PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – The first year for Jim Rutherford as the Penguins General Manager has seen many ups and downs with injuries and serious health scares. While being aware of what’s happening to his players now, Rutherford is keeping his eye on the future and what his team still needs to achieve their goals.

“We’ll still make some changes with the team,” Rutherford said. “We need to get more balance in our forward lines and I say that with all due respect to the players that we have. The guys that we have have worked hard and even gone beyond expectations with some players, but at the same time, there’s a lot of good teams in this league and I recognize that we’ll have to get more depth up front.”

Rutherford spoke on the performance of the team as a whole, what he makes of the coaching job Mike Johnston has done and what grade he would give him.

“I don’t like giving grades,” Rutherford told Starkey. “I will say that I’m real pleased with a lot of things that have happened with this team. Team chemistry is so important and these guys have worked hard on bringing the team together.”

Rutherford also discussed Mike Johnston’s decision to take Chris Kunitz off Sidney Crosby’s line, something not previously done under the old regime.

“We have a good line of communication, but once he gets the players he can do what he wants with them. Mike is very well prepared and he makes that decision. I think it’s a good decision, I think it’s good to give those guys a little bit of a break, they’ve been together a long time. Chris has actually played with Geno before, so I think it’s a good break for them.”

Click the audio link below to hear more from Rutherford on how he took the Pascal Dupuis news, the role they’ll have Dupuis in with the team and how much he’s enjoying living in Pittsburgh.

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