It sure doesn’t sound as though former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is done with hockey. The 72-year-old Hall of Fame executive left the Penguins abruptly back in January and it felt as though it could be the end of an illustrious front office career. However, it didn’t take long for speculation to mount that Rutherford wanted to get back into the management game. Now, his interest is official. PBI Sports Agency has announced that they now officially represent Rutherford, who is looking for new “NHL management opportunities.” The GM and President of the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes for 20 years and GM and Executive Vice President of the Penguins for another seven, not to mention considerable time spent in the OHL, there are few in hockey with as much front office experience as Rutherford. If he wants a new job in the league, PBI shouldn’t have a hard time finding him one.
- San Diego Gulls assistant coach David Urquhart is moving to the college game and returning to his old stomping grounds. The Anaheim Ducks’ affiliate has announced that Urquhart has accepted the head coach position at McGill University, where he was an assistant for four years before joining the Gulls in 2018. Urquhart also played at McGill and was one the rare four-year Canadian collegiate players to go on to have an extended pro career, playing three seasons in the AHL and another three in Italy. While USports pales in comparison to its American counterpart, the NCAA, McGill is one of its most highly regarded institutions and based in a high-publicity area in Montreal. While Urquhart’s move was clearly impacted by loyalty to his university, it could also lead to greater heights in his career, especially if he finds success in his first head coaching position.
- The NHL is loosening it’s COVID Protocol restrictions as it relates to fans. With many playoff teams having already received permission from local authorities to host increasing amounts of fans, the league is moving forward with improving that spectator experience. The NHL has announced that, beginning in the second round, fans will no longer be required to wear masks at games. Individual teams may still enforce a mask mandate if local health policies insist, but the league will no longer do the same. Additionally, the glass behind the penalty boxes and benches, initially removed to allow for more breathing room for teams, can also be removed if teams are 85% vaccinated. This will be the case for most remaining American teams.