Reports have surfaced that the NHL Seattle expansion franchise will hire Ron Francis as their GM. The Seattle Times and reporter Geoff Baker reported late Tuesday evening.
BREAKING: @NHLSeattle_ will name Ron Francis its first general manager. Francis, who was GM in Carolina from 2014-18, played in the NHL for 22 seasons and is fifth all time in points. @GeoffBakerTIMES story: https://t.co/eOytcscl78
— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) July 17, 2019
NHL Seattle To Sign Ron Francis
This is a huge step for the future NHL team as they prepare for their expansion draft that will take place in 2021. The team will then drop the puck for their first NHL game in the 2012-22 season. Before that, the team needs to get their scouting department, player development staff, and many other positions related to hockey operations filled. Ron Francis is one of the all-time great scorers in NHL history and comes well-respected among his peers.
Francis was previously employed as the Director of Hockey Operations and then General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes between 2011 and April 2018 when he was let go. Prior to that, he was a 23-year veteran with stints for the Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Hurricanes, and one brief stretch with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2003-04.
Francis is currently fifth on the NHL’s all-time scoring chart with 1798 points. He ranks behind only Wayne Gretzky, Jaromir Jagr, Mark Messier, and Gordie Howe. Few will doubt his knowledge of the game after so much success as a player and front office figure. His tenure with the operations department is a big part of why Carolina is capable of competing in the tough Metropolitan Division.
What This Means For The Future
Francis will have an immediate challenge turning Seattle into a contender considering the Vegas Golden Knights have made the Stanley Cup playoffs twice and the Finals once in their two seasons of existence. A seasoned hockey mind like Francis gives Seattle that much more of a chance when they hit the ice.
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