Raleigh, NC, United States (4E Sports) – Jim Rutherford ended a 20-year-tenure as Carolina Hurricanes general manager as he stepped down and turned over the job to Ron Francis.
The move was announced by team owner Peter Karmanos Jr. in a press conference at PNC Arena.
Francis, a former Canes captain who has served as vice president of hockey operations, has worked closely with Rutherford the past few years.
The 65-year-old Rutherford will remain as president in an advisory role.
Mike Velluchi has been named assistant general manager. He has been president, general manager and head coach of the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, a team owned by Karmanos.
Brian Tatum also has been promoted to assistant GM. Tatum has been with the organization since 1998.
Rutherford’s decision to give up his GM duties apparently was something he considered for a long period of time.
He is one of the NHL’s longest-tenured general managers, putting together teams that reached the Stanley Cup final in 2002 and won the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Rutherford was given a four-year contract extension in 2011 that was to end after the 2015-2016 season.
“He’s always been a class-act person and somebody I won a Stanley Cup with, so I have the utmost respect for him,” Canes captain Eric Staal said of Rutherford. “I can’t say enough good things about him because of winning a Cup with him and everything he’s done.”