General Manager Bill Armstrong announced today that the team hired John Ferguson to be the club’s assistant general manager. Several sources reported the new hiring, and the Arizona Coyotes later confirmed it in a press release.
In his new role, he will also serve as the general manager of the Tucson Roadrunners. The Roadrunners went without a general manager for a portion of last season following the termination of Steve Sullivan’s contract.
The Coyotes stated back in February that they were planning to wait until the offseason to fill the vacant position. They eventually decided to go with Ferguson due to his extensive career in hockey operations.
His most recent role included being the executive director of player personnel for the Boston Bruins and the general manager of their AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. He joined the Bruins organization in 2014 and has scouted several different levels of play. This aligns with Bill Armstrong’s plan to build a contender through the draft. Armstrong also values allowing a player a sufficient amount of time to develop in the AHL.
Similar to Ferguson, Armstrong also has ties to the Providence Bruins. Before he worked in hockey operations, Armstrong spent two years as head coach of the Providence Bruins. He was promoted from his role as assistant coach when the Bruins won the 1999 Calder Cup Championship.
Since the Providence Bruins named Ferguson general manager in 2016, the team has yet to miss the AHL playoffs. However, they have not won the Calder Cup or ended as conference champions during Ferguson’s tenure. They are the reigning champions of the Atlantic division over the past two seasons. Due to COVID-19, the AHL canceled their playoffs both years.
After five seasons and 179 wins in Providence, we’d like to wish all the best to John Ferguson as he heads west to Arizona. Thank you for everything you have helped the #AHLBruins accomplish during your time with the organization. Best of luck! pic.twitter.com/IXERz8Cdsd— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) September 15, 2021
Prior to his time with the Bruins, Ferguson worked in the hockey operations department of several NHL teams, including the St. Louis Blues. His most notable role came from 2003-2008, when he served as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. His contract was not renewed due to the team’s lack of playoff success, and Ferguson received criticism for some of his trades.
During his time with the Leafs, he was chosen to be a member of Team Canada’s management team with Steve Yzerman. They constructed the youngest team to ever win a World Championship in 2007.
His playing career was short compared to his father, John Ferguson Sr. He was drafted by his hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens, in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. He played four seasons in the AHL after playing college hockey at Providence College.
Ferguson is another hire that furthers Armstrong’s vision of building for the future. Ferguson will help scout and develop the players that the Coyotes will select in the upcoming drafts.
Bill Armstrong has talked a lot about lacking assets, whether in the form of draft picks or prospects. He just confirmed that was the main thrust of today's moves. With Armstrong's experience & the talent AZ has hired in the scouting department, AZ has some chips to play with.— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) July 17, 2021