|View single post by lobo316|
|Posted: Fri Jun 6th, 2014 09:29 pm||
|The Pittsburgh Penguins have fired head coach Dan Bylsma, and named Jim Rutherford as their new general manager.
The news comes three weeks after the team fired general manager Ray Shero in the days following Pittsburgh's second-round loss to the New York Rangers.
The Penguins also named Jason Botterill as associate general manager and Bill Guerin and Tom Fitzgerald as assistant GM's.
Bylsma, 43, was hired as Penguins head coach midway through the 2008-09 season and led the team that year to its first Stanley Cup since 1992.
Bylsma has the best regular-season winning percentage (.670) in team history with an all-time record of 252-117-32. His coaching wins are the most in team history and he became the fastest coach in NHL history to reach 200 victories (316 games).
"Dan is a good man and a good coach, but I thought we needed a change in direction moving forward," Rutherford said. "I have no doubt that he will go on to be a head coach in the National Hockey League and have success. The search for our new head coach will begin immediately."
"We want to thank Dan for everything he has done for the Penguins organization," co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said in a joint statement. "He'll always be remembered as a big part of Pittsburgh sports history for his role in our Stanley Cup championship in 2009. We wish all the best to him and his family."
Rutherford, 65, was in charge of the Carolina Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers franchise for 20 years. He stepped down from his position with the team in April.
Under Rutherford, the Hurricanes tallied a 534-486-156-20 regular season record, along with two trips to the Stanley Cup Final and the team's first Stanley Cup title in 2006.
"Jim has proven himself to be one of the finest executives in our sport, a man who always conducts himself with class and dignity, and we're excited to bring him to Pittsburgh as our general manager," said Lemieux and Burkle in a statement. "He has a wealth of knowledge and experience that few can match, and he will offer fresh ideas and a new perspective to our organization."
Rutherford was a goalie in the NHL for 13 seasons, and played three years with the Penguins from 1971-74.
"I'm excited by this opportunity to return to Pittsburgh and become general manager of a franchise that I've always admired," Rutherford said. "To have the chance to work with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the talented group of players assembled here is something that any GM would dream of. I'm looking forward to getting to work right away – it's going to be an important summer."
Former head coach and television analyst Pierre McGuire was also reportedly a finalist for the GM position after having two interviews with the team.
Pierre LeBrun reported this week that Tampa Bay Lightning assistant general manager Julien BriseBois was another prime candidate for the Penguins' job.