Peter Karmanos

Ron Francis speaks about handling of Peters situation while Hurricanes GM

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NHL Seattle general manager Ron Francis has responded to how physical abuse accusations against former Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters were handled when he was the team’s GM.

Speaking with The Seattle Times this week, Francis said he addressed the issue with Peters and defended giving him a two-year extension after the fact.

“We looked where the team was and how it was playing,” Francis said. “It was moving in the right direction. We’d made a huge increase from where it was the year before to where we were that year. And quite honestly, we looked at that (physical-abuse) situation, we addressed it and we felt it was behind him.”

“I think you deal with it the best you can with the situation you have at the time,” Francis said. “I think within the last week there have been some changes the league has made. I think that’s positive moving forward. I don’t claim to be perfect. I make mistakes. I try to learn every day from the people I talk with in situations. That’s what I try to do and take that knowledge moving forward. And hopefully you’re never in that situation again.”

Last month, after Peters was accused to uttering racial slurs at Akim Aliu, whom he coached in the American Hockey League, former Hurricanes defenseman Michal Jordan said that Peters kicked him in the back and punched another player during a game. The allegations for were confirmed by current head coach Rod Brind’Amour, who was an assistant under Peters.

Former Hurricanes majority owner Peter Karmanos told The Seattle Times that he would have fired Francis “in a nanosecond” had he been made aware of the allegations against Peters, even though Francis, who added there was a full vetting process during the hiring process, said he informed management of the situation.

Peters resigned as Calgary Flames head coach days after the allegations went public. In a statement that week Francis acknowledged he was made aware of the incidents and that he “took immediate action to address the matter and briefed ownership.” He did not reveal what he did to correct the matter in either his statement or in the interview with the Times’ Geoff Baker.

“When you look back, there were some things we did well and certain things we need to improve on to get better,” he said. “That’s part of the learning process, I think.”

The NHL revealed a four-point plan this week at the Board of Governors that will provide a guideline for teams in handling abuse allegations and other inappropriate conduct.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Karmanos: Sale of Hurricanes could happen as early as this afternoon

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MANALAPAN, Fla. — The sale of the Carolina Hurricanes could be announced as early as this afternoon.

Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. and Dallas billionaire Tom Dundon made a presentation to the executive committee of the NHL’s board of governors this morning in Manalapan, Fla.

“Pete and I built a relationship,” Dundon said after the meeting. “We want to work together, so we’re thinking about it.”

Karmanos, who would maintain a minority stake under the proposal, says approval of the deal could happen by the end of the day after the full board of governors meet.

Both men say the plan is to keep the Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., despite Dundon’s ties to Texas and the fact the Houston market would be attractive to the NHL.

“We like (the team) where it is,” said Dundon.

Karmanos said having a majority owner committed to Raleigh was important.

“It was never really a consideration,” he said. “The league is not amenable to moving franchises at all.”

Karmanos has owned the team since 1994 when it was the Hartford Whalers and moved the franchise to North Carolina in 1997.

He said in August he wanted to sell the Hurricanes for about US$500 million.

PHT Morning skate: Preds participate in a little street hockey action

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

As part of their community relations day, Nashville Predators center Filip Forsberg and defenseman Mattias Ekholm surprised a group of fans by participating in a game of street hockey in suburban Tennessee on Thursday. Not sure if Peter Laviolette will review the tape to help him make his decision on Forsberg’s chances of sticking with the big club. (Predators website)

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, negotiations between the Ottawa Senators and defenseman Marc Methot aren’t going smoothly. Methot, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, was reportedly offered a four-year deal worth $4.6 million per season. McKenzie says Methot is looking for a five-year deal in the $5 million per-season range. (TSN)

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is healthy and ready to put the stroke, which limited him to just 37 games in 2013-14, behind him. However, he admits he’s worried it could happen again. (Yahoo)

Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos is listening to offers for his team, but according to team president, Don Waddell, Kermanos is in no rush to unload the team. (Raleigh News & Observer)

The Edmonton Oilers opened the scoring in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks, but poor defense allowed the visitors back into the game. The Canucks would eventually win the game 2-1. (The Hockey Gods)


 

Penguins make Jason Karmanos VP of Hockey Operations

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After being fired by the Carolina Hurricanes in September 2013, Jason Karmanos has a new gig and it’s those ‘Canes connections that helped him out.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced they’ve hired Karmanos to be the Vice President of Hockey Operations.

After spending 15 seasons with the Hurricanes, ultimately winding up as the assistant GM to Jim Rutherford, it’s Rutherford who has brought him back on board in Pittsburgh. From the Penguins’ release:

“I’ve worked with Jason for many years, know him well and know he can make great contributions to our hockey operations department,” Rutherford said. “His first priority here will be to re-shape our analytics so that we have all the tools available in our decision-making process throughout the season.”

Karmanos is the son of Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos, but you may not want to bring to mention that to him.

When he was fired by the Hurricanes he said it wasn’t his performance that came into play, something he mentioned again today, hinting at possible (likely?) disagreements with his father. Even at today’s announcement he stressed his desire to be his own person.

It’s worked out pretty well for him that his relationship with Rutherford is still strong. Landing an executive job with the Penguins while they have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in their prime could work out rather well.

Hurricanes fire assistant GM Karmanos after 15 seasons

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Apparently being the son of the owner doesn’t guarantee keeping your job.

The Carolina Hurricanes announced they’ve relieved assistant general manager Jason Karmanos of his duties after 15 seasons with the organization. He’s the son of team owner Peter Karmanos who offered this as the only explanation, courtesy of ‘Canes PR man Mike Sundheim.

“This is a family matter. I have no further comment at this time.”

The team will fill the position from within by Vice President of Hockey Operations Ron Francis and Video Scout/Hockey Operations Darren Yorke.

The timing of this firing is, to say the least, curious. The Hurricanes are set to open training camp in four days and considering the amount of time Karmanos has spent with the organization and who is father is, it’s easy to let your imagination run away in trying to figure out what went wrong.