Plymouth Whalers' Mike Vellucci Moves to Carolina HurricanesApr 29, 2014 - 08:26 EDT
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RALEIGH, NC – Peter Karmanos, Chief Executive Officer, Owner and Governor of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has promoted Ron Francis to Executive Vice President and General Manager. In addition, Brian Tatum will now serve as Assistant General Manager, and the team has hired Mike Vellucci as Assistant General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations.
Jim Rutherford will remain with the team as President, in an advisory role.
Vellucci, 47, joins the Hurricanes after 14 seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers, serving as Head Coach and General Manager for the majority of that time. As Assistant General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations, Vellucci will oversee scouting and player development for the Hurricanes.
“I’ve been in Plymouth for a long time, and I felt in the last couple of years, something I wanted to pursue was going to the National Hockey League. Everybody wants to be involved in the No. 1 league in the world, so I thought about it for the last couple of years, and it just came about in the last couple of days. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to work along with Ronnie,” Vellucci said. “He’s just a great guy, and we should have a good relationship and have a lot of fun working together.”
The Farmington, MI, native led Plymouth to a 468-322-36 record during his time in the OHL, and he was the first American to win the Matt Leyden Trophy as OHL coach of the year after the Whalers captured the OHL championship in 2006-07. He was also named the OHL’s Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year in 2012-13.
Prior to joining the Whalers, Vellucci was with Detroit Compuware of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), where his teams went 241-82-27 in the regular season from 1994-99, and captured U.S. national championships in 1994 and 1999. The Ambassadors also captured two NAHL regular-season titles and four Robertson Cups. Vellucci played professionally in the IHL, AHL, ECHL and BHL from 1986-89. Selected by the Hartford Whalers in the seventh round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, Vellucci played for Hartford during the 1987-88 season.