The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed general manager Jim Rutherford to a three-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season on Wednesday. The deal extends Rutherford's existing contract, which was scheduled to run through the current season.
Rutherford has been a GM for the past 25 years in the National Hockey League, and is now in his fifth year as general manager of the Penguins. He currently ranks eighth in NHL history among general managers in both career wins (850) and games managed (1,834) according to the NHL Stats team.
Before joining the Penguins, Rutherford spent 20 years as the general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes franchise. His team won the Stanley Cup in 2006, made a Cup Final appearance in '02 and advanced to the Eastern Conference Final in '09.
"We think Jim Rutherford is one of the best general managers in all of sports and, during his tenure in Pittsburgh, arguably the best GM In the NHL," Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said in a joint statement. "His goal every year is to win the Stanley Cup and that kind of commitment to excellence is what drives us all. Jim is already a big part of Penguins history with back-to-back championships, but his goal is to achieve even more, and we want to help him do that. We appreciate his continuing dedication to the Penguins."
"Jim's body of work speaks for itself," said David Morehouse, president and CEO of the team. "He is a championship general manager who will someday soon be in the Hall of Fame. Beyond that, he is a tremendous person and a great representative of the Penguins' franchise, so well-respected around the hockey world. And he's a true "Pittsburgher" - a straight talker and a stand-up guy. We look forward to working together to achieve more success."
The extension could motivate even more Rutherford to make important changes on his roster, as the Penguins have been struggling since the start of the season.
“Has this team been together too long? It’s something I always have to watch for,” Rutherford recently said on the radio. “When do you have to make those changes? The players are doing everything they can to tell me now’s the time.”
Let's see what Rutherford's first order of business will be after signing this extension...