John Ferguson Jr.
John Ferguson Jr. was GM of the Maple Leafs from 2003-2008. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
John Ferguson Jr.
Status: San Jose Sharks scout. Former Toronto Maple Leafs GM and vice-president. Former American League left winger from 1989-1993.
DOB: July 7, 1967 In: Montreal
First Hockey Memory: "Well, I was skating on a driveway at home in Montreal."
Hockey Inspirations: "Well, my father played, so he would have been the first one for me. My favorite player in Montreal was Yvan Cournoyer. The Road Runner. There was a number of others after that, but those would be the first two."
Last Book Read: "Would have been a James Patterson novel. Right now I'm reading The Fall of Giants by Ken Follett."
Current Car: "I've got a Mercedes 450 GL (black)."
First Famous Hockey Player You Met Or Encountered: "My father (laughs). (Besides him.) Just trying to think...Yvan Cournoyer or Serge Savard, possibly, Jean Beliveau, probably."
Greatest Sports Moment: "Probably scoring a goal, tournament for Canada, against Russia. In Germany, at Deutschland Cup. National team tournament."
Most Painful Moment: "I had five teeth knocked out in one play. I got crosschecked in the mouth. I had a mouthguard in and four across the top were in the mouthguard when I took it off. (Where?) In Moncton, in the American Hockey League. (Do you remember who did it?) I certainly do. I'll never forget. Darren Veitch. I still owe him for that (laughs)."
Most Memorable Goal: "Well, as a matter of fact, that game I came back into the game and scored the winner in overtime."
First Job: "I was a painter. Outside of houses. In Winnipeg."
Favorite Arena To Play: "Well, with the American League, I played in the Montreal Forum. Also in the American League, we had a game in the Garden in Boston. So I'd say Montreal Forum."
Favorite Uniforms: "That's good...wow...that's gotta be...I would say the Rangers."
Funniest Players Encountered: "I think it's Marc Bergevin."
Toughest Competitors Encountered: "Oh, I think Warren Rychel would have been right up there. (Why?) Just always tough. Straight-up tough. He was not a guy that did anything crazy, but he was always answering the bell if he had to."
Closest Hockey Friend(s): "Mike Keane."
Strangest Game: "I wasn't playing the game, but we lost to Vancouver in an overtime game where no one knew where the puck was until it was shot in our net. That was a strange way to end it. There was a dump-in off the glass and it bounced back to (Kevin) Bieksa at the blueline and no one knew where it was including our goaltender. And he took a slapshot and scored short side. Ended the series. It would be either that one or there was one earlier in the playoffs where Boyle tried to rim it. And actually, one of their forecheckers got a stick inside and they beat our goalie shortside, but it was a tip-in. But it was another odd ending."
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "Soccer."
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: "It's funny because it goes back to that game where I lost my teeth and at the end of the game the fans were yelling at me. In Moncton. And I tried to yell back and I was lisping like crazy (laughs)."
Funny Hockey Memory: "When I was with St. Louis, we were in the playoffs in Phoenix. And we were leaving the hotel. I think it was down in Scottsdale. And Marc Bergevin was not in the lineup that night. And the team bus - you had to go around the hotel. We came back at a red light just outside the hotel. And there was someone on the sidewalk. It was really, really hot. It was playoff weather in Phoenix. And there was a fan from St. Louis holding up a big, big placard: GO BLUES. Everyone stopped. Everyone from our team was waving out the window. And down came the big placard and it was Bergie (smiles). So he really lightened the mood on the bus going into the Game 7. (Did you win?) We did. We did. Grant Fuhr was in net. He told our guys in the dressing room before the game, 'We only need one tonight. I got you.' As a matter of fact, one-nothing in overtime."
Personality Qualities Most Admired: "Character. Honesty. Humor."