Pittsburgh Penguins hire Ron Hextall as GM, Brian Burke as president of hockey operations
Hextall will oversee the day-to-day hockey operations and report to Burke as his primary advisor. Burke will report to David Morehouse who is the team’s president and CEO.
“We feel incredibly lucky to bring in two highly-respected executives with a combined 50-plus years of NHL management experience,” Morehouse said via press release. “Ron and Brian are well-known in the hockey world as fierce competitors with championship pedigrees. They’re very well-connected and experienced in all aspects of the game. They are both excited to get to work here in Pittsburgh, blending their skills and building on our long tradition of success.”
“It’s an honor to be joining the Pittsburgh Penguins – an organization well-known for its excellence on and off the ice,” Hextall said. “I look forward to working with ownership, Brian and the entire organization toward the ultimate goal of bringing another Stanley Cup to Pittsburgh.”
GM Ron Hextall: "I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge Jim Rutherford. I've known Jimmy since I was a child in Pittsburgh. He was very good to me. He gave me his mask, his skates, he played road hockey with me. He was my biggest idol when I was a child. He did a terrific job."— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 9, 2021
Hextall, who a goaltender with the Philadelphia Flyers for the majority of his playing career, has been in working in NHL management for 20-plus years. He became a scout for the Flyers in 1999 before being hired as the assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Kings from 2006-13 and then as general manager of the Flyers from 2014-18.
Hextall’s career comes full circle with the hiring. His father, Bryan Hextall Jr., was a center for the Penguins from 1969-74. Ron lived there between the ages of four and nine-years-old.
“To me, Pittsburgh is a take-your-breath-away destination for any GM or president of hockey ops,” Burke said. “I’m so excited for the opportunity. The Penguins are a storied franchise with outstanding ownership in Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, and Pittsburgh is just a great hockey city. Ron Hextall and I are very fortunate. We can’t wait to get started.”
Hextall continued: "If you'd have told me two years ago I'd be sitting here, the general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, I would have started laughing, but here we are. I'm very excited about it."— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 9, 2021
Burke is a decorated executive who began his NHL front office career in 1987 as the director hockey operations for the Vancouver Canucks. He has had stops as a GM or president of hockey operations in Hartford, Anaheim, Toronto and Calgary. From 1993-98 he was executive vice president and director of hockey operations for the NHL.
He was named NHL Executive of the Year by The Sporting News in 2001 and 2007.
Burke has also been an integral part of USA Hockey. He was the general manager for the silver medal team in the 2010 Olympics and served as director of player personnel in 2014.
Since stepping down from his post in Calgary in 2018, Burke has been a hockey analyst for Rogers Media (Sportsnet) in Canada.