Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/29/14 at 09:16 AM ET
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Rutherford oversaw the move of the Hurricanes from Hartford, Conn., where they were the Whalers, to Carolina. He built teams that made the Stanley Cup finals in 2002 and won the cup in 2006. He is generally respected for his trade acumen and people skills.
Yet he has never known media scrutiny like he will encounter in Pittsburgh, a two-newspaper town with hard-core sports-talk radio shows and rabid hockey fans who accept nothing less than titles. Further, he is 65 years old and out of his comfort zone. There are whispers that he has lost his fastball.
Rutherford smiles at that sort of talk. He says he is energized by the challenge ahead of him. He also might — might — be motivated to prove himself outside the umbrella of Carolina owner Pete Karmanos, for whom he worked for 30 years. Rutherford took Karmanos’ kid, Jason, with him to Pittsburgh as the Penguins’ vice president of hockey operations.
There’s another old-boy GM, Glen Sather, running the New York Rangers, who have salary-cap problems of their own and will be dumping contracts in the coming days. By the time the dust settles, the best team in the New York area might be located in Uniondale, where the Islanders reside.
All of this is fascinating viewing in other Metro Division cities, particularly Columbus, which has hot new rivals and designs on greater glory.
more on Rutherford...
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