While the organization has yet to choose an official name, that doesn’t appear to be stopping Seattle’s NHL team from making big decisions.
The NHL’s 32nd franchise, which is set to make its league debut in 2021-22, is reportedly preparing to name Hall-of-Famer Ron Francis as the team’s first general manager.
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
Francis will reportedly sign a multiyear deal with Seattle, according to the Seattle Times.
A five-year contract seems to make sense, seeing that Francis will spend the next two years helping to get this franchise off the ground. A five-year deal would then give Francis three competitive seasons to see how well the team was built and make any necessary adjustments.
Francis served as GM for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2014 before being relieved of his duties following the 2017-18 season. The former Hartford Whaler, who also spent nearly six seasons playing in Carolina, was hampered by the team’s small budget, failing to get the Hurricanes to the playoffs during his four years as GM.
The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007 following an illustrious 22-year career that has him ranked fifth on the NHL’s all-time points list with 1,798.
Francis will be responsible for hiring a coaching staff and building a competitive roster, and he will also reportedly have a say in the team’s name, which will be revealed by the end of 2019.
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