LeBrun: Wild GM Bill Guerin on ‘staying patient’ and weighing his options ahead of the deadline

ST. PAUL, MN - AUGUST 22: Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin speaks with the media after a press conference announcing his position at Xcel Energy Center on August 22, 2019 in St. Paul, Minnesota.(Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
By Pierre LeBrun Feb 16, 2022 251
Bill Guerin approaches his third trade deadline as an NHL GM, and despite his relative inexperience in the big chair, he has so far avoided the trappings that normally come with that at this time of year.

He hasn’t been seduced by the hype of deadline day the last few years. He’s been relatively quiet at the trade deadline so far in his time as Wild GM.

“You know, I guess my experience has been good,’’ Guerin began in an interview with The Athletic this week. “Because I haven’t done much on trade deadline day because of the position our team has been in the last couple of years. Not just the team, but our organization.

“We’re not in a full rebuild and I haven’t been just shipping off draft picks just to acquire whatever,” he added. “Because we need those picks, we need to keep building our prospect pool. So I’ve tried to stay pretty disciplined with keeping our picks. So we’re not at one end of the spectrum or the other, we’ve been in the middle.’’

And that was an easier position to hold as a team last year that, despite making the playoffs, wasn’t seen as a true Cup contender. It gets a bit trickier now, as the Wild are swimming alongside the elite teams in the league with an outstanding season so far.

Still, you sense in Guerin that the lessons of not making a desperate move the last couple of years at the deadline have left an impression on him.

“What I’ve learned is, that old thing, sometimes the best trades you make are the ones you don’t,’’ Guerin said. “I’ve been really comfortable with our team, it’s allowed me to be patient. So stay patient. Don’t jump at just anything.