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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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  • jdpridg Mar 24, 1:44 p.m.

    "appear to be on the way to a fifth straight postseason on the golf course instead of the ice."
    Haha. Even the reporters are getting in on the act.

  • KT dislikes welchers Mar 24, 1:44 p.m.

    About time.....

  • jdpridg Mar 24, 1:45 p.m.

    Originally everyone thought Francis was being groomed to take over as coach. This makes more sense.

  • dwntwnboy2 Mar 24, 2:01 p.m.

    Sadly, another season closes and we get to watch playoffs.......on TV.

  • blacksuv1962 Mar 24, 2:23 p.m.

    He needs to step away from ALL his duties. The STALL boys need to be next. That is the biggest waste of money the Canes ever spent. I was a season ticket holder for several years and now I wont even go to a game with free tickets . I really want to see the Canes play hockey again , PLEASE get it together guys.

  • tayled Mar 24, 2:26 p.m.

    Funny how we traded away Ruutu and then a few nights later when we played the Devils, he almost singlehandedly beat us.

  • blynch790 Mar 24, 2:27 p.m.

    OMG!!! The GM of what?, an ice hockey team is stepping down? Such dramatic news , let me sit down before I have a heart attack. I'm sure half the 'Canes are rolling on the floor, screamin' and cryin' at this shocker. Please, get a grip

  • rlewis2 Mar 24, 2:47 p.m.

    BTW, who is 27-35-9. Not the Canes. Last I checked 31-31-9. Things are so bad that they can't get the record right. Bad all the way around.......

  • mikeyfan5600 Mar 24, 3:23 p.m.

    blacksuv1962, While Jordon has been a disappointment, Eric has been a top 15 scorer his entire career. But you are too blind or dumb to see that. Look at his stats, Eric has pulled his weight, it's defenseman, like Joni Pitkanen and Forwards like Ruutu that kept this team from going forward. Maybe you should have used those season tickets to learn a little something about the game, instead of buying beers and partying.

  • lec02572 Mar 24, 3:37 p.m.

    About 4 years too late.

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