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Ron Francis

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Title: Ron Francis  
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Subject: Pittsburgh Penguins, List of NHL statistical leaders, Pittsburgh/On this day, 1995–96 Pittsburgh Penguins season, 1994–95 Pittsburgh Penguins season
Collection: 1963 Births, Canadian Ice Hockey Centres, Carolina Hurricanes Captains, Carolina Hurricanes Coaches, Carolina Hurricanes Executives, Carolina Hurricanes Players, Frank Selke Trophy Winners, Hartford Whalers Captains, Hartford Whalers Draft Picks, Hartford Whalers Players, Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees, Ice Hockey People from Ontario, King Clancy Memorial Trophy Winners, Lady Byng Memorial Trophy Winners, Living People, National Hockey League All-Stars, National Hockey League First Round Draft Picks, National Hockey League Players with Retired Numbers, Pittsburgh Penguins Players, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Players, Sportspeople from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Stanley Cup Champions, Toronto Maple Leafs Players
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Ron Francis

Ron Francis
Hockey Hall of Fame, 2007
Born (1963-03-01) March 1, 1963
Sault Ste. Marie, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Hartford Whalers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Carolina Hurricanes
Toronto Maple Leafs
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 4th overall, 1981
Hartford Whalers
Playing career 1981–2004

Ronald Michael Francis, Jr. (born March 1, 1963) is a Canadian former professionalice hockey Centre (ice hockey) and the current general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL). Drafted fourth overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Francis played 23 seasons in the NHL for the Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs. Upon retiring from professional ice hockey in 2004, Francis stands second all-time in career assists (1,249), behind only Wayne Gretzky; fifth in career points (1,798); third in games played (1,731); and 26th in career goals (549).

In 2014, Francis named as the general manager for the Hurricanes, replacing Jim Rutherford, who had been with the franchise ever since the team's move to Raleigh, North Carolina. Two years before, Francis had become a minority owner of the team as part of the five-man investor group, Playmakers Management.[1][2]

Contents

  • Playing career 1
  • Awards and achievements 2
  • Personal 3
  • Career statistics 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Playing career

Francis was drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the first round, fourth overall, of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. He was a model of consistency and durability, averaging more than a point a game in over 1,700 games in 23 seasons, and (not counting the lockout-shortened 1994–95 season) averaging just under 77 games played a season. His three Lady Byng Trophies attest to his gentlemanly conduct on and off the ice. Francis stands second all-time in career assists behind Wayne Gretzky with 1,249, fourth in career points (1,798), third in games played (1,731), and twenty-sixth in career goals (549).

Francis played almost ten seasons with the Whalers, serving as captain for almost six and setting nearly every offensive record in franchise history. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 4, 1991 with Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings, in exchange for Jeff Parker, Zarley Zalapski, and John Cullen. The trade became a coup for Pittsburgh, where he centred a formidable second line behind Mario Lemieux, as the Penguins won their first Stanley Cup less than three months later. Francis was indispensable the following year, as Pittsburgh repeated as champions, in leading the team during the absence of Lemieux in the 1992 playoffs – and in scoring the Cup-clinching goal against the Chicago Blackhawks. At the same time, it is considered to be one of the most one-sided trades in NHL history (though The Hockey News suggested that Hartford had gotten the better end of the trade at the time),;[3] the players Hartford acquired never approached the numbers or impact Francis produced there or with Pittsburgh. Francis would spend seven seasons in Pittsburgh, captaining the team twice, and becoming the first Penguin to win the Selke Trophy in 1995.

Francis returned to his original organization as a free agent for 1998–99, signing with the Carolina Hurricanes (who had moved from Hartford the previous season). He spent the next 5.5 seasons padding his franchise records. He still ranks first all-time in Whalers/Hurricanes history in points, goals, assists and games played. At the time of his retirement, his 1,175 points were more than double those of then-runner up Kevin Dineen. He captained the Hurricanes to a surprise appearance in the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals and scored the winning goal for the Hurricanes in overtime of Game 1, before losing to the Detroit Red Wings in five games. He is one of the few players in NHL history to be named permanent captain for two distinct terms, with two separate franchises, and one of three to take two different teams to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals (Hartford/Carolina and Pittsburgh), along with Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier.

Francis finished his career with a brief stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs, traded there by the Hurricanes in March 2004 to allow him one last run at the Stanley Cup. He retired from the NHL before the 2005–06 season and assumed a position with the Raleigh Youth Hockey Association. In June 2011, Francis assumed the position of director of hockey operations with the Carolina Hurricanes before later being named general manager of the team in 2014.

Awards and achievements

Francis won two Stanley Cups, in 1990–91 and the following season, with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Statistically, his best season was 1995–96, when he recorded 119 points; that season, he led the NHL in assists, with 92. The previous season, he had not only led the League in assists with 48 over the lockout-shortened, half-season schedule, but became the first player to win both the Frank J. Selke Trophy and the Lady Byng Trophy in the same season.

Francis' Whalers number 10 jersey was raised at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena.

On June 28, 2007, Francis was selected to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot. He was formally inducted on November 12, 2007.

Personal

Francis is married to the former Mary Lou Robie, a native of Stamford, Connecticut whom he met in Hartford during his tenure with the Whalers. They married in 1986 and have three children: Kaitlyn (b. 1991), Michael (b. 1993), and Connor (b. 1997). Francis is considered a popular sports figure in Hartford, Pittsburgh and Raleigh respectively, and is also noted for his humanitarian and charity work. Francis also has the distinction of being the first ice hockey player inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

Career statistics

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1980–81 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 64 26 43 69 33 19 7 8 15 34
1981–82 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 25 18 30 48 46
1981–82 Hartford Whalers NHL 59 25 43 68 51
1982–83 Hartford Whalers NHL 79 31 59 90 60
1983–84 Hartford Whalers NHL 72 23 60 83 45
1984–85 Hartford Whalers NHL 80 24 57 81 66
1985–86 Hartford Whalers NHL 53 24 53 77 24
1986–87 Hartford Whalers NHL 75 30 63 93 45 6 2 2 4 6
1987–88 Hartford Whalers NHL 80 25 50 75 87 6 2 5 7 2
1988–89 Hartford Whalers NHL 69 29 48 77 36 4 0 2 2 0
1989–90 Hartford Whalers NHL 80 32 69 101 73 7 3 3 6 8
1990–91 Hartford Whalers NHL 67 21 55 76 51
1990–91 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 14 2 9 11 21 24 7 10 17 24
1991–92 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 70 21 33 54 30 21 8 19 27 6
1992–93 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 84 24 76 100 68 12 6 11 17 19
1993–94 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 82 27 66 93 62 6 0 2 2 6
1994–95 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 44 11 48 59 18 12 6 13 19 4
1995–96 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 77 27 92 119 56 11 3 6 9 4
1996–97 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 81 27 63 90 20 5 1 2 3 2
1997–98 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 81 25 62 87 20 6 1 5 6 2
1998–99 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 82 21 31 52 34 3 0 1 1 0
1999–00 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 78 23 50 73 18
2000–01 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 82 15 50 65 32 3 0 0 0 0
2001–02 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 80 27 50 77 18 23 6 10 16 6
2002–03 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 82 22 35 57 30
2003–04 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 68 10 20 30 14
2003–04 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 12 3 7 10 0 12 0 4 4 2
NHL totals 1731 549 1249 1798 979 171 46 97 143 95
OHL totals 89 44 73 117 79 19 7 8 15 34

See also

References

  1. ^ http://hurricanes.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=641274
  2. ^ http://www.canescountry.com/2012/9/12/3320506/ron-francis-four-others-become-minority-owners-of-carolina-hurricanes
  3. ^ Starkey, Joe. Tales From the Pittsburgh Penguins. p. 98.  

External links

  • Carolina Hurricanes bio
  • Ron Francis's biography at Legends of Hockey
  • Ron Francis's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
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