LSSU Hockey





The Ultimate Source for Laker Hockey

Class of 2012

Matt Johnson LW

Eric Drapluk D


Class of 2013

Future Classes

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

LSSU Alumnus Ron Francis retires from NHL

TORONTO (September 14, 2005) – Ron Francis, a 23-year veteran with the Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, and Toronto Maple Leafs announced his retirement today from the National Hockey League. Francis received an honorary doctorate degree from Lake Superior State University in 1998.

Francis, 42, a 4-time NHL All-Star (1983, 1985, 1990, 1996) appeared in a total of 1,731 NHL games (which ranks him 3rd on the all-time list). His stellar career also included 549 goals (19th), 1,249 assists (2nd, behind Wayne Gretzky), and 1,798 total points (4th).

“As a kid growing up in the little city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, I dreamed of one day playing in the NHL, but never did I expect it to be as much fun as it turned out to be. I thank everyone who I came in contact with during this long ride for their contributions to making it fun,” said Francis.

After being drafted by the Hartford Whalers in 1981 (1st choice, 4th overall), Francis began a career that would be renowned for its remarkable longevity, with his 23 seasons tying him for 4th in most NHL seasons played. More impressive, however, was Francis’ consistent statistical output, as demonstrated by his 20 seasons with 20 or more goals, a feat surpassed only by hockey legend Gordie Howe.

“To all the players I had the chance to play with over my career, I thank you for all your hard work and dedication, your friendship, and for making this entire experience one I thoroughly enjoyed,” Francis added. “To all my opponents over the years, I always had the utmost respect for your talents and how you competed every night. To the equipment guys and medical staffs, I thank you for all the hours you quietly put in to make sure that the players have the best opportunity to do their jobs well.”

Francis is known for playing the game with class, as his three Lady Byng Memorial Trophies (1995, 1998, 2002) will attest, and his Frank J. Selke Trophy (1995) solidified his reputation as an excellent all-around player. His Hall-Of-Fame career is highlighted by consecutive Stanley Cup victories in 1990-91 and 1991-92 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“My thanks to all the owners, general managers, and coaches I have had the pleasure of playing for. To all the fans of the NHL, I have enjoyed playing in front of you, whether you were cheering for me or against me, I appreciate the fact that you were willing to spend your hard earned dollars to come and see the games,” Francis said. “To my family and friends, I could not think of a greater group of people that I would have wanted to share these years with. It has been truly a fun, memorable experience, and I look forward to having the opportunity to spend more time with you all over the coming years.”

Ron Francis and his wife Mary Lou live in Raleigh, North Carolina with their daughter Kaitlyn and two sons, Michael and Connor.

Comments on "LSSU Alumnus Ron Francis retires from NHL"


post a comment