François Leroux (born April 18, 1970 in Sainte-Adèle, Québec) is a East Coast Hockey League defenceman, currently playing for the Wheeling Nailers. At 6'6" and over 240 pounds, Leroux was a physical, defensive-minded defenceman who amassed 577 penalty minutes in his NHL career. In his NHL career, he has played with the Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche. A first-round draft choice of the Edmonton Oilers in the 1988 NHL Draft, Leroux made his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers during the 1988–1989 season, playing two games. He would split time between Cape Breton and Edmonton from 1989 to 1993. Leroux would eventually be claimed on waivers by the Ottawa Senators on October 6, 1993. Leroux played 23 games for the Senators before being sent down to the Prince Edward Island Senators, where he would remain until the completion of the 1993–1994 season. On January 18th, 1995, the Pittsburgh Penguins would claim Leroux in the NHL Waiver Draft. On March 26th, 1996, Leroux beat St. Louis Blues forward Tony Twist in a fight. Twist was considered by many to be the NHL's "heavyweight champ" at the time. Prior to the start of the 1997–1998 season, Leroux would be traded to the Colorado Avalanche for a third round pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
Following his stint with the Colorado Avalanche, Leroux would not be offered an NHL contract. He would later play for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the International Hockey League and the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League. He would later spend one season in the German Elite League playing for Berlin Capitals.
The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Leroux to a two-way contract on July 16th, 2002. Leroux played 57 games for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins before being traded. In a cost-cutting move, the Penguins would trade Jan Hrdina and Francois Leroux to the Phoenix Coyotes for three prospects (forwards Ramzi Abid & Guillaume Lefebvre, and defenceman Dan Focht) on March 16th, 2003. Leroux would make a second stop at Springfield, as they were the Coyotes' AHL affiliate. He played six game before announcing his retirement from the NHL on September 6th, 2003.
On February 2nd, 2006 Leroux would be lured out of retirement by the St. Jean Chiefs. Leroux spent 12 games with the St. Jean Chiefs of the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey (LNAH), which has the unofficial reputation as "the world’s roughest hockey league." He picked up 42 penalty minutes with the Chiefs, a team that had 12 different players register more than 100 penalty minutes. On November 21st, 2007, after practicing on and off with the team, Leroux would sign with the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL.
On August 1st, 2008, Leroux assumed the position of Commissioner of the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League (MAHL). MAHL President Andrew Haines, made the announcement form the league’s offices in Canton, Ohio. Leroux's role as league commissioner includes hosting a weekly MAHL radio show and to represent the league at regular season and post-season games.