Devils haven’t asked to interview any Pens management, says Rutherford

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Shortly after Ray Shero was announced as Lou Lamoriello’s successor as the GM in New Jersey, attention turned to potential hires from Shero’s old team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

But there’s nothing there quite yet.

Per the Post-Gazette, none of Shero’s old front-office mates have been asked to consider an allegiance switch:

Other members of the Penguins’ management team, most notably assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald and director of player personnel Dan MacKinnon, also could be in line for jobs with the Devils. Both have long, strong ties to Shero.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford, who said last week that he would not stand in the way of any staffer who could get a better position with another organization, said near the close of business Monday that the Devils had not approached him for permission to speak with anyone from his management team.

It’s worth noting the Penguins have a pretty crowded front office. Rutherford is keeping the GM seat warm, so to speak, so the three — yes, three — assistants under him can continue to gain experience. Those three, of course, would be Fitzgerald, Jason Botterill and Bill Guerin; the club also employs MacKinnon in his player personnel role, Jason Karmanos as vice president of hockey operations and Jacques Martin as senior advisor of hockey ops.

(There’s also CEO David Morehouse, who’s fairly visible in the media and recently gave both Rutherford and head coach Mike Johnston votes of confidence.)

Most of the talk surrounding Shero and ex-Penguins has focused primarily on Dan Bylsma, as the former Pittsburgh bench boss is viewed as a viable replacement candidate for the Adam Oates-Scott Stevens duo that coached out the string last season. But it’s possible Shero could also look to his old club for help in the management department, especially since Lamoriello had a relatively small hockey operations staff.

Fitzgerald was brought up as a potential hire in Shero’s lengthy interview with the Bergen Record, as was the possibility of bringing aboard franchise legend Martin Brodeur. The newly-minted GM wasn’t ready to reveal his potential staff additions, however.

“There’s a lot of people I’ve worked with in the past and I’m sure some names will get mentioned here and there, but I have an open mind to a lot of things,” he explained. “I’ve heard a lot of different names, but there’s nothing on my end at this point.

“My first goal is to get into New Jersey, get to meet the people, ask questions, go to the world championships and collect their thoughts and see a lot of people there and (ask) more questions and then come back and really try to get to work.”