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Penguins hire Brian Burke as president, Ron Hextall as general manager

Brian Burke previously served as general manager of the then-Hartford Whalers, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs. File Photo by Heinz Ruckemann/UPI
Brian Burke previously served as general manager of the then-Hartford Whalers, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs. File Photo by Heinz Ruckemann/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins reshaped their front office Tuesday, hiring Brian Burke as president of hockey operations and Ron Hextall as general manager.

"We feel incredibly lucky to bring in two highly respected executives with a combined 50-plus years of NHL management experience," Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse said in a statement.

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Patrik Allvin, who was promoted to interim general manager of the Penguins when Jim Rutherford abruptly resigned on Jan. 27 for personal reasons, will return to his role as assistant GM.

The 56-year-old Hextall became the front-runner for the Penguins' general manager job during the second round of interviews.

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Pittsburgh also considered Colorado Avalanche assistant GM Chris MacFarland, Boston Bruins director of player personnel John Ferguson Jr., former Toronto Maple Leafs assistant GM Mark Hunter and ex-Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis.

Hextall served as general manager of the rival Philadelphia Flyers for four seasons (2014-18). He also was a longtime member of the Los Angeles Kings' front office as an assistant general manager and adviser.

Burke, 65, previously served as general manager of the then-Hartford Whalers, Anaheim Ducks, Canucks and Maple Leafs. Most recently, he was director of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames until April 2018.

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Burke was credited with building the Ducks into a Stanley Cup champion in the 2006-07 season.

"To me, Pittsburgh is a take-your-breath-away destination for any GM or president of hockey ops," Burke told reporters Tuesday. "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."

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