Jason Karmanos was named vice president of hockey operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, the first big hire under new general manager Jim Rutherford.
Karmanos, 40, is the son of Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr., and worked with Rutherford for 15 seasons from 1998-2013 when Rutherford was GM of the Hurricanes. Karmanos held a variety of positions with Carolina, including vice president/assistant GM and executive director of hockey operations.
"I've worked with Jason for many years, know him well and know he can make great contributions to our hockey operations department," said Rutherford, who was hired by Pittsburgh on June 6. "His first priority here will be to reshape our analytics so that we have all the tools available in our decision-making process throughout the season."
Karmanos played at Harvard and attended Penguins training camp in 1996. He skated for the Raleigh Ice Caps of the ECHL in 1996-97 but had his career cut short by an eye injury.
"There's clearly lots of good things going on here," Karmanos said. "The hope is that we can make that next step as a group together to another Cup."
He joins associate GM Jason Botterill and assistant GMs Tom Fitzgerald and Bill Guerin, who were named to their positions the day Rutherford was hired. The Penguins fired coach Dan Bylsma that day and are searching for his replacement.
"Jim and I worked together for such a long period of time. We know one another very well and he knows what I can do to help," Karmanos said. "Jim knows he's got a lot of great people here … he just wanted to bring me in the mix as well and I'm very thankful for that."