The Carolina Hurricanes have made Ron Francis their president of hockey operations.
Francis had been serving as the team’s general manager, but he’s lost that title. The Hurricanes’ release also mentioned that the team will be conducting a search for a new GM, “who will report directly to (Tom) Dundon.” That’s a unique way of saying that it’s time to go in a different direction. “Since I took control of the team, I’ve had a good chance to be around and assess the operations,” said Dundon. “There are a lot of good people working in the organization, but I feel that a change in direction is needed when it comes to hockey personnel decisions. Ron is a smart and talented hockey man. I am glad that he will continue to be a part of the team, serving in this new role.”
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet:
One of the adjectives used to describe new Carolina owner Tom Dundon is “disruptor.”
Three months into his ownership of the Hurricanes, he has sent shockwaves through his organization and the league. The official team release said Ron Francis “will transition into a new role” as president of hockey operations, but make no mistake, this is a firing without removal from the organization. The new general manager will report directly to Dundon, cutting Francis out of the process.
This has been brewing.
On the weekend, there were rumblings Francis was considering resigning. He did not respond to a few requests for comment, so uncertainty prevented any reporting of the story. The shocker was the timing. Why would the Hurricanes do it during a playoff race, four points out with the trade deadline in the rear-view mirror? (Dundon did not respond to a request for comment, but you have to figure he will address the media Thursday).
According to multiple sources, it became obvious the owner and the GM were a bad match.