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Hurricanes take interim tag off Tulsky as general manager after Waddell's departure

The Carolina Hurricanes are sticking with Eric Tulsky as their general manager.

The Hurricanes said Tuesday they have taken the interim tag off and officially promoted Tulsky to GM, a move that followed Don Waddell stepping down May 24 and later taking over the front office for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Tulsky — who has worked his way through the ranks of analyst, analytics manager and assistant GM here — now must oversee the retooling of a roster that has been good enough to reach six straight postseasons but has yet to reach the Stanley Cup Final in that run.

“Eric is ready for this opportunity,” owner Tom Dundon said in a statement. “He has a proven history of managing people and overseeing operations both outside of hockey and over the last decade with the Hurricanes.”

Tulsky originally joined Carolina in 2014 as a consultant before later becoming manager of hockey analytics. He was promoted to vice president of hockey management and strategy, then assistant GM by 2020 for work that included assisting with contract negotiations and salary-cap compliance.

The Philadelphia native has a very different background from hockey lifers.

He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from California, conducted a two-year post-doctoral study at the Naval Research Laboratory in the nation's capital and holds 27 U.S. patents, according to his team bio. He also worked in the tech industry for a dozen years, managing research teams for nanotechnology in areas such as DNA sequencing and solar energy.

Now the test is reshaping a talented roster with free agency looming July 1.

The Hurricanes took care of their biggest free agent last month by reaching another deal with coach Rod Brind’Amour. But they have numerous key decisions ahead, such as winger Jake Guentzel, and defensemen Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce set to become unrestricted free agents; as well as young forwards Seth Jarvis and Martin Necas becoming eligible for restricted free agency.

The Hurricanes have twice reached the Eastern Conference Final in their current run and have won at least one series in all six postseason trips. But it’s still a team looking for a breakthrough toward its goal of winning the Stanley Cup after losing in the second round to the Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers.

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AP NHL playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL

Aaron Beard, The Associated Press