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Emile Francis

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Emile "The Cat" Francis (born September 13, 1926 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada) is a former player, coach, and general manager in the National Hockey League, most notably with the New York Rangers.

Francis got his start in the NHL with the Chicago Black Hawks in 1947. From 1948 to 1952, he was the back-up goaltender for the New York Rangers. He finished out his career on a number of minor league teams in the AHL and WHL including the Vancouver Canucks.

In 1945, Francis was the first goaltender to use a first baseman’s glove with a cuff added to protect his hand and wrist. Previosusly, goalies wore the same padded gloves as their teammates.

Francis would become the coach of the OHA's Guelph Royals before landing the head coaching job with the Rangers from 1965 to 1975. He helped turn the Rangers from a league doormat to one of the best teams of the late 60's and early 70's. They made the playoffs in every season from 1967 to 1975.

He then joined the St. Louis Blues and had two separate head coaching stints with them. He led them to first place overall in 1980-81.

He was then General Manager of the Hartford Whalers from 1979 until 1988 and won the Adams Division title in 1986-87.

He won the Lester Patrick Trophy and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982.


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Preceded by
Red Sullivan
Head Coaches of the New York Rangers
19651968
Succeeded by
Bernie Geoffrion
Preceded by
Bernie Geoffrion
Head Coaches of the New York Rangers
19681973
Succeeded by
Larry Popein
Preceded by
Larry Popein
Head Coaches of the New York Rangers
19731975
Succeeded by
Ron Stewart
St. Louis Blues Head Coaches
Patrick • Bowman • Arbour • Abel • McCreary • Talbot • Angotti • Young • Boivin • Francis • Plager • Berenson • Demers • Sutter • B. Plager • Berry • Keenan • Roberts • Quenneville • Kitchen • Murray
New York Rangers Head Coaches
Patrick • Boucher • L. Patrick • Colville • Cook • M. Patrick • Watson • Pike • Harvey • M. Patrick • Sullivan • Francis • Geoffrion • Francis • Popein • Francis • Stewart • Ferguson • Talbot • Shero • C. Patrick • Brooks • C. Patrick • Sator • Webster • Esposito • Bergeron • Esposito • Neilson • Smith • Keenan • Campbell • Muckler • Tortorella • Low • Trottier • Sather • Renney

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