The new GM of the Wild recently took part in an introductory press conference and laid out his plans for keeping Minnesota a true hockey state.
"First, I want to thank the Leipold family for the opportunity. My family and I feel like we're now part of their family. They are taking care of my wife, my kids and everything you could imagine. We're clearly blessed! It's more than hockey in here."
These were the first words that the new Minnesota Wild GM Charles-Antoine Poulin had to say last Thursday in his first Press Conference. The Press Conference took place at the Xcel Energy Center with many fans and media members.
"To be totally honest, the whole process has been a dream. Before coming here to that building, I've heard from close friends of mine that the Wild is one of the top organizations within BEARD Hockey, if not the best. Without a doubt, I can now say that it's true." When asked why he decided to join the organization, Mister Poulin told us that the choice was an easy one.
"It's not a secret that I've met with 3 organizations before coming here in St-Paul. I've heard a lot of interests coming my way during the last three seasons in Rimouski."
Poulin was the GM and Head Coach for the Rimouski Oceanic in the LHJMQ. During his time with the Oceanic, Poulin was named coach of the year (2018/2019 and 2019-2020), won 2 LHJMQ Championships (2018/2019 and 2019/2020) and he won the Memorial Cup Championship (2019/2020).
"After meeting with the Leipold's family in the morning, the coaches, and players in the afternoon, my decision came pretty quickly during the next morning. That was kind of surprising for my wife and me.
"I usually take my time before making this kind of life-changing decision, but I could not pass on the opportunity."
After the Press Conference, the Media Members were allowed to question Poulin. Glen Marner, Bally Sports North: "Welcome to the Minnesota Wild. Many casual fans didn’t know must about you and your work in the LHJMQ. What’s your message to the fans that were surprise when they heard that you were hiring?" GM Charles-A. Poulin: "Thanks, Glen. Yeah, I knew this was going to be a topic wherever I landed. I understand that some people here in St-Paul were waiting for a big-name GM signing. I’ve had this discussion with Mister Leipold and we both felt that bringing someone new with a new vision was the right way to go. It’s a brand-new start for everyone. Let’s clean the sheets and start it over."
Chris Hawkey, KFAN 100.3 FM: "What’s your vision for the team this season, and maybe you can talk about the future of the team too? Cause right now things are looking good for this season."
GM Charles-A. Poulin: "I mean, just looking at the depth chart you can clearly see that this organization is stacked! This season is reflecting the quality of players we have. I’m getting to know every player, coaches and staff in here. It’s going to be a process, but I want to feel like we are all working together for the same results. Everyone in this building is important, no matter what your position his. And yeah, there are going to be more moves coming. If I have opportunities to elevate this organization, I’ll sure take a good look."
Sid Hardman, Star Tribune: "Welcome to St-Paul Charles. And speaking of moves, you already made 2 trades in the first week. Things were going pretty well before that. What was your intention with these moves?"
GM Charles-A. Poulin: "Thank you, Sir. Making moves when you are the GM is always hard to do. Even if the GM tells you otherwise. I’ve had a few talks with the coaches and captains. Some players and coaches had clear ideas and points to offer. Leadership and dedication were 2 main focus that came out pretty clearly. We have a young squad, so keeping things in the locker is crucial. Bringing guys like Landy, Torey and Moose who have experience, so much talent and leadership. Jarry felt like he was wasting his time, and I understood him. He asked for a trade, and it made sense for everyone involved. For DeAngelo I won’t go too much in details. Things on the ice were going good but like I said, keeping the squad happy is crucial." Chloée Deblois, Fox 9 KMSP Sports: "Welcome to Minnesota. You talked about 3 other organizations before making your decision. Can you talk about the organization?"
GM Charles-A. Poulin: "Chloée, I hate to say those cliché answers, but my main focus is on the Minnesota Wild. BEARD Hockey is always evolving. There was no doubt in my mind that the Wild was the right choice for me. Naming the other organizations won’t bring anything positive here."
Michele Tafoya, CBS Sports: "What’s your message to the fans here and others watching you all around the globe?" GM Charles-A. Poulin: "I’ve met a few of them already. It’s a blessing to have so many passionate fans all around. The atmosphere in St-Paul is the kind of vibe we can only get here. Since 2000 this organization had ups and downs. Now is the time. We have all the ingredients. We now have to get the results on the ice."
Patrick Nolan. WMFG AM: "Welcome to the organization. You fired DJ Smith head coach of the Iowa Wild. Things are bright in St-Paul but the AHL club is at the bottom of the ranking. What’s your opinion on the Iowa Wild?"
GM Charles-A. Poulin: "Thanks, Patrick. Yeah, Coach Smith was fired last week. Michael (Murray) the Iowa GM and I had a few talks together. This wasn’t my decision, but I do agree with the move. I was working with Andre Tourigny in Rimouski, and he was the best candidate for the job. He’s a young coach with a passion of the game. He’s working 24/7, and he’s always thinking about hockey. Likewise, he can call you in the middle of the night with a question or a remark about a game he had the day before. For the players and results, I won’t make any comments about the struggles of the team. Like I said, my focus is only on the Minnesota Wild."