Fiala waiting on Wild GM search to restart contract negotiations
Restricted free agent forward had been in discussions with Fenton prior to his firingby Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer
STOCKHOLM -- Kevin Fiala's negotiations for a new contract with the Minnesota Wild are in a holding pattern while they search for a new general manager.
Fiala, a restricted free agent forward, and his agent, Claude Lemieux, were negotiating with general manager Paul Fenton until Minnesota fired him July 30. The Wild are interviewing candidates for his replacement.
"I just have to see and wait," Fiala said during the NHL European Player Media Tour on Thursday. "It's actually pretty funny when I say that, but I have to see and wait."
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Fiala said he hasn't worried too much about where he stands with the Wild because owner Craig Leipold told Lemieux that Minnesota wants him back.
"I was a little concerned with Fenton gone and what's going on now," Fiala said. "But they still want to keep me, so there's no concern about that now."
Acquired by the Wild in a trade with the Nashville Predators for forward Mikael Granlund on Feb. 25, Fiala said it was sad to see Fenton get fired because of the relationship he built with the GM. Fenton was Predators assistant GM when Nashville selected Fiala with the No. 11 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
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"He's a great person and he has had an impact on my life, not just my career," Fiala said. "It was emotional on that day (Fenton was fired) and a few days after, but at the end of the day it's business. That maybe sounds stupid, but it is. For me right now it's just focusing on the season."
The 23-year-old had seven points (three goals, four assists) in 19 games with the Wild after he had 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists) in 64 games for the Predators.
"Some days are worse, but for the most part the contract is not very much in my head," Fiala said. "I just enjoy the summer, practice hard, train, and I let my agent handle all of that. That's his job. I do what I can control."