Less than a week after head coach Jacques Lemaire stepped down, the Minnesota Wild have decided not to renew the contract of team president and general manager Doug Risebrough.
Wild owner Craig Leipold made the announcement in a statement released on the team's website this afternoon. The team has scheduled a conference call for later today.
"I wanted to personally be the one to tell you of my very difficult decision not to renew Doug Risebrough's contract beyond the 2008-2009 season," Leipold said in the statement. "I have agonized over this decision for some time now, but ultimately, I reached the conclusion that change was in order."
The Wild finished third in the Northwest Division with a record of 40-33-9, missing the playoffs by two points.
Risebrough was named executive vice president and general manager of the Minnesota Wild in 1999 and was promoted to president of the team's parent company following the Wild's first playoff appearance in 2002-2003.
The Wild were 291-256-107 with Risebrough as GM, including winning records in his last six seasons and Leipold thanked Risebrough for building the franchise from obscurity to credibility.
"I cannot begin to thank Doug enough for all that he has done for this organization over the past nine years," Leipold added. "So much of our success – on and off the ice – is directly attributable to Doug's leadership and his legacy will remain evident for years to come in the aura of success and winning tradition that defines this place."