Longtime NHL center Jason Spezza is the Pittsburgh Penguins’ new assistant general manager.
He had been a “special assistant” to Kyle Dubas, then the GM in Toronto, last season, but resigned that position shortly after Dubas, who was named the Penguins’ president of hockey operations several weeks ago, was fired by the Maple Leafs.
Per an announcement by the team, Spezza “will report directly to Dubas and assist club management in all hockey operations departments.”
Dubas presumably still plans to name a GM. A former assistant in Toronto, Brandon Pridham, is expected to get serious consideration for that position, assuming he is interested in leaving the Maple Leafs.
Dubas is doing double-duty as interim GM. At the press conference announcing his hiring, he said he expected to fill that role until sometime next month.
Spezza, 40, played in the NHL for 19 seasons, putting up 363 goals and 632 assists in 1,248 regular-season games with Ottawa, Dallas and Toronto. He added 28 goals and 48 assists in 97 playoff games.
In a statement released by the team, Dubas said:
“After a decorated playing career, Jason fully immersed himself on the management side of the game, learning all facets of hockey operations this past season while with Toronto. He showed tremendous work ethic, curiosity and ability to build relationships throughout all departments at the team facility. His move from the roster to the front office also helped make the hockey operations department, coaching staff and playing roster a more cohesive and collaborative unit. … He will add a great perspective to our club and we are excited to watch him reach his potential in management.”