The Carolina Hurricanes announced on Tuesday that general manager Ron Francis has signed a contract extension through the 2018-19 season.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) August 30, 2016
Entering his third season as the club’s GM and executive vice president, Francis has effectively overhauled the Hurricanes organization and formed a dangerous group of young players, many of whom project to be big time contributors sooner rather than later.
It truly has been an overhaul with Francis at the helm. Since he was hired in April of 2014, all but seven NHL players are no longer with the club. Jeff Skinner, Jordan Staal, Elias Lindholm, Justin Faulk, Ron Hainsey, Ryan Murphy and Cam Ward are the only roster players who have stuck around since the start of Francis’ tenure.
Ron Francis was plagued with the task of dealing with bad contracts, including the likes of Alex Semin, Eric Staal and Cam Ward. Francis bought out the remainder of Semin’s deal, traded Staal for assets in the final year of his deal and ultimately signed Ward to a new contract at roughly half of what his previous deal was worth.
The NHL Hall of Fame player has been able to bring in valuable assets through all avenues. This offseason, Francis was able to bring in five new NHL-level forwards in Teuvo Teravainen, Bryan Bickell, Viktor Stalberg, Lee Stempniak and 2015 second round draft pick Sebastian Aho.
Hurricanes majority owner Peter Karmanos Jr. talked about the extension in the team’s press release on Tuesday.
“Ron has rebuilt our organization the right way, stocking our team and system with young players who will help this franchise compete for the Stanley Cup year in and year out,” said Karmanos. “I’m thrilled that he will continue to see the job through. The future is very bright for the Hurricanes in Carolina.”
With contract extensions handed to both head coach Bill Peters and GM Ron Francis this offseason, it is apparent that the Carolina Hurricanes like the direction they are going in, and it’s also very apparent that they should be.
In short order, the Hurricanes organization has gone from a basement-dweller to one on the rise with a top-five ranked farm system and a very good shot at making the playoff this upcoming season.