to make that money. If he's "earning it" in Des Moines, one of the "its" he'll be earning is a salary of around $70K, around 20% of what he'd make in the KHL.

    To make the move to America make sense financially for Yurov, the Wild would have to guarantee him a spot on the NHL roster (or at least have an agreement to get loaned back to Russia rather than waiting in Iowa). As a rule, the Wild don't do this.

    But this time, they should make an exception. Why? Because Yurov is exceptional.

    Excelling in the KHL to this degree at such a young age probably has enough proof that Yurov can play in the NHL next year. But we don't have to blindly guess what a 21-year-old Yurov might do with a roster spot. In Tarasenko and Kuznetsov's cases, we know what they did as NHL players at age-21.

    Tarasenko made his debut in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. The St. Louis Blues eased him into a role, playing him only 13 minutes and 25 seconds a night. He scored nine goals and 19 points in 38 games and was third among regular Blues forwards in points per hour at 5-on-5. Kuznetsov got a shorter stint a year later, playing 17 games. But he also scored about a half-point per game, collecting nine, including three goals.

    Assuming that's the ballpark Yurov would be in, let's do a quick check of the Wild forwards scoring a half-point per game or more. The list is Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Boldy, Marco Rossi, and Ryan Hartman. It feels like there's more than enough room to add another high-upside scorer to the mix. Why wouldn't the Wild sign up for that next season?

    Especially when the most important thing for young Russian players is to get them over. Yurov was available to the Wild in the first place because teams didn't think he'd be able to come to North America faster than other first-round prospects. Not only is this wrong, but Metallurg is practically gift-wrapping the opportunity to get a star-caliber prospect to the Wild at age 21.

    It looks like all Minnesota has to do to take advantage is to guarantee a roster spot for Yurov. Maybe it's not the forward equivalent of Faber's do-it-all, minute-munching role. Maybe Yurov starts out playing a minimal amount of 5-on-5 time, but being an ace up John Hynes' sleeve on the power play. Isn't that a no-brainer, even if just to make absolutely sure he doesn't delay his arrival past next year?

    But let's take this a step further. Imagine Chuck Fletcher having an opportunity to import a 21-year-old Kirill Kaprizov onto his roster in 2018-19. Fletcher could have added him to the mix before the old Wild core fell apart. Imagine that all Fletcher has to do is guarantee him a roster spot... but he refuses to.

    The Wild fired after the 2018-19 season. Suppose this imaginary scenario were true and got out. Forget getting fired; he may never have gotten another GM opportunity.

    Who cares about dogma? Successfully navigating the NHL requires flexibility. Guerin and the Wild showed that flexibility with Faber, and it's paid off beyond everyone's wildest dreams. With Minnesota in the final year of their $15 million salary cap disadvantage, they need all the help they can get. Yurov represents a potential life preserver they can have when they need it the most. Guarantee him a spot on the boat and go from there.

    Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

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    The fact that we’re uncertain whether this kid would get a shot over scrub forwards we have filling out this lineup mean Geurin needs to be fired.

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    I'm pretty sure it's in the cards already.  I don't know what exactly needs to be done but financially $330K is easy to beat, right?  It's a no brainer actually.  

    Also, bring in KK97's input on the decision as I'm sure they are doing with all the Russians.

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    I am not a fan of guaranteeing someone a roster position. I believe in Guerin's "got to earn it" philosophy. However, in the past few years, the "earn the spot" I think has not been a fair battle. That was under the Evason regime. Hynes' training camp may be completely different with more unbiased eyes on everyone.

    I do, however, believe that Yurov has got to see opportunity over here to earn that spot. And, that would probably have to be a signal that Guerin sends prior to March 8th. If there are positions to claim, I think he can do it, but getting shut out of the process and kept at the 2nd units in training camp are just not going to work. 

    I think we could see far more transition if it's actually a free for all competition for roster spots. We've got current guys who could get buried in the A to free up opportunity. One thing I would have to suggest is that extra eyes are on Yurov right now. If I were Guerin, I'd try to take a trip over there and watch him in person (unless there are travel restrictions and he can't). 

    Now, we do have an ambassador here already who can keep in touch with Yurov and help get him here. Kaprizov felt like we weren't that interested in him when he resigned. Part of that may have been not really knowing how to proceed with Russian players. Guerin needs to be in contact with his agent and get that ELC signed. 

    I'd like to have Yurov here next season. I think he, Kaprizov, and Dino would make for a nice Russian trio here. Kaprizov's comments when he came over to Guerin were that he didn't want a Russian because he was Russian, but he wanted a Russian if he could help us win. Both those guys can help us win! 

    And, it should be noted that the A requirement that the college kids and jrs. prospects have been given does not necessarily apply to SHL and K players as they're playing in similarly skilled leagues. They come in with a bit more professional experience, and I believe that is taken into consideration. 

    So, where do we play Yurov? Is he a wing here to start with, or a center? Could a Dino/Yurov/Kaprizov line work? There's a lot of tinkering that could happen, and Dino looks like he'll get 1st opportunity. 

    I've got to point this out, though:

    Quote

    Infamously, the same thing happened with Marco Rossi over the past two seasons. Rossi was nearly a point-per-game center for the Iowa Wild, whose parent club desperately needed help at his position. Guerin summed up his philosophy during this ordeal. "He's got to go through the process," Guerin told The Athletic's Michael Russo and Joe Smith in December 2022. "You really have to work for it. It's not just given to you. You really have to earn it."

    While we have differing opinions on this process, it is very apparent to me that Rossi was not ready to compete in the N prior to this year. The only reason he is successful this year had to do with this summer's training of adding strength/weight. 

    What we have now is a player much stronger on his skates, much harder to knock off the puck, and so much more explosion to his game. PPG player in the A doesn't really matter, he wasn't going to compete at his position in the 170s, he was simply too small. He had to put on the weight, get some skating lessons and work hard this offseason. He needs another offseason like this past one too, for the same purposes to get to the #1C he should be. 

    My conclusion is that Guerin made the right move to send Rossi down last season. Had he not done so, I doubt Rossi puts on the strength/weight in the offseason. He was drafted at 185 so he had lost considerable strength/weight through the myocarditis scare. He should be able to add another 10 lbs. and not be slowed down by it. That would make him a very hard player to play against even though he's short. I still don't think we've seen him reach his potential with his edge work and being able to dart in and out of lanes. That tight edge work will throw off larger player's leverage and balance and make him truly very effective.

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    29 minutes ago, Will D. Ness said:

    I'm pretty sure it's in the cards already.  I don't know what exactly needs to be done but financially $330K is easy to beat, right?  It's a no brainer actually.  

    Also, bring in KK97's input on the decision as I'm sure they are doing with all the Russians.

    I think the ELC contract is pretty standard and you can't boost a player's minor league salary to match the $330k. However, could a signing bonus or other bonus make up that difference? I would think a signing bonus would get paid regardless of if you're playing in the N or A. 

    We have typically not had to do that with our prospects as we don't typically draft high enough for that to be a thing, but in this case, perhaps one is warranted? Mr. Cheatachu, do you have input in that kind of structure?

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    Rossi clearly wasn't ready last year, so I don't know why some people keep banging the drum that "Oh, he was shortchanged and wasn't allowed to succeed."  A year did him a world of good, and now he's neck and neck with some of the best rookies out there.  It wasn't some weird fluke of roster position and pipe dreams.  He couldn't compete even with sheltered fourth line minutes.

    Who knows.  Maybe Yurov scores 50 goals his first season with Kaprizov.  Maybe he does jack shit.  If he gets a spot, he gets an opportunity to seize it.  That's all the Wild can really do.  If he starts with the Iowa Wild, no big deal.  However, he'd have to be pretty poor to not beat out some of the people they've called up this year.

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    Looking at our current roster, where we are playing career AHL's on a regular basis and giving third line mins to Freddy G we should absolutely give Yurov a spot. Especially if it gets him over here before they can attempt to sign him to another longer contract. 

    I hear you MnFan. My issue  is we don't hold our vets to the same standard we look for from our prospects and it has ended up in us overpaying aging vets and giving them guaranteed spots on the roster. There should be no parity in the evaluations and there has been a continuous double standard with BG. If we weren't so willing to give NMC/NTC's to bottom six players maybe we wouldn't see the clear lack of effort. If Johansson, Gaudreau, Merrill or Goli had been a prospect they would have been buried in the A long ago but they get a pass for being over 30 for some reason. 

    I have zero issues with guys earning spots and having a competitive environment but we don't. The only ones needing to earn their spots are call ups who are sent back down for not putting points on the board well no weight is given to the 2 way presence they add. Hunt and Mermis have been a cut above Merrill and Goli all year. Hunt specifically is learning on the job yet looks less like a pylon than Merrill who we put back in damn near every game. 

    We need some more youth movement on this team as currently that is the only place we are seeing growth. Might as well use a dead end year to let these guys gain experience instead of letting the vets glide around developing nothing but injuries. Yurov is grading out in the KHL as a better player than well over half our team. Do what you can to get him over here in a wild sweater.

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    Also, why does Michkov compare to Wayne Gretzky?  Is it due to point totals or play style or something?  You would think Gretzky is the one guy you just, "Nah.  No one is like him, forget it."  For this sort of thing.

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    Doesn't seem necessary to guarantee a spot. He's been over here. He should have a pretty good idea if he can earn it and I imagine he's confident he can.

    Even if he spent half a season in the AHL, it seems highly unlikely he would be down there the whole season and he'd be 1 year closer to getting paid $5M+ per season, and it could be more than $10M/season at some point if he's the star he looks like he could develop into.

    $330K is a lot more than $82.5K(it has increased from $70K for a 2022 draft year) for 1 season, but getting 1 season closer to the huge payday should more than offset that, and he'd exceed $330K in earnings by being good enough to reach the NHL for even 1/3 of the season.

    ELC%20Minors%20Salary.png

    His development likely wouldn't be hindered by another year in the KHL, but he can accelerate a significant future earnings jump by getting starting on the ELC ASAP.

    You can pay $92.5K as a signing bonus on an ELC for a 2022 draft year player. He would make over $300K by playing even 1/3 of the year in the NHL, and would exceed $330K with the additional 2/3 of the $82.5K he could make in the AHL. Actually, he'd make over $330K with just 25 NHL games in that first season(not including the signing bonus).

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    48 minutes ago, TheGoosesAreLooses said:

    Looking at our current roster, where we are playing career AHL's on a regular basis and giving third line mins to Freddy G we should absolutely give Yurov a spot. Especially if it gets him over here before they can attempt to sign him to another longer contract. 

    I hear you MnFan. My issue  is we don't hold our vets to the same standard we look for from our prospects and it has ended up in us overpaying aging vets and giving them guaranteed spots on the roster. There should be no parity in the evaluations and there has been a continuous double standard with BG. If we weren't so willing to give NMC/NTC's to bottom six players maybe we wouldn't see the clear lack of effort. If Johansson, Gaudreau, Merrill or Goli had been a prospect they would have been buried in the A long ago but they get a pass for being over 30 for some reason. 

    I have zero issues with guys earning spots and having a competitive environment but we don't. The only ones needing to earn their spots are call ups who are sent back down for not putting points on the board well no weight is given to the 2 way presence they add. Hunt and Mermis have been a cut above Merrill and Goli all year. Hunt specifically is learning on the job yet looks less like a pylon than Merrill who we put back in damn near every game. 

    We need some more youth movement on this team as currently that is the only place we are seeing growth. Might as well use a dead end year to let these guys gain experience instead of letting the vets glide around developing nothing but injuries. Yurov is grading out in the KHL as a better player than well over half our team. Do what you can to get him over here in a wild sweater.

    All vets are pretty much guaranteed roster spots just because of 1-way contracts.  What it doesn't guarantee is ice time or places in the line-up.  This year we did not have the cap space when healthy, and now with random players missing games with others on LTIR, we have had to improvise a bit with who we have had up and who we could shuttle back down.  It's not just the cap, there is a limit to how many too.

    Next year will allow for more space if Guerin stays the course he's on as most of the pending UFAs probably aren't re-signed.  This makes space for Yurov if he is good enough to come in and take it like Faber was.  All signs point to that being the case, so there is no reason not to give him the opportunity if he wants it.

    Also, Merrill hasn't played much recently, so I have no clue what you are talking about.  I agree Hunt is better, but I also think the only reason Merrill was playing last night is because Brodin was out sick.  I would not be surprised to see him dealt at the TDL, or moved down to the AHL in the off-season.  The only reason he's likely still around is because we keep losing players to injury this season.  He's the crappiest kind of insurance you can have on a NHL roster - basically Jordie Benn all over again.  Picking up Chisholm (or whatever his name was) off waivers means Hunt is staying in Iowa for the remainder of the season unless there are big changes at the TDL.

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    Idk about promising him a spot, but odds are high that, if he's as good as those numbers suggest, he won't spend very long in the AHL before they call him up. 

    Matt Boldy was only down there for 10 games the year he got his final NHL call-up..

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    With all the buzz words surrounding the Wild organization the one I’d like to see more of is ATR. Attention to Retail. Bring in new top prospects asap and infuse some life into this group. Buy some excitement and put it on display at the Excel ENERGY Center. OCL worried about season ticket sales next year? DY is the Brinks Truck you’ve been waiting for.

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    It’s to funny that Bill got USA gm. Talk about the good old boy club of the nhl. Team Canada is paying for there good ole boy culture now.  I guess USA is same. It’s not what you do but who ya know. 
        Bill hasn’t done anything to deserve the job. He doesn’t have a front office because he berated them out of town. He’s been investigated twice for mismanagement. By two organizations. The good ole boys swept  those under the rug. . His claim to fame is a couple buyouts , 10 years of Freddy g, and putting a team in the ice this year thats unwatchable. I bet if he had to negotiate contracts they would have went with someone else. Haha. How is this  guy considered a good gm. What has he done besides pr about how great he is. . Fire bill. Let him waste his time with team USA. 

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    38 minutes ago, Dean said:

    It’s to funny that Bill got USA gm. Talk about the good old boy club of the nhl. Team Canada is paying for there good ole boy culture now.  I guess USA is same. It’s not what you do but who ya know. 
        Bill hasn’t done anything to deserve the job. He doesn’t have a front office because he berated them out of town. He’s been investigated twice for mismanagement. By two organizations. The good ole boys swept  those under the rug. . His claim to fame is a couple buyouts , 10 years of Freddy g, and putting a team in the ice this year thats unwatchable. I bet if he had to negotiate contracts they would have went with someone else. Haha. How is this  guy considered a good gm. What has he done besides pr about how great he is. . Fire bill. Let him waste his time with team USA. 

    Kinda funny how we got rid of Fenton for being a front office jerk and replaced him with another one who goes so far as to bring on an investigation and they keep him. I hope Leo stays out of the process with the next one.

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    7 hours ago, Beast said:

    The fact that we’re uncertain whether this kid would get a shot over scrub forwards we have filling out this lineup mean Geurin needs to be fired.

    Absolutely if there is any hesitation it shows the decision makers have no clue about young talent.  I mean come on this is a no brainer

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    5 hours ago, Citizen Strife said:

    Also, why does Michkov compare to Wayne Gretzky?  Is it due to point totals or play style or something?  You would think Gretzky is the one guy you just, "Nah.  No one is like him, forget it."  For this sort of thing.

    Production, though Gretzky's was definitely an outlier, even among this group. I view it as a range of outcomes. His floor is somewhere around Phil Kessel and his ceiling is one of the best players in the game. 

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    Yurov has been proving his worth in the KHL. Thats a big boy league. Rossi and Boldy played in cupcake leagues before getting a shot with the Wild. Whatever happens, Billy G will make the right decision. I’m all for us drafting a steady Russian pipeline of blue chip prospects. 

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    Sometimes it's good to see how other people view our assets, and in this case it is our GM. I'd like to point out that investigations of wrongdoing are just that, investigations. Investigations can clear a person, or catch them. Just because an investigation has taken place, does not necessarily mean that someone is guilty of anything.

    So, Guerin got the team USA GM job. What is wrong with that? It appears that the Olympic committee and those around USA Hockey like him as a GM. Were there any better candidates out there? Guerin also had the nod for this position before 2022 got canceled due to Covid concerns. 

    Can he put a good team together? One would think so. He's got strength at every position. One good thing that can come out of this is using this type of position to help recruit talented players. Obviously you cannot tamper with contracted players, but, you can certainly make an impression on them that makes them want to come play for you. 

    A coach has not been tapped yet, but Russo's rumor says it might be Mike Sullivan. I've got a good feeling about this guy and think that if Mike Sullivan ever becomes available, he's coming here (regardless of if it is as head coach). I think eventually this will be our championship coach when we're ready to make a run. 

    I saw some other GMs mentioned as assistants- Chris Drury, Tom Fitzgerald, and someone else I can't remember. This is a good way to build relationships between some GMs, and when it comes to trading, that relationship may become very important. 

    Now, let me be clear, I do not subscribe to the IBGIT statements, nor do I subscribe to the Fire Billy calls. As far as competence goes, I'd probably believe it is still too soon to judge as only one draft class is ready to move up. We're still in transition from Fletcher/Fenton, and the fact that they left us with bare cupboards really meant that a reload was at least 5 seasons away, likely 7. The 5th season was when they'd just start coming. 

    I do think we've got some very talented prospects in the 2020-22 window that should be coming in very quickly. '23 prospects more rounded out what need was. We've got these guys stashed all over the place. Hopefully Dino makes it over here quickly. When these guys finally get here, this is where he will be judged. He's already been successful putting together what the owner demanded: A competitive team that makes the playoffs. OCL wants a winner and contender, but the contender part wasn't going to happen when he took over. That was going to take some time, especially when he was drafting players in the late teens and early 20s. 

    I'd still say our trajectory is heading up, even though this season is a bump in the road. Sometimes, injuries will do that to you, and when you are unable to carry depth to your roster, injuries can kill the best intended plans, especially if they happen to your best players. It's not an excuse, it is reality. We've got guys playing who should be in Iowa and are taking regular shifts up here. You can get by with it short term, but it will eventually catch up with you if you need it longer.

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    4 hours ago, mnfaninnc said:

    I'd like to point out that investigations of wrongdoing are just that, investigations. Investigations can clear a person, or catch them. Just because an investigation has taken place, does not necessarily mean that someone is guilty of anything.

    True enough, but we've seen BG's temper publicly, I can only imagine what it's like when he feels he's beyond public scrutiny. To ignore it is foolish, it's been on display from the start.

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    24 minutes ago, Willy the poor boy said:

    True enough, but we've seen BG's temper publicly, I can only imagine what it's like when he feels he's beyond public scrutiny. To ignore it is foolish, it's been on display from the start.

    And I maintain, that simply goes with the territory. GMs for teams should be competitive. He wears his on his sleeve, probably, and hates to lose. Sometimes you just have to know when to go in and when whatever you're doing isn't urgent.

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    11 minutes ago, mnfaninnc said:

    And I maintain, that simply goes with the territory. GMs for teams should be competitive. He wears his on his sleeve, probably, and hates to lose. Sometimes you just have to know when to go in and when whatever you're doing isn't urgent.

    Losing your temper on your hometown beat reporter asking harmless questions, trading players for the first fair offer that comes along because they ask to be treated fairly and get paid accordingly doesn't go with the territory. It's, quite frankly, immature. 

     

    14 minutes ago, mnfaninnc said:

     

     

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    On 2/9/2024 at 5:01 PM, Willy the poor boy said:

    Losing your temper on your hometown beat reporter asking harmless questions, trading players for the first fair offer that comes along because they ask to be treated fairly and get paid accordingly doesn't go with the territory. It's, quite frankly, immature. 

    But that's not all that has happened. For instance, one investigation was about an employee who brought up an issue with another employee making inappropriate advances toward his wife. I'm not sure what was in the investigation, but when the issue was brought to Guerin's attention was not the best place for it to be handled or discussed. In the end, it showed that Guerin acted appropriately and handled things in the correct way. 

    In the other investigation, it appears that a logistics person was unhappy with the way that he was treated. I'm not sure what exactly his complaint was, but we'll file it under getting yelled at. The conclusion of the investigation is that Guerin did not commit a firable offense. The person bringing the complaint, which I believe was not a one time thing, jettisoned his own career by bringing it (like it or not). 

    Sometimes interviews go south with different questions asked. It happens and some GMs are better at it than others. I do find that in interviews, Guerin is typically a little more forthcoming in talking and a little less cliche'd than other GMs, which, to me, adds value. Guerin can get loud, but volume is not necessarily a horrible thing. Guerin can get passionate in what he's saying, but that's not necessarily a terrible thing. 

    Guerin looks for fair trade value when trading someone. He's not looking to squeeze other GMs on these things. He also doesn't like to get squeezed himself. He's got certain boundaries which don't get crossed and gets livid when they do. That can be expected. For the most part, when he's dealing with a player, he tries to find a good fit for the player when he doesn't fit in on his team. I would say that he does a good job at this. There are always exceptions, but overall, he remembers how it was to be a player, what a fit looks like, and he tries to find a place where the player will be happy. 

    I think you've got to take a balanced approach when looking at the GM. Look closely at the strengths and weaknesses and get an overall grade on the full package. No GM is perfect. Each one has weaknesses. It's up to Guerin to understand his weaknesses and find assistants who can cover for him. Overall, I think he's done a fairly good job, and I'd rank him above average. With more experience, I believe he can rise higher. 

    He does need to fill out his front office, but it's hard to do so mid year. I sure hope he can find the guys he needs to fill the open slots. But, let's be clear, these guys will likely be people he has had a relationship with before, feels comfortable with, and trusts. What that looks like is probably a former teammate or a guy he's worked with before, likely with a Penguin background. It's not just a good ole boys network, it's more about who he knows he can trust. 

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    Often times a media person will ask a question thats front loaded with a specific narrative attached to it and it frustrates people because if they answer the question it makes it appear they agree with the narrative  when they dont  .  see this alot in politics .  I can sometimes understand the frustration  .

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