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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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UNC 82
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MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
Final
UNCW 66
ECU 54
Final
CAR 2
NYR 3
Final
CHA 104
UTA 86
2nd
WVU 75
NCSU 66
 
Final
NYK 90
PHO 99
Final
NOP 88
POR 114
Final
CHA 104
UTA 86
Final
HOU 97
ATL 104
Final
DAL 99
SAN 93
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DEN 76
IND 73
 
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LAC 50
MIL 52
 
Final
LALAF 16
NEV 3
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UTEP 6
UTST 21
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COLST 10
UTAH 45
Final
AFA 38
WMICH 24
3rd
BGU 20
SALABAMA 7
 
Final
GEOR 81
CHAR 78
Final
WKENT 67
LOU 76
Final
MICH 51
SMU 62
Final
CIN 47
VCU 68
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BSU 77
ABCHRIST 33
 
Final
PROV 85
UMASS 65
Final
AMER 46
MNTER 45
 
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
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IUPUI 71
SALA 65
 
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VILL 82
SYR 77
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VT 64
CITA 61
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DUQ 79
MLOWELL 63
 
Final
FAIR 61
BEL 73
 
Final
YALE 60
GTDNS 64
 
Final
FD 76
DEL 74
 
Final
PSU 73
DREX 68
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UNCG 64
ELON 71
 
Final
ILL 62
MIZZ 59
Final
CAMP 90
MONT 64
 
Final
LONG 106
PSUBEAVER 74
 
Final
HOU 63
SCST 71
 
Final
FSU 75
SFLA 62
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BING 51
BONA 69
 
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RUTG 68
RFLSH 73
 
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MCNST 69
TOL 83
 
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GT 65
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ARTCH 57
 
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Terriers 61
FATL 56
 
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HPYN 50
 
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LAF 69
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MEM 78
ORU 63
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UMBC 66
 
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NW 67
WMICH 61
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MIZST 65
EMICH 77
 
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STJOE 54
 
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KENT 83
UCLA 44
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COC 68
DAVID 80
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RIU 69
DET 55
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UCR 78
HOUB 67
 
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MURST 89
ILLST 77
 
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NWST 89
LALAF 85
 
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WAGN 66
MON 74
 
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MVSU 60
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PITT 81
OU 77
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TENNM 77
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USCU 53
 
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JMU 71
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ISU 83
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SHU 73
UNH 60
 
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SCU 72
NE 78
 
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MSU 64
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UF 63
WAKE 50
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ND 94
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SHSU 61
PVU 44
 
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AUB 89
XAV 88
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AKR 92
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BU 62
 
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ECU 54
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TOWS 53
LAS 67
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MAN 73
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INCWORD 110
 
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IDST 50
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NIOWA 56
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SIUE 61
UWMIL 56
 
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TEX 78
LBSU 68
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TCU 88
TXSA 57
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ARK 85
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NCOL 69
JVST 60
 
3rd OT
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NMST 67
NMU 69
 
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WASH 69
OKLA 67
 
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GRCN 81
STED 55
 
Final
WEBER 73
WLVRN 61
 
2nd
WVU 75
NCSU 66
 
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SDST 51
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GONZ 49
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2nd
PAC 62
FRES 56
 
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TAMCC 62
 
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ARI 2
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CLB 3
CHI 2
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BUF 1
COL 5
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PIT 3
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CAR 2
NYR 3
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MON 4
OTT 1
Final
TOR 4
PHI 7
Final
NYI 3
TAM 1
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NJD 0
WAS 4
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MIN 5
NAS 6
2nd
VAN 2
CAL 1
 
2nd
SJS 0
STL 0
 
Final
WAS 27
PHI 24
4th
SFX 35
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