Seattle's National Hockey League expansion team officially names Ron Francis as general manager

Ron Francis will have complete control of operations under Seattle Hockey Partners CEO Tod Leiweke

Ron Francis will have complete control of operations under Seattle Hockey Partners CEO Tod Leiweke

Seattle's National Hockey League franchise announced Wednesday it has hired Ron Francis to be their inaugural GM and one of his first orders of business is to help pick a name for the expansion team.

Francis will receive a multiyear contract from the team, a source told ESPN's Emily Kaplan.

The team is still unnamed, but Oak View Group, the new team's ownership group, registered thirteen possible trademarks previous year, including the Seattle Kraken, the Seattle Sockeyes, and the Seattle Evergreens. "I'm excited to bring that experience to Seattle as we build something truly special and historic". The Seattle team caused a realignment in the National Hockey League, taking the Arizona Coyotes' place in the Pacific Division, and moving the Coyotes, who play in suburban Phoenix, to the Central Division.

"Twelve seasons working in player development, coaching, scouting and management have led me to this moment and this role", Francis said in the release.

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As a general manager, Francis spent nearly four seasons steering the Hurricanes through an extensive rebuild, collecting assets and building up the club's deep prospect pool before being demoted in March 2018 and terminated soon after.

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Francis said he is in no rush to hire a head coach just yet. He indicated he will help the franchise pick its name and provide insight into the design of a training facility that will begin to be built next year.

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