In an interesting development this morning, the Pittsburgh Penguins reported that they hired Jason Karmanos and named him Vice President of Hockey Operations. Jim Rutherford elaborated a bit more that he would be in charge of analytics for the club.
"I’ve worked with Jason for many years, know him well and know he can make great contributions to our hockey operations department," Rutherford said. "His first priority here will be to re-shape our analytics so that we have all the tools available in our decision-making process throughout the season."
A link to the story is below. At the end of the article, it also mentions that Jason and his family will be relocating to Pittsburgh.
If all is truly hunky-dory between Peter Karmanos and Jim Rutherford, this move is a bit surprising, because the Hurricanes owner fired his son early last season. The reason for the firing was left as a "personal (family) matter" and reportedly had nothing to do with the younger Karmanos' job performance as Executive Vice President and Assistant General Manager for the Canes.
No replacement was ever hired, as Jason's job tasks were reassigned within the organization.
Is this just the first shot across the bow toward his old boss by Rutherford? It will be interesting to see who the Pens hire as coach.
Speaking of coach, John Forslund was on 620 The Buzz this morning answering a few questions for Mike and Mark. Toward the end of the interview, Forslund said that it is getting near crunch time to hire a coach. When the series is over, four teams will be scrambling and the Hurricanes don't want to lose out on their first choice.
I think Forslund was alluding to the idea that the draft is a key date to have a coaching staff in place, not so much for the draft itself, but because so many key trades are made during this time. Also with July 1st coming up soon, it would be nice to have a coach's input before missing out on key free agents, or choosing one or more that don't fit with the new coaching philosophy.
Listen to the entire interview posted by WRAL here:
NHL general managers met yesterday and one of the primary topics discussed was whether or not the league would adopt a "coach's challenge" rule. Rutherford was interviewed regarding this as well and said that he doesn't think a new rule will be in place before the next season.
Steve Whyno has the story at the following link:
Finally, there is an excellent, in-depth interview recently published with Glen Wesley's son, Josh, who is currently a defenseman for the Plymouth Whalers. The young Wesley is draft eligible and is projected to be picked by someone, at least in the later stages of the draft, if not earlier.
Putting aside that he is Wesley's son, he fits the criteria in that he plays for Plymouth, so most certainly will be on Carolina's radar.
Check out the entire interview below: