Penguins Hire Jim Rutherford As New GM.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have reportedly hired former Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford as their new general manager. 

The Penguins will announce they've hired Jim Rutherford as their new GM.

The Penguins will announce they’ve hired Jim Rutherford as their new GM.

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins will make the official announcement at a press conference later today.  Rutherford spent two decades with the Hurricanes stretching back to their final years as the Hartford Whalers. The Hurricanes between 2002 and 2009 reached the Eastern Conference Final three times, the Stanley Cup Final twice and won the Cup in 2006. However, the Hurricanes failed to make the playoffs over the final five years of Rutherford’s tenure. While he brings years of experience into the role, his struggles to rebuild the Hurricanes in recent years could be of concern to Penguins fans. 

He’s inheriting a talented club which has been a strong regular season team but struggled to follow up its own championship success since 2009.  Among his first decisions will be determining the fate of head coach Dan Bylsma, as well as those of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, defenseman Kris Letang and winger James Neal, who’ve all been mentioned as trade candidates since the Penguins elimination from the second round last month. He must also liaise quickly with the Penguins scouting department to determine their targets for the upcoming NHL draft. 

**UPDATE** Well, that didn’t take long. The Penguins announced they’ve fired Dan Bylsma as head coach, something they probably should’ve done three weeks ago, rather than let the guy twist in the wind.

5 Comments

  1. Sounds like Rutherford reluctantly moved upstairs in Carolina, and wanted to know what it would be like to manage a non-budget team. If McGuire was that close to getting the job they should sign him on as an assistant GM or director of scouting. He is an encyclopedia on players, but lacks management experience. Despite learning to coach at the feet of Scotty Bowman, he has no management experience. He has to get that first, before he ever becomes a GM, anywhere.

  2. Not the right move here. Rutherford is way better than Regis who hasn’t done anything outside of broadcasting in the last 20 years and previous to that screwed up the Whalers to the point where players weren’t planning on sticking around if he wasn’t fired. McGuire was asked about this on Wednesday here on Ottawa radio and his response sounds so uninterested and lifeless (opposite of how he normally talks about his career) that it struck me that he had little interest anyway. The excitement and coyness he spoke while be interview for the Habs GM position and about the prospect of the Sens when they were considering moving Murray elsewhere in the organization was night and day to this which leads me to believe he was there having a favour filled by the Pens to look credible in future opportunities. Personally speaking I think he is holding out to move back to Canada and for the Sens or Habs job (and probably the Sens specifically).He knows his X’s and O’s better than most, but has too big of an ego and can’t manage people.
    Passing on Botterill was a mistake and I suspect he’ll move along soon enough. He is young, in touch and competent and I think they really missed the boat as he is apart of the future crop of successful NHL GM’s

    • Botterill was also named the Associate GM with Guerin and Fitzgerald Assistants. Given the new management group, I am now a lot more comfortable with Rutherford coming on in that capacity. As long as he is there to shake hands with people and provide some veteran leadership and experience, I think this could work.

      • By promoting Botterill to Associate GM shows that the Pens really want to keep him. I haven’t seen details yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if JR’s deal is short term. Two, maybe three years at most, just enough time to give JB confidence and Billy G experience.

        • Nice call on that. I was reading a post-conference report and JR intends to only be around 2-3 years to mentor the young core and will be leaving a lot of authority and say on key decisions to them. Sounds dead on to what your suggesting and seems like this could become a very positive situation for the team.