Rutherford announcement expected Monday

calexander@newsobserver.comApril 27, 2014 

CANES.SP.011013.CCS

The Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford at a press conference held at the PNC Arena on Jan. 10, 2013.

CHRIS SEWARD — cseward@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

RALEIGH Jim Rutherford is expected to announce Monday that he will step down as general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, ending 20 years in that position with the franchise.

Ron Francis, who has served as the Canes' vice president of hockey operations, is expected to succeed Rutherford as general manager. A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and former Canes captain, Francis has worked both in the team’s front office and behind the bench as associate head coach.

The Hurricanes on Sunday said executive management would be at the noon news conference Monday to discuss "hockey staff.”

It is not known if a decision has been made to retain Canes coach Kirk Muller, who has a year remaining on his contract. Carolina missed the Stanley Cup playoffs for a fifth straight season, causing speculation Muller's job could be at risk.

Rutherford's decision to give up his GM duties apparently was something he has considered for a long period of time. At 65, he is one of the NHL's longest-tenured general managers, putting together teams that reached the Stanley Cup final in 2002 and won the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Rutherford also serves as the team's president and could remain in that position.

Rutherford has not spoken publicly about the decision to step down as GM.

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