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Sault native named general manager in Carolina

Monday, April 28, 2014   by: Brad Coccimiglio

The Carolina Hurricanes have announced that Ron Francis has been named their new executive vice-president and general manager.

Francis takes over for Jim Rutherford, who stepped down from both roles.

“Based on Jim’s decision to step down as GM, now is a good time to go in a new direction,” Hurricanes CEO and Governor Peter Karmanos said in a statement. "Ron has dedicated himself to learning all aspects of running a hockey team in the past eight years, working in player development, on the coaching staff and in hockey operations. He has proven that he has the work ethic and passion to get the Hurricanes back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs."

“I am happy that Jim will retain a role with our team, and I thank him for his 20 years as our general manager. He leaves quite a legacy with our organization, bringing the team three divisional championships, two conference titles and the Stanley Cup.”

Francis becomes the eighth general manager in team history and is in his ninth season with the organization in a management role.

He previously served as Vice President of Hockey Operations.

Francis will oversee all hockey decisions.

“I want guys who love to compete, guys that want to come to the rink each and every day, whether it’s a practice or a game, whether they are a little banged up or healthy, and every time they stop onto the ice, they’re going to give me all they have, because I think that’s the only way, as a team, you get to be successful: everybody is buying in and competing hard for each other,” Francis told Michael Smith in a story on the Hurricanes website.

“When the logo on the front of the jersey becomes more important than the name on the back, I think you have a successful team.”

Francis joined the Hurricanes in November 2006 as their director of player development after retiring as a player.

In October 2007 Francis was promoted to assistant general manager before becoming an associate coach with the team in Dec. 2008.

In June 2011 Francis became the Hurricanes’ director of hockey operations.

The Hurricanes also announced on Monday the hiring of Mike Vellucci as assistant general manager and director of hockey operations after 14 seasons with the Plymouth Whalers as coach and general manager.

Vellucci will oversee scouting and player development in his new position.

“I thought it was a perfect opportunity to work along with Ronnie,” Vellucci told Smith. “He’s just a great guy and we should have a great relationship.”

The Hurricanes also hired Brian Tatum to serve as an assistant general manager.

Tatum will be responsible for staff contract negotiations, scheduling, serving as the club’s liason to the NHL regarding matters related to the Collective Bargaining Agreement along with all day-to-day hockey operations administrative duties.

Photo courtesy Carolina Hurricanes official website

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
cjlgrandma 4/28/2014 3:04:59 PM Report

Way To Go Ron Congrats
flyhawk25 4/28/2014 3:24:26 PM Report

If character, brains, work ethic and experience count he can't miss.
Fine choice.
fatafr 4/28/2014 3:25:56 PM Report

Congratulations to a once great hockey player and now a proven leader with a fine organization, the Caroline Hurricanes.
I just recently saw Ron's mother Lorita and brother Ricky at the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at the Conservation Authority.
You've made both your family and your home town of Sault Ste. Marie so very proud.
Again, congratulations Ron and the best of luck to you as you begin your new position.
sportsman 4/28/2014 3:26:52 PM Report

Good luck Ron you do us proud .
steelworker 4/28/2014 3:37:10 PM Report

A helluva guy. Good luck.
HONEST1 4/28/2014 3:52:13 PM Report

Ted Nolan who!!! Ron Francis should have a street in this city named after him!!
CTgasman 4/28/2014 4:34:25 PM Report


What does one have to do with the other...?
highway1 4/28/2014 4:45:55 PM Report

HONEST1, Ted Nolan is from Garden River, not the Soo - and your point is...
highway1 4/28/2014 4:49:16 PM Report

Congratulations to Mr. Francis!
I'm In 4/28/2014 6:04:57 PM Report

HONEST1 you just needed to add your useless two cents, this story is not about Ted Nolan, Ron and Ted did Sault Ste. Marie PROUD
HONEST1 4/28/2014 6:36:30 PM Report

People are way to sensitive..
wolfdancer 4/28/2014 7:25:32 PM Report

iamtc 4/28/2014 7:39:43 PM Report

Who is this Ron guy and what is he going to do for this basketball team ?
dvb 4/28/2014 10:02:36 PM Report

Its unfortunate that things have to turn into a race issue. I myself am very proud for Ted Nolan and also for Ron Francis. They make Sault Ste. Marie and Garden River very proud.
rider_ 4/28/2014 11:44:52 PM Report

gladue consideration
rider_ 4/28/2014 11:45:28 PM Report

gladue consideration strikes again
Powerwise 4/29/2014 12:01:43 AM Report

rider_ 4/29/2014 12:04:02 AM Report

Sault natives named. Sault native named general manager, Sault native, named, named by Brad. Sault native named Carolina. Reported earlier today. Natives in general. Sault natives in general.
Powerwise 4/29/2014 12:08:09 AM Report

I am wondering tonight about what you might think about Garden River and the GAMBLING ISSUE?

I am not claiming it is a gambling type territory.
westofthesoo 4/30/2014 11:05:29 AM Report

I believe the soo should put up a sign naming all the the other sports stars. role model building.there are alot of people from the sault and the surrounding areas that kids can look up to. Question? what year did Ted nolan and the soo greyhounds bring home the memorial cup? I forget! congradulations Ron!! you deserve it.
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