As if reports the Pittsburgh Penguins were offering Ron Hextall the job as the team’s next general manager wasn’t already big news, that former GM and now television personality Brian Burke will be joining Hextall and the Penguins is somewhat shocking.
The Penguins made the news of Hextall as the team’s next general manager official on Tuesday. He said of his being hired: “It’s an honor to be joining the Pittsburgh Penguins – an organization well-known for its excellence on and off the ice.”
Penguins Add Burke
At the same time, the franchise announced that Burke would be joining Hextall. Burke will become the President of Hockey Operations and report to David Morehouse, the team’s president and CEO.
Elliotte Friedman reports, “Well this is something. Hearing Brian Burke will join Ron Hextall in PIT. Burke as President of Hockey Ops; Hextall as GM.” There were no reports that Burke was even in the running for another NHL executive job, despite the fact that nearly 20 different names were mentioned in connection to the Penguins.
Needless to say, this announcement comes out of left field.
Penguins Release a Statement
The organization commented on both hires and said:
“We feel incredibly lucky to bring in two highly-respected executives with a combined 50-plus years of NHL management experience. Ron and Brian are well-known in the hockey world as fierce competitors with championship pedigrees. They’re very well-connected and experienced in all aspects of the game. They are both excited to get to work here in Pittsburgh, blending their skills and building on our long tradition of success.”
Burke previously served as general manager of the Hartford Whalers and the Vancouver Canucks. He was also president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs; and president of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames. From 1993-98 he was executive vice president and director of hockey operations for the NHL, working closely with commissioner Gary Bettman.
Patrik Allvin will resume his role as assistant GM for the Penguins.
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