A source has informed Colorado Hockey Now that Avs assistant general manager Chris MacFarland is being considered for the Pittsburgh Penguins GM job. His name has gained traction of late in the Pittsburgh circles, and an initial interview could be set up soon.
This isn’t MacFarland’s first interview this year for an open general manager position. This past summer, he was one of a handful of candidates to interview for the New Jersey Devils GM gig.
Chris MacFarland came over to Colorado from the Columbus Blue Jackets organization in the summer of 2015. The Avs assistant GM spent 16 years with the Blue Jackets, starting as the club’s manager of hockey operations before being promoted to assistant GM in the summer of 2008.
Working closely alongside Avs GM Joe Sakic over the last six seasons, MacFarland and the aforementioned have been the architects of turning the Avalanche from the league’s worst team in 2016-17 to being considered the favorites to win the Stanley Cup just four seasons later.
MacFarland, 50, is from the East Coast, and an opportunity to become the general manager of one of the most successful NHL franchises in league history will be a very attractive option for him. For now, however, they’re only in the initial stages, and a decision may not be made until the offseason.
Jim Rutherford, who spent the last seven seasons as the Penguins GM, shocked the team and resigned on Wednesday, citing personal reasons. It’s worth noting, however, that in an interview with The Hockey News, Rutherford did mention that he may consider returning after the season. It’s very possible Pittsburgh decides to roll with interim GM Patrik Allvin until the year ends, allowing Rutherford — who won two Stanley Cups in his last seven years — an open door to return to the team.
Colorado Hockey Now will update the situation as it develops.