The Pittsburgh Penguins have added Sam Ventura to their hockey operations department as director of hockey research, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
This move coincides with yesterday's hockey operations announcements made by Rutherford at his season-ending media conference. Assistant general manager Bill Guerin was given the added responsibilities of serving as general manager and alternate governor of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Jason Karmanos was promoted to assistant general manager alongside Guerin, and Mark Recchi was promoted to director of player development.
Ventura, 29, had been working with the Penguins as a consultant for the past two seasons. In his new full-time role, Ventura will report directly to Karmanos, providing a quantitative perspective on hockey operations decisions, including player acquisition and on-ice strategy.
A Swissvale native and Woodland Hills graduate, Ventura previously co-founded the hockey analytics website war-on-ice.com before joining the Penguins in a part-time role. In addition to his work with the Pens, Ventura spent two years as a visiting assistant professor of statistics at Carnegie Mellon University from 2015-17. Ventura has earned a Bachelor's (2010; Computational Finance and Statistics), a Masters of Science (2011; Statistics) and PhD (2015; Statistics) degrees from Carnegie Mellon.
Guerin, 46, will be entering his seventh season in Pittsburgh's front office, and his fourth as an assistant GM. In addition to his NHL duties with the Penguins, he will also serve as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's GM, and oversee its staff. He will serve as the alternate governor at AHL league meetings. Guerin has won two Stanley Cups as an executive with the Penguins the past two years, plus two Cups as a player, including one with the Pens in 2009, and another in 1995 with the New Jersey Devils.
Karmanos, 43, was promoted to assistant general manager after spending his first three seasons with the Pens as the team's vice president of hockey operations. He will continue to be involved in all facets of hockey operations decision-making, but going forward his duties will also include overseeing the Penguins' amateur scouting staff. Karmanos is a three-time Stanley Cup-winning executive, capturing back-to-back titles with Pittsburgh the last two seasons, and one with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. During his 14-year run as the assistant GM in Carolina, Karmanos also teamed with Rutherford to guide the Hurricanes to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final and 2009 Eastern Conference Final.
Recchi, 49, earned a promotion to director of player development. He will be involved in all facets of hockey operations decision-making, including the NHL, minor-league and prospect levels. Recchi was the Penguins' development coach the last three years. During his NHL career, which began as a player with the Penguins in 1988-89, Recchi has won a total of five Stanley Cups, including three as a player (1991, Pittsburgh; 2006, Carolina; and 2011; Boston) and two the last two seasons as a Penguins executive.
Guerin, Karmanos, Recchi and the Penguins' director of pro scouting, Derek Clancey, will all report directly to Rutherford.