HARTFORD, Conn, June 28 -- The Hartford Whalers announced Tuesday that Paul Holmgren will move from general manager to head coach and named Jim Rutherford as the team's new general manager. The announcements were made at an afternoon news conference at the Hartford Civic Center.
The Whalers' head coaching position had been vacant since Pierre McGuire was fired on May 19. The changes came as the National Hockey League's Board of Governors gave final approval to the sale of the club. The new owners, Rutherford, Peter Kamanos Jr. and Thomas Thewes, succeed Richard Gordon as majority owner of the team. Kamanos, 51, will be chief executive officer of the club. Rutherford, 45, who spent 13 years as an NHL goaltender with Detroit Pittsburgh, Toronto and Los Angeles, will also serve as president and chief operating officer of the Whalers. The Whalers, founded in 1971 as a member of the World Hockey Association, joined the NHL in the 1979 expansion.