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Penguins granted permission to interview Rangers' Chris Drury, Bruins' John Ferguson Jr. for GM position

Pro Hockey Rumors
Pro Hockey Rumors
 2021-02-02
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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins have started the interview process for their next general manager after Jim Rutherford’s sudden resignation last week, but the candidate list is still a long one, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The insider reports that the New Jersey Devils are not going to let Tom Fitzgerald—who is currently their GM but only signed to that position through this season—interview, but Frank Seravalli of TSN tweets that the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins have granted permission to interview Chris Drury and John Ferguson Jr., respectively.

Drury, the assistant general manager of the Rangers, has been on the GM track for several years and is a top candidate for basically every job that opens. An NCAA champion, Stanley Cup winner and two-time Olympic silver medalist as a player, Drury made a quick climb through the executive ranks and was named GM of Team USA at the 2019 World Championship. He’ll be a GM somewhere, though up until now the Rangers had been keeping him away from other opportunities.

Ferguson Jr. is another story, though his inclusion shouldn’t be scoffed at just because of his previous failures. The veteran front office member took over as GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2003 and found little success, but he has been climbing back up the ranks and building his reputation since his firing in 2008. He has worked as Boston's director of player personnel since 2014 and as GM of the Providence Bruins since 2016, with his name often coming up in connection with openings around the league.

Friedman offers another couple of names who hadn’t been mentioned before: Joe Nieuwendyk and Jason Karmanos. The former was the GM of the Dallas Stars between 2009-2013 but has been behind the scenes in recent years. The latter is kind of a shocking inclusion, given he was fired from his role as assistant GM with the Penguins in October.

Even though the list of candidates is long, the Penguins are expected to try and hurry along with a decision in order to have a GM in place as soon as possible. Currently, the team is being run by interim GM Patrik Allvin, with help from owner Mario Lemieux.

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