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John Ferguson, Sr.
Position Left Wing
Shot Left
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
178 lb (81 kg)
Teams Montreal Canadiens
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born September 5, 1938,
Vancouver, BC, CAN
Died July 14, 2007,
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Pro Career 1959 – 1971

John Bowie Ferguson Sr. (September 5, 1938 - July 14, 2007) was a professional player. Ferguson played as a left winger for the Montreal Canadiens from 1963 to 1971.

Early Years

Ferguson was born in Vancouver, British Columbia on September 5, 1938.

Playing Career

Ferguson played his junior hockey in Western Canada, with the Melville Millionaires of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in 1956–57 to 1958–59. In 1959–60, he was playing professionslly with the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League. In 1960, he moved to the American Hockey League and the Cleveland Barons.

The New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens both wanted Ferguson in 1963. The Barons' owner asked John which one he wanted to go to. Ferguson wanted the Canadiens because the Rangers had not given him a chance earlier in his career.

The Canadiens badly needed an enforcer to protect their smaller forwards. Lou Fontinato, who had done the job for the Canadiens in 1962-63, had suffered a career-ending injury. Also Dickie Moore, a left winger, had retired.

Merely twelve seconds into his first NHL game in the 1963-64 NHL season, he was in a fight with Ted Green of the Boston Bruins; Ferguson won the fight and established a reputation - as a tough fighter - that he never lost.

Ferguson was also an offensive threat. Playing on a line with Beliveau, Ferguson led all NHL rookies in scoring in his first season and finished as runner-up for Calder Trophy in 1963–64. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound left-winger also scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in 1969, during a season that saw him score a career-high 29 goals with a plus-30 rating. In 85 post-season games, he scored 20 goals and added 18 assists. During his playing career, he won the Stanley Cup five times: in the years 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, and 1971, and always earned more than 100 penalty minutes in a regular season.

Ferguson retired in 1971, the same time as his linemate Jean Beliveau.

Ferguson leaving the Forum in 1971.

Post-playing Career

In 1972, he became the assistant coach of Team Canada who beat the Soviet team in the Summit Series.

In the years to follow, he became the head coach and later general manager of the New York Rangers. He was fired from that job in 1978, at which time he became the General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association and, starting in 1979, the National Hockey League. He worked for the Ottawa Senators in the early 1990s and was a Special Consultant to the General Manager of the San Jose Sharks.


Upon the closing of the Boston Garden he received one of the penalty boxes from the arena, former Boston Bruins enforcer Terry O'Reilly received the other.

Later Years and Death

Ferguson lived in Windsor, Ontario in his later years to be close to horses. He served as GM for the Windsor Raceway in 1988.

In September 2005, Ferguson was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He died on July 14, 2007. Ferguson was survived by his wife Joan and children John (former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs), Catherine, Chris and Joanne.


External Links

New York Rangers Head Coaches
PatrickBoucherL. PatrickColvilleCook • Boucher • M. PatrickWatson • M. Patrick • PikeHarvey • M. Patrick • SullivanFrancisGeoffrion • Francis • Popein • Francis • StewartFergusonTalbotSheroC. PatrickBrooks • C. Patrick • SatorWebsterEspositoBergeron • Esposito • NeilsonSmithKeenanCampbellMucklerTortorellaLowTrottierSatherRenney • Tortorella • VigneaultQuinn
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