The Carolina Hurricanes are moving general manager Ron Francis to a new position and will conduct a search to replace him, a source with direct knowledge of the decision said Wednesday night. The team later confirmed the move.
Francis will remain with the team as president of hockey operations, but his replacement as general manager will report directly to new owner Tom Dundon.
"Since I took control of the team, I've had a good chance to be around and assess the operations," Dundon said in a statement. "There are a lot of good people working in the organization, but I feel that a change in direction is needed when it comes to hockey personnel decisions.
"Ron is a smart and talented hockey man. I am glad that he will continue to be a part of the team, serving in this new role."
Dundon and Francis were not immediately available for comment Wednesday night.
Francis, 55, was promoted to general manager in 2014 when Jim Rutherford retired and was tasked with a major rebuilding of the franchise. The team failed to make the playoffs in each of his first three seasons as GM and appears unlikely to make the postseason this season. The Hurricanes are 130-130-53 since Francis became GM.
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The Hurricanes appeared primed to make a leap forward this season, but Francis' choice of Scott Darling as the Hurricanes' new No. 1 goaltender has been an abject disaster and two of his other offseason acquisitions -- Marcus Krueger and Josh Jooris -- were waived last month. Jooris was later traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a minor deal.
The Hurricanes went into Wednesday's games four points out of the final playoff spot with 15 games to play.
A Hall of Fame center who had two stints with the franchise, first with the Hartford Whalers and then with the Hurricanes, he is the team's all-time leader in goals (382) and points (1,175). He served as an assistant coach and assistant general manager before becoming general manager.
Dundon purchased a majority interest in the team from Peter Karmanos in January.