Carolina Hurricanes: Rick Dudley Walks From the Team

Rick Dudley of the Carolina Hurricanes
Rick Dudley of the Carolina Hurricanes /

The Carolina Hurricanes just lost their Senior VP of Hockey Operations

Not many were aware that former Sabres Coach and long time hockey executive Rick Dudley was the senior VP of Hockey Operations for the Carolina Hurricanes. His contract was not renewed this summer.

Rick Dudley is not one of the best-known names in the Carolina Hurricanes organization. For many of you, this is the first time hearing it. But that is just the way he operates. As the Senior VP of Hockey Operations for the last several seasons, he wasn’t that far from the top of the organization either, reporting straight to Don Waddell.

The former player turned coach turned executive has been better-known in the Buffalo Sabres circles due to his time as a Sabres coach in the 90s that resulted in a few playoff berths before he was fired. He was also thrust into the role of the Flordia Panthers head coach back in the 03-04 season after Mike Keenan was removed.

On the executive side, Dudley is best known for being the Tampa Bay Lightning GM after a single season of GMing the Ottowa Senators. After being released by the Lighting he moved across Florida to GM the Panthers for two seasons. He then joined the Blackhawks first as a hockey consultant then as the assistant GM in 2006.

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In 2009 he laterally moved to the Atlanta Thrashers first as the assistant GM then replacing Don Waddel as the Thrashers GM. Dudley was dismissed when the team moved to Winnipeg.

He returned to Canada first as the Director of Player Personnel for the Maple Leafs then as the assistant GM for the Montreal Canadiens. He eventually found himself reunited with Don Waddell as the Senior VP of Hockey Operations for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Well, that time has finally come to an end. On July 1st, his contract came to an end and Dudley decided to move on to his next adventure. The 71-year-old executive has been around the league for a long time with several different teams. It wouldn’t be crazy for him to join another team as another executive.

Rumors circling the hockey world indicate that he might join former Carolina Hurricane Stanley Cup Champion Kevyn Adams and reunite with the Buffalo Sabres.

Will the Carolina Hurricanes actually need to replace Dudley? For the time being, the answer is no. But when the season is officially complete, regardless of if the Stanley Cup is awarded or not, there will be a massive shakeup in the front and back offices of most teams. Carolina is not an exception.

Maybe the extra money can help the team retain John Forslund? Who knows.

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