It was announced today that Jim Rutherford has resigned as Pittsburgh Penguins general manager. This is a stunning announcement that no one saw coming. He cited “personal reasons” as to why he’s stepping away from the team. As the announcement also says, Patrik Allvin will be the interim general manager. Also, the search for a full-time GM begins right away.
Jim Rutherford has resigned as general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, citing personal reasons.
Patrik Allvin, the team's assistant general manager, has been promoted to interim GM, and the search for a new GM will begin immediately.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 27, 2021
Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford Resigns
Rutherford was instrumental in getting the Penguins back to contention when he was hired in 2014. He retooled the team on the fly and brought in numerous players who contributed to their Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. It starts with Phil Kessel, who he acquired in 2015. Rutherford also acquired Trevor Daley, Carl Hagelin, Justin Schultz, and Nick Bonino. These were key complementary pieces for their cup runs.
He also hired Mike Sullivan halfway through the 2015-16 season. Sullivan replaced Mike Johnston which also really turned the Penguins around. He’s been the longest-tenured coach under Rutherford.
Before all those moves, Rutherford also acquired winger Patric Hornqvist in 2014 (it was his first big trade as general manager) and shipped James Neal to Nashville. It was the first sign of the Penguins going a different direction in the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin era. It turned out to be one of Rutherford’s best moves as Hornqvist became a fan favourite and a Stanley Cup hero in both runs.
Even in 2017 when Kris Letang got hurt, Rutherford acquired both Ron Hainsey and Mark Streit to give the defence a bit of depth. He also held onto Marc-Andre Fleury even though Matt Murray was taking his spot. It ended up paying off as Pittsburgh needed both goaltenders in their Stanley Cup wins, especially in 2017.
He was also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019 as a builder. He was a crucial part of the Penguins Stanley Cup runs in 2016 and 2017.
It’s worth noting that Penguins President David Morehouse said that Rutherford’s resignation was not health-related.