ST. PAUL -- Tom Kurvers spent 10 seasons in the Tampa Bay Lightning front office, first as assistant general manager followed by seven years (2011-2018) as senior advisor to the general manager. So when Wild general manager Paul Fenton tabbed the Minneapolis native as his first assistant GM, it was no coincidence that the team pursued and signed free agent J.T. Brown just five days later.
"In some of these cases you need to have a relationship and a little knowledge on a player," Kurvers said. "You seek that out and I knew him so I was pro J.T Brown."
The relationship between the two goes back to the 2010-11 season, Brown's freshman year at Minnesota Duluth. Kurvers followed the Burnsville native and former Rosemount, Minn. high school star closely through a 37-point (16-21=37) rookie campaign capped off by UMD winning the Frozen Four at Xcel Energy Center with Brown named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.