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Ron Francis Named One of NHL's Greatest 100 Players

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

LOS ANGELES - The greatest player to ever to sport the red, black and white as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes has been named one of the National Hockey League's greatest 100 players of all-time.

Former Hurricanes captain and current Executive Vice President and General Manager Ron Francis was honored by the league on Friday night in Los Angeles, as the NHL honored its greatest players by decade.

Tweet from @NHL: Super Mario, Stevie Y, Burnaby Joe and the Big E among these dynamic centers from the 90s to make the list. #NHL100

"It's absolutely numbing at times. You sit in that room looking around at the names, even just the group you get introduced with here, centerman after centerman. They were a tough challenge to play against every night and certainly very high-end skill guys and quality individuals," Francis said. "To be a part of that group and spend some time with them here tonight was absolutely tremendous."

Video: Ron Francis on being named to the NHL100 list

Francis, whose No. 10 was retired by the Hurricanes, joins incredibly esteemed company, with the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux and many others, a full list of which can be seen here.

"I think it's a mutual respect for all the guys. You understand how tough this game is and how tough it is to do it for a long period of time," Francis said. "For these guys to be included on this list, I think everybody is incredibly humbled by this experience."

Tweet from @MSmithCanes: 10.#NHL100

Jaromir Jagr, a teammate of Francis at one point in their respective careers, is still playing in the NHL today; he was one of six current players to be named to the list.

"He's been a tremendous talent for a long, long time," Francis said of Jagr. "He's worked extremely hard. God bless him. I hope he keeps playing for a lot more years."

To be included amongst a list of the greatest players of all time? That's a pretty unique honor, Francis said.

"As a kid growing up, you're just hoping to be able to play in the National Hockey League. That's your dream, and if you're fortunate enough to get there, your dream is to win the Stanley Cup. Everything else, you never comprehend the possibility," he said. "There are a lot of people behind the scenes that had a lot to do, whether it be my parents or friends."

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