Rutherford stepping down next week?

It is likely that Jim Rutherford will step down as general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes early next week.

It is likely that he will stay on in an executive role.

Rutherford, 65, is also president and part-owner of the team and has been with the franchise since 1994, when they were still the Hartford Whalers.

The Raleigh News & Observer reported last month that former Hurricanes standout and current vice president of hockey operations Ron Francis would take over as GM.

Carolina finished the season near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division with a 36-35-11 record. The Hurricanes have not made the playoffs since 2009 when they were swept by the Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals.