RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes announced on Tuesday that the team had signed executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis to a contract extension through the 2018-19 season.
“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,” CEO and majority owner Peter Karmanos Jr. said.
“I’m thrilled that he will continue to see the job through. The future is very bright for the Hurricanes in Carolina.”
“It was actually pretty simple,” Francis said of the process in signing an extension.
“I had worked on the extension for Bill Peters and got that done. It was a little bit after that that Mr Karmanos was in town. He walked into the office and said, ‘alright, I wanna kinda take care of you’. We sat down and said, ‘this is what I’d like to do’. I said, ‘alright Pete, that’s fair’. That’s as quickly as it went.”
“I’m very much excited about it,” he continued.
“I appreciate the fact that he’s willing to give me an extension, I think as a management team, and as a coaching staff and organization we’re going in the right direction. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to continue that, and see it get better and better as we move forward.”
Francis is in his 11th season in a management position with the Hurricanes and in his third as general manager.
He has worked to infuse and fully develop younger, talented players into a system that flows more effectively through all levels of the organization.
Under his leadership, the Hurricanes improved 15 points in the NHL standings in 2015-16.
Francis said he approaches his job the same way now from the day when he started as the GM, “taking every day to try and make ourselves better and do the things that are right for the organization – short-term and long-term.”
The 53-year old, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native previously worked for the team as director of player development, assistant general manager, associate head coach and director of hockey operations.
A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Francis scored 549 goals and earned 1,249 assists (1,798 points) as a player, ranking fifth all-time on the league’s scoring list behind Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jaromir Jagr and Gordie Howe.
His 1,249 assists rank second only to Gretzky (1,963), and he ranks third on the games-played list behind Howe (1,767) and Messier (1,756).