Canucks hire Jim Rutherford as President of Hockey Operations

The Vancouver Canucks have their President of Hockey Operations

It was first reported that Jim Rutherford would join the organization by TSN insider Darren Dreger.

Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman reported that Rutherford was going to be the club’s President of Hockey Operations and interim general manager. Stan Smyl held the role of interim gm over the past few days since Jim Benning got fired.

The official announcement was made shortly after.

“It is time for a new vision and a new leader who will set a path forward for this team,” said Canucks Sports and Entertainment chairman Francesco Aquilini in the official announcement. “Jim has tremendous experience building and leading winning organizations and I believe he will help build the Vancouver Canucks into a team that can compete for championships again.”

“It is an honour to join the Vancouver Canucks and to lead an NHL team in Canada,” said Rutherford. “I would like to thank Francesco and the Aquilini family for the opportunity. The Canucks have an exciting young group of players, and I look forward to building a plan that will take this team to the next level and excite Canucks fans everywhere.”

Rutherford played in the NHL as a goaltender from 1969 to 1983. He played for the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings. He won 151 games and lost 227 in his career.

The 72-year-old brings years of experience as an NHL executive.  He joined the Hartford Whalers in 1994 as president and general manager. They became the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997. He helped guide the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup in 2006. He left Carolina in 2014.

Rutherford then joined the Pittsburgh Penguins as their GM. The Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017 under him. Rutherford resigned as Penguins GM in January of 2021 citing “personal reasons.”

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builders category in 2019.

Rutherford will join Aquilini for the search for the next GM.

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