Posts Tagged ‘General Manager’

The Boston Bruins signed general manager Don Sweeney to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Monday.

Sweeney’s previous deal was set to expire at the end of June.

“Under (Sweeney’s) management, the Boston Bruins have been one of the winningest franchises in the league and a perennial playoff contender year in and year out,” said Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs. “While we recognize there is work to be done to achieve the ultimate goal of bringing the Stanley Cup back to Boston, I’m confident that Don’s commitment to being best-in-class on and off the ice will help us climb that mountain once again.”

Sweeney was promoted to GM prior to the 2015-16 season. He won the NHL’s GM of the Year in 2018-19 as Boston reached the Stanley Cup Final, losing in seven games to the St. Louis Blues.

The 55-year-old has been in the club’s front office since 2006, serving in various capacities. Sweeney also played 15 years with the Bruins from 1988 to 2003.

The Atlanta Hawks are promoting Landry Fields to general manager, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The former second-round pick has served as the Hawks’ assistant general manager since October 2020.

Fields split his five-year playing career between the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors. He made the NBA All-Rookie first team during the 2010-11 campaign.

Fields began his front office career with the San Antonio Spurs. He retired in September 2016 to become a college scout for the Spurs. Three years later, Fields took on the general manager position of their G League affiliate.

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch reaffirmed his intentions to retain Deebo Samuel.

“We haven’t traded him, and I’d be a fool to trade him, so yes, Deebo will be part of the 49ers this season,” Lynch said Wednesday night, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Samuel requested a trade in April, but the Lynch and the 49ers haven’t shown an interest in moving him.

The star wideout has been a no-show for voluntary OTAs, though head coach Kyle Shanahan expects him to rejoin the club for mandatory minicamp later this month.

Samuel’s trade demand reportedly stems from his usage in Shanahan’s offense, and he hasn’t engaged in contract talks despite the 49ers’ efforts.

The 26-year-old served as both a receiving and rushing threat last season. Samuel recorded a career-high 1,405 yards and six touchdowns in the air while adding 365 yards and eight scores on the ground. His 1,770 yards from scrimmage ranked third in the NFL.

Washington Nationals president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo slammed the door on trade rumors surrounding superstar outfielder Juan Soto.

“We are not trading Juan Soto,” Rizzo told 106.7 The Fan’s “Sports Junkies” on Wednesday. “We have made it clear to his agent and to the player. … These journalists have to fill a blank sheet of paper every day. It’s a good thing to get some attention on a story. But we have every intention of building this team around Juan Soto.

“We’ve spoken to his agent many, many times (and) recently sat with him when he was in Washington, D.C. Made it clear to him that we are not interested in trading him, and I guess the rest of the world just doesn’t believe it.”

Soto, who’s making $17.1 million this season and is arbitration-eligible through 2024, turned down a 13-year, $350-million contract extension in the offseason prior to the lockout. Some people around baseball believe the 23-year-old’s next deal could be worth $500 million.

The 2021 NL MVP runner-up has gone deep nine times with an .821 OPS over 51 games for the 18-33 Nationals. He owns a career .294/.426/.539 slash line with a batting title, two Silver Sluggers, and a World Series ring since breaking into the majors as a teenager in 2018.

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim expressed confidence that Kyler Murray will agree to a new contract in the near future.

“I just think it’s a timing thing,” Keim said on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday. “Every quarterback that’s done it before has done it anywhere from July to September. … We know that he’s under contract for another year and also the fifth-year option. He is our future, we feel that way strongly. And I feel like we’ll be able to get something done this summer.”

The star quarterback and the Cardinals have seemingly been at odds over a potential contract extension. Murray’s agent submitted an offer to the club in February and stressed the need for “real commitment from the organization.” However, he reportedly withdrew the offer in April.

Later in April, Keim said there’s “zero chance” Murray will be traded, and Arizona exercised his fifth-year option, which keeps him under contract through 2023. He’s scheduled to earn a base salary of $965,000 and collect a $4.5-million roster bonus this season, per Spotrac.

Murray wasn’t in attendance for the start of voluntary OTAs this week and isn’t expected to participate.

The 2019 first overall pick looked like an early MVP candidate after a 7-0 start last season but faltered down the stretch. He completed 69.2% of his passes while tossing 3,787 yards and 24 touchdowns against 10 interceptions through 14 games. He scored five touchdowns on the ground, down from 11 in 2020.

The Pittsburgh Steelers promoted vice president of football and business administration Omar Khan to general manager, the team announced Wednesday.

Khan, who has been with the Steelers since 2001, is tasked with succeeding retiring GM Kevin Colbert, who headed Pittsburgh’s front office since 2000.

“Omar has been an integral part of our football operations department during his 21 years with the team, and that experience will serve him well in his new position,” said Steelers president Art Rooney II.

Khan said, “I am ready for this challenge and grateful to continue the success we have had on the field during my first 21 years. I look forward to completing our football operations staff and working tirelessly to build another championship football team for Steelers Nation and our community.”

The Steelers are reportedly set to hire Philadelphia Eagles vice president of player personnel Andy Wiedl as assistant GM, according to independent NFL reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala.

Khan and Wiedl were among six candidates who received second interviews for the opening. The other finalists included Steelers pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt, former Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley, Tampa Bay Buccaneers executive John Spytek, and Tennessee Titans front office member Ryan Cowden.

The Steelers proved to be one of the most consistent NFL franchises under Colbert. They’ve captured 10 division titles and made three Super Bowl appearances, winning twice, since he joined in 2000.

Prior to the 2021-22 campaign, Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said “the rebuild is done” and “it’s time to start winning.” Now, after another year of missing the playoffs, it appears he’s putting matters into his own hands.

Dorion said Wednesday that he’s willing to trade the seventh overall pick in the upcoming draft if it nets an “impact player.”

“I think we got to look at everything,” Dorion told TSN 1200 when asked if the team’s first-round pick is in play.

He added: “Maybe this is the year that we move pick seven to get an impact player that can help us right away. We’re not going to get a guy that’s a pending (unrestricted free agent) in a year’s time. I don’t think that would be really smart for us to do. But if we can get a guy that we know we will have some control over for more than a few years, that’s something we’d definitely look at.”

The Senators have made seven first-round picks in the last four years, including four in the top 10. The organization is ripe with prospects and young talent, but the club has yet to get over the hump. Ottawa hasn’t finished better than sixth in its division since 2016-17.

“It’s no secret that we have a lot of good young players,” Dorion added. “But adding an impact player, someone that can help us get to that next level, that’s something we would definitely look at.”

Dorion said the Sens’ needs include a top-four defenseman and depth and scoring up front.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala is one player that fits the bill. The 25-year-old restricted free agent recorded 33 goals and 52 assists this past season. However, Wild GM Bill Guerin recently said he was unsure if Minnesota could re-sign Fiala due to the team’s cap crunch.

The Senators have several RFAs to re-sign, including Josh NorrisAlex FormentonMathieu Joseph, and Erik Brannstrom, but the club projects to have over $23 million in cap space available, per CapFriendly.

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke can already see improvement from Trevor Lawrence this year as the quarterback enters his second NFL season.

“He’s just more confident,” Baalke said, according to John Shipley of Jaguars Report. “He’s carrying himself with more confidence. He’s delivering the ball quicker. He’s continuing to do that. I’ve seen that through the course of the offseason, getting the ball out of his hands, being more decisive.”

Lawrence entered the NFL as the first overall pick in the 2021 draft and was labeled one of the best prospects ever.

However, the 22-year-old completed just 59.6% of his passes for 3,641 yards and 12 touchdowns against a league-high 17 interceptions in 2021. Though the Jaguars went 3-14 with him under center, Baalke liked how Lawrence handled his struggles.

“He’s an old soul,” Baalke said. “He’s a leader, and he does it in his own way, like any good leader does. He’s got his own style. But the maturity showed last year was very impressive, and he’s continued to build on that as we work through this offseason.”

Jacksonville improved Lawrence’s subpar supporting cast from last year, signing veteran players on both sides of the ball in 2022. The team added wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, guard Brandon Scherff, and cornerback Darious Williams, among others. The Jaguars also bolstered their roster through the draft, selecting two players in the first round, including pass-rusher Travon Walker at No. 1 overall.

“I’m really excited about the future,” Lawrence recently said. “Obviously, we all learned a lot last year, but being able to build on what we have now (and) really create something special, I feel like we have a lot of the right people, and that’s what you need.

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ron Hextall wants to find a way to have Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang stay with the club for the rest of their careers.

“In a perfect world (Malkin) retires a Penguin,” Hextall said Monday. “And I think Tanger’s the same.”

In a perfect world, anyway.

The NHL in the salary-cap era is hardly that.

Perhaps that’s why, when Hextall was asked what was missing this season from a group that let a 3-1 lead slip a way in a first-round loss to the New York Rangers, he joked “a little more cap space would be great.”

He’s not getting it.

The Penguins have habitually spent up to the cap limit during the hugely successful era led by Malkin, Letang and longtime captain Sidney Crosby. That “spend to win now” approach is not going to change with Fenway Sports Group now signing the checks after buying the club from Ron Burkle and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux last fall.

The question, however, is how much money the Penguins are willing to offer a pair of 35-year-old franchise icons who are less than two months away from entering free agency for the first time.

Letang hardly appears to have lost a step. The defenseman is coming off a season in which he collected a career-high 68 points while playing a bit more responsibly in his own end. He averaged a staggering 25:47 of ice time and said last week he’d like to play at least five more seasons.

Letang also is finishing a contract that paid him $7.25 million a season. Considering his fitness level and his production, it’s reasonable to think he’d command a bit of a raise on the open market, though Letang said last week his preference would be to find a way to stay in Pittsburgh.

Malkin feels likewise, but his situation is thornier. He said “good players sign good contracts” last week and while he scored 20 goals this season despite missing nearly half of the year while recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee, he was not particularly effective in 5-on-5 situations while commanding $9.5 million. He also turns 36 in July and has missed at least 10 games due to injuries nine times in his last 10 seasons.

Hextall stressed he would not provide details on the nature of the team’s talks with Malkin and Letang, but hinted he’s not concerned about their age.

“They’re both great athletes,” he said. “They both have been here a long time. They’re both performing at a high level right now. We’d certainly like to have them in the mix come September.”

Malkin and Letang’s respective statuses are the two biggest pieces of a very unwieldy puzzle Hextall has to piece together over the summer. Forwards Evan Rodrigues, Brian Boyle, Rickard Rickell and backup goaltender Casey DeSmith are set to become free agents while forwards Danton Heinen and the enigmatic Kasperi Kapanen are restricted free agents.

Hextall did lock down one piece of the puzzle, signing forward Bryan Rust to a six-year deal over the weekend that will keep the versatile two-time Stanley Cup winner in the fold through 2028. Rust, who had 24 goals and 34 assists this season, underwent what Hextall called a minor procedure on one of his knees recently but should be ready well ahead of training camp.

By then Hextall will have clarity on his team’s immediate future. He believes he has it on its immediate past, praising the Penguins for their resiliency during an eventful season that included extended absences by Crosby and Malkin and a COVID-19 outbreak. Pittsburgh managed to extend its playoff streak to 16 straight years, the longest active streak in major North American professional sports.

Yet the Penguins also haven’t made it out of the first round since 2018. That’s not the standard for a team that plays in an arena with five Stanley Cup banners hanging from the rafters.

Six months into FSG’s tenure, there appears to be no hurry to make drastic changes, including in the front office. Hextall, who took over in February 2021 after Jim Rutherford’s abrupt resignation, appears as if he will get a chance to guide the team through at least the early stages of the twilight of Crosby’s Hall of Fame career.

“Everything is good,” Hextall said. “(Fenway Sports Group is) totally committed to winning. … We’ve got some things that we’re looking at in terms of adding to staff and stuff. We’re moving along.”

Mitch Kupchak has signed a multiyear contract extension to remain the Charlotte Hornets’ general manager.

Kupchak’s contract was set to expire this summer.

“For better or for worse, I will be here for the next couple of years,” Kupchak said Thursday on a videoconference call. He would not say when the contract expires.

The 67-year-old Kupchak will continue to lead the team’s search for a coach.

He said the team already has interviewed “eight to 10 candidates” and could speak with a few more over the next week or so. He prefers to make a hire in the next two weeks and at the very latest before the June 23 NBA draft.