Two-time Stanley Cup winner and Hockey Hall Of Famer Ron Francis will soon be able to add another honor to his long list of awards and accolades: the first hockey player inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall Of Fame.
Francis' efforts on the ice and off — both as an ambassador for the game and now executive with the Hurricanes — helped establish hockey in North Carolina. He will be enshrined with 10 others in the 50th annual induction on May 2 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
Here is the release from the Hurricanes:
RON FRANCIS SELECTED TO NC SPORTS HALL OF FAME
Hurricanes great will be North Carolina museum’s first hockey inductee
RALEIGH, NC – Don Fish, Executive Director of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, today announced that former Hurricanes player and current Vice President of Hockey Operations Ron Francis is among the 11 members of the Hall’s 50th anniversary class. Francis will officially become the first hockey representative in the museum during a ceremony on May 2.
Also included in this year’s class are Kelvin Bryant, Wade Garrett, Bill Guthridge, Tommy Helms, Marion Kirby, Rich McGeorge, Hugh Morton, Bob Quincy, Marty Sheets and Mildred Southern. The group will be enshrined at the 50th annual induction banquet on the evening of Thursday, May 2, at the Raleigh Convention Center. An afternoon news conference will be held Wednesday, May 1, at 4 p.m. at the NC Museum of History, home of the NC Sports Hall of Fame, located at 5 East Edenton Street in Raleigh.
Banquet ticket information is available at www.ncsportshalloffame.org or by calling (919) 845-3455.
Francis retired from his hockey playing career on Sept. 14, 2005, following a career in which he established himself as the greatest player in Carolina Hurricanes franchise history. He scored 549 goals and earned 1,249 assists (1,798) in 23 NHL seasons with Hartford, Pittsburgh, Carolina and Toronto, and ranks fourth in NHL history in points, behind only Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Gordie Howe. Francis played in four NHL All-Star Games, won the Lady Byng Trophy three times (1995, 1998, 2002), the Selke Trophy once (1995) and the King Clancy Trophy once (2002). Francis won the Stanley Cup twice with Pittsburgh (1991, 1992), but spent 16 of his 23 NHL seasons with the Hartford/Carolina franchise, establishing team records in games played (1,186), goals (382), assists (793) and points (1,175). The Hurricanes officially retired Francis’ No. 10 jersey on Jan. 28, 2006, and on Nov. 12, 2007, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Following his retirement, Francis joined the Hurricanes front office, where he currently serves as Vice President of Hockey Operations, and works directly with General Manager Jim Rutherford on all hockey-related matters.
The NC Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1963. The permanent exhibit NC Sports Hall of Fame at the NC Museum of History features significant artifacts donated by the inductees. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.