Jim Rutherford to Be President and Interim GM of Canucks

By: Brayden Fengler / December 9, 2021  

Ruth there it is!… yeah, doesn’t have the same ring. The long and exhaustive search for a new Canucks General Manager and President is over, for now. Stan Smyl’s interim role as Canucks GM looks to be shorter than expected as ownership has a deal to hire Jim Rutherford in a new Interim role.

Things seemed to come together quickly this morning on this deal, and even as the Canucks look to go through with this new hire, it does not look like this spells the end of their “exhaustive” search for permanent leadership. The search that ownership only just began less than a week ago.

The public feeling around this decision seems to be a touch hesitent, while Jim is hardly a surprise candidate, it’s not just the first name that he shares with former Canucks GM Jim Benning, that may give pause in regards to his hiring.

Jim for better or worse is very much close to being the oldest of the old when you think about what kind of personnel would make up an old boys club. Yes, in our latest piece we spoke highly of hiring a GM with experience rather than looking to do something like quickly promote the Sedins. While Jim had great success with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017 he is now nearly 5 years out from those cup wins and is 72 years of age. 

The question is, how much autonomy will Rutherford have in his interim position? Does he have a vision to drastically shake up the team, as Rutherford has never been one to shy away from moving out big-name players, or will he simply be acting as one piece of this temporary leadership puzzle?

Whether you love or hate the idea of putting Rutherford at the helm of the Canucks, even if only in an interim designation, like new Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau there is no denying that Rutherford has a successful looking resume to some degree. It’s just the length of that resume, and the methodology that the 72-year-old leader may bring to the Canucks, that leaves room to wonder how successful this move will be.