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Penguins make Jason Karmanos VP of Hockey Operations

Jun 12, 2014, 7:14 PM EDT

Jason Karmanos Getty Images

After being fired by the Carolina Hurricanes in September 2013, Jason Karmanos has a new gig and it’s those ‘Canes connections that helped him out.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced they’ve hired Karmanos to be the Vice President of Hockey Operations.

After spending 15 seasons with the Hurricanes, ultimately winding up as the assistant GM to Jim Rutherford, it’s Rutherford who has brought him back on board in Pittsburgh. From the Penguins’ release:

“I’ve worked with Jason for many years, know him well and know he can make great contributions to our hockey operations department,” Rutherford said. “His first priority here will be to re-shape our analytics so that we have all the tools available in our decision-making process throughout the season.”

Karmanos is the son of Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos, but you may not want to bring to mention that to him.

When he was fired by the Hurricanes he said it wasn’t his performance that came into play, something he mentioned again today, hinting at possible (likely?) disagreements with his father. Even at today’s announcement he stressed his desire to be his own person.

It’s worked out pretty well for him that his relationship with Rutherford is still strong. Landing an executive job with the Penguins while they have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in their prime could work out rather well.

  1. martysbetter - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Good to hear he’s at odds with his scumbag piece of garbage father – the infamous greaseball swindler who stole the Whalers from Connecticut and moved them to the Carolinas of all places, screw that guy.

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:41 PM

      Nice of you to sneak in the ethnic slur you scumbag.

      • c9castine - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:13 PM

        i could be wrong but i dont think Karmanos is italian. maybe it is.

        my parents came from italy, so as an italian i care not one single bit when somebody uses the word greaseball. and thats not an ethnic slur its a simple insult.

        because im not one. pretty much as simple as that.

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:36 PM

        Greaseball is an ethnic slur used against Italians and Greeks. Its not just a simple insult as you put it.

        The above poster knew exactly what they were saying when they conveniently used the term in referencing Karmanos, who is Greek.

      • c9castine - Jun 14, 2014 at 12:57 AM

        you should develop a thicker skin. i know that it is but it didnt seem to be necessarily used that way, more just to describe a sneaky individual with limited morals.

        my parents come from a little town east of campobasso when they were little. our heritage is an everyday and important part of life. so, i think i can speak to this.

        if he was using it as an ethnic slur, and called me a dirty wop dego greaseball, i couldnt care less. words only matter if you respect the person speaking them.

        thats whats wrong with people – so sensitive to every little thing said or done in their presence, directed at them or otherwise. just simply dont give that person credence, laugh it off and walk away.

        if they have a real problem, theyll let you know and you can take care of it then.

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Jun 14, 2014 at 3:04 AM

        Ah, life lessons from an internet nobody. So I guess calling people out on their BS now equates to being sensitive? Alrighty then.

        I suppose you think it was OK to throw bananas at Wayne Simmonds as well.

      • hockeyfan1701 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        Yes because we all know broadstreetbeatdown you are always the class of the message boards…..

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        We also know that you have multiple personality disorder. How many accounts do you have now and do you still debate amongst them?

  2. rushledger - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    Cronyism at its finest. These Carolina losers are gonna corrupt this organization.

  3. alicesrightfootesq - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    The Rutherford country club heads north.

  4. c9castine - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    On the surface this looks like some back slapping BS.

    This guy better be legit at his job, because there is still a strong core presence of front office managers there that will eat him alive if he acts like a DB

  5. penguins87and71 - Jun 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    This organization is a total mess. Don’t even know what to say anymore.

  6. rushledger - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    I’m of Italian descent and I didn’t get offended. I’m offended at the stupidity my favorite organization is doing though.

    Ownership isn’t happy on how Shero has done as GM post the cup win, going 4-5 in playoff series since then even though I don’t see how you can fully blame him.

    So what do they do? Hire a GM who didn’t even get his team into the playoffs for the last 5 years straight.. Great.

    • hockey412 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:04 AM

      He’s a GM that built a champion, which Shero didn’t do. Drafting could have been better, but when you look at the picks below his, not MUCH better.

      They promoted Botterill to a position with real authority, before giving him the reigns completely, and brought in a guy that knows he’s here to mentor Botterill the way he did Francis.

      They promoted Billy G to a position where he’ll serve as the go between from the locker room to the front office.

      They brought in this glorified statistician (who was also in Carolina during the cup year) to help with the analytics side of things, the same way they said they would.

      “So what do they do”?….Nothing but respect for everyone here but I don’t know how you look at all these moves to strengthen the front office and put more importance on the “team” and not just Crosby/Malkin, and ask that question. They’ve been working their nuts off.

  7. drewzducks - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:29 AM

    There are a lot of cooks in this dysfunctional kitchen.

  8. elgefar - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:37 AM

    Gotta love Lemieux. You fire a guy who has built a contender for the last 6-7 years, and hire a guy who can’t even get a team into the playoffs, better yet hire another useless character from the same organization. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the whole team dismantled and fighting for top 5 picks in the years to come.

    • mangoman1966 - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:14 AM

      My favorite team is wreaking havoc on my soul. Pierre would have been the smart pick.

      • pdmjr - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:32 AM

        Pierre only knows every junior team in Canada, he’s an empty suit. Don’t be fooled

  9. hockey412 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    Jesus, these comments are a little silly. Rutherford may not be the ‘powerhouse’ GM that people wanted – but who, exactly, did you want? The thing is they already HAVE the powerhouse GM that they want, but he may not quite be ready. So he’ll learn what he needs to know from a very seasoned GM. And in short order, he’ll be out and Botterill will take over. What other GM option out there serves this purpose? And also, remember that if you don’t make this move, Botterill may well be out of there the next time a GM gig comes up. This way the Pens have coverage as far as a GM that knows how to actually be a GM, as well as an up-and-comer (one that also got promoted and basically will take part in every decision).

    This VP of Operations gig is just hiring people to share the work load. He’s working with all those ‘analytics’ that Rutherford went on about. Who else did the Pens have to do this? The guy was a player, he’s not just his Father’s son.

    For all the lack of success Carolina has had, who’s to say it’s the GM’s fault, or this guy. So many people are underperforming on the ice down there. I just think it’s good that they are adding heads to the front office, and hopefully accountability comes with it.

  10. hockeydon10 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    Shero: two finals appearances, 1 win / 1 loss, with Crosby and Malkin (two of the top centers in the world, likely both future HHOFers).

    Rutherford: two finals appearances, 1 win / 1 loss, with Ron Francis / Eric Staal (one HHOFer and one maybe borderline).

    I’d say Shero certainly had the easier time due to roster strength of having two generational talents for centers. Also easier time making the playoffs due to that.

    • hockey412 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      Rutherford also built that organization from scratch to S.C. champions. Shero didn’t do that. Nothing but respect for both men, but people so easily jump on the doomsday bandwagon without having a clue what people’s history/accomplishments have been. They’ve made the Pens stronger.

  11. raleighcaniac - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Pete Karmanos was/is a respected analytics guy. I expect he’ll pull his weight.

    He can only help a Pittsburgh team that has done nothing except fold like a lawn chair the past few years in the playoffs.

  12. ewoods6 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    If i were going to move an entire front office from one team to the Pens to win a Cup, the Hurricanes would have been in my bottom 5.

    WTH is going on here????

  13. bobc74 - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    How does “analytics” prevent Crosby from disappearing during the part of the season where he should be owning the ice? How does “analytics” prevent Letang from making turnovers in the defensive zone? And how does “analytics” keep everyone from taking stupid penalties?

    • hockey412 - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      Helps know more about the players you bring on the team. With Crosby and Malkin on the team, the Pens aren’t going to be drafting early, and they won’t make a huge splash in free agency with the cap where it is (or going, for at least next year). So they have to build through the draft and other rookie signings. It’s just a tool.

      The new coach’s job will be to get Crosby to reappear and get Letang’s head back in the game, and instill discipline, don’t you think? That’s not on the new statistician.

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