The Carolina Hurricanes have announced that they have hired Paul Krepelka as vice president of hockey operations. One of Krepelka’s main responsibilities will be the negotiation of player contracts.
Krepelka is a former hockey player, reaching the ECHL and playing two seasons. In December of 2016, the ECHL Norfolk Admirals, former AHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, hired Krepelka to their hockey operations staff.
Krepelka also has 20 years of experience as a player agent with the Orr Hockey Group, which he co-founded in 2002 with Bobby Orr. The group currently represents players like Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid as well as Hurricanes players Jeff Skinner, Cam Ward and Jordan Staal. The group also represents former Hurricanes captain Eric Staal and represented Noah Hanifin before he switched his agent to Pat Brisson last summer. Also, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, Krepelka was the agent that negotiated former Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro’s infamously massive contract.
Krepelka’s job duties are largely the same as those which had been handled for the past few years by assistant general manager Ricky Olczyk. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that Olzcyk is likely to be reassigned to another position within the organization.
Where Krepelka falls on the organizational chart is still somewhat unknown pending the hiring of a new general manager. By title, he would report to president of hockey operations Ron Francis, but the extent of Francis’ involvement with day-to-day operations is still a bit murky. A team source tells Canes Country that Francis’ former office on the fourth floor of PNC Arena has been cleaned out and the nameplate is off the door, which doesn’t preclude his moving to another office but indicates that his stature within the front office may have changed somewhat.
Below is the press release on Krepelka’s hiring:
PAUL KREPELKA NAMED VP OF HOCKEY OPERATIONS
Massachusetts native has experience as player, agent and manager
The Carolina Hurricanes today announced that the team has named Paul Krepelka as its new Vice President of Hockey Operations. As Vice President of Hockey Operations, Krepelka’s responsibilities will include player contract negotiations and other hockey operations matters.
”Paul has been involved in professional hockey for nearly 30 years, developing experience and relationships that will be of great value to the Hurricanes,” said Tom Dundon, CEO, Owner and Governor of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Krepelka has gained experience in hockey as a player, attorney, agent and manager, most recently serving as director of player development for the Norfolk Admirals. Prior to joining the Admirals, Krepelka spent 20 years as a sports agent, including 13 years as a co-founder and partner in the Orr Hockey Group. A graduate of Princeton University, where he played collegiate hockey, Krepelka played professionally for the Hampton Roads Admirals from 1991-1993, winning a Riley Cup with the Admirals in 1992. Following his playing career, the Arlington, MA, native returned to Massachusetts to earn his law degree from Suffolk University in Boston before joining Woolf Associates in 1996 as a sports agent.