J I M
E X E C U T I V E V I C E P R E S I D E N T & G E N E R A L M A N A G E R
Three-time Stanley Cup champion Jim Rutherford
is in his fifth season as the executive vice president
and general manager of the Penguins.
Highly-regarded by his peers as one of the top
executives in the NHL, Rutherford’s tenure with
the Penguins has included back-to-back Stanley
Cup championships in 2016 and ’17, four playoff
appearances and the third-most wins (regular
season and playoffs) among all NHL clubs in that
span entering the 2018-19 campaign.
Pittsburgh’s six-game defeat of the Nashville
Predators in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final not only
made the Penguins the NHL’s first repeat champion
since 1998, but it allowed Rutherford to become just
the seventh GM since the 1967 NHL Expansion to
win three Stanley Cups. One year earlier, Rutherford
became the first GM since ‘67 to manage multiple
teams to Cup victories, having also done so with the
Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.
During the course of the 2015-16 campaign,
Rutherford transformed the Penguins into Stanley
Cup champions, thanks in large part to his
acquisitions of Phil Kessel, Nick Bonino, Trevor Daley
and Carl Hagelin, plus the promotion of Mike Sullivan
to head coach in December of 2015.
As a reward for his quick, on-the-fly re-shaping
of the Penguins’ roster, Rutherford won the NHL
General Manager of the Year Award for his work
Pittsburgh’s roster didn’t require as much
tinkering in 2016-17, but Rutherford once again
added key pieces at the right time, including
bolstering his defense by trading for veteran Ron
Hainsey near the deadline. Hainsey earned top-pair
minutes in the absence of Kris Letang.
Rutherford spent 20 years as GM of the Carolina
Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers franchise from
1994-2014, where he was a key architect of the
Hurricanes’ 2006 Stanley Cup championship squad
and their 2002 Stanley Cup finalist team.
In addition to his general manager duties, he also
served 20 years as president of Carolina/Hartford,
taking the post in 1994. In his role as president/GM,
Rutherford oversaw operations on both the hockey
and business sides of the organization.
Over the course of his executive career,
Rutherford has won multiple awards, including The
Hockey News‘ Executive of the Year in 2002 and
’06. Additionally, he was voted by his NHL general
management peers as Sporting News ‘Executive of
the Year’ in 2006.
At the junior hockey level, Rutherford was
recognized as the 1987 Canadian Hockey League
(CHL) Executive of the Year, and the Ontario Hockey
League (OHL) Executive of the Year in back-to-back
years with the Windsor Spitfires in 1987 and ’88.
He oversaw a Spitfires team that won the OHL
championship in 1988 and earned a berth in the
Rutherford played 13 years as a goaltender in
the NHL, appearing in 457 career NHL games with
Pittsburgh, Toronto, Los Angeles and Detroit. He was
selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the first round
(10th overall) of the 1969 NHL Draft.