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Rutherford Named Pens GM

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Gotta wonder if all this has been worked out for a while now. JR knew he was going to Pittsburgh, Bylsma knew JR was gonna fire him and he was gonna except the job from Francis in Carolina. It may have been a bunch of handshakes and agreements going on between these guys since April. WE'll see.

 

 

Perhaps this deal where we basically traded Rutherford for Bylsma?

 

 

You know at first glance I kind of chuckled at this. But then again, PK probably had to bless this since JR is a part owner, plus would JR really back stab PK if PK wasn't good with it? It is possible that Pittsburgh inquired about JR and PK said, ok, but....

 

Wouldn't it be something if a trade benefiting us slightly more transpired at some near future point?

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Perhaps this deal where we basically traded Rutherford for Bylsma?

 

 

How many of the teams needing a HC would be interested in the guy?

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...

If he can get JR to take Ward for a decent player in return that would be a great start.

 

Not sure what JR thinks of Fleury.

 

It would be nice if Ward tagged along!!

 

I honestly don't know how to process this yet. It makes me really wonder what was going on behind the scenes with the front office in Raleigh/Detroit. If Jimmy was pushed out, I don't blame him for saying or doing anything. I was ready for a change, but if the problem is PK?

 

I am wondering if PK is part of the issue as well!  What does the man really know about hockey and building a team?  He should let RF make the decisions as he is the GM now.  Give him the reigns and see what he can do.

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I don't see why people would be unhappy.  With the panning JR took on these forums, it would seem him being hired by one of the enemies would be perfect.

 

As someone on the fence about firing JR, I should be the one lamenting.  However, I am glad he's gone from the front office, RF didn't need him looking over his shoulder.

 

And with all the people saying JR got fleeced all the time, well there ya go, he's right there for us to fleece now, let's see how we do with that.

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I wouldn't expect any favors from Rutherford. JR and PK may be friends but they are competitive. JR also without coming out and saying it got a little dig in at our budget conscious culture saying there are differences between the two organizations.

 

There are some players on the Canes he probable would want but the reality is the Pens are up against the cap. JR will either need to make some blockbuster moves or be satisfied with little moves going into this season.

 

As of 1pm today he belongs to the Pens and he will be out to prove he belongs.

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 . . .the reality is the Pens are up against the cap. JR will either need to make some blockbuster moves or be satisfied with little moves going into this season.

I wonder if JRs experience working with relatively little $ might have been a factor in the Pens decision to hire him?  Given the Pens cap issues, JRs age, and the fact that they retained two other in house members of their management team, it wouldn't shock me if the Pens saw JR as a "bridge" GM rather than a long term solution.  Tweak the team given the money situation and groom the associate GMs for several years.  Wild speculation here. :letssee:

Edited by LakeLivin

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I wonder if JRs experience working with relatively little $ might have been a factor in the Pens decision to hire him?  Given the Pens cap issues, JRs age, and the fact that they retained two other in house members of their management team, it wouldn't shock me if the Pens saw JR as a "bridge" GM rather than a long term solution.  Tweak the team given the money situation and groom the associate GMs for several years.  Wild speculation here. :letssee:

 

I'm not sure that's such wild speculation. I read somewhere JR was looking at maybe 2 or 3 years as GM. I think grooming one of the assistants is part of the plan. A little speculation but not so wild IMO.

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I know it doesn't really matter in the hockey sense, but I wonder how PK feels about this.  I would not be surprised to see a dig or 2 going back at JR from PK now.

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I don't see why people would be unhappy.  With the panning JR took on these forums, it would seem him being hired by one of the enemies would be perfect.

 

Exactly. Seems like most think JR had done a terrible job here, so his going to Pittsburgh should be great news. I wonder how the Pittsburgh fans feel about this. Do they think the GM that couldn't even get us into the playoffs is what they need to finally get back to the cup finals? First we give them our players and now our GM. They're becoming the Hurricanes 2.0

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Exactly. Seems like most think JR had done a terrible job here, so his going to Pittsburgh should be great news. I wonder how the Pittsburgh fans feel about this. Do they think the GM that couldn't even get us into the playoffs is what they need to finally get back to the cup finals? First we give them our players and now our GM. They're becoming the Hurricanes 2.0

Looking at some of the comments on TSN.ca, a lot of people are puzzled by the move.

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To me, it certainly smells like there were ideological issues between PK and JR, and JR was tired of fighting that battle.  It basically seems he so fed up that he threw the towel in on the team that he had spent 20 years with and was a minority owner.  It also seems that it was obvious enough to explain this to one of the high profile teams in the league and it was enough to convince them that not making the playoffs for 5 straight years was not his doing.

 

It really makes me think that we didn't get rid of the "problem" when JR stepped down.

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Dave,

The main issue is that getting rid of the "problem" could mean the end of the Carolina Hurricanes, unless more local "problems" can be found to keep the franchise from relocating.

Edited by AWACSooner

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To me, it certainly smells like there were ideological issues between PK and JR, and JR was tired of fighting that battle.  It basically seems he so fed up that he threw the towel in on the team that he had spent 20 years with and was a minority owner.  It also seems that it was obvious enough to explain this to one of the high profile teams in the league and it was enough to convince them that not making the playoffs for 5 straight years was not his doing.

 

It really makes me think that we didn't get rid of the "problem" when JR stepped down.

 

 

It is really starting to seem that way.

 

All we need to do is open our eyes and ears and go back to "The Interview".  Ya'll remember that, don't you?   Would you like to work with someone on a daily basis who acts that way?  Would you want to invest in an entity with a leader like that at the helm?

 

I'm serious when I ask if PK is physically OK.   I don't know the man or his history.  But clearly over the last year a lot of change has swirled around him.  He fired his son.  He got fired.  He's changed his involvement with the hockey team.  JR got "moved on."  Etc.  Is this normal for him or is he changing too?  I really hope nothing is wrong and he is OK and this is normal.  Seriously.   Like AWAC says, we need ownership stability in this market.  The last thing we want is ownership problems in a southern market.

 

In any case, I managed to catch an extended interview last night with Bill Watters on XM.  Bill clearly and squarely puts all the blame for the Cane's trouble's in PK's lap.  Bill is a Canadian broadcast specialist, but also served as a stint as an assistant GM in Toronto.  He is part of the GM fraternity and considers himself very close to JR (they are close in age).

 

He never said "JR is cheap", but in every other way, he said it.  He said PK is a very rich man but pays too much attention to the losses the team was incurring, i.e. PK takes the business side very seriously at the expense of the hockey.   He blamed the 2007 failure on PK, saying that JR was forced to get rid of Williams because PK wanted to cut his business losses.  He blamed the Jussi trade on PK's budget.  Etc.    He had nothing but good to say about JR and basically absolved him of all blame.  He said JR "can sell ice boxes to people in the north country".   He said JR's dad was an excellent auto salesman and JR got those skills.  JR will get a deal from you before you even know it, and you'll smile as you get hosed.  He said JR is "owed a lot of debts" around the league and will be cashing them in at Pittsburgh.

 

It was a very interesting interview.  Now I don't 100% agree with Watters.  He was way too fast to absolve JR of any blame.  But the point he kept driving home is that the constrained budget boxed JR in, and he thinks we'll be blown away when he gets a chance with a full budget. 

 

That still confuses me, since I thought the last two years PK opened the pocket book, yet JR didn't use it.  Oh wait!  There's an answer for that.  "Injuries".  Never mind.  :)

 

Finally, the thing about selling "ice boxes to north country people" and "smiling even as you get a raw deal" did strike a cord.  There were a few times when JR made a move and I was smiling and excited -- only to realize later on we probably got hosed.

Edited by wxray1

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JR to Pitts just turned up the heat here in NC- this will be a pride thing- lets hope everyone steps up their game- Ronnie - "coach" - players...which team will raise the cup again first? CANES/PENS?

Does Ronnie keep the brothers? Does he play "let's make a deal" with JR.... Ward for Flurey... Sutter on his way back... Or Jussi - which boats have sailed?

Is Danny Boy headed south?

Is there a revenge factor- an "I'll show you from either side- Both sides might have something to prove! Who blinks first... Interesting comment from JR about his "investment" in the Canes..."I'll get my money back" sounded like maybe he's thinking it was a bad investment...

NEW TWIST-should be fun

LETS GO CANES!!!

Edited by Pkling40

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JR welcomed retirement just months ago.

 

If you ask me, JR didn't have it in him to do the right thing and take the time to rebuild the franchise whose talent pool had been decimated through poor drafting and trading away prospects and picks all for "winning now".

 

Along comes Pittsburgh, where he can do what he does best, "tweak" the current lineup with an open checkbook.  

 

I'm glad JR is gone, and screw Pittsburgh even more now.  I think JR had his finger on every decision that was make in and around the team and that building.

 

PK has already said he would be hiring a replacement for team president, preferably a guy with a high end business education, which is more than what you get from a retired goalie.  By nature, billion-aire owners are odd to begin with.  I'll give it some time and see how it shakes out.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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JR welcomed retirement just months ago.

If you ask me, JR didn't have it in him to do the right thing and take the time to rebuild the franchise whose talent pool had been decimated through poor drafting and trading away prospects and picks all for "winning now".

Along comes Pittsburgh, where he can do what he does best, "tweak" the current lineup with an open checkbook.

I'm glad JR is gone, and screw Pittsburgh even more now. I think JR had his finger on every decision that was make in and around the team and that building.

PK has already said he would be hiring a replacement for team president, preferably a guy with a high end business education, which is more than what you get from a retired goalie. By nature, billion-aire owners are odd to begin with.

what this says... Can't wait it pick my seats for this :) they won't be front row (I can't afford them) but they will be close enough!

LETS GO CANES

Edited by Pkling40

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The handcuffs are officially off of Ron Francis, and I'm stoked to see what he can do to reinvigorate this stale franchise.  Stoked.  Changes will continue to be made, and I welcome them.  From Stormy to team president.

 

But most importantly, recapturing the ideology of winning.

 

Somehow, the Canes have lost that along the way.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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I don't really see anything sinister in JR taking this job. I have no inside knowledge, but I am guess that at some level he had PK's approval. JR was GM of this team forever. Overall, I still think he did a pretty good job with what he had to work with. Sure, we are a small market team. But we were when we won Lord Stanley's cup also. But it was time for a change. I have posted and agree, that change needed to happen and from our end JR moving on clears the air for deep change.

 

I was OK w/ Ron the Ref, and agree that the inter-period entertainment package has as much affect on the real product as the weatherman has on the weather. BUT, I do like the message it sends. "We will be doing things differently around here."

 

From JR's point of view, it seems pretty simple. He was uneasy about being put out to pasture. He was not a "business" guy, and clearly the plan was to let Francis make the hockey decisions. What exactly was JR's job going to be. PK's pal? He is an honorable guy, but is competitive and not ready to hang up the GM skates just yet. Then...the perfect opportunity that he's never had and probably always dreamed about: A non small market team, already full of elite talent, that he can tweak and return to greatness.

 

So, instead of fading out on failure, he can go out on top. At least a good shot at that. Plus a new challenge and all of that.

 

This was a no brainer for him and I'd have done the exact same thing.

 

For us, In Francis We Trust.  It's all on him now. Change is here. Even more uniformly than cutting JR himself, this board wanted change. You got it.

Edited by remkin

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If I'm JR, and I'm at that point in my career, I make the same move. No question about it.

 

His lack of success here in recent years could be from any number of things that, we as fans, we'll never hear about in full detail. So many questions surround his departure as GM of the Canes and everyone will speculate one thing or another. Even if he was fully committed to retiring, I'm pretty sure if a team like the Penguins calls you up right after you retire and says 'hey, we've got lots of money and superstars on our team, do you want to give this a shot?' you don't turn them down. At the end of the day, he made the best move for himself personally and I don't blame him. He did a lot of great things for the Whalers/Canes franchise and he'll always have my respect for that.

 

That said, if the changes the Canes made in management this off-season make us better, I'm all for it. If the Canes are still average and don't make the playoffs, then it would be cool to see Jimmy go out on top (as much as I would dislike seeing the Pens win).

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From JR's point of view, it seems pretty simple. He was uneasy about being put out to pasture. He was not a "business" guy, and clearly the plan was to let Francis make the hockey decisions. What exactly was JR's job going to be. PK's pal? He is an honorable guy, but is competitive and not ready to hang up the GM skates just yet. Then...the perfect opportunity that he's never had and probably always dreamed about: A non small market team, already full of elite talent, that he can tweak and return to greatness.

 

According to Watters, this is pretty much exactly what happened.  When Watters called up JR recently, he says that JR shared that he was getting fidgety and the semi-retirement thing wasn't sitting well with him.  He wanted back in.  Then in a follow up call early this week, he asked JR how it was going now that he had a chance to get back in.  He asked JR if he has a second interview.  JR said: "Bill, my second interview ill be signing the papers."  I.E. he was offered the job right away and there was no messing around on either side with this opportunity.

 

I'm guessing that the Pens ownership did try things out, looking for a long-term guy, possibly McGuire, but decided to go with the mentor-bridge kind of guy instead.  JR was it.  I don't think there was a grand conspiracy.

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