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(Another) New Challenge for Francis

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes

Add another job title to Ron Francis’ rapidly-growing resume.

Paul Branecky
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First a player, then the director of player development and then the assistant general manager, the hall-of-famer is now an associate head coach and the newest member of Paul Maurice’s staff.  Jason Karmanos, currently the team’s executive director of hockey operations, will move back into the assistant general manager post he held from 1998-2007.

Coaching is an opportunity that Francis has had for a while, but now he’s finally chosen to take advantage of it.

“Numerous times I’ve been asked and kind of said no,” he said.  “Jim [Rutherford] had kind of discussed this with me a little bit and I thought about it and thought this was an opportunity to give it a try.”

While he may not have coaching experience outside of his involvements in youth hockey, each of his past roles do give him unique qualifications for his new position with the team.

“There’s guys in there that I’ve played with as teammates,” he said.  “There’s guys in that room that, as director of development, I was a part of trying to get them here, and now they’re here.  As assistant GM, you’re also in on some of the discussions and deals when you trade for players and sign players to come in.

“I think the one thing I do have is a pretty good understanding of what we have in that locker room and the personalities that we have there.”

As of right now, it remains somewhat unclear as to what Francis’ exact role will be.  He was mentioned in this space yesterday as the team’s unofficial power play consultant, and it seems that might be made official going forward.

“We’re still kind of working through that,” said Francis.  “Paul has mentioned that he’d like me to work on the power play angle, so we’ll start with that.  We’ll sit down as a group and kind of go from there as to how things roll out and who’s responsibility is defined in which manner.”

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