With latest hire, Penguins' focus on analytics heightens
The Penguins' next coach will have an affinity for analytics, general manager Jim Rutherford said Thursday.
Interviews are scheduled to begin next week. That is also when the latest member of Rutherford's hockey management team will arrive in Pittsburgh.
Jason Karmanos was announced Thursday as the Penguins' vice president of hockey operations, joining associate general manger Jason Botterill as co-No. 2s on the hockey side.
“Both Jasons are right next to me,” Rutherford said.
Karmanos, 40, said he has known Rutherford since childhood. Until the past season, Karmanos had spent 15 seasons as Rutherford's assistant general manager with Carolina.
Peter Karmanos, Carolina's majority owner, fired his son a few days before training camp.
He was not available for comment Thursday, but Peter Karmanos said in a news release last year that his son's firing was a “family matter.”
“I was fired by my dad for reasons that had nothing to do with my job performance,” Jason Karmanos said Thursday. “It was disappointing on so many levels, and never in a million years would I have envisioned this scenario.”
Karmanos joins a hockey operations staff that is large by traditional NHL standards. It includes Rutherford, Botterill and assistant general managers Tom Fitzgerald and Bill Guerin.
Rutherford has said he is mentoring Botterill, Fitzgerald and Guerin with the idea that one of them could replace him in two or three years.
Karmanos said he has spoken with Botterill, Fitzgerald and Guerin.
With Carolina, Karmanos took the lead on analytics, contract negotiations and salary-cap management and also worked as a scout. He was to the Hurricanes what Botterill has been to the Penguins. Their paths even crossed during trade talks between the clubs.
“I do know Jason pretty well,” Karmanos said of Botterill, a finalist for the Penguins' general manager job. “I have a ton of respect for what he's done.”
Karmanos and Botterill will report directly to Rutherford, who will make the final call on hockey matters, including some that will be presented to the executive committee for final approval.
Penguins ownership endorses the concept of its hockey side relying more on analytics/advanced metrics analysis. CEO/president David Morehouse mentioned analytics when introducing Rutherford as general manager last Friday.
However, Karmanos said the Penguins were not behind the analytics curve under previous general manager Ray Shero.
He noted that Botterill and director of player personnel Dan MacKinnon had “worked extensively with analytics and a particular consultant.”
“We had the same deal in Carolina,” Karmanos said. “It's not like I'm bringing in analytics. This is not a complete culture change at all.”
Karmanos said he expected to work with MacKinnon regarding analytics with the Penguins.
Karmanos also said — and Rutherford confirmed — the Penguins' next coach would incorporate analytics into his decisions, as will members of the hockey operations staff.
“Quite honestly, it hadn't reached that level yet in Carolina,” Karmanos said. “It's something I'm really excited to be a part of here, that total integration of analytics from management to coaching staff.”
John Hynes, the coach of AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, is the only confirmed candidate to replace Dan Bylsma, who was fired by the Penguins last Friday.
Bylsma's assistants remain under contract but are permitted to seek employment elsewhere. The new coach will choose his assistants, Rutherford said.
A new coach will be in place before the start of free agency on July 1, Rutherford said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Maatta making strides at practice
- Penguins centermen enjoying better faceoff success rate this season
- Zatkoff’s, Malkin’s heroics not enough as Oilers down Penguins in shootout
- Penguins’ Perron returning to form
- Starkey: Farewell to NHL fighting
- Penguins notebook: Players prepared for tough schedule in minors
- Penguins 4th line is showing promise
- Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby