Another post Christmas return from a Hall of Fame goaltender.
Emile Francis got his start in the NHL with the Chicago Black Hawks in 1947. From 1948 to 1952, he was the back-up goaltender for the New York Rangers. He finished out his career on a number of minor league teams in the AHL and WHL including the Vancouver Canucks.
Francis was an innovator to goalies, not for inventing the goalie mask (That's Jacques Plante) but he was the first to modiy normal hockey gloves in to goalie gloves, which are today known as blocker and catcher. In the 1943-44 season, using a first baseman's baseball glove, he changed the game and the "catcher" or "trapper" was born. Francis can also take credit for introducing the "blocker." He taped an outer layer of sponge rubber to his stick hand gauntlet.
He also signed my letter which was Super nice of him.
If you can't read it that well, that is OK because he has Really good cursive handwriting. So here is what he wrote
Thanks for writing, glad to hear you are a Black Hawks fan, and loved the Black Hawks and these…, good luck
I think I under stand most of it, but leave a comment if you can transcribe the 20th word after "and these ..."
I am a big fan of him being a goalie innovator ,like Jacques, writing that very cool note, and playing my favorite position for my favorite franchise.
Super nice return signing 2 out of 2 from Between the pipes set. The only negative of this is that I wish "In the Game" would have found a 2nd picture of Francis instead of using he same old photo.