Just one month after the Carolina Hurricanes removed Ron Francis as general manager and moved him into the role of President of Hockey Operations the team has completely terminated his contract, removing him from the organization entirely.
The team made the official announcement of Francis’s termination on Monday afternoon.
Francis, a legendary player with the organization during its days in both Hartford and Carolina, served as the team’s vice president and general manager from 2014 until his reassignment this past month. During his time as the team’s general manager the Hurricanes never qualified for the postseason, largely due to their inability to find consistent goaltending. Francis also took a slow, methodical and relatively risk-free approach to building the roster, never making an NHL player for NHL player trade in his four years on the job. The result has been a young, talented team that always seems to have a ton of upside but has not been able to take the next step.
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That approach did not seem to sit well with new owner Thomas Dundon, who seems to be taking a very hands-on approach to his ownership of the team.
This day seemed like it has been inevitable ever since Dundon took over the team, and it sounds like the entire process with Francis has been extremely messy. Francis’s new role as President of Hockey Operations almost completely removed him from the decision making process when it came to building the team, and according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman in his latest 31 Thoughts column the team had asked Francis to start working from home.
Now, he is completely gone from the organization.
At the moment the Hurricanes do not have a full-time general manager. Don Waddell is currently filling that role on an interim-basis and the team does not appear to be close to adding anyone on a permanent basis.
Along with the Francis news, the Hurricanes also announced on Monday that Joe Nieuwendyk has resigned his position as a pro scout and advisor.
Assuming the Hurricanes ever add a new general manager this could be an intriguing job given the young talent the team has — especially on the blue line — and the fact they just won the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft. Assuming there is a GM candidate willing to work for an owner that — at least from the outside — seems to want a pretty significant role in the construction of the roster and how the GM does their job.