And just like that, the Jim Rutherford era for the Pittsburgh Penguins was over. No warning. No protracted goodbyes or fulfilling the remaining months of his contract. In his absence, the Penguins have a sharp hockey scout who has less than six months experience as an assistant GM at the helm and likely a flood of resumes.
Fortunately for the Penguins, there are more than a handful of available, experienced GMs who have been successful elsewhere but, for various reasons, are no longer employed.
For example, Dale Tallon built the Chicago Blackhawks dynasty before losing a 2010 power struggle and taking the Florida Panthers GM position. Tallon amassed an impressive array of talent in Florida, but Sunrise has become the black hole of hockey talent.
Tallon, 70, was exonerated of accusations that used a racial slur inside the Toronto bubble last August. He could be a short-term hire and “overseer” if the Penguins feel interim GM Patrik Allvin is their long-term choice.
Fortunately, there are several more serious candidates.