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Penguins GM Rutherford blasts sports columnist to his face

Anne-Marie Sorvin / Reuters

The heated action of a close series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers may be getting to Jim Rutherford.

After Monday's Game 3 loss, the Penguins general manager lost it on sports columnist Rob Rossi of Trib Total Media

Rossi writes:

General manager Jim Rutherford lost his cool after the Penguins' 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Monday night to fall within two defeats of a first-round elimination in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

After exiting a media elevator and while walking with other reporters to the Penguins' dressing room, Rutherford addressed this columnist, a frequent critic since his hiring last June, in an obscenity-laced diatribe.

“Thanks for your support,” Rutherford said repeatedly.

“You're a (expletive) jerk,” Rutherford said repeatedly.

Rutherford followed the jerk comment with a suggestion to “go sell ice cream now,” then a challenge to look him in the eye, which I did while explaining my role as Trib Total Media's lead sports columnist.

My role is to provide opinion.

“Well, your opinion is (expletive),” Rutherford said.

As (expletive) as my opinion might be, it remains that Rutherford has botched an attempted retooling of the Penguins. If this unfortunate incident is any indication, he lacks the poise necessary to move that project forward.

Rutherford, 66, was hired by the Penguins in June 2014 following a 20-year run with the Carolina Hurricanes. 

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