PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – It has been 21 days since the Pittsburgh Penguins fired ex-general manager Ray Shero, and while many names had been floated out there as potential candidates, it was the last name to the party that got the job.
The Pens announced today that former Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford would take over the general manager duties here in Pittsburgh.
Rutherford joined Starkey and Mueller to talk about the latest challenge in his storied career, and what he’s going to do to get the organization back to where they want it.
“Right now, I’m just going to start preparing for this coming season,” Rutherford said.
When it comes to specific players and what he’ll want to do with them, Rutherford weighed in on the year goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had, and what the future may hold for him.
“The one thing I’ll say about Fleury is this past season was the best season, most consistent season he’s had over several seasons. From an ability point of view, he’s a very good goalie,” Rutherford said.
Rutherford had just stepped down in Carolina as their GM and took the role as team president, so he didn’t need a job, but spoke as to why the Pens job lured him back into the GM ranks.
“When I stepped down in Carolina, I was at a point where being with one franchise was just really wearing on me,” Rutherford said. “I thought in the back of my mind if the right situation came along, that I would consider going somewhere. I really like the people of Pittsburgh, so that’s one thing I had going in my favor. And then, also the organization, it’s a great organization with highly-skilled players, a couple of the top best players in hockey, and when you have that, you have a chance to win a championship, and at this point in my career, that was the only way that I’d consider doing this job again, and I know that we’re going to be able to do this again.”
Click the audio link below to hear more from Rutherford as he assessed the postseason play of captain Sidney Crosby, the future for Kris Letang, why he restructured the front office in the way that he did and what he’s looking for in his next head coach after relieving Dan Bylsma of his duties.