Hurricanes watch begins with rumour of Rutherford’s demise

In light of the news coming out of Raleigh that long-time Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford could be stepping down or moving up at the end of this season, you can expect there will be lots or rumours around the Staal brothers and Jeff Skinner, not to mention goaltender Cam Ward.

That could add to the intrigue at the June draft in Philadelphia. With talk Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler was available at the trade deadline and could be back on the market come summer, along with speculation about the future of Senators captain Jason Spezza in Ottawa, there will be lots of interesting names and scenarios in play.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Carolina.

Do they promote Hall of Famer Ron Francis, currently the club’s vice-president of hockey operations, to the GM position if Rutherford choses to concentrate on his president’s duties or steps out of the picture all together (likely)? Do they go for a new vision (less likely)?

Eric Staal’s contract has two more years to run after this season, with a cap hit of $8.25 million. If whoever is GM opts for a rebuild, does he fit into that philosophy moving forward? Alexander Semin at $7 million for another four years? Anybody?

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