Francis joins Hurricanes' ownership group

Hall of Famer Ron Francis has become a part owner of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Francis, already a member of the team's front office as vice president of hockey operations, and four others were announced as additional investors on Wednesday. All are based in North Carolina.

"It is very encouraging that these locally-based investors feel so strongly about our franchise and its future," said majority owner Peter Karmanos Jr. "We are proud to have this group of prominent North Carolinians involved with our team."

Francis retired in September 2005 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame two years later. He ended his career as the Carolina franchise's all-time leader in nearly every offensive category, including goals (382), assists (793), points (1,185) and power-play goals (132).

In 23 NHL seasons, Francis played in 1,731 regular-season games, scored 549 goals, added 1,249 assists and had a total of 1,798 points with Hartford/Carolina, Pittsburgh and Toronto. He also won a pair of Stanley Cups as a member of the 1991 and 1992 Penguins.

The other named partners were Ron de Lange, Eliza Kraft Olander and Brian McHenry.