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01-29-2013, 09:01 AM
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With their fourth round pick (102) in the 2013 ATD, the Guelph Platers have selected: Ron Francis, C

Career Highlights:

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame
2-time Stanley Cup Champion (1991, 1992)
Stanley Cup Finalist (2002)
Frank J. Selke Trophy Winner (1995)
3-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy (1995, 1998, 2002)
King Clancy Memorial Trophy Winner (2002)
NHL Plus/Minus Award Winner in 1995.
Played in the NHL All-Star Game 4 times (1983, 1985, 1990, 1996)
Captain of the Whalers, Penguins and Hurricane.


Born: March 1, 1963
Position: C
Height: 6-3
Weight: 200 lbs
Shoots: Left

Regular Season:

Francis currently ranks 26th all time in regular season goals with 549, 2nd all time in regular season assists with 1249, and 4th all time in regular season points with 1798.

Courtesy of Hockey Outsider:

Top ten in scoring & Selke voting (in the same season)

Player Season Scoring Selke
Ron Francis 1995 5 1
Ron Francis 1996 4 2
Ron Francis 1997 8 8
Ron Francis 1998 5 4

Top-10 in Hart Voting Three Times (6th, 9th, 10th)
Top-12 in Selke Voting 8 Times (1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 6th, 8th, 12th)
Top-10 in All-Star Voting 8 Times (3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 9th)
Top-20 in Assists 15 Times (1st, 1st, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 9th, 10th, 10th, 10th, 15th, 16th, 17th)
Top-20 in Points 12 Times (4th, 5th, 5th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 17th, 20th, 20th)

Originally Posted by Posted by NHL Players' Poll, 1993 and 1994


Best on faceoffs T-2nd 1993
Best on faceoffs 1st 1994
Most Underrated T-2nd 1993
Best Defensive Forward 3rd 1993
Best Defensive Forward T-6th 1994
Smartest Player T-1st 1994


5th in Playoff Goals (1991)
Top-10 in Playoff Assists 4 Times (1st, 3rd, 7th, 8th)
Top-10 in Playoff Points 3 Times (3rd, 3rd, 8th)
Originally Posted by Mellon Arena Memories,, 07-29,10

On his hat trick in Game 4 of the 1992 Patrick Division final against the Rangers. Francis' third goal won the game in overtime:

"Obviously when you lose guys like Mario Lemieux and Joey Mullen early in that series and you’re playing against the Presidents Trophy (winners), you think you’re in trouble. But that team had a lot of guts. We weren't going to give up easily. Everyone talks about Game 4 in here when I had the hat trick but for me, I think the best game I ever played in my life was probably Game 3 here. I believe I scored two goals and we lost that one. I remember calling my dad on the ride home and saying, ‘I probably played about as good as I can play.' He said, ‘You’re going to have to do it again.’ We came back in Game 4 and it’s kind of do or die for us. It’s not every game where you score from your own blue line. We ended up winning that game in overtime. (Jaromir Jagr) was great in Games 5 and 6 and we were able to sneak by them. We got Mario back and the rest was history. We won 11 straight to win the (Stanley) Cup."
Originally Posted by Best In the Game: The Turbulent Story of the Penguins' Rise to Stanley Cup Champions

Ron Francis probably got no more than token support in the Smythe voting, but that is more testimony to the talents of his teammates than any shortcoming on Francis' part. And it was entirely fitting that Francis scored the cup-clinching goal, because there probably wouldn't have been a championship if Francis had not risen to the challenge so brilliantly when Lemieux's hand was broken.

What's more, Francis played the final months of the season on a knee that was crying out to be surgically repaired. But Francis refused to leave the lineup... The Penguins were fighting for a playoff spot, and Francis was too much of a competitor to watch the race from the press box. "I didn't think it was going to make it through the Washington series", Francis said. "It started off all right, then seemed to go downhill. Then it seemed to get better, and the last couple of series it was a struggle every night. But when you're winning hockey games, you don't feel it as much, And when you see the finish line ahead of you, it gives you the incentive to just play through.

Quotations and Perspective:

Originally Posted by Who's Who in Hockey

In an accurate assessment of the fraying center during the 2001-02 season, Hartford Courant sports columnist Jeff Jacobs described Ron Francis as "the most underrated player in hockey history". Virtually guaranteed entrance into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Francis excelled at the center ice position both defensively and offensively.

... Invariably he was overshadowed by flashier performers, such as Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. However Francis's all-round talents were always appreciated by his coaches and managers.

... It's no wonder why Carolina fans loved their captain, who held some of the most elite records on the team, nor is it surprising why Jacobs described him in such a manner. Though Francis's name may not be one of the first to be uttered around the league as a memorable player, he will definitely be remembered for his extraordinary career.
Originally Posted by
...Although just a 19-year-old rookie, Francis showed maturity well beyond his years when he first stepped onto NHL ice. He had 25 goals and 68 points his first season and instantly became a fan favorite both for his playing skill and his unfailing work in the community. He was blessed to be able to room with the great Dave Keon on road trips, and the two became fast hockey friends.

While the Whalers were happy to have Francis, the team missed the playoffs the first four years he was with the team while it developed its young talent. Then it became a consistent playoff team but had an awful time winning even one round of the playoffs each spring, playing in the same division as Montreal, Boston and Quebec. Midway through the 1984-85 season, he was made team captain... At 22, Francis became one of the youngest captains in NHL history, but he was able to live up to the expectations of wearing the "C" without it affecting his play. He routinely scored 25 goals and 80 points...

In Pittsburgh he played behind Mario Lemieux and a young Jaromir Jagr, but he took his game to another level. He became not only a goal scorer but one of the best passing centers and two-way players in the league. Pittsburgh won back-to-back Cup titles in 1991 and 1992, and Francis twice reached the 100-point plateau. He was equally consistent in the playoffs as in the regular season, and for 1994-95 he was named Penguins captain while Mario Lemieux recovered from injuries and missed the year. At the start of the next season, though, the captaincy was given back to Mario, and Francis just kept on leading by example. His sportsmanship paid off, for when Lemieux retired in 1997, the captaincy was once again sewn onto his sweater.

Although he has played in four All-Star games and has won the Selke Trophy (1995) and the Lady Byng Trophy (1995, 1998), Francis is perhaps the quietest superstar in the league. He reached 500 career goals in 2002, is one of only a few to record 1,000 career assists, and is climbing into the top 10 of all-time scorers, yet few would put him in the same class as Lafleur, Dionne or Lemieux.

In the summer of 1998 he returned, sort of, whence he came. Pittsburgh felt Francis was getting on in years. He was 35 years old and an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career and was in a position to negotiate possibly one final contract. He signed with the Carolina Hurricanes, which was where the Hartford Whalers had relocated the previous season. In 2002 Francis led the Hurricanes to their first Stanley Cup Final only to fall to mighty Detroit Red Wings and was the recipient of the King Clancy Memorial and his third Lady Byng Memorial.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends

Very quietly Ron Francis was one of the best centers in the history of the National Hockey League. He finished his career with 549 goals, 1249 assists (2nd best of all time) and 1798 points (4th best). He won two Stanley Cups, three Lady Byng trophies, a Selke trophy and a Clancy trophy.

Picked fourth overall by Hartford in the 1981 Entry Draft, Ron excelled for years in relative obscurity with the Hartford Whalers. For almost a decade Francis was the Hartford Whalers. He was their leading offensive threat while also being their top checker. He was their special teams specialist, face-off specialist and most importantly he was their leader.

Francis, like Gretzky, thought the game better than most. He somehow exceeded the sum of his parts. He was a choppy skater, deceptively quick but not pretty to watch. He had good size and used it effectively, but was anything but imposing. He was never a dazzling or charismatic player, just a greatly efficient one.

...Ron immediately had an impact in Pittsburgh. Francis played a huge part in helping the Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, in 1991 and 1992. While continuing to be a top defensive center man, Ron enjoyed his finest scoring season in Pittsburgh. In 1995-96 he was often moved on to left wing with Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. Francis would score 27 goals and lead the league with 92 assists for 119 points.

Francis became the glue of a very talented Pittsburgh Penguins team. Playing in the huge shadows of scoring sensations Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, it was Francis' defensive contributions and quiet offensive genius that was the missing ingredient in Pittsburgh. The Pens' two Stanley Cup victories were largely, but typically quietly, due to Ron Francis.
Originally Posted by Players: The Ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Ever Played In the NHL
22 years later he is still among the game's best passers... has been a model of consistency... Yet there is nothing spectacular about his game, nothing that defines him or separates him from 100 NHLers except that he does everything exceptionally well whereas the other 99 players do things merely well... has been one of the league's premier playmakers for many, many years.
Originally Posted by Ultimate Hockey
He was more than just a scorer, however. He was an exceptional defensive forward with a knack for faceoffs, and had a soft passing touch. Former Whalers coach **** *** commented that Francis was "easily one of the best all-around players in the game".

Before Francis arrived, the Penguins were an offensive juggernaut with a tendency to strain under the tight checking required in the playoffs. Francis changed the complexion of the team almost overnight, bringing aboard leadership and a two-way conscience... As a Penguin, the big man played inspired hockey.
Originally Posted by Penguin Profiles
Ron Francis: Always the Big Brother

The Penguins veteran comes close to perfection. he reminds one of athletes from a bygone era with his refreshing approach and appeal... He is dedicated to succeed... was admired by teammates, management, and fans alike... Francis says "I was brought up that if I spoke to much 'me' and 'I' stuff, I got a real tongue lashing. I was taught to be team-oriented and to be family-oriented. I was told to do whatever I was doing as well as I could do it, but to share the credit."... Francis was a fantastic #2 center in Pittsburgh, a two-way player who contributed in so many ways, on the ice, in the clubhouse, outside the rink... He is an accomplished penalty killer and can play defense like a man who truly cares. "I don't know where we'd be without him", said coach ***** ********.
Originally Posted by Best In the Game: The Turbulent Story of the Penguins' Rise to Stanley Cup Champions
The Penguins got a taste of life without Ron Francis early in the season, and while his absence was impossible to overlook, veterans Bryan Trottier and **** ****** were doing a commendable job of filling in for him. Neither could take over Francis' vast array of duties, at least not for an extended period...
Originally Posted by Best In the Game: The Turbulent Story of the Penguins' Rise to Stanley Cup Champions

Francis gave Pittsburgh a sound two-way center who was the perfect complement to Mario Lemieux... He had been the cornerstone of the franchise in Hartford, a perennial fan favourite who commanded respect because of the consistency and quality of his game. There were no fundamental flaws in his game, but Francis' attitude was every bit as important to the Penguins as his ability... He made the transition from being the focus of attention with the Whalers to playing a supporting role with Pittsburgh... Francis was willing to accept a reduced role for the good of the team... He was qualified to play a role no one else in the organization could. "We had Mario, but we didn't have a #2 center who could play both ends of the ice the way Ronnie can," Bob Errey said. "He wins big draws and shuts the other team's top center down. And he's a great scorer when he has to be."
Originally Posted by Scotty Bowman: A Life In Hockey

A playmaking center who was almost as big as Jagr... a tremendous all-around player with great defensive abilities... scored the goal that won game 4 against the Rangers, tied the series, and probably turned it around.
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1983
Once called up from junior, Francis made everyone ask what he was doing there all along. He not even helped the offense, he generated and controlled it... Had a hand in a remarkable 74% of goals scored while he was on the ice... also led the whalers with four unassisted goals... swift, with accurate shot... supremely confident and has reason to be...
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1984
No relation to Whalers' GM, but has the same fierce competitive drive and energy... hasn't gained full recognition yet because he plays for a weak team... fast, elusive skater... a gifted playmaker.
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1985
Impresses fans and rivals with energetic style of play.
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1986
An outstanding young center who has superstar potential and plays hard every game... Has perfect size and ability to develop into one of hockey's best centers... Plays with determination. Hustles every time he's on the ice.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1986-87
A big man and will play physical but operates much better in open ice...
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1987
His absence coincided with Whaler tailspin (11-15-1)... When Ron Francis is healthy, so are the Whalers.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1987-88
A good skater with good speed, and he can turn up the juice to surprise a defenseman when need be. Ron doesn't have one-step quickness, but his long stride and long-haul speed will take him away from most checkers... Agility is also a big part of Francis' game. He darts in and out of traffic and changes direction quickly... To exploit his playmaking ability, Francis plays the point on the Whaler powerplay... does not shy away from contact and will initiate some of his own, but Francis is not a punishing hitter... a strong two-way center... has developed the character to play hurt and has increased his intensity... an unselfish player and a leader for the Whalers.
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1988
The backbone of the Whalers... voted MVP by teammates in three of the past four seasons...
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1988-89
Francis is a very good skater in a non-spectacular way. He has excellent balance... will surprise unwitting defensemen... his ability to lean away from checks and his long stride make him difficult to catch... Francis is a complete player, coming back to his zone to aid in the breakouts...
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1989-90
Francis' excellent balance keys his skating and gives him speed and agility surprising for a bigger man. He's a smooth skater with better than average foot speed, and that asset combines with his balance to give him superior lateral movement and agility. He uses his foot speed and balance to lean away from checks, and he also functions well in traffic because of his balance.

His hockey sense (Ron always knows where he is on the ice) complements his skating skills by guiding him to places where he can put his soft hands to work... unselfish... plays a complete game in all three zones...can muscle the opposition off the puck, and won't shy away from contact, but not like an Yzerman in this regard... he has learned to do the character things a captain must - like playing through pain.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1990-91
There are two keys to his success as a playmaker: passing and hockey sense. He has great vision of the ice, as well as the patience and poise to wait that split second more to reach the opposition's panic zone; Francis simply forces the opposition into committing itself, and then exploits the opening he has essentially created. He reads the ice very well, and not only finds the open man but also sees the openings into which he can lead his teammates. The physical side of this is his passing, which is excellent. Francis has great touch with the puck and can deliver anywhere in any way necessary, be it feathered or fired.

Francis' skating is good to very good, equipped with speed and agility that is a little surprising to find in a man with his size and bulk. He can dipsy doodle, and his balance gives him both superior lateral ability and the skill to lean away from checks. He also functions well in traffic.

Francis has great size, but he doesn't initiate contact. That's not to say he's afraid of playing physically or that he won't take a hit. He just doesn't take advantage of his size by imposing himself. He has good upper body strength and superior balance to muscle the opposition off the puck... He waits outside the scrums to snare loose pucks with his good reach... A good faceoff man who loves to go forward with the puck off the draw... A character player and a good team man.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1991-92

When it comes to combining offense and defense, there are few centers in the league the equal of Francis. He is a good positional player and is smart with and without the puck. Francis has a good head in the game, which is his #1 asset.

Above average skater... good in tight with lateral mobility and balance... moves the puck pretty well... Has good vision and is very calm and patient with the puck when looking for the open man... Francis is good on faceoffs and is willing to adapt his role to the needs of the team. He can play in all situations and on both special teams... Francis has an excellent attitude and leadership qualities... good size and strength.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting report 1992-93

Francis is a player of fine two-way skills, which is why he always seems to be there when danger is to be created offensively or averted defensively[... he is an excellent defensive player who is depended upon to win the key defensive zone faceoffs - especially the first draw in penalty killing situations. Francis has a nice touch on the draws, and good hands also enable him to feather a pass to a breaking teammate. He also has a long reach, and he uses it.

Francis is strong on his feet, which helps him keep his legs going in the scrums. Good balance enables him to tie up his opponent, then kick the puck to a teammate... He is a responsible player who is as dilligent in front of his net as he is in the attacking zone. He has above average drive and determination, and will not hesitate to dive toward a puck - to block a shot, to sweep the puck from the goal mouth, to chop it away from an opponent... He sees the ice well, distributes well and takes the hits to spring a teammate with the puck.

Francis does not shy away from the painful places on the ice, the places where you get bruises. He goes in front of the net for deflections and rebounds, uses his strength and balance to gain position, keeps plugging away... He doesn't bury people. But he uses strength in the faceoff battles, does his best to lock up his man on offensive zone draws, fights hard to get to his point those rare times he loses a draw in the defensive zone.

Francis inspires a sense of confidence in his teammates because he is such a dependable player. And he was an absolute tower of strength in the playoffs last spring, stepping into the gap and playing a huge leadership role when Mario Lemieux was injured... Francis may not seem to show much emotion on the ice, but he has tremendous desire to win and is an extremely gritty competitor. He may not be much for the spotlight, but his persistence and contribution to victory are laudatory.

Originally Posted by 1993-94 Hockey Almanac

Aside from his immense value as a "character" player - a leader and a former team captain - Francis brings great skill to the rink every night. He is a good skater with long strides and surprising grace and agility. His playmaking is among the best in the league... chips in with important points... Always a reliable defensive player, his line often skates against the opposition's best line... when Lemieux is forced out of the lineup - as he was last January - Francis is capable of stepping in and quietly keeping up the offensive pace.
WILL: Be a Leader.
CAN'T: Compete with Mario.
EXPECT: 20 to 25 goals.
DON'T EXPECT: To notice him.
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1993-94

May have had the quietest 100 point season in league history... the best two-way player in the NHL... his hands enable him to turn from checker to playmaker in an instant... poise and professionalism have always marked Francis' career, and he has only enhanced that reputation with the way he has conducted himself...
Originally Posted by 1994-95 Hockey Almanac

His job has been to act as the superstar stand-in for the brilliant but perpetually injured Mario Lemieux... In 1993-94, when Lemieux missed most of the regular season, Francis stepped into the breach and carried the Penguins to a 1st place finish... one of the most consistent, creative, and sturdy playmaking centers in the league... He is a big man who plays with remarkable finesse and grit... Proved that, like other great centers before him, he could carry a team on his broad shoulders... goes about his business in a quiet, effective manner, and as a result he fails to get the recognition and glory his accomplishments merit... without Francis it is unlikely that the Penguins would have achieved all the miracles they were able to pull off... were it not for the brilliant "understudy" work of Francis, the team would not have been poised to grab the championships they won when their spectacular but fragile hero, Lemieux, was unable to play.
WILL: Be a hall of famer.
CAN'T: Be undervalued.
EXPECT: A true leader.
DON'T EXPECT: Him to slow down.
Originally Posted by Pro Hockey Play-by-Play, 1995

He plays in all special team situations, he won't back down from the rough stuff (yet he's not at all dirty), he's been a captain and leader. Fantastic player.

Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1995-96

Francis may be the einstein of faceoffs... the ultimate number two center... The Penguins wouldn't have won a Stanley Cup, let alone two, without his acquisition...
Originally Posted by 1995-96 Hockey Almanac

His play is reminiscent of Jean Beliveau. He plays clean but tough, and his repertoire is full of tricks... Stopping Francis on the ice is almost as difficult as finding a fault in his game... a team leader who can do anything he's asked to on the ice - like taking faceoffs and checking the opposition's top scorer...
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1996-97

Petr Nedved and Jaromir Jagr owe much of their success to this cerebral center... once the Penguins lost Francis to a broken foot in the playoffs, their Stanley Cup hopes disappeared... Pittsburgh goalies have no fear about freezing the puck because of Francis' superiority on faceoffs... While he focuses on a defensive role, Francis has the hands and the vision to come out of a defensive scramble into an attacking rush... Jagr is always hanging and cicrling and looking for the opportunity, and Francis often finds him... He can kill penalties or work the point on the powerplay with equal effectiveness.
Originally Posted by 1996-97 Hockey Almanac

...takes the puck into traffic, battles in the corners, holds his position in the slot, and has a quick trigger on a very heavy snap shot. He's been outshined by Lemieux and Jagr in Pittsburgh, but Francis has not been overlooked by experts who recognize his greatness... keeps in good shape and has managed to avoid serious injuries...
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 2000

Francis can still put points on the board, but his value now is as a two-way center with an emphasis on defense... His understanding of the game is key because he has great awareness of his conditioning... Francis is Dr. Draw. On rare nights when he is struggling with an opposing center, he'll tinker with his changes in the neutral zone, then save what he has learned for a key draw deep in either zone. Just as a great scorer never uses the same move twice in a row, Francis never uses the same technique twice in succession. He has good hand-eye coordination and uses his body well at the dot. Few players win their draws as outright as Francis does on a consistent basis... Francis has the vision to come out of a scramble into an attacking rush. he anticipates passes, blocks shots, then springs an odd-man breakout with a smart play... He complements any kind of player.... Not a big, imposing hitter, Francis will still use his body to get the job done. he will bump and grind and go into the trenches. On defense, he can function as a third defenseman; on offense you will find him going into the corners or heading for the front of the net for tips and rebounds. He keeps himself in great shape and is remarkably durable...
Originally Posted by NYTimes, N.H.L.: ROUNDUP; Francis Scores Two Goals In Victory, Jan 15, 2001

Ron Francis has never sought the spotlight during his 20-year National Hockey League career. The captain of the Carolina Hurricanes cannot seem to stay away from it this season as he climbs the N.H.L. scoring chart.

Francis scored twice to become the league's fifth leading scorer, and Arturs Irbe recorded his fourth shutout as the streaking Hurricanes beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, 4-0, yesterday.

Francis scored his ninth goal of the season with 21 seconds left in the second period to give the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead and move him past Phil Esposito -- his boyhood hero -- with 1,591 points.

''I heard it put once that it is probably the quietest 1,500-plus points that anybody has ever scored,'' Francis said. ''That's probably true.''

''But it doesn't really matter to me what people say about me. As individuals you try to go out there and work as hard as you possibly can and at the end of the day you can look in the mirror and know that you're tried your best and given everything you have. That's when you have to be satisfied. That's all I've ever been concerned with.''

Originally Posted by USAToday, Captain Francis delivers for 'Canes in overtime, 06/07/2002, Kevin Allen

The Carolina Hurricanes erased any notion that they couldn't compete with the Detroit Red Wings by winning Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals 3-2 on a Ron Francis overtime goal.

Tuesday's victory marked the first time the Hurricanes had won a game in Joe Louis Arena since 1989, when the franchise was located in Hartford.

* some of this lifted from BillyShoe and 70s previous profiles

Last edited by BraveCanadian: 02-04-2013 at 11:38 AM.
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