Hurricanes add front office veteran Rick Dudley

Four-time NHL GM named senior VP of hockey operations

The Carolina Hurricanes celebrate after the NHL win over the Minnesota Wild at PNC Arena in Raleigh, Oct. 7, 2017. The Carolina Hurricanes opened their home season by defeating the Minnesota Wild 5 - 4 in an overtime shootout. (Eamon Queeney / North State Journal)

RALEIGH — The Hurricanes’ front office is starting to come into focus.

A day after the team fully severed ties with Ron Francis, Carolina hired longtime NHL executive Rick Dudley as senior vice president of hockey operations.

Dudley, 69, has been general manager of four NHL teams — first in Ottawa, then with three former Southeast Division teams: Tampa Bay, Florida and Atlanta — and served in front office roles in Chicago, Toronto and Montreal, where he was assistant GM the past six years.

“Rick brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our management group,” Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon said in a press release. “He has been a part of building championship teams on every level of professional hockey, and will play an important role in helping us build a winner in Raleigh.”

Dudley also coached teams at several levels, from winning three ACHL titles in four years with the Winston-Salem-based Carolina Thunderbirds in the 1980s to coaching the Buffalo Sabres for two-plus seasons starting in 1989 and the Florida Panthers for 40 games during the 2003-04 season. He played more than 600 combined games in the NHL and WHA.

Dudley’s hiring comes less than two weeks after the Hurricanes hired former agent Paul Krepelka as vice president of hockey operations, where he will primarily focus on negotiating player contracts.

The Hurricanes are still pursuing a new general manager and coach, but both positions got more attractive when Carolina landed the second overall pick in June’s draft during last weekend’s draft lottery.