PITTSBURGH (AP) - Tom Fitzgerald, a 17-year NHL veteran whose 1996 playoff goal helped keep Pittsburgh out of the Stanley Cup finals, was hired Tuesday as the Penguins' director of player development.
The Penguins also hired another former NHL player, Jason Botterill, as director of hockey administration.
Fitzgerald will evaluate Penguins draft picks who play in college, junior hockey and Europe and will also work with prospects at the Penguins' top farm club, Wilkes-Barre of the AHL. He will be based in Boston, where he ended his NHL career in 2006 after playing in 1,097 games with the Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks.
Fitzgerald scored the decisive goal during Florida's 3-1 Game 7 victory in Pittsburgh during the 1996 Eastern Conference final. The goal helped keep the Mario Lemieux-led Penguins from reaching the Stanley Cup final for the third time in six years, and Lemieux never got as close to playing for the Cup again.
Botterill will monitor the salary cap, handle player contract research and negotiations and do some scouting. He recently worked as a Dallas Stars scout. Botterill played in 88 NHL games from 1997-2004, scoring five goals.