With Jim Rutherford’s contract running through the end of next season, if the former Penguins’ GM wants to get back to work sooner, the Penguins appear to be willing to grant that wish.
According to NHL insider Pierre LeBrun, the Penguins have granted permission for Rutherford to interview for open positions.
The Penguins, since their season is over, have given teams around the league permission to talk to Jim Rutherford before his deals expires later this month. So the HHOF executive is officially on the free-agent market now. And I think very much open to hearing what's out there.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 1, 2021
(Note: LeBrun’s tweet notes that Rutherford’s contract expires later this month, but he is under contract through the end of next season)
Elliotte Friedman mentioned Rutherford as well in his latest 31 Thoughts:
I do think there’s been some contact [from teams around the league] with Jim Rutherford. There are no open GM spots, but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a fit in other roles.
With Rutherford now on the market and potentially looking for work, he won’t have any hurdles in his way, at least on behalf of the Penguins.
The Penguins have found their future in Ron Hextall and it makes sense that the Penguins wouldn’t try and get in Rutherford’s way. If he were to sign with a new team in some capacity for next season, his salary would come off the Penguins’ books, which surely is something the team is cognizant of given the lack of revenue over the past year with little to no fans allowed in the building for long stretches of time.