Jim Rutherford resigned as general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday because of personal reasons.
Assistant general manager Patrick Allvin will serve as GM and the search for a replacement will begin immediately.
“It has been a great honor to serve as general manager of the Penguins, and to hang two more Stanley Cup banners at PPG Paints Arena,” Rutherford said in a statement. “There always has been so much support from everyone involved with the Penguins, both on the hockey and business staffs, and, of course, from a special group of players led by Sidney Crosby. The fans here have been tremendous to me and my family. I know it’s a little unusual to have this happen during a season, but just felt this was the right time to step away.”
The 71-year-old was named general manager on June 6, 2014, replacing Ray Shero. The Penguins made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of their six full seasons with him as general manager and won the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017.
Shortly after hiring Rutherford, the Penguins acquired forward Patric Hornqvist in a trade from the Nashville Predators on June 28, 2014.
That was the first of several trades the Penguins made under Rutherford leading to back-to-back championships.
“Jim has been an amazing representative of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he’ll always have a special place in our team’s history, his own legacy,” Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse said. “He’ll always be part of the Penguins. On behalf of our ownership, management, staff, coaches and players, we want to thank him for his many contributions, which go far beyond those two Stanley Cups. Jim is a great friend and teammate. We wish him and his family the best.”
Under Rutherford, Pittsburgh hired coach Mike Sullivan on Dec. 12, 2015, and added forwards Phil Kessel, Carl Hagelin and Nick Bonino, and defensemen Justin Schultz, Trevor Daley and Ian Cole, among others.
Forwards Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust, and defenseman Brian Dumoulin, also became regulars on the Penguins roster during Rutherford’s tenure.
Rutherford was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builder’s category on June 25, 2019. In addition to his two championships with the Penguins, Rutherford was GM of the Carolina Hurricanes when they won the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Rutherford was a goalie for 13 NHL seasons from 1970-83 with the Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings.
Allvin, who was named assistant GM in November, is in his 15th season with the Penguins. The 46-year-old served as director of amateur scouting from 2017-20.
“I’m excited for this new opportunity with the Penguins, but I would not be in this position were it not for Jim’s faith in me over these past seven years,” Allvin said. “I want to thank him and wish him the best. Moving forward, I want everyone to know – from our ownership to our fans – that I’m committed to doing the best job possible for the Penguins, building on our strong start to the season.”
NHL.com independent correspondent Wes Crosby contributed to this report