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Press Release: HURRICANES CAPTAIN RON FRANCIS NAMED FINALIST FOR LADY BYNG TROPHY

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

FRANCIS IS A TWO-TIME LADY BYNG WINNER

Ron Francis
Ron Francis is will be up against Joe Sakic and Nicklas Lidstrom for the Lady Byng Trophy.
NEW YORK, NY (May 1, 2002) – The National Hockey League announced today that Carolina Hurricanes center Ron Francis has been named one of three finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy. The Lady Byng Trophy is awarded annually “to the player judged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” The winner is selected in a poll by the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association at the conclusion of the regular season.

The other finalists for the 2002 Lady Byng Trophy are Colorado’s Joe Sakic and Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom. Sakic won the Lady Byng last season, edging Lidstrom for the award. Francis has won the Lady Byng Trophy twice previously in his career. He received the trophy following the 1995 and 1998 seasons, when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

At age 39, Francis completed the regular season tied for ninth in the NHL in scoring (77 points), fourth in assists (50), first in power-play points (42), second in power-play assists (28), sixth in power-play goals (14) and third in face-off percentage (58.9).

The Carolina center scored his 500th career goal on Jan. 2 against Boston, becoming the 29th player in league history to accomplish that feat. He was the fifth player in league history to record 500 goals and 1,000 assists (Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, Marcel Dionne -- Steve Yzerman reached the milestone with his 1,000th assist on Jan. 20). Francis also earned an assist on Jeff O'Neill's third period goal at Philadelphia on Jan. 26, passing Ray Bourque for second on the NHL's all-time assist list with 1,170. He is currently fifth in NHL history in points with 1,701 and second in assists with 1,187.

The Southeast Division champion Carolina Hurricanes will take on the Montreal Canadiens in an Eastern Conference Semifinal best-of-seven series beginning with Game 1 on Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m. at the Entertainment & Sports Arena. The Hurricanes defeated the New Jersey Devils in six games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to advance to the Conference Semifinals.

Tickets for all Hurricanes home games are available at the arena box office and all Ticketmaster locations: (919) 834-4000 in Raleigh/Durham, (336) 852-1100 in the Triad and (910) 223-2900 in Fayetteville. Tickets can be ordered on-line by clicking here to buy tickets online at the Carolina Hurricanes’ official website.

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