The Pittsburgh Penguins and their property Fenway Sports Group announced that they have relieved president of hockey operations Brian Burke, general manager Ron Hextall and assistant general manager Chris Pryor from their duties effective immediately.
The Penguins have relieved president of hockey operations Brian Burke, general manager Ron Hextall and assistant general manager Chris Pryor, Fenway Sports Group announced today.
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— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 14, 2023
The decision comes after the Penguins failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in 17 years. This streak was the longest active playoff streak among North American professional sports teams. During that span, the Penguins have won three Stanley Cups, one in 2009 and back-to-back wins in 2016 and 2017. It’s the second time since Sidney Crosby started his NHL career that the Penguins haven’t won. qualified for the playoffs. The Penguins were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in 2021 and 2022.
Hextall and Burke joined the Penguins organization during the COVID-shortened season after Jim Rutherford suddenly resigned from his position. Prior to joining the Penguins, Hextall served as general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers from 2014 to 2018 before being fired. Burke held managerial positions for more than 33 years and won the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.
John Henry and Tom Werner released the following statement:
“We are grateful to Brian, Ron and Chris for their contributions to the organization over the past two seasons, but we believe the team will benefit from a new direction in hockey operations. Although this season has been disappointing, we believe in our core players and the goal of competing for the Stanley Cup has not changed. »
Going forward, during the transition period, the Penguins will rely on current director of hockey operations Alec Schall, general manager/manager of hockey operations Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Eric Heasley and hockey operations analyst Andy Saucier. Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan will also help.