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Penguins fire Bylsma, hire Rutherford as GM

June 6, 2014 GMT

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins have fired Dan Bylsma and hired Jim Rutherford as their new general manager.

Bylsma won a franchise-record 252 games behind the bench but failed to produce a bookend to the championship he captured with stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in 2009. The Penguins were just 4-5 in playoff series since raising the Cup, with each loss coming to a lower-seeded team.

Pittsburgh’s latest defeat came last month when the Penguins fell to the New York Rangers in seven games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The 65-year-old Rutherford replaces Ray Shero, who was fired three weeks ago. The move is a homecoming for Rutherford, who played goalie for the Penguins in the 1970s before spending 20 years with the franchise that began as the Hartford Whalers, moved to North Carolina in 1997 and won the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Rutherford stepped aside in April when the Hurricanes promoted Ron Francis — who helped Pittsburgh win consecutive Cups in 1991 and ’92 — to the GM’s job. It’s Rutherford’s job to do the same with the Penguins.

Rutherford said he is “very comfortable” with the control he has to name a replacement for Bylsma and hopes to have someone in place by the time free agency begins in July.