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Jim Rutherford may have to cut back on trading during the 2021 season

The gunslinging general manager is adapting to hockey life with COVID-19 restrictions.

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2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Media Day Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In a recent article from Rob Rossi of The Athletic, Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford had a few thoughts to share on his current roster and whether or not he will be able to indulge in his favorite hockey activity—making trades:

Whenever hockey comes back for a second time during the COVID-19 pandemic, nobody should expect Rutherford to take a wait-and-see approach on potential trades.

“If there are trades this season,” he said. “I don’t know.”

Rutherford making a major move would hardly qualify as news, but him doing so well before having watched the Penguins play would rate as unusual. Though, unusual is the world we’re in these days.

“It’s probably more like football than ever,” Rutherford said, referring to an NFL where in-season trades pale in comparison to the NHL. “It’s probably going to be more where you set your team and that’s going to be your team.”

If this is to be believed, and other clubs adopt this approach, the 2021 season will be marked as a stark contrast to the way Rutherford typically operates.

Rossi went on to mention that Rutherford has made 53 trades as Penguins GM: 39 in-season and 14 during the offseason, including four since the qualifying-round loss to Montreal in the Stanley Cup playoffs this past August.

Say what you will about Rutherford’s unpredictable tendencies as GM, but he is nothing if not entertaining during the season.

Whenever it is deemed safe to play NHL hockey and life returns to a pre-COVID-19 state, look for GMJR to be first in line at the league office’s central registry to get a few celebratory deals approved.