Canes terminate contract of prez Francis


Almost two months after losing his general manager position, Ron Francis saw his contract with the Carolina Hurricanes terminated.

The team made an announcement on Monday. Francis, who had served as GM since 2014, was moved to president of hockey operations in March.

The Hurricanes also announced that Hall of Famer Joe Nieuwendyk has resigned his position as pro scout and adviser to the team.

The Hurricanes have not made the playoffs since 2008-09. They finished sixth in the Metropolitan Division this past season despite entering it with high hopes. They added goaltender Scott Darling and forwards Justin Williams and Marcus Kruger in the offseason. Darling, however, ended up losing his job to incumbent Cam Ward and finished with a dreadful 3.18 goals-against average and .888 save percentage.

The team’s implosion has led to a major skakeup. Coach Bill Peters resigned April 20 with a year remaining on his contract. He was then named coach of the Calgary Flames. And now Francis and Nieuwendyk are out.

The team does have some good news. Carolina jumped from 11th to second in the NHL draft lottery.

Francis, 55, is also a Hall of Famer as a player. He played 23 seasons for Hartford, Carolina, Pittsburgh and Toronto, amassing 549 goals and 1,249 assists. He won two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh.

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