The Pittsburgh Penguins will play for the Stanley Cup in 2018 but the team is still looking for the right people to lead the organization, according to executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The Penguins’ Stanley Cup hopes have been tested in recent years with the departure of general manager Ray Shero and head coach Dan Bylsma.
But Rutherford said the team will go to work again and will take its time to make the right decisions in terms of hiring coaches and staff.
He said the Penguins will use a search firm and hire people they trust to fill out the roster, including assistant general managers John Stevens and Dave Rutter.
The team also will hire a director of player personnel.
“We’re going to make sure that we look for people that are going to help us,” Rutherford said.
“That’s the biggest thing we’re going after right now is the people that we’re confident in and that we think are the right ones to help lead this franchise.”
Rutherford said the Pens are going through a “huge transition” and will try to focus on building the team around a core group of players and a coaching staff that is built around their strengths and ability to win.
“You don’t get to be a good hockey team overnight,” Rutherford told NHL Network Insider.
“You have to be patient, you have to learn to be more patient and you have have to listen to your coach.
We’ve got a great coach and he’s going to be in charge of us for a while.”
Ramsay also said he hopes the Penguins can get to the conference finals and then a final, wild-card spot.
But if the team can’t get there, Rutherford said he would be willing to move on to the next level.
“I’ve been to the finals twice,” Rutherford explained.
“We won a Cup there.
If we’re lucky enough to get to that finals and we win a second one, it’s going be even more exciting for us to be part of that.
But we’re just trying to make this a successful organization.”