Ron Francis had a Hall of Fame playing career in the National Hockey League, twice winning the Stanley Cup.

But can he do it as general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes?

“The job has become more complex, no question, to when I came in,” said Jim Rutherford, who stepped down last week after 20 years as the Canes’ GM.

Francis isn’t the only NHL general manager with a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Steve Yzerman of the Tampa Bay Lightning won three Stanley Cup rings with the Detroit Red Wings.

There are other general managers who had distinguished playing careers, such as Bob Murray of the Anaheim Ducks and Doug Wilson of the San Jose Sharks.

But take a look at the teams that have won Stanley Cups in the 2000s. More and more, Cup-winning general managers are well-educated businessmen who played their hockey at the college level or in the minor leagues, if at all.

Dean Lombardi, president and general manager of the Los Angeles Kings, has a law degree from Tulane. Peter Chiarelli of the Boston Bruins played for Harvard and went to law school at the University of Ottawa.

Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks and Ray Shero of the Pittsburgh Penguins are the sons of Hall of Fame coaches – Scotty Bowman and the late Fred Shero. Bowman, 40, is a Notre Dame graduate, earning degrees in finance and computer applications. Shero, 51, went to St. Lawrence University and was drafted by the Kings but never played in the NHL.

Since 1999, only one team won the Stanley Cup whose GM played more than four games in the NHL – the Canes. Rutherford, a former goalie, played parts of 13 seasons before becoming a general manager in 1994.