Thompson Sports News

New president Jim Rutherford embracing challenge of revamping Vancouver Canucks

 

Veteran NHL executive Jim Rutherford says he knows taking over the Vancouver Canucks will be a challenge, but he also sees it as a special opportunity.

Rutherford was named president of the Canucks (12-15-2) on Thursday, days after the club fired head coach Travis Green and number of front-office staff, including general manager Jim Benning.

Rutherford spoke with reporters on Monday, saying he's going to do his best to make Vancouver a consistent playoff team that can ultimately compete for a Stanley Cup.

The 72-year-old native of Beeton, Ont., was general manager for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2014 to 2021 and led the team to back-to-back championships in 2016 and '17. He was also Carolina's GM for 20 years, and saw the Hurricanes win the Cup in 2006.

A former NHL goaltender, Rutherford was named the league's general manager of the year in 2016 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builder category in 2019.

Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini says Rutherford was on the top of his list of candidates to take over the team and build a new culture.

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