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Dec. 19, 1948 (Rangers vs. Montreal Canadiens)
FINAL GAME WITH RANGERS
March 16, 1952 (Rangers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs)
MAJOR NHL AWARDS/ACHIEVEMENTS WITH RANGERS
Hockey Hall of Fame — Inducted 1982
Lester Patrick Trophy — 1982
Most games coached — 654 (1965-1975)
Most coaching victories — 342 (1965-1975)
Best career regular-season winning percentage — .602 (1965-1975)
Most playoff games coached — 75 (1967 to 1975)
Most playoff coaching victories — 34 (1967 to 1975)
RANGERS COACHING STATISTICS
Head coach — 1965-1968, 1969-1973, 1974-75
Career regular-season record — 342-209-103
Career postseason record — 34-41
RANGERS ORGANIZATION STATISTICS
Minor-league games: 291
Minor-league teams: New Haven (AHL) 1948-1950; Cincinnati (AHL) 1950-1952; Vancouver (WHL) 1952-53
Nickname: The Cat
Full Name: Emile Percy Francis
Uniform Numbers: 1, 16
Retired from pro hockey as player: 1960
Few individuals have meant as much to the New York Rangers` history as Emile "The Cat" Francis.
As a player, he was a typical backup goaltender, playing 22 games over four seasons. But his connection to the Blueshirts hardly ended there, because it was in his second tour of duty — as head coach and general manager — that Francis became the stuff of legend and ensured his berth in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Traded away from the Rangers organization in 1953, Francis went on to play seven more years of pro hockey before retiring in 1960. By 1961, he was back in the Rangers family, spending two years as head coach of the franchise`s junior team in Guelph, Ontario. He left hockey temporarily to manage pro baseball teams in Western Canada, and that management experience paid off on Oct. 30, 1964, when he was brought back to New York as the Rangers` general manager.
On Dec. 5, 1965, Francis added the title of head coach. He would stay behind the Rangers` bench for most of the next 10 seasons. He briefly yielded the role to Bernie Geoffrion in 1968 and again to Larry Popein in 1973, but always found himself returning to the job until he gave it to Ron Stewart in 1975.
The holder of every major Rangers career coaching record, Francis enjoyed his best season in 1971-72, when he guided the Blueshirts to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 22 years.
After leaving the organization in 1976, Francis went on to serve as general manager for the St. Louis Blues and Hartford Whalers. His son Bobby, who grew up in New York, followed in his footsteps as an NHL head coach.
º Alumni Spotlight
º A History of the New York Rangers
º Hall of Fame Goaltenders
º Rangers in the Hall of Fame
º Rangers NHL Award Winners
º Coaches` Records
º Rangers Management