Sources: Seattle NHL Franchise To Name Ron Francis First GM
Hockey HOFer Ron Francis this week will be named the first GM of the expansion Seattle NHL franchise, receiving a "multiyear deal described as midrange in terms of annual compensation compared with other NHL GMs," according to sources cited by Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. Francis was the Exec VP & GM of the Hurricanes from '14-18. He will have "full say on his Seattle front-office assistants and coaches, as well as input into the team's decision on a name -- expected to come by year's end." The Seattle NHL franchise has had "interest in Francis for some time." The urgency to hire Francis "quickly became apparent" once Red Wings Exec VP & GM Steve Yzerman, Oilers GM & President of Hockey Operations Ken Holland and Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon -- "all of interest to Seattle's team -- were taken off the board." Sportsnet also reported the Senators had "approached Francis about their president of hockey operations vacancy" (SEATTLE TIMES, 7/17).
TWITTER REAX: Seattle-based KJR-AM's Dave Mahler: "Leiweke strikes again. Go crazy hockey fans. Go crazy." Tacoma-based KCPQ-Fox' Bill Wixey: "It's getting real now." Tacoma News-Tribune's Andrew Hammond: "Ron Francis as the GM? ... This is good." Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman: "We’ll see how events unfold the next few days; things have been percolating the last few weeks." Hurricanes broadcaster John Forslund: "Good news for Ron Francis!" Blues broadcaster Andy Strickland: "Good hire, great to see Francis get a fresh start."