Ronald Michael Francis Jr. ( born March 1, 1963 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario ) is a retired Canadian ice hockey player ( center ), of the Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1981 to 2004 for the Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, the National Hockey League played.
- 3.1 International
Francis played during his junior time in his native city for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League, among others, John Vanbiesbrouck. After a very strong performance there, Draft 1981 was selected by the Hartford Whalers in the first round at position 4 in the NHL Entry. The Whalers had actually cast an eye on Bobby Carpenter, but this became public and the Washington Capitals picked Carpenter already as the third player in the Draft.
Francis was still half a season in Sault Ste. Marie before the Whalers in the 1981/82 season brought him into the NHL. On away games, the boy told the team with the hockey legend Dave Keon and also managed in the very first season of the breakthrough. With 25 goals and 68 points in his rookie season, but also by always great commitment he played quickly in the hearts of fans in Hartford. At 22 he became the youngest captain of an NHL team. In his first four years, the Whalers missed the playoffs and in the years that followed, was the strong group opponents Montreal, Boston and Quebec in the final round is not much to achieve. During the season 1990/91 he the coach Rick Ley withdrew without giving him a reason to call the C on his chest. Shortly thereafter he was given, among other things, together with Ulf Samuelsson in exchange for John Cullen and Zarley Zalapski to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As a center of the second row behind Mario Lemieux, he proved once again his class and was able to win in his first year the Stanley Cup with the Penguins. The following year, the team was able to defend the title. On October 28, 1993, he managed to reach the 1,000 -point mark as the 38th player in the NHL. He convinced offense and defense and took his leadership qualities play a special role in the team. When Mario Lemieux long time was injured he took over in 1995 for the transition period, the captain role. Following the resignation Lemieuxs 1997 who he of course again the first choice as captain.
After seven and a half years he left Pittsburgh and returned to his old team. In the meantime, however, were moved and played in the Southeastern United States as Carolina Hurricanes. Still, his name was there on top of all the leaderboards (games, goals, assists and points) of the franchise 's history. He took over the leadership role expected and brought his team in the 2001/ 02 season in the finals for the Stanley Cup. There one was, however, inferior to the Detroit Red Wings.
At the end of the season 2003/ 04 he was released to the Toronto Maple Leafs and played there for a further 12 per game in the regular season and in the playoffs. After the start was threatened in the coming of the strike, he declared his resignation on 14 September 2005. Only Wayne Gretzky has prepared more goals in the NHL and also in the eternal best list by Francis points is fourth.
In November 2006, he joined the management of the Carolina Hurricanes as the Director of Player Development and observed in this position mainly the young players who belong to the organization of the Hurricanes, in their development. Beginning of October 2007 took over Francis also the post of Assistant General Manager.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 12, 2007.
Represented Canada at:
- World Cup 1985
( Key to Career statistics: Sp or GP = Games Played, T or G = goals scored, V or A = achieved assists; Pts or Pts = scored points scorer, SM or PIM = received penalty minutes, / - = Plus / Minus balance sheet; PP = scored majority gates; SH = scored shorthanded goals, GW = achieved victory gates; Play-downs/Relegation 1 )