Our buddy Lyle over at Spector's Hockey recently posted a great tribute to Habs legend John Ferguson. Here it is for all of you to see:
The hockey world lost one of its legendary tough guys on Saturday.
John Ferguson, who played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1963 to 1971, died Saturday of prostate cancer at the age of 68.
"Fergie", as he was known, was a member of five Stanley Cup championships in Montreal, earning a reputation as one of the toughest and most respected players and brawlers in the game, amassing 1214 penalties in 500 regular season games.
He was more than just a goon or bodyguard for the stars. He was part of the Habs first line with Jean Beliveau and Yvon Cournoyer in the late 1960s, was the rookie scoring leader in 1963-64 with 45 points in 59 games, and had two 20+ goal seasons, including 29 goals and 52 points in 1968-69.
Ferguson was also assistant coach of Team Canada in the famous 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union. He went on to become GM and coach of the NY Rangers from 1976 to 1978, GM of the Winnipeg Jets from 1979 to 1988, director of player personnel for the Ottawa Senators from 1992 to 1995 and a senior scout for the San Jose Sharks since 1995 (source: TSN).
He lived by a tough code on the ice and behind the bench, freely admitting in an interview commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Summit Series that he told Bobby Clarke to try and break the ankle of Soviet star Valeri Kharlomov in the sixth game of the series.Still, Ferguson is remembered as one of the most popular players in Canadiens history and was well-respected as an executive and as a person. His surviving family includes his son, John Ferguson Jr, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Thanks, Lyle. He was a great player and personality in the hockey world. He will be sorely missed.