Jack Riley, the Penguins’ first GM, passes away

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Jack Riley, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first-ever general manager, has passed away, the club announced Thursday.

He was 97 years old.

Originally from Toronto, Riley served as Penguins GM for two different stints, from 1967 to 1970 and again from 1972 to 1974, and was the club’s interim president and executive director, as per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

From the Penguins:

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Jack Riley. Jack served as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first general manager in 1967 and played an important trailblazing role in the club’s history. He occupied a regular seat in the press box until just a few years ago, was a proud and beloved member of the Penguins alumni association and is fondly remembered by former players, coaches, scouts, office staff, arena workers and fans. As the Penguins approach our 50th anniversary season, we are humbled to know that the franchise was built on the shoulders of hard-working people like Jack. We send out condolences to his family and many friends, both in Pittsburgh and throughout the hockey community. Jack Riley will be missed.