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from the Windsor Star,
A memorial service scheduled Saturday for the late John Ferguson Sr. is likely to attract a who’s who of the hockey world to pay tribute to the Montreal Canadiens tough guy who made the Windsor area his home.
Ferguson, 68, the father of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson Jr., succumbed to prostate cancer Saturday.
There will be no private service, Ferguson’s daughter Christina Ruhl said Monday, but they are anticipating a strong turnout from the hockey fraternity for the Saturday memorial.
“My brother (John Jr.) has been receiving quite a few phone calls,” said Ruhl.
“A lot of people have said they want to come and it’s just a question of getting flights and everything. We put it later in the week to give people time to get here.”
added 6:49am, from the Ottawa Citizen,
Hull respected Ferguson for his work as an NHL enforcer, although it might have cost Hull’s Blackhawks a Stanley Cup. In the 1960s and ‘70s, the Canadiens and Blackhawks met three times in the final, and Montreal won all three.
But in that ‘65 meeting, it was a beating put on Eric Nesterenko by Ferguson that swung the series. Whether accidentally or with a purpose, Nesterenko brought his stick down on Ferguson’s head in Game 5 of the series - and paid for it with three vicious rights to the face by Ferguson.
Bleeding profusely, Nesterenko went off for “repairs,” and did return, but sheepishly. Montreal won the game 6-0, and though the Blackhawks pushed the series to the limit, their will was gone. Chicago fell meekly in Game 7, 4-0.
from John McGourty at NHL.com,
To hear Tom McVie tell it, John Ferguson Sr., who died Saturday after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer at age 68, liked to be surrounded by family and friends, hockey and horse-racing people, good food, good music and good horses.
Understanding that Ferguson was losing his battle to cancer, a group of life-long friends gathered with John and his wife, Joan, back in March for one last good time.
from Dave Stubbs at the Montreal Gazette,
Four decades ago, because of John Ferguson, I was sent to bed without supper and docked a week’s allowance.
And while I long ago forgave the Montreal Canadiens’ hard-rock winger whom we sadly lost to cancer on Saturday at age 68, I’m not so sure about my sister.
Fergy was one of my childhood heroes; nothing unusual about that for a Montreal schoolboy in the mid-1960s who thought the Stanley Cup was loaned autumn through spring by the Canadiens to the National Hockey League.
John Ferguson Sr. has passed away at the age of 68.
The five-time Stanley cup winner succumbed to his second bout with cancer on Saturday at his home in Windsor, Ontario.
‘‘On behalf of my entire family, I’d like to thank the many friends, professional colleagues, medical personnel, and hockey fans who have supported us through this difficult time. Your expressions of sympathy have helped bring comfort to us. Your kind words have helped strengthen us.’’ John Ferguson Jr. said in a statement.
Ferguson’s son, John Ferguson Jr., is the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
*Note: a profile of John Ferguson, Sr. can be found on Legends of Hockey
Most of you will not recognize the name, but Jimmy Skinner was very much involved with the Wings during their glory days in the 1950’s.
He was 90 and the last I heard he was living in the Windsor area.
After defeating the Canadiens for the Stanley Cup in 1955, Jimmy Skinner accepted congratulations on his feat, and wearily commented: “I’m tired and I want to take a bath.”
Update 10:31pm ET: (alanah)
From the AP via Toronto Star,
“He coached with the likes of Gordie Howe and all the great teams they had back in the ‘50s,” Chittaro said. “He was still mentally sharp. He had lots of great stories.”
The Stanley Cup that Detroit won in Skinner’s first year as coach was the team’s seventh. The Wings were 123-78-46 under him.
Skinner was born on Jan. 12, 1917, in Selkirk, Man.
from Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star,
Still, the first home game was a magical night. There were almost 15,000 people in the stands. Before the game, the winless Scouts were given a long standing ovation.
And they played their guts out that game and outshot a star-studded Chicago Blackhawks team (that team had Hall of Famers Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita and star goaltender Tony Esposito). The Scouts lost 4-3, but when it ended there was another standing ovation for the Kansas City players.
“What an amazing crowd,” Scouts coach Bep Guidolin said. He was called Bep because his mother spoke English with a thick accent, and she called her youngest son “Beppy” instead of “Baby.” The nickname was shortened to Bep. He, too, may have been hired for his name.
from Rick Stiebel at the Gold Stream News Gazette,
Even though it’s been two months since my journalistic mental meltdown, I’m still kicking my ink-stained ass over how badly I blew it with Ken Dryden.
I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with the NHL hall of famer when he wandered out to the West Shore in April, and I handled it with all the poise of a doe-eyed student caught in the headlights of his first assignment for the Stumbling Bumbler Review….
When I was in Grade 3, I sent the Golden Jet a letter asking for an autograph, addressed, with the naivety of youth, to ‘care/of Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois.”
Within a couple of weeks, I received an 8 X 11 glossy of Bobby, with a hand-written message wishing me the best and saying “We’re always looking for fans in Montreal.”
When the Hawks won the Cup in 61 when when I was 11, my allegiance knew no bounds, despite the regular ribbing I took from my Hab-crazed buddies.
I wanted to tell Dryden about the picture from Hull; I wanted to ask Dryden if he ever talked to Steve Shutt, a former teammate who I got to hang out with when Steve stayed with his dad one summer in the same apartment complex I lived in.
from Evan Weiner at NHL.com,
“We went out the night we won it through the city of Montreal,” Lafleur said. “The next day, what we did, we went to Toe Blake’s tavern and Claude Mouton, the PR guy for the Montreal Canadiens, had the Cup and went in. So we brought the Cup in and had a set of keys made for the car of Claude Mouton. So we steal the car and we steal the Cup.”
Guy Lafleur kidnapped the Stanley Cup on May 26, 1978. It was an inside job all the way, although Lafleur wasn’t spilling the beans despite the fact that the statute of limitations had long run out.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
But nowhere is Don Metz to be found.
Metz, of course, would be 91 now if he were still playing, but if some modern equivalent of the sleek and slim winger from Wilcox, Saskatchewan, could lace them up for Game 5, there might be a chance.
Don Metz, history will show, did not dress for the first three games of the 1942 Stanley Cup final. His Toronto Maple Leafs were down three games to none against the powerful Detroit Red Wings and seemed almost certain to be swept in four straight.
Toronto goaltender Turk Broda had lost all confidence, saying the Wings were “unbeatable — they’re too hot.”
from Evan Grossman at NHL.com,
“It seems like yesterday,” Richard said. “We still act like kids. We were doing that when we were a little younger, late to early 30’s I guess, but we’re still the same. It’s just another joke.
“I think it was just like a family,” he said. “After the game we’d go out together and have a few beers and have fun. It went on for five years. I think that’s life. You have to enjoy life and have fun. And I always said that having fun was playing hockey. It was a big joke. It’s just fun. I say hockey, but any sport, I guess. Baseball, football, whatever.”
Those Canadiens clubs traveled together by train. There were no cliques in the dressing room.
read on and make sure to check out the exclusive videos…
from Hall of Fame Magazine,
Hours before the opening face-off, crowds, most of whom did not have tickets, gathered on St. Catharines St. and adjoining streets around the forum, and they were in a surly mood. At the Montreal Gazette, the editor, sensing that the usual number of reporters staffing a Canadiens game would not be sufficient to cover what might happen, assigned a young sports writer named Red Fisher to rush to the Forum, not to cover any aspect of the game, but to handle whatever other newsworthy event might occur.
Fisher, who was to become a journalistic legend in Montreal, had never before covered anything at the Forum, but as soon as he arrived he sensed that what was growing among the crowds, both inside and outside the building, was a possible riot. He was correct.
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