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Emile Percival Francis (born September 13, 1926), nicknamed "The Cat", is a former player, coach, and general manager in the National Hockey League, most notably with the New York Rangers.Francis grew up playing a number of positions on the ice, but he converted to the goaltender slot after his uncle noticed the range that he had developed by also serving as a baseball shortstop. He became a star in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and was pursued for a professional contract by the Chicago Black Hawks. In 1947, he was called up to a squad mired in last place and took over the starting role in net. His unique use of a catching mitt based upon the design of a baseball first baseman's glove drew the attention of league officials; Francis argued that the popular gloves of the time put too much strain on the hand of goalkeepers, and, after gaining executive approval, equipment based on Francis's glove became commonplace.After starting on a dismal Chicago team in 1948-49, Francis was traded to the New York Rangers as part of a major personnel shakeup. Over the next four years, he would play sparingly in a relief role for the Rangers while manning the spot between the pipes on New York's American Hockey League affiliate. He finished his career in Western Hockey League, including stints with the Vancouver Canucks, Saskatoon Quakers and Seattle Americans.Upon retirement in 1960, Francis was sought after for his leadership skills, and he joined the Rangers organization as coach of the OHA's Guelph Royals. Two years later, he was summoned to the Rangers and became assistant general manager, and in 1965, he took over as both general manager and head coach. Although he coached a struggling team during his first season, Francis would remain behind the bench for ten seasons (except for brief moves to a solely front office position in 1968 and 1973), making the playoffs in each year and leading his team to a loss in the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals. In 1975, he joined the St. Louis Blues as general manager and executive vice president. He was instrumental in finding a local owner for the financially troubled franchise in the early 1980s, and he also returned to the bench for two separate head coaching stints. Francis then took a position with the Hartford Whalers, serving as general manager from until 1988 and team president from 1988 until 1993.In retirement, Francis has supported junior hockey in the New York and St. Louis markets. He is the father of former Phoenix Coyotes head coach and 2002 Jack Adams Award winner Bobby Francis.On Sunday, September 30, 2007, Francis' wife, Emma Francis, was reported missing after dropping Emile off at the Palm Beach International Airport for a flight to New Jersey. Neighbors reported not seeing Emma Francis return home after driving to the airport. She was later found safe in a local hotel on October 2, 2007. Wikipedia