Ron Francis and Team Canada

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Mr. Met, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Mr. Met

    Mr. Met Registered User

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    Why did Francis only play one tournament for Team Canada during his entire career?

    According to the stats on eliteprospects, Francis played for Team Canada in 1985 and got 7 points but this was the only time he participated internationally for Canada.

    For a player 5th all time in points in the NHL, 2nd all time assists and >1.0ppg throughout his career it seems strange that he didn't participate for Canada more.
     
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  2. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    There were always better centers than him and his game didnt translate well to playing wing.

    Yzerman couldn't even make a best-on-best team until the second half of his career.
     
  3. LeafChief

    LeafChief Registered User

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    Canada is loaded beyond measure with elite talent.
     
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  4. Staniowski

    Staniowski Registered User

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    Francis was 2 years younger than Gretzky and Messier; the same age as Hawerchuk and Gilmour; and 2 years older than Lemieux and Yzerman.

    Tough competition.
     
  5. KMart27

    KMart27 Registered User

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    What happened with him at the 1996 World Cup? He was on Canada's roster but didn't play a game apparently.
     
  6. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Just to nitpick, Yzerman did play for the Canada Cup team in 1984, when he was 19. But I agree with your point...
     
  7. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    Pretty much the same thing that happened to Savard and Oates. Canada had better centres and playmaking centres are often an awkward fit on the wing. Canada's converted centres usually bring either a speed or size element and are generally good goal scorers. Francis presumably would have played in the WJC if he hadn't been in the NHL for his final two years of eligibility. He would have made the official roster for the 1996 World Cup team had he not been injured as well. I assume that he didn't particularly want to play in the IIHF World Championship after 1985 because he had plenty of opportunity and I doubt that Hockey Canada would have turned him down for that tournament.
     
  8. Neutrinos

    Neutrinos Registered User

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    Canada has always been foolish in the construction of their rosters

    Instead of loading up with the very best they have to offer so that it forces the other team into a defensive mindset every shift, they try to create the perfect roster with checkers and complimentary players

    That's how you end up with the likes of Rob Zamuner on the team

    There's no reason players like Yzerman, Savard, Francis, Oates, Turgeon, etc. couldn't have played on the wing during these tournaments
     
  9. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I can't see a pure playmaker like Francis or Oates being useful on the wing. The others... Maybe
     
  10. Thenameless

    Thenameless Registered User

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    He had a steady career as a top flight 2-way center, but there were too many elite Canadian centers during his time, as others have already noted above. No mistakes were made in leaving him off of Team Canada rosters during that time. Even now, Canada has an embarrassment of riches at center. Could easily field two teams that would be playing for gold and silver.
     
  11. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    From 1986 to 1999 Francis' teams made the playoffs with some deep runs. 1986 as an example the WHC was held while round 2 of the playoffs saw Hartford lose in 7 to Montreal.The WHC used to run the last two weeks in April, first weekend in May,last week in April, first week in May.

    The 2018 WHC starts May 4 and ends May 20 somore NHLers from eliminated teamsmay participate.

    Other tournaments have been explained.
     
  12. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Oh boy, there is that trigger word again................
     
  13. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Let's think for a second the times Francis had a chance to make Canada's best on best teams.

    1984 - Not a chance. He did have a 90 point season under his belt and in this his 3rd year had a decent 83 points. But who is he replacing? Strange they took a rookie in Yzerman this year. But I guess they figure they could shift him around a bit.

    1987 - Again, where does he fit in? He had 93 points that year. That's pretty good, but who does he bump? Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier and Hawerchuk are your centres. Gilmour is too. Sutter is there as a grinder. Keenan was very strict on the roles players would play.

    1991 - This is where he is possibly a bubble guy. But if they are leaving Oates off the team then same thing for Francis. Heck, they booted Yzerman off. But again, since he isn't very versatile going on the wing I can't see him there either.

    1996 - He had 119 points this year. So they picked him because he had to fit somewhere. I personally think if he were healthy there was some room for him somewhere. But then again...........where?

    1998 - His best chance I think. Don't tell me Ron Francis can't do a better job than Rob Zamuner. Don't you dare tell me that! (Ahem, Bobby Clarke, Bob Gainey and Pierre Gauthier.........really Gauthier was a GM?)
     
  14. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    The real insanity was no Yzerman in 1987 and 1991. Keenan had a personal vendetta against him.
     
  15. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    As others have said it's because of the elite talent on Team Canada. Team Canada could send 2 or even 3 teams to a major hockey tournament and still some guys would be left out.
     
  16. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Zamuner was obviously a terrible pick, but he could play wing, right?
     
  17. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    i think zamuner straight up was a left winger
     
  18. Iapyi

    Iapyi Registered User

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    Canada's depth is phenomenal. One poster wants to call us "foolish" in our construction and while there have been some choices that could have been better sometimes it may seem foolish when there is such a treasure trove of riches to pick from.
     
  19. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I think he was a LW who sometimes moonlit at C but same thing for the purposes of this topic.
     
  20. 86Habs

    86Habs Registered User

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    Zamuner was selected as a LW for the 1998 Olympic and exclusively played LW throughout the tournament (on the 4th line with Nieuwendyk and Fleury, iirc). Francis wasn't a candidate for Zamuner's role, if that's what you're getting at.

    Of course Zamuner was a terrible pick and shouldn't have been on the team, along with Corson and probably Linden. There could have been a way to shuffle the lineup to fit one or both of Francis and Oates on there. I would have also been inclined to select Jeff Friesen for some speed and scoring ability on the wing.
     
  21. angrymnky

    angrymnky Registered User

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    I suspect he played in 85 only because hawerchuk was injured. Just too much center depth.
     
  22. Darth Yoda

    Darth Yoda 1yr today of neighbourly killed sleep.

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    Looks like that team is filled to the brim with people that was cut a few months before for the Canada Cup, except Yzerman who was young and probably wanted to play anyways.
     
  23. FerrisRox

    FerrisRox Registered User

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    Actually, what's foolish is thinking players like Savard, Francis, Oates and Turgeon would be well utilized on the wing.

    It shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how those guys play and what their strengths are to suggest they would be good on the wing.
     
  24. Neutrinos

    Neutrinos Registered User

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    Gretzky, Lemieux and Hawerchuk - centers in the NHL - all on the ice for the tournament winning goal



    Maybe what's really lacking is your ability to see how things could be
     
  25. FerrisRox

    FerrisRox Registered User

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    It's almost like some players have a game that is suited to center and the wing, and others don't.
     

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