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Hurricanes

Front office change coming for Canes

Posted March 24

— Multiple sources close to the Carolina Hurricanes said Monday that team president and general manager Jim Rutherford plans to step away from some of his duties after the season.

Rutherford, 65, has been the GM for 20 years and is part of the ownership group. His tenure dates to the team's days in Hartford, Conn., and he has seen the Canes make two trips to the Stanley Cup Finals and win it all in 2006.

Canes play-by-play man Chuck Kaiton told Adam Gold and Joe Ovies on 99.9 FM The Fan said the move had been hinted at, and that the team has a clear line of succession.

"I think a lot of people probably saw that coming when Ron Francis became the assistant general manager after he came out of the coaching box," Kaiton said. "The baton is going to be passed to him."

Rutherford has had conversations in the past saying he would be willing to give up day-to-day management for the good of the team, but he had no comment Monday about his decision and declined to get into specifics of the when and why.

"I will make a decision at the end of the season," Rutherford said.

The Canes are in seventh place in the eight-team Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference and, at 27-35-9, appear to be on the way to a fifth straight postseason on the golf course instead of the ice. Carolina's last playoff appearance came in the 2009 conference finals where they lost in a sweep to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Rutherford's timing likely hinges on that streak and offers a chance for a new perspective in the front office from Francis, who has essentially been learning on the job, Kaiton said. 

Francis has had input in recent seasons in scouting, contracts and the draft, and he has demonstrated his eye for hockey talent. Without holding a general manager title, Francis has shown that he is ready for the role.

33 Comments

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  • onecaniac Mar 25, 4:53 p.m.

    It is TIME for JR to step-back. Remember when the Hurricanes first came here and were HUNGRY for fans. Their humility has turned into out-right greed! I will NEVER go to another game until TWO things happen. 1. They LOWER ticket and parking prices BACK to 2010 levels (the year after the last time they made the playoffs) keep them there UNTIL they make the playoffs again. 2. They MAKE the playoffs. I love the team itself and want them to stay. However, I have grown to despises the selfish greed of the millionaires that run the front office and have priced the poor-man and lower middle class out of the arena. The price-hikes for next year are insane and it's time to boycott until this changes. I call on ALL caniacs to stay home on the last home-game of the year in-order to signal our un-happiness. And give them something to think about.

  • jscott13 Mar 25, 4:24 p.m.

    I missed that! Neither of them, Ward or Khudobin, should be slamming their sticks anywhere. Maybe the man who wears the C should address this...although he had his own little tantrum a couple of months ago as well.

  • millers Mar 25, 3:23 p.m.

    Millers, I agree with everything that you just posted. Are you saying that Khudobin smashed his... View More

    — Posted by jscott13

    Exactly. Like I said, I doubt you could find a replay of it anywhere unless you DVR'd the game. When Columbus scored, Khudobin violently slammed his stick against the cross bar. Then after the game he just started skating away (when the team comes to congratulate him). It wasn't the normal head bumps you see after a win. It was uncomfortable to watch especially after such a big win.

  • same ole story Mar 25, 8:48 a.m.

    Many years overdue!! Jimy has lot touch with the future and lived in the past. This team needs young fresh players who want to play every night!!! (are you Listening eric staal??) It is easy to get players with a good past but what about the future? Keep on rising the ticket prices for low end talent and the fans stay home!!!!!

  • thomasew Mar 25, 7:51 a.m.

    I think this is the equivalent in the corporate world of giving the CEO a way out without... View More

    — Posted by 123skipjack

    Yep, I agree, make it as easy and painless for the bigs, that is the way of this world we live in.

  • wlcat609 Mar 25, 12:32 a.m.

    I am glad to see a change - finally. If Ron Francis inherits this current situation don't look for any immediate changes - it is going to take time as he hasn't had the formal responsibility of being a GM yet. Ron will need to grow into the position gradually and, yes, he may make a few mistakes along the way. I personally think you have to give him five years in the job to see any real difference - too many long term contracts now thanks to JR. It should be interesting to see what happens - que sera, sera!

  • jscott13 Mar 24, 9:02 p.m.

    Millers, I agree with everything that you just posted. Are you saying that Khudobin smashed his stick on the net and caused the guys to be hesitant to go near him.

  • 123skipjack Mar 24, 8:56 p.m.

    I think this is the equivalent in the corporate world of giving the CEO a way out without getting fired.

  • millers Mar 24, 8:21 p.m.

    JScott13 - the moment I referenced was at the very end of the Columbus game. I doubt you could find it somewhere but, as a fan, I was embarrassed. The rest of the team picked up on it too and seemed scared to even go near him. Like I said, I would have been ticked if I were him as well, but you just won a big game and need to act better than that. Cam is not the future. Khudobin might not be either. The competition between the two seems to be working right now. The goalie position is not the issue....in my opinion big contracts for average players is. I'll take the guys like Gerbe, Malhotra, Harrison, Hainsey, etc any day of the week over these high priced "show up when you feel like it players". Hopefully the new GM can shake things up.

  • jscott13 Mar 24, 6:57 p.m.

    Millers...Saturday was one game. He has a good one occasionally. The problem is that he is not, and has not been, durable for 3 years now. That's what happens when players get older. A team can't rely on a goalie with continual health issues. And maybe I missed something, but I saw Cam slam his stick on the net and throw a mini tantrum a few games ago. I have not seen Khudobin behave like that...did he. Please clue me in. I don't like that type of behavior from anyone.

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Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
 
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
 
3rd
UTAH 10
USC 14
 
Half
WASH 0
ARST 10
 
1st
HAW 0
NEV 0
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
3rd
CAL 1
WAS 3
 
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14