Jim Rutherford Turns Heel
As was first reported by Bob McKenzie, Jim Rutherford will be announced as the new general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins at a 1pm press conference. After only 6 weeks of not being a general manager, Rutherford now finds a new group of employees that can and will report directly to him.
In addition to this one piece of rather surprising news, JR is reportedly not sold on keeping Dan Bylsma. While that decision likely won’t be made today, if JR wants a new coach, he’d likely want to wrap that up before the draft. When it was rumored that Bylsma was sacked along with Shero (who is still looking for work) on May 16th, many Canes fans were giddy at the possibility of hiring this stylish fella. Perhaps that chance will re-surface soon; anything that makes Jacques Martin LESS likely is a win in my book.
So why would a team that has issues with forward depth, shaky goaltending, and defensive woes hire a guy who’s been criticized for those very same things? Hell if I know! Making this story even stranger is the fact that the Penguins have gotten the better of Rutherford in the Jordan Staal and Jussi Jokinen trades.
Congrats to Rutherford on the new gig, even though it means Pierre McGuire will remain on our TV’s next season! Now, will the Penguins end up with an inordinate amount of Plymouth Whalers?
Updates: Rutherford has fired head coach Dan Bylsma. At the press conference, he made a point to thank Karmanos and to praise Ron Francis. Noted he plans to upgrade the analytics side of the Penguins organization, and YET AGAIN blamed injuries and goaltending for the Canes missing the playoffs since 2009. Said being the Canes GM the last 2-3 years “wore on him”. Said Pittsburgh’s 4th line wasn’t great.
Overall, the press conference was fantastic. It was strange as all hell to see JR in front of another team’s backdrop, but good to hear his perspective on a different organization. Also, it was great to hear (emphasis on “hear”) media ask great questions at a press conference. It only makes us wish we had more local hockey talk. We’ll have more on tonight’s Cheaters Never Win podcast.