Photo: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A day after their season ended, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that GM Ron Hextall, assistant GM Chris Pryor, and President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke have all been fired.
“We are grateful to Brian, Ron, and Chris for their contributions to the organization over the past two seasons, but we feel that the team will benefit from new hockey operations leadership. While this season has been disappointing, we believe in our core group of players and the goal of contending for the Stanley Cup has not changed,” ownership Fenway Sports Group said in a statement.
Hextall had one season at $3.5 million remaining on his contract. Burke will return to Sportsnet as an analyst.
Pittsburgh missed the postseason by one point, the first time the team has done so since 2006 when captain Sidney Crosby was a rookie and defenseman Kris Letang in addition to center Evgeni Malkin had yet to make their NHL debuts. They went 40-31-11 (.555 points percentage) in 2022-23.
Pittsburgh controlled their postseason destiny heading into Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, who are currently tied for 31st in the league, and lost 5-2 at PPG Paints Arena.
Pittsburgh were buyers at the NHL Trade Deadline, acquiring defenseman Dmitry Kulikov from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for left-wing Brock McGinn and a third-round pick in 2024 NHL Draft; center Mikael Granlund from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a second-round pick in 2023 NHL Draft; defenseman Peter DiLiberatore and a third-round pick in 2024 NHL Draft from the Vegas Golden Knights for center Teddy Blueger; and center Nick Bonino from San Jose Sharks for a conditional 2024 fifth-round pick and 2023 seventh-round pick.
Head coach Mike Sullivan will assist in front office decisions until replacements are hired.
During the search, hockey operations managerial duties will be allocated among director of hockey operations Alec Schall, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton general manager Erik Heasley, and hockey operations analyst Andy Saucier.
By Harrison Brown
Dallas Eakins gone in Anaheim too
More NHL hammers will fall before COB on Monday
Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!