'Canes Name Francis Assistant General Manager
Press Conference Video
RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has named Ron Francis as its new assistant general manager. Francis will retain his role as the team’s director of player development, making his new title “assistant general manager and director of player development.”
“We have been very pleased with Ron’s work as director of player development,” said Rutherford. “He has proven that he takes the same pride in his work in the front office as he did with his work on the ice, and is a dedicated and diligent worker. I am happy to have him even more involved with our hockey decisions.”
Francis, who will be officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 12, re-joined the Carolina Hurricanes organization in November 2006 as the team’s director of player development. In that role, he works with and assesses players in the Hurricanes system.
Francis announced his retirement as a player on Sept. 14, 2005, following a 23-year NHL career with Hartford, Pittsburgh, Carolina and Toronto. In 1,731 NHL regular-season games, Francis scored 549 goals and earned 1,249 assists, to rank him fourth all-time on the league’s points list behind Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Gordie Howe. Francis’ 1,249 assists rank second only to Gretzky (1,963) and he ranks third on the games-played list behind Howe (1,767) and Messier (1,756).
The Hartford Whalers drafted Francis in the first round, fourth overall, in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. He played with the Whalers for 10 seasons before joining Pittsburgh at the trading deadline of the 1990-91 season. He spent seven full seasons with the Penguins before rejoining the organization that drafted him, when the relocated Carolina Hurricanes signed him as a free agent on July 13, 1998. In 16 seasons with the Hartford/Carolina franchise, Francis played in 1,186 games, scoring 382 goals, earning 793 assists for 1,185 points, all of which are franchise records. The Hurricanes officially retired Francis’ No. 10 jersey to the RBC Center’s rafters on Jan. 28, 2006.
During his playing career, Francis played in four NHL All-Star games, won the Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct) three times (1995, 1998, 2002), the Frank J. Selke Trophy (best defensive forward) in 1995 and the King Clancy Memorial Trophy (leadership/humanitarian/community work) in 2002. He also won the Alka-Seltzer Plus Award in 1995 when he led the NHL in plus/minus, and was a key member of the Penguins’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.