Leafs about to name John Ferguson Jr as GM

It looks like the Toronto Maple Leafs have finally found their man to replace Pat Quinn as the club’s GM.

Sportsnet.ca – John Ferguson Jr. is about to become the next general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Sportsnet has confirmed.

Ferguson Jr. was has been working as the director of hockey operations with the St. Louis Blues.

The team has taken most of the summer to make their selection. Until last week, former New York Rangers’ GM Neil Smith, along with Hockey Canada’s Bob Nicholson and Vancouver Canucks’ director of player personnel Steve Tambellini, were all up for the job.

The Leafs wanted former coach and former GM Pat Quinn to focus solely on his duties behind the bench.

17 Responses to Leafs about to name John Ferguson Jr as GM

  1. Leaf_Expert says:

    For those of who aren’t aware of Ferguson’s background, I’ll give you some insight:

    -Lawyers Degree.

    -Former player scout for the Ottawa Senators(look at the young guns they have now).

    -Ast.GM of St.Louis Bleus/Director of Operations and player development.

    *What can he bring?

    Well for all those people who were calling Quinn “Stand Pat”, Ferguson is a guy that knows talent when he see’s it and wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on any deal.

    He also has a rich background of scouting. The Leafs are going into an extremely right direction for player drafting and developing.

    Not to mention if they can bring in the right Ast.GM to work along with Ferguson. Tambellini would be my choice for the Ast.Gm job, then the Leafs could really have a management for the future, and one where it will have alot of players for it aswell….

  2. jofa says:

    Welcome to Loserville.

    Check out this interesting article printed in the Toronto Sun:


    He makes a good point that the post of GM to the Toronto Maple Leafs should draw out the best and the brightest in the game, and yet they all seem to be avoiding it like the plague or are not on the Quinn short list…

  3. Enigma says:

    The leafs are a b.s. organization. A few months ago when the managment announced that they would look for a g.m. Ken Dryden said they’d be looking for a “star” g.m…….so what do they do? higher someone who’s only there to do what pat quin will tell him to do. Now sure in a few years john may turn out be a star, but dryden said he wanted one now, and john as of right now isn’t a star at all. The leafs promised to get the best g.m. available, instead rumour has it that John is a “compensation” if you will. In other words Richard Peddie and Ken Dryden felt that Niel smith was the guy, and pat quin felt that it was steve tambolini…both sides had a debate and decided to just go with john, a second or 3rd choice instead of the best choice.

  4. GretzNYR99 says:

    As a Ranger fan, I witnessed the crumbling of a once great team. In 1992 when the Rangers won the presidents trophy, we boasted one of the best young teams in the NHL, with a good balance of veteran experience to compliment it. Mark Messier was about 30, Brian Leetch was in his early 20’s, Adam Graves the same, Sergei Zubov was just coming into the NHL, Tony Amonte was a rookie up for the Calder, Doug Weight had a good rookie year, Jeff Beukeboom was young, Sergei Nemchinov was still young, Mike Richter was young and up and coming, the point is we had a great young team. Neil Smith traded away Amonte, and Weight for checking players such as Noonan, Matteau, and Tikkanen. Although they won us the cup, they were horridble trades in their own. 2 checking players for Amonte? Who previously had post 2 30 goal 60+ point seasons? Weight for Tikkanen I can understand because Tikkanen was still VERY affective, and Weight’s numbers weren’t as good as Amonte’s. We also had Todd Marchant, he was traded for Craig MacTavish at the start of the 94 season.

    The overall point I’m trying to make is that Neil Smith was DEFENITELY NOT the right guy for that job. He started this reign of terror in NY, trading away almost all of our youth, and hiring shitty coaches such as John Muckler who broke the confidence of young players like Manny Malhotra. Bad guy to have in the front office. Sather just took over from there when Smith was fired. Steve Tambellini, to tell you the truth, I haven’t even heard much about. I can’t say the same for Fergie, but in a post above, he gave us details on Fergie’s background, and I like it. He’ll do good.

  5. Enigma says:

    I see your point, but my point is that Richard Peddie and Ken Dryden feel that he is the best guy for it, I don’t necessarily agree with it…but if they feel he is then that’s the guy who should be the g.m. not a “compensation” as that’s what John is rumoured to be.

  6. Ed-dee says:

    I highly doubt Ferggie is a “compensation” choice. Ken had his eyes on Gainey and that’s why he said he wanted a “Star”. But, as he found out, Gainey wanted to go back home if you will to be Montreal’s GM.

    Quinn, obviously, likes Tambelini. He likes him because he brought him into the Canucks org. and has worked with him both in Vancouver and on Team Canada. So, he’d prefer him because he knows him on a more personal basis.

    As for Peddie, I doubt he has a “favourite”. I know Tennenbaum would like a guy like Ferguson, who knows how important youth is.

    So, for me personally as a Leaf fan, out of the last 4, I would pick Ferguson Jr. as the GM, and Nickelson as the Ast. GM.

    W.C. “Global’s gunna rock’n’roll, GO LEAFS GO!!!”

  7. Cyrax89 says:

    The only thing that Ferguson will be doing is sitting in his office wearing the GM title and nothing more then that. Quinn is still going to be calling all the shots, why do you think he hired him rather then Smith. Because he knows Ferguson won’t fire him and will let Quinn tell him how to run the show. This might be the first time where the coach has more power then the GM. Now just why couldn’t they hire someone better? Well thats the leafs for you, they can’t do anything right. Always taking the easy way out.

  8. big_booty says:

    You can preach on all you want about his background – that doesn’t mean a damn thing when it comes to running the day-to-day operations of an NHL franchise.

    He’s a lawyer? OOOOOoooooohhhhhhh! Open your eyes for once.

    Ferguson hasn’t made a single trade or negotiated a single contract in his career, with the possible exception of on the minor league level. The reason why he “wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on any deal” is because he never had the authority to do so. Your statement is, as always, logically flawed.

    Last time I checked, Larry Pleau made the deals for the Blues, and John Muckler did the same for the Senators.

    Scouting is always good, but is he going to do that on a regular basis as GM? Aren’t there scouting departments that do that kind of thing?

    You honestly believe that your team is going “going into an extremely right direction” when is comes to player development? Oh, that must mean that all of their draftees have to be card-carrying members of the GOP.

    (I’ll give you a moment to look that last part up)

    Everyone who knows hockey is trashing the Toronto organization for the inanity in which this “star search” was conducted. They’re all saying the same thing.

    Bad choice, won’t help.

    Get used to that.

  9. big_booty says:

    Thanks for bringing that up. It’s a great read, and brings up a lot of good points.

    Unfortunately for most of the Leaf homers out there, they don’t believe it.

    Pity them.

    On second thought, don’t.

  10. TML51 says:

    Well…it figures. The Leafs selected a “Yes” man for Quinn. Why wasn’t former Ranger GM Smith selected? Or Nicholson, or Tambellini? Simple. They could actually run an orginization, as well as have proven track records. And I’m sure they could all see that Quinn runs the show, regardless if you strip him of the GM title or not. Would make for some interesting battles within the ranks, me thinks.

    Quinn’s current contract states that he can Veto the choice of the committe with regards to his replacement as GM. Show me any other GM in the NHL who has that kind of power. Who set this up? Stavro and the “old boys” club that are now out of the managerial picture.

    What is starting to happen is somewhat of a “Harold Ballard” syndrome within the Leafs organization, with Quinn being the more modern version of Ballard. The team is treading water in a sea of mediocrity with no real light at the end of the tunnel. The team states that they are at their budget threshold now, (save for Shvela’s $4 million salary and if he will actually play or not…he STILL hasn’t filed his retirement papers, or given the Leafs a straight answer for that matter) and will not be raising it. However, they are fully prepared to gouge us at the gates again this year. See where the Ballard thing is coming into focus?

    Quinn has demonstrated some poor judgement in aquisitions and salaries, and seems keen or “player reclamation” projects. Some worked, some didn’t.

    All and all, the Leafs are a consistent team, if anything. True, the consistency seems to lie in 4th or 5th in the East every year, but the frustrating part is that nothing is being done to raise the bar.

    The Leafs choice of new GM just proved that.

    There’s nothing I’d like to see more than a new GM come in and start cleaning house, signing and trading up a storm before the preseason starts…making up for lost time as it were. But I’m a realistic Leaf fan, and I know it won’t happen.

  11. 89AlexanderMogilny89 says:

    You seem to have already passed judgement (well it’s par for the course for all your assinine comments).

    Neil Smith-Quinn didn’t want him around,no doubt about it.Quinn is a power hungry maniac.With Neil in charge ,Quinn would have no control over what goes up upstairs.

    Steve Tambellini-Quinn’s choice,of course since Quinn see’s this guy as an easy target to do his bidding.Tambellini is one of the up and coming young excutives.

    John Ferguson Jr.-Neither parties first choice as the sucessor to Pat Quinn.Dyden and co. wanted a “star” to fill in the void ,well throw that theory out the window.John Ferguson is the logical choice.He has been moving up in the ranks and is well reguarded around the league.(both sides can agree)

    Your the same guy who said why let Reichel take the penalty shot when they have Mogilny and Sundin(who weren’t on the ice at the time of the infraction by the way).I found that amusing along with all your other assinine comments and posts.You never seem to have anything positive to say..low self esteem issues I guess.

  12. 89AlexanderMogilny89 says:

    Mr.Strachan,Mr.Cox…is that you?

  13. WeStSiDe says:

    Smith was the only guy with experience, so right off the bat your wrong. As well, Smith’s record isnt so lovey dovey, just because a person has a record does not make them better.

    Ferguson is one of the better young guys in the game in the same group as the Tambellin’s etc. I suggest you look at his past first, he has done everything BUT become an NHL GM, so now he is taking the next step. He could very well be one of the next great GM’s for YEARS to come at just age 36.

    How would, Smith, Tamb, Nich be any different then Ferg with Quinn? Dont make assumptions, in fact Tamb and Nich could actually be the exact opposite with a connection to him. Dont pass judgement before he starts and buy into some biased media punk(s).

  14. TML51 says:

    The fact that he has done everything BUT be a GM is one of the reasons that I have concerns with Furgson getting the job. Who would be his mentor in Toronto? Pat Quinn. He may very well be an up and comer in the NHL as far as being a GM goes, but the point was that he is not who the Leafs need.

    The Leafs need and experienced GM, and while you make a good point that having a record does not necessarily make a better candidate, it makes an experienced candidate. Granted as the season moves on, I may have to eat my words on this (I hope that happens, don’t get me wrong).

    Reports out of Toronto are indicating that Furgson was a compromise choice, as Quinn, Dryden and Peddie were at odds over who was to get the job. Right off the bat, they are starting off behind the 8 ball as they could not agree on a new GM.

  15. WeStSiDe says:

    He is only 36, for him not to have been a GM yet is not a problem, he is taking the next step and moving up the ladder, I dont think that is an issue.

    Toronto did say at their conference a while back, it could be an experience guy, or a new guy.

    Smith is the only guy with the experience, and quit frankly his track record is a bit shakey if you ask some. He may not be bad, but at the same time I dont think Ferguson is bad either. I dont see Ferguson as being a hold up for this team, I think he can do it, because he has no experience does not make him any less qualified, he has a clean slate.

    As far as him and Quinn go, as long as they can have a good working relationship, I think Ferg can be his own man, he has all the tools, and background experience in that cateory for what a GM does, only difference is he will be doing it all on a daily basis. He has help if needed, but I dont think in any way that he wont have the power he needs.

  16. zednik says:

    The Leafs, who have some of the most demanding fans in sports have brought in a GM who has never been a GM, who was assitent for a team that had some regular season success yet no Cup apperiences?

    Sounds alot like the Leafs sort of system,

    he will be perfect


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