There has been a lot of movement in front offices in the National Hockey League as fans still await the Entry Draft and the free agency season to see players on the move. On Tuesday morning, there was a major move made on the management side of things, and you better believe rival teams have noticed.
The Carolina Hurricanes might not have found their next general manager yet, but they’ve added another experienced hockey mind to their front office by stealing him from another Eastern Conference club. The Hurricanes announced that they’ve hired Rick Dudley to be their senior vice president of hockey operations. Dudley has spent the last six years with the Montreal Canadiens. He had been serving as the club’s senior VP, hockey operations since 2014.
“Rick brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our management group,” Hurricanes new CEO and governor Tom Dundon said in a press release on Tuesday morning. “He has been a part of building championship teams on every level of professional hockey, and will play an important role in helping us build a winner in Raleigh.”
This announcement comes less than a day after the team announced that Ron Francis wouldn’t be back and just a couple of weeks after they hired Paul Krepelka as a vice president of hockey operations.
Hurricanes interim GM Don Waddell is familiar with Dudley as they worked together with the Atlanta Thrashers organization. Once Waddell left his post as GM and became the president of the Thrashers in April 2010, Dudley was named as his replacement, before he moved to the Canadiens.
The Hurricanes might not be aware of who will be their new general manager, however, they already know who will be working closely with him in the Carolina front office. They will need to get everything under control as the NHL Entry Draft is quickly approaching and less than two months away.
The move certainly looks like an appealing one for Dudley. The 69-year-old has several decades of experience as an NHL executive. In his lengthy career, Dudley has also worked with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators.
"I would like to thank Rick Dudley for his contributions to the Canadiens organization over the last six years. His vast hockey knowledge and extensive experience have been key assets to our team," said Habs GM Marc Bergevin in a statement. "On a more personal level, since I became an amateur scout in 2005, Rick has not only been a valuable advisor and confidant, but also a great friend I could always count on. On behalf of myself and the Montreal Canadiens, I wish Rick all the success in his new role with the Carolina Hurricanes."