The Pittsburgh Penguins significantly reshaped their front office Tuesday, hiring Brian Burke as leader of hockey operations and Ron Hextall as the team’s new general manager.
“We feel incredibly lucky to bring in two highly respected executives with a combined 50-plus years of NHL management experience,” said Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse, to whom Burke will report.
Patrik Allvin, who became break GM of the Penguins when Jim Rutherford surrendered on Jan. 27 for individual reasons, will get back to his part as assistant GM.
Hextall, 56, turned into the front-runner for the general manager opening during the second round of interviews for the Penguins. Different chiefs viable included Colorado Avalanche right hand GM Chris MacFarland, Boston Bruins head of player faculty John Ferguson Jr., previous Toronto Maple Leafs associate GM Mark Hunter, previous Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis and previous NHL player and current NHL Network investigator Kevin Weekes.
Hextall was the general manager for the adversary Philadelphia Flyers for four seasons (2014-18) and was a since quite a while ago tenured individual from the Los Angeles Kings front office, as associate senior supervisor and a consultant. He’s credited with drafting great and building up the small time framework for the two associations.
He played 608 games as a NHL goaltender, winning both the Vezina Trophy as top netminder and the Conn Smythe Trophy as season finisher MVP for the Flyers in 1986-87.
While Hextall was vigorously reputed to be in the blend for the Penguins work, Burke’s employing stunned the hockey world. The 65-year-old had followed his 31 years as a NHL chief with a highlighted job on Sportsnet’s NHL inclusion in Canada, as one of its most well known reporters.
Burke recently filled in as general manager of the Hartford Whalers, Canucks, Anaheim Ducks and Maple Leafs. He was most as of late overseer of hockey activities for the Calgary Flames until April 2018. He incorporated the Ducks into a Stanley Cup champion in 2006-07.
“To me, Pittsburgh is a take-your-breath-away destination for any GM or president of hockey ops,” Burke said. “I’m so excited for the opportunity. The Penguins are a storied franchise with outstanding ownership in Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, and Pittsburgh is just a great hockey city. Ron Hextall and I are very fortunate. We can’t wait to get started.”
The Penguins are 5-5-1 this season for a .500 focuses rate. Transforming the group into a Stanley Cup contender again is viewed as a test. Its center of stars – Sidney Crosby (33), Evgeni Malkin (34) and Kris Letang (33) – are maturing over the hill. The group doesn’t have a first-round pick this season and had the 31st-positioned prospect pipeline in ESPN’s new rankings.
“If you don’t have a job, they are all desirable,” one NHL general manager told ESPN. “The only possible issue could be if ownership was unstable. But that’s not the case in Pittsburgh. So it’s a very desirable job.”