John Ferguson Passes Away

John Ferguson passed away today. He was 68 and died of cancer. This photo is from the early 60s when he played for the Cleveland Barons (60-63).

Ferguson was a Western boy, born in Vancouver and he played junior in the SJHL for the Melville Millionaires. He was in the IHL for one season (Fort Wayne Komets) and then three seasons with Cleveland before having his contract sold to the Canadiens.

There are thousands of stories about Ferguson, many of which you’ll probably hear in the next few days. He coached the NY Rangers (75-77) and then became coach and GM in Winnipeg (WHA) and later the NHL Jets. His book involves some great stories about both teams and some interesting players (specifically Les Binkley, a favorite of mine).

He scored a Cup winning goal (May 4, 1969).

He set a record when he got a fighting major 12 seconds into his NHL career.

He was also the first NHL player to receive a triple major (1967, Dec vs Det).

His son, John Ferguson Jr is currently the General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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5 Responses to "John Ferguson Passes Away"

  1. Gord says:

    My favorite Ferguson moment was when Bobby Hull had a broken jaw – Hull was playing with a football helmet to protect himself.

    Hull & Ferguson bumped; words were exchanged; Ferguson dropped his gloves, grabbed the mouth shield with one hand, lifted it up and popped Hull in the jaw with the other.

    Needless to say, Hull missed a bunch of games until his jaw healed properly…

  2. Kyle says:

    He was involved with Sinden in the Summit Series as well was he not?

  3. Black Dog says:

    Assistant coach.

    He was the one who said that someone “had to get” Kharlamov.

    Which Bobby Clarke then did.

    Hell of a player.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Yes. Ferguson was the asst coach for that team I believe, and he iirc turned down the Bruins head coaching job just before Don Cherry got it (I seem to recall reading about a frenzied search after Bep Guidolin ripped the effort in maybe 1974).

  5. godot10 says:

    Jimmy Mann, man, in the draft of all drafts…the pick that defined and doomed the Jets.

    Ferguson drafted Jimmy Mann ahead of Mark Messier.

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