Penguins sign GM Jim Rutherford to three-year extension

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Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

The architect of the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ recent back-to-back Stanley Cup runs will be sticking with the team for three more years.

Veteran GM Jim Rutherford has signed a three-year extension with Pittsburgh that should keep him in the Penguins fold until 2022, the club announced Wednesday.

Rutherford is currently in his fifth year with the Penguins, having joined the club in 2014. The 69-year-old manager played a key role in building a championship-calibre roster around Pittsburgh’s veteran core, swinging deals for key pieces like Phil Kessel, Patric Hornqvist, Justin Schultz and Carl Hagelin during his time in the front office, while also handing the coaching reins to bench boss Mike Sullivan.

“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,” team co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said via a statement from the Penguins. “His goal every year is to win the Stanley Cup and that kind of commitment to excellence is what drives us all.

“Jim is already a big part of Penguins history with back-to-back championships, but his goal is to achieve even more, and we want to help him do that. We appreciate his continuing dedication to the Penguins.”

Prior to joining the black and yellow, Rutherford served as Carolina Hurricanes general manager from 1994 to 2014, winning the Stanley Cup with the club in 2006. Winning again with Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017, he became the only manager aside from Stan Bowman to claim three championships in the salary cap era.

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