A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Francis named Assistant GM

On Thursday, the Hurricanes filled the vacated Assistant GM position with a name everyone in the hockey world knows: Ron Francis.
Francis will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this November 12, and is the only Hurricanes player to have his number officially retired.

Francis' numbers within the organization will likely never be surpassed. In 14 seasons (plus two partial seasons), Francis amassed 1175 points (382/793) in 1186 regular season games. He had 22 consecutive seasons with 50 or more points, including the strike-shortened 1994-95 season. Not even Wayne Gretzky can say that.

Francis also added 14 goals and 25 assists for 39 points in 62 playoff games with this franchise. Those numbers will be passed by Rod Brind'Amour. The playoff goals already have.

Francis also spent several years with the Penguins, tallying 607 (164/443) points in 533 regular season games and 100 (32/68) points in 97 playoff games. He won two Stanley Cups (1991, 1992) in the Steel City and scored the Cup-winning goal in 1992.

After his retirement as a player, Francis returned to the Raleigh area, and was eventually brought into the Hurricanes front office. That was a move that surprised nobody. Initially, he refused offers, but in 2006, he became the Director of Player Development. In that role, he oversees the development of players "in the system" as well as monitoring players in junior hockey for future draft consideration.

Francis will continue with his Player Development duties and will ease into the position of being Jim Rutherford's right hand man.

I am very lucky to have had Francis on my favorite team and very lucky indeed to have been able to watch him in person dozens of times.

Good move for Ron. Good move for the organization.

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