Jim Rutherford Likely Out As 'Canes GM After Season; How Many Others Will Join Him?
Hurricanes President & GM Jim Rutherford is “expected to give up” his duties at the end of the season, according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. Rutherford today said that he did “not want to comment on his situation with the team or any potential changes until the season is completed.” Sources said that Rutherford “may stay as team president, although that decision has not been made.” Hurricanes Exec VP/Hockey Operations Ron Francis is expected to “succeed Rutherford as general manager” (NEWSOBSERVER.com, 3/24). In Boston, Fluto Shinzawa noted Rutherford is "close to owner Peter Karmanos, but the Hurricanes haven't qualified for the playoffs" since '08-09 (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/23).
OTHERS IN DANGER OF BEING LET GO: In Ottawa, Bruce Garrioch noted some GMs "are feeling the heat," and when the season ends April 13, "there could be changes in a few front offices." Some GMs who "could be in trouble" are the Predators' David Poile, Canucks' Mike Gillis and Capitals' George McPhee. Meanwhile, if the NHL chooses to expand and Seattle gets a team, "don't be surprised if former NHLer Jeremy Roenick is named the president of the club." The "whisper in league circles is that he has close ties with the group trying to bring hockey there." Returning to Quebec City "makes the most sense and construction of a new rink is well under way." There also is "talk a group in Las Vegas has made a pitch," with producer Jerry Bruckheimer behind the bid (OTTAWA SUN, 3/23).
NOT GOING ANYWHERE RIGHT NOW: In N.Y., Larry Brooks reported NHL Rangers President & GM Glen Sather "may be 70 and one year removed from successful prostate cancer surgery," but he is "not about to end his term." Sather on Friday said, "Everybody retires sometime, but I’m not intending to step away or retire from anything this year. I don’t know how stories like this keep coming up, because I haven’t said anything to anybody about retiring. … One day, yes. But not now." He added, "I'm not thinking about stepping back, or a change in my title or responsibilities" (NY POST, 3/23).
ISLAND OF ADVENTURE: Friday's edition of SNY's "Daily News Live" discussed who had the most difficult job as a front office exec of turning around the New York City-area teams. SNY's Marc Malusis said Islanders GM Garth Snow has a difficult job, but they will be "off the Island relatively soon and they're going to transition to Brooklyn." Malusis: "You look at the Nassau Coliseum, nobody wanted to play there. They drafted a young star in John Tavares, he's now done for the year. They've drafted well at times, but they cannot keep key component and key players there because they want to go someplace else. They don't want to play out there on the Island." Snow has to "live up to the great past of the early '80s where this team was a dynamic hockey team" ("Daily News Live," SNY, 3/21).