The Pittsburgh Penguins announced today that general manager Jim Rutherford has signed a three-year contract extension.
The deal replaces Rutherford’s current deal. He is now signed through the 2018-19 season.
Rutherford is two weeks removed from leading the Penguins to the franchise’s fourth Stanley Cup championship, capping a second year with Pittsburgh that included Rutherford winning the NHL General Manager of the Year Award.
The Stanley Cup championship was the second of Rutherford’s career, as he also won a title with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. He is the first general manager of the post-1967 NHL Expansion Era to manage multiple teams to Stanley Cup titles.
Rutherford is one of just five active NHL GMs with multiple championships on his resume, joining Chicago’s Stan Bowman (3), Toronto’s Lou Lamoriello (3), Detroit’s Ken Holland (3) and Los Angeles’ Dean Lombardi (2).
By the time the Penguins hoisted the Stanley Cup on June 12 at the SAP Center at San Jose, 55% of their postseason goal scoring (40 of 73 goals) came from players directly acquired by Rutherford.
The transformation of Pittsburgh’s roster started last summer, beginning with the bold move to bring in Phil Kessel from Toronto, and later, Nick Bonino from Vancouver. Those two combined with in-season add Carl Hagelin from Anaheim to produce the ‘HBK Line’ that had 56 points during the playoffs.
Rutherford’s free agent signings last summer, Matt Cullen and Eric Fehr, together scored four of Pittsburgh’s 16 Stanley Cup playoff game-winning goals.
During the course of the ’15-16 regular season, Rutherford swung deals for Trevor Daley from Chicago and Justin Schultz via the Edmonton Oilers.
In his first year as Pittsburgh’s GM, Rutherford acquired three key pieces of the ’16 championship squad, Patric Hornqvist (Nashville), Ian Cole (St. Louis) and Ben Lovejoy (Anaheim). The Hornqvist trade was the first major move of Rutherford’s tenure.
Rutherford also had the final call on promoting several key cogs of the ’16 championship roster to Pittsburgh, beginning with head coach Mike Sullivan on Dec. 12 and continuing with Matt Murray, Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary, Tom Kuhnhackl, Scott Wilson, Oskar Sundqvist and Derrick Pouliot.
In addition to winning the Stanley Cup, in his two seasons with Pittsburgh, Rutherford has led the club to the playoffs both years.
Before joining the Penguins, Rutherford spent 20 years as the general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes franchise. His team won the Stanley Cup in 2006, made a Cup Final appearance in ’02 and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in ’09.
Rutherford’s time in Carolina included twice being named The Hockey News ‘Executive of the Year’ in 2002 and ’06, and The Sporting News ‘Executive of the Year’ in ’06.
Included in Rutherford’s 13-year NHL playing career was a three-year stint with the Penguins. He as a 1969 first-round (10th overall) draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings.