Emile Francis built the rangers his way

But that’s Emile’s way, and it’s always been a team effort. He is obsessed with not having anything different.

I attended training camp one fall in Kitchener, Ontario, with my wife and young daughter. Emile told the guy at the front desk to put us in a room at the back of the hotel – he didn’t want women at the training camp. Too distracting.

I was so into the game – and with him – that I wrote a book called “A Year on Ice,” which chronicles the 1969-70 season of the roller coaster (and I proudly say) that it has just been made into a fictional film). To add to what I thought at the time was complete honesty, I included a description of a woman running out of a player’s hotel room in tears. That is so that. A few sentences.

Right around the time the book came out, Francis was embroiled in contract wars with some of his stars. He suspended Brad Park, Jean Ratelle, Vic Hadfield and Walt Tkaczuk because they refused to play a training camp exhibit without a contract. It was the beginning of players fighting for their rights in hockey. I wrote a lot about their requests, and Francis was not satisfied.

All was resolved after bitter battles. Then, a few weeks after the book was published, at Skateland, the team’s training ground in New Hyde Park, NY, the coach said to me, “Emile wants to see you in the locker room.”

I walked in and he, in the middle of the room, was with the entire team. He says, “I want you to hear this,” and he reads the excerpt about the woman running out of the player’s hotel room.

“And this is who you’re talking to, trust him?” Francis said, looking at me. Then he added, “Get out.” Emile Francis built the rangers his way

Fry Electronics Team

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