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Ron Hextall hired as Penguins GM; Brian Burke named hockey ops president

Liam McHugh, Mike Babcock and Patrick Sharp break down the latest NHL Power Rankings, where David Pastrnak's return has powered Boston to the top spot while Florida's strong play has the Cats joining the top 10.

The Penguins have hired Ron Hextall as general manager and Brian Burke as president of hockey operations.

Patrik Allvin, who’s been serving as interim GM since Jim Rutherford’s resignation, will return to his role as assistant GM.

“We feel incredibly lucky to bring in two highly-respected executives with a combined 50-plus years of NHL management experience,” said Penguins team president David Morehouse. “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.”

Rutherford resigned suddenly on Jan. 27, citing personal reasons.

Hextall was last an NHL GM in 2018 when the Flyers fired him after four years in charge. He was let go because there was no longer a shared “philosophical approach concerning the direction of the team.” The organization had grown tired of his patient approach and wanted someone with a “bias for action.” They went for ex-Wild GM Chuck Fletcher for the job.

[MORE: Ron Hextall hire could bring massive shift in how Penguins are built]

Hextall certainly lacked any sort of patience while playing goal for the Flyers, as Penguins fans and Rob Brown remember:

Hiring of Hextall puts the new boss in a delicate situation. The Penguins still have Stanley Cup dreams, but there also needs to be a look to the future. Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang are 33, while Evgeni Malkin is 34. They currently do not have picks in the first, third, fourth, and sixth rounds of the 2021 NHL Draft and are at the bottom of most prospect rankings lists. The prospect cupboard needs replenishing after years of dealing away No. 1 picks (Pittsburgh has drafted in the first round once since 2014.)

Under Hextall, the Flyers drafted players who are key to their recent revival like Travis Sanheim, Oskar Lindblom, Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Carter Hart, Nolan Patrick, and Joel Farabee.

“Nothing’s changed,” said Morehouse. “We’re the Pittsburgh Penguins, and we’re here to win.”


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.