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Ron Francis named new Carolina Hurricanes GM

Posted April 28

— Ron Francis was named the new general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes Monday, replacing Jim Rutherford who had held the position with the franchise for the last 20 years.

Francis, a 23-year veteran of the NHL, has been with the Hurricanes for the last eight years working in multiple roles. He was a first-round selection of the franchise, and fourth overall, in 1981 when they played in Hartford.

“I have the opportunity to put together a team that can win a Stanley Cup and that’s what I’d like to do,” Francis said at his introductory press conference. “I look at this as a fresh start and I’d like to look at every way we can improve. I don’t want to be a team that gets to the playoffs one year, I’d like to be able to do it year after year.”

Francis won two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh in the 1990’s and played with the Hurricanes in the Cup finals in 2002. He is also a minority owner of the team after buying stake in 2012 with four other investors as part of the Playmakers Management group.

Francis holds team records with 382 goals, 793 assists and 1,186 games played.

On March 24, it was reported that team president and general manager Rutherford would step away from some of his duties with the team. The 65-year-old had been the general manager of the organization for 20 years and is also part of the ownership group.

“Ronnie has paid his dues,” Rutherford said. “He is a good friend and the time is right now. Twenty years is a long time and I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of support.”

Rutherford will retain his roles as president and part owner and will represent the team in league functions.

"This means a lot because when we brought Ronnie back, we were struggling as a team. He gave us a lot of good years as a great player," Rutherford said. "After so long, we have become good friends. I am very proud of this day."

Brian Tatum, who has been with the Hurricanes for 16 years and recently served as the vice president of team operations, has been promoted to assistant general manager.  Mike Vellucci has been hired as assistant GM and director of hockey operations.

The Hurricanes missed the playoffs this year for the fifth consecutive season, tying them for the third longest drought in the NHL.

Current head coach Kirk Muller said on April 16 that he had not been told by management on his job status. He was on hand at the formal team announcement Monday.

Muller has a 80-80-27 career record in three seasons behind the Hurricanes bench and has yet to make the playoffs.

Francis said that he has not yet made a decision on the coaching staff but will address the situatin in the near future.

"There are no easy decisions," Francis said. "You analyze things the best you can and make the decisions that you think are best for the organization. Hopefully, if you are right, you can be successful."

36 Comments

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  • ssi Apr 29, 1:29 p.m.

    Congrats Ron. Now can you send them back to Hartford please?

    — Posted by Obamacare returns again

    Yes, back to Hartford or Boise or Cheyenne or wherever just take this team and its lousy owner... View More

    — Posted by I am not who you think I am

    I just figured it out. I know exactly how to solve your's and Hans' issue with the Canes: ... View More

    — Posted by ssi

    We don't go.

    Neither does anyone else unless it's transplanted north easterners going to see... View More

    — Posted by Super Hans

    Well, that's great! You've already completed step one of the five-step process. Only four more to go. Hang in there, and you'll be rid of that great annoyance to you. Again, if you stick with the program, results are guaranteed. :-)

    (You know I'm just picking. Some people like 'em, some don't. You obviously have every right to go or not go, read/watch/purchase, or not read/watch/purchase. Just friendly banter.)

  • jdpridg Apr 29, 12:36 p.m.

    Caniacman...well said. JR is a very good person. We had some great times back in 2006 and I am... View More

    — Posted by jscott13

    You guys are absolutely right about his character and personal demeanor. I've met him outside of and unrelated to the hockey business and what a friendly respectful human being. I just don't like his management style. That's all.

  • Super Hans Apr 29, 12:34 p.m.

    Congrats Ron. Now can you send them back to Hartford please?

    — Posted by Obamacare returns again

    Yes, back to Hartford or Boise or Cheyenne or wherever just take this team and its lousy owner... View More

    — Posted by I am not who you think I am

    I just figured it out. I know exactly how to solve your's and Hans' issue with the Canes: ... View More

    — Posted by ssi

    We don't go.

    Neither does anyone else unless it's transplanted north easterners going to see their teams whup up on the Candy Canes.

  • jdpridg Apr 29, 12:33 p.m.

    Congrats Ron. Now can you send them back to Hartford please?

    — Posted by Obamacare returns again

    Yes, back to Hartford or Boise or Cheyenne or wherever just take this team and its lousy owner... View More

    — Posted by I am not who you think I am

    I just figured it out. I know exactly how to solve your's and Hans' issue with the Canes: ... View More

    — Posted by ssi

    Your problem is, the more you respond to these hillbillies, the more you feed their need to make ignorant comments. Most trolls, if ignored long enough will slowly go away.

  • ssi Apr 29, 12:21 p.m.

    Congrats Ron. Now can you send them back to Hartford please?

    — Posted by Obamacare returns again

    Yes, back to Hartford or Boise or Cheyenne or wherever just take this team and its lousy owner... View More

    — Posted by I am not who you think I am

    I just figured it out. I know exactly how to solve your's and Hans' issue with the Canes: don't go; don't watch; don't listen; don't read; don't purchase. Problem solved. Pretty simple, actually. However, the rest of us will continue to support our hometown team, win (preferably, of course), lose, or draw. We like having them here.

  • jscott13 Apr 29, 12:02 p.m.

    Caniacman...well said. JR is a very good person. We had some great times back in 2006 and I am grateful to him for that as well.

  • oldandgrumpy Apr 29, 11:01 a.m.

    Poor decision. Considering how poorly the team has performed over the past five years the Hurricanes needed new blood, not a promotion of someone involved in past failures.

  • Itsmyopinion67 Apr 29, 10:07 a.m.

    Wait...we have a hockey team!?? Sweet!

  • Super Hans Apr 29, 9:02 a.m.

    No one cares about the Candy Canes in this area. Francis should move the team to Canada and take the dozen or so "Caniacs" with him.

  • caniacman Apr 29, 7:51 a.m.

    I do agree that a change is probably in order, but also want to thank JR for his years of service to this team and community. We may not have always agreed with every move he made but he did bring a Cup here! Also one thing can NOT be debated! JR handled this job with class and respect and treated others the way you would want to be treated. He should be praised for that!

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Scoreboard
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
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
4th
WASH 10
ARST 17
 
Half
HAW 10
NEV 6
 
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
Final
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