PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed Ray Shero to a five-year contract as their new general manager, it was announced today by team president and CEO Ken Sawyer.
Shero, 43, has been assistant general manager of the Nashville Predators for the past eight seasons, working closely with Predators GM David Poile on all aspects of the club's hockey operations. His specific responsibilities included scouting at the amateur and professional levels, contract negotiations, and personnel matters such as arbitration, in addition to overseeing operations of the Predators top minor-league affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League.
Before joining the Predators organization, Shero spent six seasons as assistant general manager of the Ottawa Senators - joining the club in its second year of existence as an expansion team.
A native of St. Paul, Minn., Shero played college hockey at St. Lawrence University, serving twice as team captain, and was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1982. He worked as a player agent for seven years before entering NHL management.
Shero is the son of the late Fred Shero, who coached the Philadelphia Flyers for seven years and led them to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1973-74 and 1974-75. Fred Shero also was GM and coach of the New York Rangers from 1978-80.
"We are delighted to have Ray join the Penguins family and are confident that under his direction we will build a championship team," Sawyer said. "Ray is a young, enthusiastic, innovative guy who already has 14 years of experience in NHL management. He grew up in hockey, he is steeped in hockey tradition, but he also is a progressive thinker who has done a tremendous job in helping to build first-class organizations in Ottawa and Nashville. He has earned great respect in the hockey world and comes extremely well-recommended."
Shero joins a Penguins team that finished 29th in the overall NHL standings in 2005-06 but features 18-year-old phenom Sidney Crosby and a stable of other exciting young prospects.
"My family and I are very excited to come to a great hockey town like Pittsburgh and become a part of the Penguins organization," Shero said. "Everyone in the hockey world knows about the Penguins' young talent, and the tremendous potential that we have here. I'm looking forward to working with the players coaches and staff - and I can't wait to get started."
Both Ottawa and Nashville made significant improvement during Shero's tenure as assistant GM, building with youth while adhering to a budget and business plan. The Predators went 49-25-8 and established a club record with 106 points in 2005-06, qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second straight season. They had the third-best record in the Western Conference and fifth-best in the NHL.
Shero also played an important role in the success of the Milwaukee Admirals, Nashville's top affiliate in the American Hockey League. In 2003-04, the Admirals led the AHL in wins (43) and points (102) and won the Calder Cup by defeating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the league finals. On Wednesday night, the Admirals won their second AHL Western Conference championship in three seasons by defeating the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Ray and his wife, Karen, have two sons, Christopher and Kyle