The Tucson Roadrunners made a preseason splash on Wednesday, hiring away a onetime NHL general manager and longtime AHL executive to run the club.
John Ferguson signed a multi-year contract to leave the Boston Bruins organization for Arizona, the parent club Coyotes announced Wednesday. Ferguson will serve as both the Coyotes’ assistant general manager and the general manager of the AHL’s Roadrunners. He replaces Steve Sullivan, who was fired in January.
Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said Ferguson is “extremely knowledgeable about the game and with 20-plus years in the NHL, brings a tremendous amount of experience to our hockey operations department.”
“We are thrilled to have him join our team and I am looking forward to working with him,” Armstrong said.
Ferguson comes from the Bruins organization, where he spent seven years as the NHL club’s Executive Director of Player Personnel and as GM of the AHL’s Providence Bruins. In his roles, he also served as a professional and amateur scout and advised the NHL club when it came to trades and free-agent signings.
Before joining the Bruins, Ferguson spent six season with the San Jose Sharks’ organization, four-plus seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and six seasons with the St. Louis Blues organization.
He was the Maple Leafs’ vice president and general manager from 2003-08, replacing the well-known Pat Quinn, whom Ferguson kept as coach. Sportsnet.ca wrote in 2018 that Ferguson “may be the most-maligned GM in Leafs history,” but noted that his winning percentage while in charge was the second-best in club history.
A 12th-round pick of his hometown Montreal Canadiens in 1985, Ferguson played four seasons at the AHL level. He earned a law degree from Suffolk University in 1995 and spent one season as an agent. Ferguson also scouted for the Ottawa Senators, and spent two summers in the NHL’s hockey operations and legal departments.
Ferguson’s late father, also named John, won five Stanley Cups as an enforcer for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1960s and ‘70s. The elder Ferguson also served as the coach and general manager for the New York Rangers.
The Roadrunners open the 2021-22 season Oct. 15 at Stockton, with their home opener scheduled for Oct. 23.