Shero joins Wild as senior adviser to general manager

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Ray Shero was named senior adviser to Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin on Wednesday.

The 58-year-old was GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins when Guerin won the Stanley Cup as a player in 2009 and led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his eight seasons (2006-14).

Shero was most recently GM of the New Jersey Devils from 2015-20; in 2017-18 he led them to their postseason berth since 2012.

The Wild (35-16-5) finished third in the Honda West Division, improving their points percentage (.670) from last season (.558) and 2018-19 (.506). They lost the Stanley Cup First Round to the Vegas Golden Knights in seven games after rallying from down 3-1 in the best-of-7 series and have not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since 2015.

Shero joins a front office looking to re-sign restricted free agent forwards Kirill Kaprizov, Kevin Fiala and Joel Eriksson Ek. Kaprizov is a finalist for the Calder Trophy voted as NHL rookie of the year after leading first-year players in goals (27), points (51), power-play goals (eight) and shots on goal (157) in 55 games. The 24-year-old was second in even-strength points (38) and power-play points (13) and was tied for third in plus/minus rating (plus-10).

“We love Kirill, I don’t think there’s any secret there, and what he’s brought to our team,” Guerin said June 3. “We will do what we can to get a fair deal.

“We’d prefer a longer deal. There’s two sides to the coin. You have to be open-minded. Like I said, it’s a process, so there’s some going back and forth and things like that.”

Fiala was second on the Wild behind Kaprizov in goals (20) and points (40) in 50 games. The 24-year-old scored two points (one goal, one assist) in the playoffs.

Eriksson Ek scored an NHL career-high 19 goals and 30 points in 56 games. The 24-year-old scored three points (two goals, one assist) in seven playoff games.

“We see those guys being here long-term,” Guerin said. “They’re part of the foundation of this organization and our team. You could see it on the ice that they’re — whether they like it or not, I know they’re young players — but they’re leaders on our team. And they provided us with a lot on both sides of the puck. So, yeah, they’re a priority.”

Zach Parise, a 36-year-old forward, has four seasons left on a 13-year, $98 million contract ($7.54 million average annual value) he signed with Minnesota on July 4, 2012. He said he will speak with Guerin and Wild coach Dean Evason during the offseason.

“You never sign a deal and not fully intend on seeing it through,” Parise said. “I understand things change, but from my standpoint, I’ve always enjoyed playing here.

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