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Penguins Ink Jim Rutherford to 3-Year Extension

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Jim Rutherford: Photo by Michael Miller

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Wednesday that they have signed general manager Jim Rutherford to a three-year contract extension through the 2021-2022 season.

Rutherford, 69, took over as the Penguins general manager in June 2014. The Penguins wily veteran was supposed to serve only one or two years As a fill-in candidate, however, his success including two Stanley cups has extended his tenure.

Rutherford’s first deal was to ship winger James Neal to Nashville in exchange for Patric Hornqvist. It was the first of several roster overhaul moves as Rutherford quickly sought to remake the floundering Penguins roster.

According to the Penguins press release: Rutherford, in his 25th year as a GM, 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.

Rutherford has won the Stanley Cup with two teams.  He also won the Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes.

“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.”

The Penguins are currently mired in a slump and have lost six of their last seven games. Last week, Rutherford expressed frustration in his current team and indirectly threatened a major shakeup.

Perhaps the contract extension is security to begin that process.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now owner, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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