It has been expected for a while that there were changes afoot in the Carolina Hurricanes organization. After another disappointing season without a playoff appearance, the team removed long-time GM Jim Rutherford from that capacity. Rutherford, the only general manager that the team has had since their move from Hartford to Carolina, will remain with the franchise as team president and in an advisory role.
If you’re thinking that it’s been hard for teams to fully get rid of personnel that a sense of nostalgia is attached to, you’re right. Barry Trotz, after being let go as coach of the Nashville Predators, was offered an in-organization job as a thank you for fifteen years of service. Rutherford staying put is also a thank you.
Ron Francis has been named the new general manager of the Canes. The long time member of the franchise (his nickname’s Ronnie Franchise for a reason) has worked in player development as well as the front office as VP of Hockey Operations. He’s also a part minority owner in the team. Francis is slathered all over the Canes’ record books, owning the record for nearly every offensive category. After nearly twenty years of Rutherford, the team should have a seamless transition to someone who has worked for the team in multiple capacities. Francis knows his way around a rink and a front office both, which could be beneficial to the Hurricanes in the long term as the team tries to rebuild and make it back to the playoffs again.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, akulawolf