Emile Francis

Canadian ice hockey player

Emile Percival Francis (September 13, 1926 – February 19, 2022), nicknamed "The Cat", was a Canadian ice hockey goaltender, coach and general manager. He was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

Emile Francis
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1982
Emile Francis with the New York Rangers, 1973
Born (1926-09-13)September 13, 1926
North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died February 19, 2022(2022-02-19) (aged 95)
Height 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
Weight 155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for Chicago Black Hawks
New York Rangers
Playing career 1943–1960

Playing career


In the NHL, Francis played 2 seasons with the Chicago Black Hawks and 22 games for the New York Rangers. He served as a back-up goaltender during his time with the Rangers. He was also the first goaltender to use a first baseman’s glove with a cuff added to protect his hand and wrist while previous goaltenders would were the same padded gloves as their teammates.

He mainly played in the AHL and WHL which he played for a number of different teams including the Vancouver Canucks, Saskatoon Quakers and Seattle Americans. He retired from playing professional ice hockey in 1960.

After he retired, he became the head coach of the OHA's Guelph Royals and then became the head coach of the New York Rangers from 1965 to 1975. He then became the head coach of the St. Louis Blues 1976 to 77 and in 1982. After coaching, Francis became the General Manager of the New York Rangers from 1964 to 1976, the General Manager of the St. Louis Blues from 1976 to 1983 and the General Manager of the Hartford Whalers from 1983 to 1989. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982 as a builder.

His son Bobby Francis also played in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings. He also coached the Phoenix Coyotes from 1999 to 2004.

Francis died on February 19, 2022, at the age of 95.[1][2]


  1. "Hockey Hall of Famer Emile Francis dies at 95". Associated Press. February 20, 2022. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  2. Goldstein, Richard (February 20, 2022). "Emile Francis Dies at 95; Rebuilt N.H.L.'s Rangers as Coach and General Manager". New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2022.

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