Jim Rutherford has resigned as general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, citing personal reasons.
The team says Patrik Allvin has been promoted from assistant GM to the top position in the interim and the search for a new GM will begin immediately.
Penguins told reporters the 71-year-old’s resignation was not health-related.
Rutherford guided the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 2016 and 2017 after taking over the role in the 2014 off-season.
The Hockey Hall of Famer captured the NHL’s General Manager of the Year Award following the 2015-16 season and previously led the Carolina Hurricanes to their first Cup after 20 years as GM of the franchise.
“It has been a great honour to serve as general manager of the Penguins, and to hang two more Stanley Cup banners at PPG Paints Arena,” Rutherford said in a press release.
“I have so many people to thank, beginning with the owners, Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux, and team president David Morehouse. There always has been so much support from everyone involved with the Penguins, both on the hockey and business staffs, and, of course, from a special group of players led by Sidney Crosby. The fans here have been tremendous to me and my family. I know it’s a little unusual to have this happen during a season, but just felt this was the right time to step away.”
The move comes after a roller-coaster off-season in Pittsburgh, which began with the team’s early ouster from the playoffs at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens.
The team then opted to part ways with assistant coaches Jacques Martin, Mark Recchi and Sergei Gonchar, replacing them with Todd Reirden and Mike Vellucci on head coach Mike Sullivan’s staff, and fired assistant GM Jason Karmanos, a long-time associate of Rutherford.
Allvin, 46, who steps into Rutherford’s role in the interim, is in his 15th season with the Penguins hockey operations staff, joining the team as a scout in 2006-07.
“I’m excited for this new opportunity with the Penguins, but I would not be in this position were it not for Jim’s faith in me over these past seven years,” Allvin said.
“I want to thank him and wish him the best. Moving forward, I want everyone to know – from our ownership to our fans – that I’m committed to doing the best job possible for the Penguins, building on our strong start to the season.”
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