Pens GM Jim Rutherford: "Our Team Looks Pretty Good"

Cook and Joe Show

Joe Kapp
October 03, 2018 - 1:17 pm
Crosby and Ovi

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins General Manger Jim Rutherford joined The Cook and Joe Show to preview the start of the hockey season as the Penguins will open at home Thursday night against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals.

 

Rutherford admits the short time off after winning back to back Stanley Cup Championships took a toll on the team last year.

 

"Having two short summers in a row is almost impossible, " Rutherford said. "We can definitely see the difference for the most part the guys are healthy, rested, eager to go and at this point our team looks pretty good,"

 

This Pens roster may be the deepest that Rutherford has ever had at this point in the season. 

 

​"As the season goes in past season we have been able to add people in different parts," Rutherford added. "WE sat out to get more depth and balance at all the positions and we feel that we have done that."

 

There was plenty of trade speculation surrounding the team in the off season and many of those rumors involved Phil Kessel but Rutherford says he has shown up to camp ready to get back to work.

 

"He is in really good shape. He is in a good frame of mind and ready to go," Rutherford said. "It's easy for people when a team doesn't ultimately win a championship to pick on different guys but for the most part Phil Kessel had a very good year last year. He had 90 points and almost a point per game in the playoffs so I believe whatever was talked about was blown out of proportion a little bit. He is an impact player for the Penguins and he will continue to do that."

 

The Pens were eliminated by the Caps last year and they went on to win their first Stanley Cup....now they return to Pittsburgh to face the team that won the previous two cups but they will not be at full strength as Tom Wilson who will serve a suspension for yet another dirty hit and the guys asked Rutherford for his thoughts.

 

"There is a place for hitting certainly...it's apart of our game," Rutherford added. "As long as I've been around the game...hitting was always about eliminating a guy from the play...you know maybe shaking him up a bit but not hitting people to take them out for the season or ending theiur careers. I believe some of these hits have gotten out of hand."

 

The Pens/ Caps will drop the puck Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena at 7pm