While there is no player free agency beginning today, that isn’t the case for team staff members whose contracts have come to an end. Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News & Observer reports that veteran executive Rick Dudley’s contract with the Hurricanes has come to an end and that he will not return to Carolina.
The 71-year-old has been in some sort of NHL role every year since 1998-99 when he was GM in Ottawa. Since then, he has spent time in a variety of front office roles, including Senior VP of Hockey Operations which is the title he held with Carolina as well as his previous NHL stint with Montreal.
Given the recent overhaul of the front office in Buffalo, that would seem like a logical landing spot for Dudley to serve in some sort of advisory role to first-time GM Kevyn Adams, particularly since he lives in the area and made frequent scouting appearances at their games. John Vogl of The Athletic notes (Twitter link) that while the connection is logical, Dudley’s expiring contract played no role in the Sabres opting to let more than 20 staff members go last month.
Meanwhile, Dudley isn’t the only Carolina staff member whose contract is up. DeCock adds that assistant coach Dean Chynoweth’s deal has also expired and with training camp set to begin within the next couple of weeks, that file will have to get resolved sooner than later. GM Don Waddell indicated that negotiations will continue with Chynoweth.