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Jim Rutherford Publicly Comments on Failed Letang Trade Rumors

Jim Rutherford spoke about rumors he tried to trade Kris Letang during a recent podcast. He also commented on all the Penguins veterans.

Former Pittsburgh Penguins GM has spoken about rumors that he tried to trade defenseman Kris Letang and that ownership squashed the trade, potentially playing a role in his decision to leave the organization.

Speaking with Andy Strickland and Cam Janssen on the Cam and Strick Podcast, Rutherford was asked, point blank, if the rumors were accurate. He responded, no, and added, “Crosby, Malkin and Letang should play their whole career in Pittsburgh.” 

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He explained that he also regrets letting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury go in the NHL Expansion Draft and wishes he’d have been able to hold onto the goalie despite the team being in salary cap trouble. Rutherford noted publicly before it’s never been his intention to trade the veterans, but this is the first real response to this rumor since he parted ways with the Penguins.

Rutherford’s exact comments are below:

Nope. Not accurate. As a matter of fact, I’ve said publicly a few times. Because you get to a point in a player’s career–should you trade ’em, get something young for them or not–but I’ve actually took the position that because the core guys won Stanley Cups, three Stanley Cups, that [Sidney] Crosby, [Evgeni] Malkin and Letang should play their whole career in Pittsburgh. I wish I could say the same thing about [Marc-Andre] Fleury, but we got squeezed on the cap at an earlier time. But those four guys should have played their whole career in Pittsburgh. There’s three of them still there. That’s how I felt then, that’s how I feel now.

What Will the Penguins Do?

Rutherford’s advice seems to be that Ron Hextall and Brian Burke shouldn’t consider trading the veterans, but it’s unclear what the team will do after this season comes to a close. Both Hextall and Burke have said there are some big decisions to make in the offseason and that could mean moving out a contract for a player almost everyone would like to see retire in a Penguins jersey.

Jim Rutherford Pittsburgh Penguins GM

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