Rangers Roundup: Honoring Emile Francis, K’Andre Miller talks about his amazing mom, and more

The New York Rangers lost another legend in Emile ‘The Cat’ Francis less than six months after losing Rod Gilbert.

“Emile’s passion and dedication to the Rangers organization and growing the game of hockey in New York City was second to none,” Chris Drury said in a statement.”‘The Cat’ was a true pioneer and innovator, as well as the architect and coach of some of the greatest teams in Rangers history. Emile has meant as much to the Rangers as any person who has been part of the organization throughout its history.”

Honoring Emile Francis

Francis passed away at the age of 95, living a beautiful and fruitful life. He was instrumental in building and guiding the New York Rangers through some lean to formidable years as a coach and general manager.

More importantly, he grew the game in New York by creating a league for inner city kids that produced two Blueshirts in Nick Fotiu and Brian Mullen.

The New York Rangers next home game will be on February 24 against the Capitals, where they will pay tribute to one of the greats.

K’Andre Miller and his amazing mom

new york rangers
Feb 15, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller (79) scores the game winning goal past Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) during shoots outs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Miller, drafted 22nd overall in 2018 joined the New York Rangers last season after playing the two prior at the University of Wisconsin. The 6-5 defenseman recorded 40 points during his time in the NCAA but his journey to the NHL is due in large part to his amazing mom.

K’Andre, who was raised by his mom recalled a story to the NY Post’s Steve Serby that defines how special a role she played.

“I might have been 12, I was going to a tournament, and I broke my stick like the day before we were going on this trip, and so she had to go back into work after like a mid-day practice or something like that, put in a little bit extra time so I could get a stick,” he said. “If we had money or if we didn’t, she was always gonna try her best to provide for me and give me the best life that she could.”

Miller, 22, also said his mom is his best friend and that they speak daily. The sophomore is emerging into one of the Rangers best young players partnering with Jacob Trouba He has 11 points in 49 games this season.

Braden Schneider is already thinking Stanley Cup

Schneider, 20, is a physical presence on the blue-line at 6-2, 202 lbs. Not only has he used his size well, his hockey smarts also seem through the roof as he always seems to know when to close a gap or step up on a play. That’s why New York moved up to select him 19th overall by exchanging their first round pick (22nd overall) and a third round selection with Calgary in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft.

“I think each game I definitely feel more confident and more part of the goal that everyone’s trying to be going after, which is to go into the playoffs and have a good run and hopefully get to the Stanley Cup,” Schneider said on Saturday. “Each day I’m more and more confidence and it’s been a lot of fun.” 

The youngster seems to have solidified his spot in the lineup as the third pair RD. While the Rangers may be scouring the trade market to improve his defense partner, he’s comfortable with whomever is there now.

“Whoever I’ve been paired with, I’ve had a lot of fun playing with,” he said. “Jonesy (Jones), Nemo (Nemeth), and Libor (Hajek) are all great people and made it real easy.”

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