It came as a shock earlier this season when general manager Jim Rutherford left the Pittsburgh Penguins for personal reasons. This forced the hands of Mario Lemieux and the rest of the team to hire Rob Hextall as the new GM with Brian Burke as president of hockey operations, prompting rumours on which players could be traded.
Fans also started to speculate on the reason behind Rutherford’s departure, with rumours of a botched tarde involving defenseman Kris Letang getting louder and louder.
Finally on Tuesday, Cam Janssen and Andy Strickland invited Rutherford on their podcast, and the former GM was asked about that failed trade.
Rutherford is adamant that he never attempted to trade Letang, nor should he and the two other core players, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, should be traded in the future.
“Crosby, Malkin and Letang should play their whole career in Pittsburgh.”
The former GM even wanted to included former Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, whom he regret having traded to the Vegas Golden Knights because of salary cap contraints.
This is the first time even since Rutherford left office that he talks to reporters and reveals some details on what took place in Pittsburgh.
Rumours continue to be heard that the core of Crosby, Malkin and Letang could get broken up and traded if the Penguins are forced to enter a full rebuilding process.
However, we know how Rutherford feels about that and what he would have done if he were still the GM of the Penguins.