Emile ‘The Cat’ Francis, a former NHL goaltender, GM and coach, has passed away at the age of 95, the New York Rangers have announced.
Francis was best known as the New York Rangers GM from 1964-76, making the NHL semifinals in four consecutive seasons, including a trip to the Stanley Cup final in 1972. He also served as the team's coach for portions of 10 seasons to become the Rangers' all-time leader in both regular-season wins with 342 and 34 playoff wins. Francis also worked with Hartford and St. Louis before retiring in 1993.
Prior to turning to the management side, Francis played in nearly 100 games with Chicago and New York from 1947-52.
Francis was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982 as a builder while working with the St. Louis Blues.
Away from hockey, Francis coached and managed the North Battleford Beavers baseball team, winning six Western Canada championships in the 1960s.
"I mourn the loss of my dear friend, Emile Francis," Rangers alternate governor Glen Sather said in a team statement. "I had the privilege to play for Emile, coach against him, and work in the league as a general manager at the same time as him. I always admired Emile's passion and dedication, and he was one of the true characters of our game. I'd like to express my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Emile."