Despite the fact that there have been some tremendously disappointing teams this season (looking at you Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, and Montreal Canadiens!), there is only one general manager who lost his job this season: Ron Francis, of the Carolina Hurricanes. He was actually "promoted" to President of hockey operations, but it doesn't really feel like a promotion for him, as the new GM will report directly to the owner, Tom Dundon.
As we reported this week, ty promoting Francis and keeping 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 now.
TSN insider Pierre LeBrun identified an important number of candidates who were contacted by Dundon over the past few days. Here's what he said on Twitter, earlier today:
"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..."
"It is still early in the process, obviously other candidates will surface as well... But it sounds like Carolina is not wasting time trying to talk to people..."
His colleague, Darren Dreger, also added that Dundon reportedly asked the New Jersey Devils for permission to speak with Tom Fitzgerald:
This is going to be an interesting story to follow, as the Hurricanes have a very talented young group of players, who could do great things if they were surrounded with seasoned veterans. We'll have to wait and see what happens in Carolina.
Update on Duclair's apparent injury after Marchand's hit
Brad Marchand is certainly one of the most controversial player of the National Hockey League. Even though he's a tremendous goal scorer, he's mostly known for his questionable hits and the numerous suspensions he was given by the NHL's department of player safety. Some people believe he may hear from George Parros soon enough, after today's hit on Chicago Blackhawks forward Anthony Duclair.
While we'll have to wait a little longer to know whether Marchand will be suspended, Hawks' head coach Joel Quenneville gave us a little update about Duclair's situation. According to various sources, he should miss between one and two weeks:
You can clearly see Duclair's reaction here, who seems to be in excruciating pain just seconds after the hit:
Boston Bruins' head coach Bruce Cassidy says he believes both men were trying really hard to avoid each other, and that this is a very unfortunate event. Here's what he said, according to Chicago Sun Times journalist Mark Lazerus:
In case you didn't see the hit, here it is:
We reported earlier this week that the NHL is letting Marchand know that he’s being watched quite closely. On Friday, the league fined Marchand $2,000 for embellishment, for which he was penalized last week in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It will be interesting to see what kind of punishment the department of player safety thinks he deserves for this play.
IN OTHER NEWS:
- Duclair goes down after controversial hit from Marchand
- We have more information about Patrice Bergeron's injury
- Chicago Blackhawks have announced a surprising roster move
- Here's the reason why John Hayden was recalled from the AHL
- Peter Chiarelli might be in big trouble, and Wayne Gretzky might be the reason why
- Mark Giordano loses it on the referee after getting a penalty for blocking a shot
- Coach Guy Boucher murders a reporter with words for asking a stupid question
- Multiple NHL sources confirm a rumor of a Carey Price blockbuster