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Report: Rutherford to be replaced by Francis as GM in Carolina

Mar 24, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

Jim Rutherford Getty Images

Jim Rutherford is expected to give up his role as general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, according to the News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh.

Rutherford — who may or may not stay on as club president — will reportedly be succeeded as GM by Ron Francis, currently the club’s vice president of hockey operations (and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame).

It was reported late last week that major changes could be coming in Carolina, with players like Cam Ward, Jeff Skinner, and even captain Eric Staal all potentially available in trades.

The Hurricanes are on pace to miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season. They’ve qualified for the postseason just once since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006.

  1. withseidelinn - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Wow. Big shakeup, but probably what they need. I like the idea of integrating a franchise legend into a position like GM. So far it’s worked out very well for Colorado (Roy and Sakic). Even having Yzerman in Tampa has been very effective, even though he never played there. Putting someone who knows the game to that extent should usually help….with the exception of Edmonton…..

    • bildomatic - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      Working out pretty well for Neely in Boston as well…

    • ketch20too - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      its a big suck for the Islanders with Snow

      • storminator16 - Mar 24, 2014 at 8:19 PM

        Garth Snow, franchise legend.

  2. deeboy - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    This also clears the way for the personnel shake-up. You can trade marquee players (Such as Eric Stall) and have some cover fire saying the new GM wants to shape the roster his own way. This move is about 2-3 years overdue. But, as a Canes fan, I am still thankful for the things Rutherford did do, such as bring the Stanley Cup to NC in 2006.

    • lonespeed - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      You do realize Ron Francis and Eric Staal played with each other in 2003 – 2004, and Francis has been involved with the organization ever since. It’s not like he doesn’t have a relationship with Eric.

      Eric is the leading point scorer for the team year-in and year-out, and he’s still relatively young for an NHL player at 29. I fail to see him as the problem. He hasn’t had a lot of help the past few years. Granted, no real excuse for missing the playoffs this year. The team has absolutely under performed and the roster should be a playoff roster.

      I don’t dislike Kirk Muller, but I think with virtually the same roster, another coach could / would likely do a lot better. Just doesn’t seem to be the right fit.

      • JoeAvg - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        Nobody is claiming he’s part of the problem. But if he can bring in part of a solution………

        You just have to wonder what Jordan would think about it since he went there specifically to play with Eric.

  3. convincedofthehex - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Since Rutherford was part of the management team that moved the Whalers in 97, all I can say is “good.”

    • ibieiniid - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      hold grudges much?

  4. stcrowe - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    If they intend to rebuild, it would be foolish to trade the Staals and Skinner. That is a good, relatively young, core to build around.

    • esracerx46 - Mar 24, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      Eric Staal will be 30 in October, so he’s no spring chicken. Also, talent and age are only 2 factors. Salary, injury history, and what you can get in return are others when deciding the fate of players. Unfortunately for Jeff Skinner, he has an injury history and carries a 5.725 cap hit.

    • hockey412 - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      It’s hard to say what the market would even be like for the Staals right now. Two things are for sure: 1) neither Staal is earning their paycheck right now, and 2) if either they were performing up to their potential, they’d be worth every penny.

      I guess they just have to look at why they aren’t performing (easy enough, eh?). These guys are both pretty tough competitors…makes you wonder.

  5. 7mantel - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Maybe Ron Francis should hire his old coach from the Whalers days, Emile”The Cat ” Francis !

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      Indeed. I don’t recall the Cat ever coaching Hartford, but heck, he’s only 87, so he should have several good years of coaching left in the tank. And there just aren’t very many coaches left who played against Maurice Richard, Syl Apps and Bill Barilko.

      • 7mantel - Mar 24, 2014 at 6:52 PM

        How true ! Thought before he was Whalers GM he coached ,I may be wrong !

  6. storminator16 - Mar 24, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Jim Rutherford about to do Canes fans a solid. He’s about to make the best personnel move he’s made all season…

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