Sunday, July 15, 2007

Remembering John Ferguson Sr.

John Ferguson Sr., one of the 1st real enforcers in the NHL died yesterday in his home in Windsor, Ontario.

The 68 year-old defended all of the great Canadiens of the 1960's. He got in his 1st fight just 12 seconds into his 1st game in the NHL! ''He was tough, he wanted the best for his teams, his teammates and his players, and his country, and would stop at nothing to try to help them win. His fight against cancer was every bit as fierce as his competitive drive on and off the ice.''

But he was more than just an enforcer. He scored 20 goals 2 times in his career. He scored 145 goals and 303 points in his career while tailing up 1,214 penalty minutes. He won 5 Stanley Cups in his playing career.

After retiring from playing hockey in 1971, Ferguson pursued his coaching career. It didn't take him long to get a job, as he was an assistant coach on the famous 1972 Canada team. He then spent a short time as the head coach of the New York Rangers, and then became the GM of that same Rangers team. He later was GM of the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association and, starting in 1979, the National Hockey League. Later, he worked for the Ottawa Senators in the early 1990s and was a Special Consultant to the General Manager of the San Jose Sharks.

His son, John Ferguson Jr. followed in his dad's footsteps becoming the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. ''My father battled cancer with the same spirit in which he played the game of hockey,'' Ferguson Jr., said in a release. ''He showed courage, strength, class and tremendous character. He had deep appreciation for the support he'd received from so many people beginning with his initial diagnosis."

A beast on the ice, but nothing short of a gentleman off it, Ferguson died at 68. A 2nd battle with prostate cancer took his life.

John Ferguson Sr. (1938-2007) ''My father's spirit will continue to live on in all of us whose lives he touched.'' - Ferguson Jr.

1 comment:

Tyson said...

Old time tough guy...They don't make them like that any more.