CAROLINA PHWA SELECTS CENTER FOR HONOR
RALEIGH, NC (Mar. 13, 2002) – The Carolina chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association announced Tuesday that it has nominated Hurricanes center Ron Francis for the Masterton Trophy, which honors perseverance and dedication to the game of hockey.
Francis has responded from what appeared at the time to be a career-threatening concussion in last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs to be one of the NHL’s top scorers this season at age 39. He was knocked out of Game Three against New Jersey by Scott Stevens, having to crawl to the bench.
After a summer to recover, Francis is having his best year with Carolina. Through games of March 12, Francis was fourth in the league in scoring with 65 points (24g, 41). He was fourth in the league in assists (41) and led the league in power-play assists (24) and power-play points (35). He registered his 500th career NHL goal on Jan. 2 against Boston, becoming the fifth player in NHL history to record 500 goals and 1,000 assists. He also moved into second-place on the NHL’s all-time assist list on Jan. 26 at Philadelphia. He is one of four Hurricanes to play in every game so far this season.
Carolina’s nominee in 2001 was defenseman Glen Wesley, who came back from career-threatening neck surgery in the off-season and a gruesome collision with an open penalty box door late in the season. Adam Graves of the New York Rangers won the 2001 Masterton Trophy.