Seattle's NHL team hires Francis as first GM

AFP
Seattle's NHL expansion franchise announced they have hired Ron Francis as their first general manager (AFP Photo/BRUCE BENNETT)

Seattle's NHL expansion franchise announced they have hired Ron Francis as their first general manager

Seattle's NHL expansion franchise announced they have hired Ron Francis as their first general manager (AFP Photo/BRUCE BENNETT)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Seattle's NHL franchise announced Wednesday it has hired Ron Francis to be their inaugural GM and one of his first orders of business is to help pick a name for the expansion team.

NHL Seattle chief executive Tod Leiweke said the 56-year-old Francis signed a multi-year contract.

"Announcing Ron Francis as our team's first general manager is a dream come true," Leiweke said. "He is truly hockey royalty and is the perfect fit for the team we are building.

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"He has a proven track record in hockey management, a dedication to the community and an eagerness to innovate which fits our vision."

Seattle is set to begin play with the 2021-22 season and Francis said he is looking forward to preparations leading up to the club's debut which includes building a state of the art practice facility and designing a logo.

"Twelve seasons working in player development, coaching, scouting and management have led me to this moment and this role," Francis said.

"I'm excited to bring that experience to Seattle as we build something truly special and historic."

Francis, who finished with 549 NHL goals as a player, spent four seasons as general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes from 2014-18.

The Hall of Fame player also sits fifth overall in career points with 1,798 in 23 seasons.

Francis said he is in no rush to hire a head coach just yet.

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