Bill Guerin was hired as general manager of the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday.
"I'm extremely excited to be in the state of hockey," Guerin said at his introductory press conference on Thursday. "This is an incredible opportunity for anybody and I'm very fortunate to be sitting up here. The question that [owner Craig Leipold] asked last that he mentioned earlier, 'Why do you want this job?' Over the interview process I thought that was the question that hit me, and when he asked me, it was an honest answer of 'who wouldn't want this job?' There's everything here to win. Everything."
Guerin replaces Paul Fenton, who was fired July 30 after he was GM for 14 months. He received a multiyear contract to oversee the Wild's hockey operations.
"We have a good team. This is a good team," Guerin said. "My job is to make it better, and we're going to build. I've learned a lot over the past few years, I've worked under three great general managers -- Ray Shero, Jason Botterill, Jim Rutherford, who is a hall of famer … I've learned what it takes to build a winning culture, a winning team. And you don't win in this League unless the team comes first. We're going to put an emphasis on character, on commitment, and on sacrifice, what are you going to do to help this team win?"
Video: Bill Guerin named Wild general manager
Guerin, who turns 49 on Nov. 9, spent the past eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, including the past five as assistant GM.
"Everybody back in Pittsburgh over the past 10 years have supported me and my family," Guerin said. "I'm extremely grateful. It's been a great ride, I've learned a lot, we've won a lot and I really do appreciate it."
Guerin was a player development coach from 2011-14. He won the Stanley Cup twice as a member of the Penguins front office (2016, 2017) and once as a player (2009). He also won the Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 1995.
"Bill has been a winner throughout his hockey career, and I am extremely pleased to be able to add his experience to our organization and the State of Hockey," Leipold said.
Added Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby, who was a teammate of Guerin's with the Penguins from 2008-10: "I am happy for Billy, and I am going to miss having him around. He is a great leader and was always there for me since the day he came to Pittsburgh. I know he'll be a great general manager."
Selected by the Devils with the No. 5 pick in the 1989 NHL Draft, Guerin had 856 points (429 goals, 427 assists) in 1,263 games with the Devils, Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, New York Islanders and Penguins. He had 74 points (39 goals, 35 assists) in 140 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
"I'm really looking forward to getting going here," Guerin said. "We've got a lot of work to do, but there's a ton of potential."
Photo courtesy: Katlyn Gambill/Minnesota Wild