Hurricanes GM search down to five individuals

New Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon has plans on poaching another franchise for Ron Francis’ replacement.

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According to a report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the search for a new general manager in Raleigh, North Carolina is down to just four individuals. Carolina Hurricanes new owner Tom Dundon unceremoniously dumped franchise legend Ron Francis last week in a bizarre move that technically saw Francis receive a promotion to the President of Hockey Operation position,  while giving up his power over player personnel decisions. 

Now, less than a week later, Dundon has reportedly set his sights on four current assistant GMs and one former assistant GM. The men in question, Tampa Bay Lightning AGM Julien Brisebois, Nashville Predators AGM Paul Fenton, New Jersey Devils AGM Tom Fitzgerald, Los Angeles Kings AGM Mike Futa and former Vancouver Canucks AGM Laurence Gilman.

“Julien Brisebois has something in his contract that does not allow him to go… Gilman doesn’t need permission, and the other three have all been given permission to go,” reports Friedman.

“There’s a sense there that… [Dundon] may want to move quickly. He wants a critical thinker and that’s the main reason Francis is out. He wants deal makers, someone who can make the deal quickly. That means that Fenton and Futa are probably at the top of the list,” said Friedman’s Sportsnet colleague Nick Kypreos.

One thing’s for sure, Dundon is wasting no time in shaping the team in his image. “Dundon himself has been very involved in this process making calls and soliciting advice from others,” added Chris Johnston.

NHL to players and coaches: “Stop whining.”

In case you missed it, there was yet another controversial goalie interference call in the NHL last night. And as luck would have it, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen was involved yet again. Less than a week after Leafs head coach Mike Babcock went on a rant goaltender interference in which he said the league has to “get it right”, the NHL has botched things up again.

First, check out Babcock’s comments from last week when Andersen was interfered with on a Buffalo Sabres goal that was allowed to stand.

Check it out:

So… that’s not goalie interference? Ok then… 

As you might imagine, Babcock was LIVID when the officials made the call. 

Check out his immediate reaction:

I’m no expert at reading lips, but I’m willing to bet that there were more than a few “F bombs” in that tirade for the officials. After the game however, Babcock was a little more subdued, but still clearly frustrated with the lack of consistency in the NHL’s stated rules regarding goalie interference.

“What I don’t like is that the report that came out from the league is different than what [the officials] told me. They told me he was interfered with outside the paint, which is not true,” said a ticked off Babcock.

“That tonight is goalie interference any way you look at it… no one knows what’s going on.  So, we better get it solved. Just saying ‘okay, we’re going to leave it the way it is,’ no chance!”

“Let’s get it fixed, let’s get it fixed before the playoffs so we all know the rules.”

Last night, Babcock and the Leafs were on the other end of a blown call. Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin scored a BEAUTIFUL goal to finally get the Penguins on the board, before it was disallowed for goaltender inference. 

Check it out:

Uh… what? There’s minimal contact made between Dumoulin and Andersen and the contact that is made is a result of Andersen’s teammate Ron Hainsey pushing Dumoulin into the crease. Crazy.

Now, Sportsnet’s senior writer and all-around NHL insider Chris Johnston is reporting that the league is planning to put a muzzle around the players and coaches regarding goaltender inference. The league doesn’t want its representatives speaking to the media about controversial calls.

“There’s a feeling at the league office that this is not something that’s productive to the process whatsoever, the amount of complaining that’s gone on about it. … So there will be a continued discussion about where this is going, what’s happening, and the league has tried to be as transparent as it can with these rulings but certainly the message will be, ‘Don’t air your public laundry here to the press.’”

So… they’re putting in a gag order rather than fixing the glaring problem in front of them? That doesn’t seem particularly smart, but then again this is the NHL we’re talking about…