In the recent week, the Canes have made a splash with important changes. Last week, they demoted general manager Ron Francis to a new position and started to conduct a search to replace him. While Francis will remain with the team as president of hockey operations, his replacement as general manager will report directly to new owner Tom Dundon.
As we reported this week, as they promoted Francis and kept him within the organization, Dundon can save a bit of face while still giving the team a new direction. There had been no real indication of who might replace Francis or what the team’s timeline is for finding a replacement, until TSN insider Pierre LeBrun identified an important number of candidates who were contacted by Dundon over the past few days, as he publicly posted on his Twitter account:
"Hearing that Carolina had preliminary phone call with Mike Futa, from the Los Angeles Kings, on Friday; also believe Hurricanes have reached out to former Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman. Belief is Carolina has reached out to the Nashville Predators regarding Paul Fenton and Tampa Bay Lightning regarding Julien Brisebois, obvious names..."
The Hurricanes also reached out to a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins as assistant general manager and former NHL player Bill Guerin was approached by Carolina for an interview. Guerin, who is in his fourth season as Penguins assistant GM, and seventh overall on team's hockey operations staff, did not seem interested at the moment in the job's posting. LeBrun reported on Saturday morning that Carolina reached out to Pittsburgh regarding Guerin a few days ago, but he politely declined to get involved in the process, because the timing wasn't right for him.
Guerin is not the only to have declined the offer by the Hurricanes, as earlier this week for example Los Angeles Kings assistant general manager Mike Futa was one of many to have "respectfully withdrawn” his name from consideration for the CAR GM job."
Now that the timing does not seem right for a lot of candidates the Hurricanes had their eyes on, it seems the the team is now changing gears. LeBrun added on his Twitter account that Carolina "is going to put a pause on the new GM search until the off-season when a wider field of candidates may emerge, as timing wasn't right for many guys."
Let's hope for them that things get better during the offseason.