Canes change roles of Francis, Barasso; give Stillman a job

calexander@newsobserver.comJune 5, 2012 

— Ron Francis has a new title. Tom Barrasso has a new job. Cory Stillman is coming back.

Those were among the organizational moves announced Tuesday by Carolina Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Francis was promoted to vice president of hockey operations. Barrasso, who has served as goaltending coach and an assistant coach, becomes a pro scout for the Canes as Greg Stefan returns to work with the goalies in the system.

Stillman, who helped the Canes win the 2006 Stanley Cup, will serve as director of forward development as Rod Brind’Amour becomes a fulltime assistant coach for the Canes. Stillman retired from playing last September after 16 seasons and more than 1,000 NHL regular-season games. He worked last season for the Florida Panthers in player development.

“He’s really a good hockey guy and will have a lot of good input,” Rutherford said. “He always wanted to stay with the organization. This is where he enjoyed his time as a player the most.

“The opportunity was there with Roddy (Brind’Amour) going full time with the coaching staff. It strengthens us even more in moving forward.”

Brind’Amour was an assistant coach last season, but did not travel with the team. He worked with the Canes’ forward prospects, spending some instructional time in Charlotte with the Checkers of the American Hockey League.

Stefan, a former NHL goalie with the Detroit Red Wings, was Carolina’s goaltending coach from 2005-2007. He was a pro scout in 2011-12.

Barrasso has worked closely with Canes goalie Cam Ward the past few seasons, and was credited with improving Ward’s techniques and his mental approach to playing the position. But Rutherford said Canes coach Kirk Muller wanted to “change the structure of how the goalie coach worked.

“Greg had success with Cam when we won the Cup (in 2006) and Cam won the Conn Smythe Trophy,” Rutherford said. “Tom (Barrasso) is really good at what he does and did a good job for us. We wanted to broaden that role where the goalie coach is not here on a fulltime basis and does a lot more work in Charlotte coaching our future goalies. It’s a different role.”

Rutherford also said Jason Karmanos had been named executive vice president and assistant general manager, and that assistant coach Dave Lewis and director of defensemen development Glen Wesley each received contract extensions.

Dave Hunter, who has worked with the team as a part-time amateur scout for the past four years, has joined the team as a pro scout.

Rutherford said Francis’ new title and promotion “recognizes how good he is in what he does.”

“His role won’t change dramatically. He has been a part of all of our hockey decisions.”

Alexander: 919-829-8945

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