Author Topic: Penguins hire GM Rutherford, fire coach Bylsma  (Read 956 times)

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Offline lennon

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Penguins hire GM Rutherford, fire coach Bylsma
« on: June 06, 2014, 05:43:07 PM »
Jim Rutherford, who stepped down as general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes in April, has been hired as GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday.

Upon Rutherford’s hiring, Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma has been relieved of his duties.

The 65-year-old Rutherford secured the job over a handful of reported candidates that included analyst Pierre McGuire, interim Penguins general manager Jason Botterill and high-profile agent Pat Brisson.

The Penguins fired former GM Ray Shero on May 16, three days after another early playoff exit, a seven-game loss to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Bylsma was fired as head coach of the Penguins upon Rutherford’s hiring, the Penguins announced.

“Dan is a good man and a good coach, but I thought we needed a change in direction moving forward,” Rutherford said via press release. “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.”

Assistant coaches Tony Granato, Todd Reirden and Jacques Martin, goaltending coach Mike Bales and video coordinator Andy Saucier will be evaluated by Rutherford and the incoming head coach. Rutherford will evaluate the remainder of the hockey operations staff. Martin reportedly interviewed for the Carolina Hurricanes’ head coaching vacancy.

“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.”

The winningest coach in franchise history with 252 victories, Bylsma led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in 2009. While Pittsburgh enjoyed nearly unparalleled success from October to April — including easily capturing the Metropolitan Division this year despite losing more than 500-man games to injury — the Penguins again struggled to adapt in the post-season.

Upon Shero’s firing, Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse said the new general manager would determine whether Bylsma and the rest of the staff gets another shot. The 43-year-old Bylsma had two years remaining on his contract, the product of an extension he received last June as a vote of confidence from Shero following a four-game sweep at the hands of Boston in the Eastern Conference finals.

Rutherford, who owns part of the Hurricanes, chose to remain in an advisory role as team president of Carolina after incumbent Ron Francis took over managing duties. With Carolina, Rutherford assembled the teams that won one Stanley Cup, played for another and reached the Eastern Conference final in 2009. He must now sell his share of his former team.

The Hurricanes haven’t made the playoffs since then, the longest active drought in the East.

Rutherford helped shepherd the Hurricanes’ move from Hartford to North Carolina but said Friday that he was lured back to a GM role because of a chance to win a championship. A retired NHL goaltender, Rutherford played 115 games for the Penguins in the early 1970s.

Botterill was serving as general manager on an interim basis for the Penguins since Shero’s firing. He has been promoted to associate GM. Rutherford expects he’ll serve as the Penguins’ GM for “two or three years,” at which point someone within the organization could be promoted.

“We share the disappointment of our fans that we have not had success in the playoffs over the past five seasons,” co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said in a joint statement last month. “We believe that new leadership in the general manager’s office will bring a new approach and new energy, and help us return to championship form.”
Imagine! Oilers in the playoffs

Offline Throttlehead

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Re: Penguins hire GM Rutherford, fire coach Bylsma
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2014, 05:46:26 PM »
Wow, the Oilers would only be lucky enough to pick up the scraps the Pens just got rid of.

Byslma would be an excellent associate coach (he is better than Eakins will ever be) and Shero would have been exceptional as well.