Wild GM Bill Guerin pushes back on one-and-done narrative in season wrap-up news conference

The Wild have exited the playoffs seven consecutive times after the first round. But general manager Bill Guerin wants to fight back on that narrative, suggesting a good core of the team hasn’t been around for many of those defeats.

In a wide-ranging season wrap-up news conference Tuesday, Guerin and coach Dean Evason covered myriad topics.

Guerin did acknowledge that his job is a lot harder with the $12.7 million dead cap hits from the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter contract buyouts of 2021. However, he doesn’t apologize for those moves.

The buyouts will eat up $14.7 million of the 2023-2024 cap. In other words, it’s on Guerin to figure out how to build a title contender while being handcuffed.

***Click the video box above to watch the news conference***

Other notes from Guerin:

  1. He said they haven’t discussed yet if there will be any staff changes. Evason is expected back, but don’t be surprised if at least one assistant coach is replaced.
  2. Guerin is confident a new contract will get worked out with goalie Filip Gustavsson, who finished the regular season second in the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage. Guerin doesn’t see Gustavsson in that top-tier goalie $6-8 million per year range.
  3. Forward Freddy Gaudreau needs surgery for an abdominal injury that he had been playing with for the past few months.
  4. Forward Mats Zuccarello was playing through a groin injury during the playoffs.
  5. Forward Ryan Hartman hurt his knee badly in the Game 1 win at Dallas. After missing Game 2, he played the rest of the series, but was limited.