Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford has resigned from the Penguins on Wednesday, the team announced. The surprising news comes as the Pens finished just their seventh game of the season last night against the Boston Bruins. The team, and Rutherford have cited the resignation comes due to personal reasons.
“It has been an honor to serve as general manager of the Penguins, and to hang two more Stanley Cup banners at PPG Paints Arena. I have so many people to thank, beginning with the owners, Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux, and team president David Morehouse. There always has been so much support from everyone involved with the Penguins, both on the hockey and business staffs, and, of course, from a special group of players led by Sidney Crosby. The fans here have been tremendous to me and my family. I know it’s a little unusual to have this happen during a season, but just felt this was the right time to step away.” said Rutherford after his departure from the team was announced.
The 71-year-old has served as Pens GM since the 2014-15 season and has not missed the playoffs since being appointed. He helped orchestrate back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017, and in 2019, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Rutherford also served as GM of the Carolina Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers, delivering a Stanley Cup to the Canes in 2006. He played in 457 NHL games over 13 seasons as a goaltender where he featured for the Red Wings, Maple Leafs, Kings, and of course, the Penguins.
Some of his most notable acquisitions include trading for Phil Kessel, who played an important role in those back-to-back cup runs and the formation of the famous HBK line, and signing Justin Schultz, which rejuvenated the defenseman’s career.
Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse spoke about Rutherford’s departure saying, “Jim has been an amazing representative of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he’ll always have a special place in our team’s history, his own legacy. He’ll always be part of the Penguins. On behalf of our ownership, management, staff, coaches, and players, we want to thank him for his many contributions, which go far beyond those two Stanley Cups. Jim is a great friend and teammate. We wish him and his family the best.”
Assistant General Manager Patrick Allvin has been promoted and is the new interim-GM of the Penguins. The team will likely search for a new GM in the meantime. The 46-year-old has been with the Pens organization for 15 years, serving as a scout, director of amateur scouting, assistant general manager, and now, interim-GM. He will work closely with owner Mario Lemieux during his tenure.
“I’m excited for this new opportunity with the Penguins, but I would not be in this position if it were not for Jim’s faith in me over these past seven seasons.” said Allvin. “I want to thank him and wish him the best. Moving forward, I want everyone to know – from our ownership to our fans – that I’m committed to doing the best job possible for the Penguins, building on our strong start to the season.”
The Penguins will be back on the ice for the first time under a new GM tomorrow night at 7PM in Boston.
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