Ron Francis

Ron Francis

Infobox Ice Hockey Player

image_size = 180px
position = Centre
played_for = Hartford Whalers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Carolina Hurricanes
Toronto Maple Leafs
shot = Left
height_ft = 6
height_in = 3
weight_lb = 200
nationality = CAN
birth_date = birth date and age|mf=yes|1963|03|1
birth_place = Sault Ste. Marie, ON, CAN
draft = 4th overall
draft_year = 1981
draft_team = Hartford Whalers
career_start = 1981
career_end = 2004
halloffame = 2007

Ronald "Ron" Michael Francis, Jr. (born March 1, 1963 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada), is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey centreman who played 23 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs. He now serves as the Hurricanes' Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Development.

Playing career

Francis was drafted by the Hartford Whalers in round 1 (fourth overall) of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. He was a model of consistency, averaging more than a point a game in over 1700 games in 23 seasons. 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-first 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. Despite the speculation of "The Hockey News" that Hartford had received the better deal at the time, [Joe Starkey, Tales From the Pittsburgh Penguins, pg. 98, ISBN 1-58261-199-8] his trade from the Whalers to the Penguins became a coup for Pittsburgh, where he centred a formidable second line behind Mario Lemieux, as the Penguins won their first Stanley Cup – on a goal by Samuelsson – 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; the players Hartford acquired never even approached the numbers Francis produced, and all had gone elsewhere by 1993. Francis would spend seven seasons in Pittsburgh, captaining the team twice, and becoming the first Penguin to win the Selke Trophy.

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; his 1,175 points with the franchise are double that of the runner-up, Kevin Dineen. He captained the Hurricanes to a surprise appearance in the 2002 Stanley Cup Final, and scored the winning goal for the Hurricanes in overtime of Game 1, before losing to the Detroit Red Wings in five games.

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 [] .

He won 2 Stanley Cups, the first in 1990–91 and the following season in 1991–92 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. His best season was 1995–96 when he had 119 points; that season, he led the league in assists with 92. The previous season, he also led the league in assists with 48 over the strike-shortened half-season schedule. His Whalers number #10 was raised at the Hartford Civic Center on January 6, 2006 (though not officially retired, the Whalers organization no longer existing to retire it), along with Ulf Samuelsson's #5 and Kevin Dineen's #11. Additionally his Hurricanes #10 jersey was retired by the Carolina organization on January 28, 2006.

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


*1983- played in NHL All-Star Game
*1985- played in NHL All-Star Game
*1990- played in NHL All-Star Game
*1991- Stanley Cup (Pittsburgh)
*1992- Stanley Cup (Pittsburgh)
*1995- Alka-Seltzer Plus Award
*1995- Frank J. Selke Trophy
*1995- Lady Byng Trophy
*1996- played in NHL All-Star Game
*1998- Lady Byng Trophy
*1998- Honorary doctorate degree from Lake Superior State University
*2002- Lady Byng Trophy
*2002- King Clancy Memorial Trophy
*2007- Inducted into the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame

Career statistics

ee also

* List of NHL statistical leaders
* List of NHL players
* List of NHL seasons
* List of NHL players with 1000 points
* Notable families in the NHL
* List of NHL players with 500 goals



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