Despite their last Stanley Cup Playoff appearance and win occurring in May 2009, the Carolina Hurricanes have made changes that have them back on track for a return trip to the postseason.
The man playing architect of the Canes’ rebuild is general manager Ron Francis, who was handed a contract extension by the organization on Tuesday that will keep him there through the 2018-19 NHL season.
“Ron has rebuilt our organization the right way, stocking our team and system with young players who will help this franchise compete for the Stanley Cup year in and year out,” said Peter Karmanos Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Owner and Governor of the Hurricanes. “I’m thrilled that he will continue to see the job through. The future is very bright for the Hurricanes in Carolina.”
Francis is entering his third season as GM in Carolina, the same amount of time that head coach Bill Peters have been with the club. In concert, the two have helped create a reason for optimism with the Francis stocking the prospect cupboard with promising young players and Peters developing those who have made it to the NHL roster into core pieces moving forward.
Peters is also signed through 2018-19 season after signing a two-year extension in July.
Last season the Hurricanes saw a 15-point improvement from 2014-15. This summer Francis took on the final year of Bryan Bickell’s contract, but also managed to pry Teuvo Teravainen out of the Chicago Blackhawks in the same deal.
With a defense outside of Ron Hainsey that is all under the age of 26 and highly-rated Sebastian Aho on his way up, Francis has ensured a talented youth movement is currently under way. If Carolina’s goaltending can find a way to improve the team should find itself fighting for a playoff spot as they take the next step forward in their development.
– – – – – – –