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Canucks to Hire GM Who Can Take Over For Rutherford, Top Candidates

The Vancouver Canucks have a long list of potential GM candidates but a priority is that the person hired can move up if Rutherford goes.

The Vancouver Canucks made the hiring of Jim Rutherford official on Thursday with the new President of Hockey Operations getting a three-year deal and the tag of Interim GM until he can find someone to take on that role on a permanent basis. According to a few reports, there are a number of candidates being considered.

Related: Rick Tocchet in Lead Among Half-Dozen Flyers Coaching Candidates

While Rutherford has never been afraid to pull the trigger on a deal, the plan is to find someone he can work in tandem with and likely someone who isn’t really considering a rebuild. The hiring of Bruce Boudreau as coach and Rutherford pegged to run things from the top suggests the Canucks are more interested in retooling and building around the core that is already there.

Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini said after hiring Rutherford that it was time for the organization to set a path for this team with a new vision. He added, “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.”

Jim Rutherford Jaosn Botterill Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks have a long list of potential GM candidates but a priority is that the person hired can move up if Rutherford goes.Jim Rutherford Jaosn Botterill Canucks

Among the names being considered to help Rutherford usher in this new vision, Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal of The Athletic made a long list of possible candidates. Names being considered for the GM job include: Jason Botterill, Stan Smyl, Mike Gillis, Laurence Gilman, Hayley Wickenheiser, Marc Bergevin, Scott Mellanby, Eustance King, Chris MacFarland, Ryan Johnson, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, J.P. Barry, Josh Flynn, Mike Futa, Ray Ferraro, Craig Conroy, Ross Mahoney, John Ferguson Jr., Kevin Weeks, Alexandrea Mandrycky, and John Chayka.

Among the favorites seems to be Botterill who worked with Rutherford in the past as the Penguins’ key capologist. They noted, “you can bet that Botterill’s name would be at the very top of Rutherford’s list of GM candidates.”

Other Changes in Vancouver Already Happening

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that it sounds like the Canucks want someone who will be there awhile. In the event that Rutherford retires, steps down or moves into an advisory role, the new GM would be moved into a more encompassing role.

As for other changes the Canucks might make, news came down on Friday that assistant GM Chris Gear and director of hockey ops Jonathan Wall have been relieved of duties. Gear was a 12-year employee, and Wall had been with the Canucks for 20-plus years. It’s not clear if these were Jim Rutherford’s decisions.

Next: Scribe Suggests Huge Blackhawks & Rangers Trade Involving Patrick Kane

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