500 game NHL veteran claims a General Manager sabotaged him and ended his NHL career

Published April 15, 2023 at 4:37 PM
BY COOPER GODIN
Long-time defenceman James Wisniewski was a recent guest on the 'Cam & Strick Podcast' and shared his thoughts on how his career in the National Hockey League was ended, blaming his former General Manager and Hockey Hall of Famer Ron Francis.

The Canton (Michigan) native only appeared in one game for Carolina in the 2015-16 season due to an ACL injury, but told Cam & Strick that he wanted to and was able to return for the couple weeks, but Ron Francis decided to keep him on the sidelines, telling him not to risk it. Just over two months later at the NHL Draft, Francis and the Hurricanes bought out the final year of Wisniewski's contract.

"I got bought out by Carolina and I was healthy enough to play the final five-to-eight games and they're like, 'oh, no no, why press it? Don't press it, just wait until next year, save it.' The reason I'm telling you this is because then I'm like, 'okay' and I kept doing my thing, training and skating by myself and whatever and then sure enough at the draft, I get a call from Ron Francis that they're going to buy my contract out." Wisniewski said.

He added, "And I'm like, 'You motherfucker', because the difference between buying my contract out if I played the last five games of the season, even if I look like shit, at least it shows that I'm healthy enough to play a game. Because then If I don't play those last five games and get bought out, other teams are like 'hmm, he's had four (ACL tears), I don't know if I want to take a chance. If I would have played one game, I guarantee if I was bought out, I would have signed a contract no matter what, instead of getting a tryout."



After an unsuccessful PTO with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Wisniewski headed to the KHL, before returning to North America for a 25-game tryout with the AHL's Chicago Wolves to finish off the 2016-17 season. In his final professional season in 2017-18, he returned to Europe, signing with Kassel Huskies in the German second division, while also playing for the USA at the Olympics, before hanging up the skates.

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April 15   |   104 answers
500 game NHL veteran claims a General Manager sabotaged him and ended his NHL career

Was Ron Francis in the wrong for not allowing Wisniewski to play in the final two weeks of the season?

Yes6057.7 %
No, why risk it?3331.7 %
See Results1110.6 %
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