Fenway Sports Group is a forward-thinking ownership group and there’s no question the Penguins search for a new hockey operations group will cast a wide net. “At the moment, there is no parameters or set format for what we’re going to hire,” FSG Dave Beeston said on Friday. “I think that what we’ve learned in all of our endeavors in sport is that these jobs are not one-person, two-person jobs, they are entire department-wide. What we’re focusing on building is that hockey operations machine and something that can build on what we’ve already got, which is exceptional, and improve it. “So, whether that looks like a president, a president and a (general manager), a president and a GM and four assistant (general managers), I’m not sure. And I don’t think we have any preconceived notion of that yet. But that’s sort of open for discussion.”

Based on how FSG operates with their other endeavors, no one is ready to rule out a complete off the board hire, those who know the group say anything is possible with them, but one sense around the league seems to be many are wrongfully running with this idea that next hire is 90% going to be somebody who’s mostly been behind a computer just because FSG is so analytic driven.

~~~~~ Open Minded Search for basically two different openings? ~~~~~~~~~~

Early buzz on the Penguins search from league executives is FSG is conducting one search into two pivotal hires, and really multiple ones as a whole. What job titles come out of it remains to be seen but the belief is FSG plans two major hires. A de-facto General Manager and a separate leader to run the new hockey operations analytics/player evaluation department (something ownership had already been making in-roads on), which will consist of a group of individuals who will have a big say in roster evaluation parlayed to what ownership feels will be more effective roster decisions being made. This is going to be a coveted position with the financial commitment ownership is prepared to make to this department, sources say, as indications are ownership is willing to throw GM money at two individuals to revamp the hockey operations department. Some of the names getting linked to the Penguins GM opening are believed to be getting mis-casted by reporters and are more likely in the mix for this role. Among them is To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

— Searches rarely go how you want them, just look at the Penguins recent search where Ron Hextall was third on ownerships target list behind Chris Drury and Tom Fitzgerald, as Drury after initially accepting an interview, took himself out of the running and Pittsburgh was unable to receive permission from the Devils to interview Fitzgerald at a time when Fitzgerald wasn’t on the type of good footing he now is with the Devils organization. In a perfect world a belief around the league is FSG hopes to pair a veteran GM who has a blend of old and new way of thinking that can mesh well with the other individual or individuals that are going to be running the new department that’s being put in place. And here’s why not to totally rule out a retread GM like so many are in the early goings.

Many in the organization say any General Manager put in place has to be ready to handle the personalities in the organization. Mike Sullivan gets along with others well, but he has significant power and is a big personality. You can’t have some newbie come in that’s never dealt with pushback. He or she will get ran over. Sidney Crosby’s inner circle is not Lebron James-like by any means, but they can be an annoyance, former team executives have often said. You have to be ready to take on the pressure from To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!

Early Buzz on three names among veteran General Manager types many around the league are keeping an eye on:

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Peter Chiarelli – Serving as the Vice President of Hockey Operations for the St. Louis Blues, why has Chiarelli become a name to watch to rival executives? Here’s Why: The Cup winning General Manager in Boston has close relationships with key members of the Penguins ownership group, league sources say. Don’t be surprised if Chiarelli gets consideration from FSG. Chiarelli had strong interest in the Penguins opening during the 2021 search and his name is starting to surge again among search firms involved in top executive searches.

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