Ron Francis is in the Hockey Hall of Fame, so it was no surprise he was named Friday as one of the NHL’s 100 greatest players.
The league is celebrating its 100th anniversary during the NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, and Francis was there Friday to be recognized along with such former teammates as Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Paul Coffey among those selected to the NHL’s top 100.
Francis, executive vice president and general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins but also helped give the Hurricanes a sports identity in a state that thrived on college sports and NASCAR. As team captain, he led the Hurricanes to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final.
Francis retired as a player in September 2005 with the second-most assists in NHL history, and Jagr, a former teammate in Pittsburgh, has called him the “most underrated player in NHL history.”
Francis, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007, played 1,731 games and had 1,798 career points, finishing with 1,249 assists and 549 goals in 23 seasons.