The Vancouver Canucks have hired Jim Rutherford as team president and interim general manager, it was announced Thursday.
Rutherford will lead the search for a permanent GM.
“It is time for a new vision and a new leader who will set a path forward for this team,” Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini said in a statement. “Jim has tremendous experience building and leading winning organizations and I believe he will help build the Vancouver Canucks into a team that can compete for championships again.”
Rutherford steps into the Canucks’ front office after the team fired GM Jim Benning and coach Travis Green on Sunday. Bruce Boudreau has taken over behind the bench on a two-year deal.
In January, Rutherford resigned as general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins for personal reasons. He previously served as president and general manager of the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes from 1994 to 2014, winning a Stanley Cup in 2006. After joining the Penguins in 2014, Rutherford won two more Cups in 2016 and 2017.
“It is an honor to join the Vancouver Canucks and to lead an NHL team in Canada,” Rutherford said. “I would like to thank Francesco and the Aquilini family for the opportunity. The Canucks have an exciting young group of players, and I look forward to building a plan that will take this team to the next level and excite Canucks fans everywhere.”
The Canucks had Stan Smyl serving as interim general manager in the immediate aftermath of Benning’s departure, with Ryan Johnson in the role of interim assistant GM. Vancouver also said on Sunday that Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Doug Jarvis and Chris Greer were also going to be involved in the club’s day-to-day hockey operations.
Rutherford was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019 in the builders’ category.