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Report: Jim Rutherford will be Penguins’ new GM

Jun 6, 2014, 10:47 AM EST

Jim Rutherford AP

Less than two months after he stepped aside as the Carolina Hurricanes’ general manager, Jim Rutherford will fill the GM vacancy in Pittsburgh, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Rutherford was the general manager of the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes for two decades before Ron Francis assumed that role in April. Rutherford remained a member of the organization as the team’s president.

During his lengthy tenure with the Hurricanes, Carolina reached the Stanley Cup Final twice and won the championship in 2006. However, the Hurricanes only made the playoffs five times and haven’t secured a postseason berth in their last five years.

The Penguins have made the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons, but they haven’t lived up to expectations in their recent playoff runs. Part of their problem has been a lack of depth, which is likely to be exasperated by the start of Kris Letang‘s eight-year, $58 million contract. Along with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins are now dedicating $25.45 million annually in cap space to three players.

Assuming the report is true and Rutherford will indeed be the Penguins’ next general manager, he will need to decide what to do with the team’s coaching staff. When the Penguins fired former GM Ray Shero, they made the decision to leave head coach Dan Bylsma in limbo. The Penguins next general manager will have the option of either backing Bylsma or firing the bench boss.

Update: The Penguins are expected to officially announce that Jim Rutherford will be their next general manager during a press conference at 1:00 p.m. ET, per the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle.

  1. flyboystransport - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Guess McGuires sexual relationship with Cindy didn’t help

    • hockeyfan1701 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      Not like you can actually read but…

      http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/referee-lobbying-crosby-insults-and-perrys-antics-drag-down-nhl-playoffs/

      • flyboystransport - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        So you take an article that’s biased towards Pittsburgh to make your case and that means I can’t read? Guess ur wanting cyndy to be a guy when you’re spanking it thinking of him huh? Second these playoffs have the highest ratings and attendance of all time yet people calling out the whiners in the league brings down the sport? Explain please

      • claudegirwho - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        Flyboytransport does that mean the flyers drop their loads in you and you walk around for the day like that?

      • maalea - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        Wow, did you read that article?

        It’s mostly drivel, so coming off all superior is pretty ironic.

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        So the author thinks its pathetic and demeaning to refer to Crosby as Cindy Crysby, but its perfectly OK for Jonathan Quick to punch Corey Perry in the nuts because he was being a pest. Hmmm makes perfect sense to me.

      • flyboystransport - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        Galudegirwho……sounds like you’re jelous.

  2. lowenni - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    why

  3. JoeAvg - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    I get the feeling this is a “we’re going to have to settle for…” choice. Assuming, of course, that the report is true.

    • JoeAvg - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      Listening to his press conference it seems like his role is to train others for the position.

    • apkyletexas - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      One-year place-holder for Babcock?

      • har21441 - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        Yup – As long as Babcock doesn’t sign a long term extension in Detroit. I wonder what they’ll do with the coach selection with the same thought in mind?

      • apkyletexas - Jun 7, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        Pittsburgh Post Gazette reporter Ron Cook is thinking that they might offer coach/GM – total team control – to Babcock.

  4. billiam55 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    was hoping McGuire would get the job so we wouldnt have to listen to him anymore on TV.

  5. runhigh24 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Saying the Pens depth issues are due to big contracts misses the point in my opinion. The Pens depth issues are a result of poor drafting which resulted in practically no young cheap forwards on entry level deals during the Ray Shero era. Thats the reason why he was canned.

    • miketoasty - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Can definitely agree with this, Shero seemed to want to use the draft to get trade bait more than he did to rebuild for the future with positions that were needed. Probably cost him his job.

      • withseidelinn - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

        Exactly. Shero put all his eggs in one basket by somewhat mortgaging his future to become a domninant force now. Last year really cost him at the deadline when he went after Morrow and Murray, who were extremely over rated. Iginla was a decent pickup, but he only played for a handful of games and cost them a fairly high amount. I think within the next 1-2 years they’ll be completely handcuffed and have to trade on of their massive contracts (Malkin/Letang/Neal/Fleury). Shero took a big risk trying to win now, which is respectable, but he was never able to get the pieces that actually fit for the Penguins’ roster.

      • whatiswrongwithu - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        Get rid of Sid!! injury prone. The pens are done! In big business they bring in skippers like this to run the ship while everyone gets fired. Time to dump the over paid babies and go from there.

  6. ravanator - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Hope he knows how to deal with a team full of primadonnas. The rest of the NHL is taiking time out their busy day to laugh at the Pens. Cheers!

    • miketoasty - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      Prima donna’s? I think you might want to take a look at your own roster before talking next time.

      • theageofquarrel - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

        Ratbirdanator is garbage. He is garbage on PFT and now he leaves his garbage on here.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        Actually THIS ‘ravanator’ is a troll who tries to conjure up anger towards Baltimore sports and their fans, as he stole his name from the other user ‘ravEnator.’ Do you honestly think a Ravens fan would not be able to spell their own teams name? And please no Baltimore + illiterate jokes. We have some of the top schools in the country (around the city, definitely not IN the city). We is good at spelling.

    • bmoreredfury311 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      Maybe he’ll trade little cindy. And get someone that doesn’t act a 5yr old.

      • plazzman - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        Wow! Is that the best you can come up with? Did you consult a kindergarten class for that witty retort? The whole world is made dumber by your presence.

      • hockeyfan1701 - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        Your insightful comments are amazing. Go away little troll….

  7. alicesrightfootesq - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Seems like a lateral move.

  8. JoeAvg - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Doesn’t he also have an ownership in the Canes? That would explain why it took longer than though. The league would have to approve his hiring while he looks to sell his interest. Or am I confused (wouldn’t be the first time)?

    • JoeAvg - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      *longer than thought* See…I’m confused.

    • lonespeed - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      This was my first thought. How does this hiring fit-in with his part ownership of the Hurricanes?

      Furthermore, how is Jossi Jokenin and Brandon Sutter going to feel about this hire?

  9. djshnooks - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Wow. That’s terrible. Lmfao.

    Should have taken a young up-and-comer looking to make a name for himself.

    Brisebois or Botterill would have been just as good a hire as Rutherford.

    • hockey412 - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      Maybe. But it’s risky. Now they have both Rutherford AND Botterill.

      Brisebois may have been good – but what do you do with Botterill if you bring in another team’s Assistant GM instead of promoting him?

      • joey4id - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        Commenters like you is the reason I enjoy PHT. You should comment more often.

      • joey4id - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        Some journalists are saying that McGuire was the Pens choice but they weren’t willing to give the 5 year deal he was looking for. So, safe to say Rutherford is there to help others grow and transition into the GM job over the next 2 or 3 years.

  10. rushledger - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Terrible… He was awful with Carolina just awful.

  11. penvik - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Best available! Rutherford will be better at acquiring young talent.

  12. purpleguy - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’d be hesitant to hire a guy that looks like a retired postman.

  13. plazzman - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    As a Pens fan, I don’t get this hire one bit. The only good thing I can say right now is that it’s better than McGuire.

    Carolina has been an average to below average team for years now and hasn’t made the Playoffs since 2009…that and they only made them twice since 2002. This is also the guy Shero fleeced when he got Sutter, Dumolin and the 8th overall pick for Jordan Staal when all Rutherford had to do was wait a year and he could have signed Staal without giving up anything.

    A real head shaker to be sure. Maybe the thought process is to have Rutherford be a mentor to Jason Botterill and have him take over. The ONLY thing that would make this worse would be if Rutherford kept Bylsma on as coach!

    • barkar942 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      Personally, I know that Pierre is annoying at times, however, if you get past his annoyingness, the man is an encyclopedia of hockey knowledge. Personally, I think he should become head of scouting for one of the teams. I think that would be perfectly up his alley.

      • plazzman - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        I wouldn’t have a problem at all with McGuire involved in scouting, but he was absolutely the wrong man for the GM job. He hasn’t been involved in the business side of hockey in almost 20 years.

      • joey4id - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        The business side of hockey is not the primary responsibility of the GM.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        Bark, I agree about his immense store of facts, and what I find most annoying about him is his tendency to spew so much of it every time he says anything. I also dislike how he seems to think his audience is his fellow commentators, forgetting we are eavesdropping, and that he thinks they need his approval (“good call by you”). We are forever indebted to Robert Adler and Eugene Polley, who gave us our “mute” buttons.

    • hockey412 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      Not sure how I feel about the hire, a few more of Rutherford’s picks have found their way to the NHL but he’s also drafted much earlier. On paper Carolina doesn’t have that bad a team…except for the defense, which is unfortunately what Pittsburgh is going to have to rebuild.

      I get the feeling that Bylsma has been kept around more from an UFA’s persective. So many contracts are up, if they are to get rid of him before they hire a GM (and before that GM has a chance to determine who he’s keeping), Dan could probably tamper a good bit if he were to find a job somewhere else.

      • dirt2013 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:16 PM

        The players to rebuild the defense are either on the Pens now or in WB/S so the new GM needs to think offense / grit before D I would think.

      • hockey412 - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        I agree about needing grit. But as far as the D, I’m not sure they are on the roster yet, though. There are some young offensive Dmen in WBS. I don’t think Borts is ready for top 4, do you? Orpik may not be re-signed. Scuderi was a flop in the top 4. Who’s the anchor for Letang and Martin next year? Both need strong stay at home D partners. Maatta and Borts would be great on the third pairing. Maatta also needs a strong partner right now though.

    • dirt2013 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Had he waited another year Staal would have been on another team besides the Pens and maybe he would have gotten him for nothing.

  14. raleighcaniac - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Believe me when I say Canes fans are rejoicing. JR (rutherford) has done little the last 5 years except tie up big bucks in J Staal. I’ll bet Pens fans had no idea how good a player they were getting in “Sudsy” Sutter. J. Staal is lost in Carolina not to mention big brother Eric who disappears each season for 8-10 games 2 or 3 different times. Glad JR is gone. he will do nothing for Pit.

  15. mizzike20 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    I would think after dumping Stall for Sutter and seeing the horrendous contract they didn’t have to offer would’ve been enough for Pens ownership to not consider Rutherford for the job, but I guess not.

  16. gbart22 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    What a dumb hire. Rutherford has had way less success in 20 years than shero had in 7

  17. buddysguys - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    i joked yesterday that promoting Botterill was really creating change by promoting from with in…i think they would hav ebeen better by doing so.

  18. ducksk - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    1. You people called Sid, Cindy are pathetic. Grow up if that is all you have. He has a incredible girlfriend and could whoop you in a minute. Your stupid, grow up.
    2. The expectations are very high in Pitt and should be. It’s a high stakes business. Most of you would not understand. Sometimes this business is ruthless. When you insult people because you have anonymity via the net, remember these are real people with real families.
    3. Or keep on insulting people, shows how small you are as a human. I bet you don’t have much of a life.

    • bmoreredfury311 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Wow you cry just like him.

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      Sidney is that you?

      • thesportsjudge - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        Maybe it is his egotistical GF?

        P.S. I don’t know if his gf is indeed egotistical.

      • hockeyfan1701 - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        broadstreetbeatdown always has great and articulate things to add to hockey discussions. A real gem of hockey knowledge!!!

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        Yeah, but at least I don’t create multiple accounts and have hockey debates with my multiple personalities.

    • thesportsjudge - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      “Your stupid, grow up.”

      That is all I needed to see!

    • Eutaw's Finest - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      You could literally take EXACTLY what you wrote, then replace Crosby mocking with Oveckin mocking or Ray Lewis mocking and you’ll be able to address every single Pittsburgh sports fans.

      Hey kettle look!! I found the pot!!

      • bmoreredfury311 - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        Thank you. Thats only reason why I made my comments. Sucks when the shoe is on the other foot.

  19. nyrnashty - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Next year will be Crosby’s 10th year in the league…WOW, time goes way too fast!!!

  20. vancouversportsbro - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    I’ve been out of the loop, I thought Rutherford was the president of the Canes now? Did he not get that job or did he step down to take this?

    This seems like the type of move where the Pens want stability for a few years and to find a candidate after that period. I don’t mind it. Rutherford wouldn’t be the long term solution, though.

  21. Eutaw's Finest - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    “Along with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins are now dedicating $25.45 million annually in cap space to three players.”

    That would be nearly $6M more per year than the Caps dedicate to Ovechkin, Backstrom and Green. And Green is on his last year, leaving 8 and Backstrom only taking up $16M in 2015. Just wanted to enjoy the thought that the Caps financial situation is better than the Pens, despite everyone bashing them and saying 8′s salary is strapping the Caps ability to improve via FA.

  22. shamu1the1whale - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    Bad choice. He’s a fossil. Hasn’t won anything in years, didn’t do much but make bad decisions. I hope he’s out of the Pens after a year. They need someone younger, not some washed up grandpa.

  23. shamu1the1whale - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    This decision by the Pens makes me miss Shero a lot.

  24. guitarhunterdude - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    I don’t understand this at all. Shero wasn’t good by any means, but Rutherford left the Canes with arguably the shallowest prospect pool in the league and a handful of questionable contracts. How is he supposed to make the Pens better?

    This looks like a really, really stupid move.

  25. guitarhunterdude - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    I don’t understand this at all. Shero wasn’t good by any means, but Rutherford left the Canes with arguably the shallowest prospect pool in the league and a handful of questionable contracts. How is he supposed to make the Pens better?

    This looks like a really, really stupid move to me.

    • guitarhunterdude - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      Double post? That was weird.

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