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From The Grapevine: Jim Rutherford and Eric Staal

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Rutherford is a candidate to be Pens GM and the Leafs seem to want The Captain

Eric Staal battles the Leafs
Eric Staal battles the Leafs
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

Yesterday, Twitter was a buzz with multiple reports that the Pittsburgh Penguins had talked with Jim Rutherford about their open GM position.  Of course, Rutherford would neither confirm or deny the reports with local media, since technically he is still under contract for two more years in Carolina.

Before some of you scoff at the idea of Rutherford managing another franchise, I did get the feeling during my last interview with him that he still yearned for more.

I left the arena thinking that while the former general manager might be proud and happy today, perhaps we have not yet heard the last of him as a general manager in this league.

The above quote is from my article "No Regrets For Jim Rutherford" posted about a month ago.  After talking about being a competitor his entire life and perhaps not being able to turn that off, he refused to answer whether or not he would accept a job at another team.  Also, when asked at lunch if he was still living in the area, he replied, "for now".

As for his partial ownership of the Hurricanes, that is something that can be changed if necessary.

Another candidate is Pierre McGuire.  Now that would be interesting.

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In other news, there have been a few rumors out of Toronto about the Maple Leafs trading for Eric Staal.  This is most likely just wishful thinking by some media types, but it's interesting just the same.

Perhaps an earlier quote from Ron Francis stating that keeping Staal would "depend upon the budget", has got everyone's imagination running wild.  (Once again, I think he was referring to two years from now, not this summer, but I could always be wrong.)

The first one I read was an even swap of Captain for Captain, Staal for Dion Phaneuf.  In my opinion, this would be a bad move for the Canes and is very unlikely.  According to Cap Geek, Phanuef is under contract for $7 million a year until 2021.   No thanks.

The next scenario came from Ray Ferraro, who was quoted by "Hopesmoke" on Twitter from TSN Radio.

Ferraro's proposed Leaf package for E.Staal is one of Bozak/Kadri, another young roster player and a top end prospect

This might be something Francis might entertain, especially if the budget is a concern.

Let's see what the Toronto press comes up with next.

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In even more news, it seems that the Hurricanes are in the process of making some major changes to their game time production.  "Ron the Ref" said his goodbyes on Twitter last night, after being informed that he would be let go.

Ron has been with the organization for 16 years.

We will follow up on this and see what more we can find out, but from what we have seen on the Twitter, more changes are a coming.

(For the record, I saw this on Twitter conversation late last night but it seems @Section_328 was first to break the news.  Good work by them!)