It Would’ve Been A Big Day For Fergy

Inexcusably, I failed to mention the late, great John Ferguson during all the Winnipeg hoopla of the past few days, and I’m bad and I know it. Because John Ferguson, the ex-Hab, ex-ornery on-ice policeman, was extremely vital in the growth of the Winnipeg Jets, and for him to witness the return of his Jets in a game against his Montreal Canadiens would have made his heart soar, I’m sure.

You know who Fergy is. Called up to the Montreal Canadiens in 1963 to more or less make sure other teams left stars like Jean Beliveau alone, and 12 seconds into his very first NHL game, the new Hab beat up on Boston tough guy Ted Green, thus beginning his legend in record time. And although his legacy as a player is mostly of being a world-class enforcer, Fergy could also score goals, hovering around the 20-goal mark most of his 8 seasons when 20 goals then is comparable to 35 or even 40 now.

This is the kind of guy the Canadiens could use in this day and age. One who strikes fear in others, and scores as well.

Fergy was also assistant coach to Harry Sinden during the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series, which shows the respect he had after his playing days were over. I suppose the decision to tell Bobby Clarke to go out and tickle Valeri Kharlamov’a ankle with an axe chop might not have been the classiest move ever made, but it shows the intensity and passion for winning that Ferguson possessed, first as a player, and then as a guy in a sports jacket.

John Ferguson had been both coach and general manager in New York before coming over to the Winnipeg Jets, where he spent ten years as GM and then coach, and although he blundered by choosing tough guy Jimmy Mann as the Jets’ first pick in 1979, he was also responsible for bringing in young guns Thomas Steen, Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk and the great and future Hall member Teemu Selanne, thus creating what would become a very competitive and colourful team on the prairies over the years.

John passed away in 2007, and imagine how proud he would have been to see the Jets back in the fold again. And I know fighting is becoming less and less cool as the years go by, but have a look below at number 22, as he did his job in fine fashion for the Montreal Canadiens.


37 thoughts on “It Would’ve Been A Big Day For Fergy”

  1. Denis, your broken English is far, far better than my Russian. I salute you for trying and don’t worry about making mistakes sometimes. That’s how we all learn.

    Spasiba! Cnac?6o !

    And Happy Thanksgiving to everybody! We have so much to be thankful for!

  2. The question mark (?) in the word after Spasiba should be a backwards “N” from the Cyrillic alphabet which is supposed to mean thank you. Luciena, please get Dennis to fix his blog so it can recognize the Russian alphabet!

  3. Danno, thank so much for your words to Denis. I have emailed him your comment in case he doesn’t see it on my blog. He’s trying with the help of a Russian-English dictionary and often it doesn’t come out like he’s planned. Thanks so much.

  4. I actually tried once before, Danno, to have this as an English-Russian blog but it can’t happen. But thanks for the spasiba. Beautiful.

  5. Dennis, that would be so cool to have an English-Russian blog. I am sure one day we will have the technology to make it happen. Wouldn’t it be great to have Russian Habs fans type their comments in their own language with a translation program that didn’t alter the meaning too much? And they could understand us too. That would be fantastic.

    That day can’t be too far away.

  6. Good idea, but I’m still trying to figure out Denis ended up translating something to “Pancake, Dennis”.

    Also, I’m not sure if its just on chrome browsers but for me when it recognizes a good amount of foreign text, it offers to translate it, and from what I’ve seen it isn’t so bad. But then again, you’d still have the problem with the russian alphabet

  7. Gillis, we don’t know what pancake means either. We’re going to ask him. It’s pretty funny.

  8. Thanks for made comments on my message!
    it was very pleasant to me and very cheerful.
    I laughed as you try to understand my pancake!!
    It doesn’t mean anything especial, Exclamation is simple!
    I just liked this word, it’s all
    All thanks for pleasant responses!

  9. I’m assuming all the above is the result of too much drink being taken.

    The alternative is too disturbing to contemplate.

    A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all you Canadien types (see what I did there, with the spelling an’ all).

  10. Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Blue Bayou. May the Thanksgiving gods (if there are any), bring you properly televised Habs games over there. Otherwise, rally in front of 10 Downing.

  11. Denis, I like the word “pancake too”! Although it means, soft, flat, and without any vitamins in it.

  12. Gillis, we can write emails in Russian and the type goes to the cryllic letters, but it won’t work here. Don’t know why.

  13. Beatnik, thanks for the ????????? This is what happens when the blog won’t translate. But thanks for trying.

  14. It’s true Denis. Things get lost in translation. Especially with Google Translate.

    However, we’ll happily enjoy your pancakes. They are golden and delicious just like the Habs’ season is going to be. Just add some of Blue Bayou’s Magic Maple Syrup from Granby QC. and we’ll be okay.

    By the way if you rearrange the letters in the word pancakes what do you get? -> PK’s an ace

    And please save some waffles for throwing at the Leafs. I know they’re #1 right now, but it won’t last.

  15. Gillis, if it’s gibberish to you,imagine what it is for me. But thanks. I’m going to try.
    Update: I just had a look and my head almost exploded.

  16. Danno, we haven’t heard a thing abou the Granby Magic Syrup lately. Have they run out? And the only thing I could come up with for pancake is “CanPeak.”

  17. Hobo, maybe when we’re retired she can manually translate everything for me. But I’m sure she’d rather be in her garden.

  18. Dennis,

    We are as they say in Quebec “sans Granby”. Now the lack of magic syrup may be why we have an injury crisis, but to be honest I think whatever was in the last tin had leaked away by OT of a certain 7th game……..

    The early puck drop meant I saw 2 periods of the game the other night. Bit like getting up the aisle, enjoying the reception and then dozing off before she’s out of the bathroom..

    Still I had to get up at 5.30am to get to Edinburgh (a 4 and a half hour train ride). So I had to get to bed as it was after midnight.

    I payed for it on the journey back, with a terrible dose of lolly head and general open mouth dribbling.

    Shanahan is going to look at the headshot I took from the drinks trolley about 20 minutes out of Darlington. The steward is saying I put myself in harms way by sleeping with my head out into the aisle and he had no time to adjust his position.

    But he had the length of the carriage to see me and could have eased up.

    If he doesn’t miss at least 2 journeys there’s no justice.

  19. Blue Bayou, if John Ferguson was riding with you he would have socked that steward right in the kisser. In Shanahan’s world, that’s a ten journey suspension. Unless, of, course, you were a Montreal Canadien, and in that case, the steward would miss no Edinburgh trips whatsoever. And by the way, I spoke to the resident soccer fan here about Chelsea and he informed me that they move the ball too slowly because they’re too old. He said there’s a couple of teams who are quicker and thus, better. I don’t believe him, though. GO CHELSEA!

  20. Danno,

    That’s the tin right there in the first link. It is from Granby Quebec. I can’t remember the nonsense I spouted about it last season. The ol’ memory being what it is and the fact that I talk so much nonsense.

  21. Dennis,

    Your feetball contact (that’s to show it is played with the feet unlike your football which they don’t really kick very often) is not quite correct in my humble opinion.

    There is perhaps a lack of real pace around the side although that has been addressed recently as has the need to acquire some more incisive players such as Juan Mata who move the ball forward very quickly. So the playing style is changing a little under the new man. We do have some players who are no longer spring chickens and they may need to play less games. One of them, “Super Frankie Lampard” was being written off after an injury hit season last year. He was on the bench for several games at the start of the season.

    However, a hat trick against Bolton last time out suggests there’s some life in the old dog yet.

    It is a transitional season for us, but we’re looking ok at the moment.

    We did lose 3-1 to Man United but with better finishing and being a little tighter on D, we could easily have had a draw. (Now where have I heard that before?).

    Significantly our dominance of the game in midfield exposed some real weaknesses in United’s midfield who up ’til then had scored about a 100 goals a game. Ferguson, their manager, admitted after the game that he had concerns. Sure enough they drew with Stoke and only just scraped a draw with the Swiss minnows from Basle in the Champions League.

    Just sayin’ like

    You can wake up now I’ve finished.

  22. Fergie was simply the best fighter over the last 50 years in hockey…period

    I am not sure if Howe fought him much ?

  23. Leaf Fan, I’m not sure either but a Howe- Ferguson fight would be unreal. Both were amazingly tough.

  24. #22, 9 out of 10 for sure! Great to hear our old friend Danny’s voice.
    Cheers from the East!!!!

  25. Mike, they sure were great times. Listening to Danny and seeing Fergy in action. I know you’ve talked about both of them many times.

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