Seattle names Ron Francis 1st GM in franchise history
Dave Sandford / National Hockey League / Getty

The NHL's Seattle franchise has officially named Ron Francis as its first-ever general manager, the team announced Thursday.

The Seattle Times' Geoff Baker reported earlier this week that Francis' contract will likely run for five seasons, including the two years prior to the club taking the ice in 2021-22.

"After seven months of due diligence, research, conversations, interviews, and evaluation, we are thrilled to announce Ron as our GM," team CEO Tod Leiweke said in the team's announcement.

"Ron is the perfect fit for the team we are building. Ron will make everyone better," Leiweke added.

Francis' most recent front-office gig was with the Carolina Hurricanes. He joined the club prior to the 2006-07 season before being named director of hockey operations in 2011, and then general manager in 2014. Francis was fired in April 2018 after building the majority of the Hurricanes roster that reached the Eastern Conference Final this past spring.

The former NHLer had an incredibly illustrious playing career that spanned 23 seasons. He won two Stanley Cups, three Lady Byngs, and one Selke while racking up 1,798 points, good for fifth all time.

Seattle was unanimously approved to become the league's 32nd team in December 2018 and is scheduled to orchestrate its expansion draft in June 2021.

The club has yet to decide on a name or colors and is currently in the process of a $900-million renovation to KeyArena, which will play host to the NHL franchise.

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Seattle names Ron Francis 1st GM in franchise history
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