Long before John Ferguson Jr. began to generally manage (mismanage?) the Maple Leafs, his father was a conspicuous figure in the NHL as a tough and defiant player and executive.
Now, as he puts up a tough and defiant battle against life-threatening bone cancer, the senior Fergie is conspicuous by his absence from the NHL’s Hall of Fame.
Barry Shenkarow wants that to change ASAP. The ex-owner of the defunct Winnipeg Jets is livid because the Hall has not acted on his letters requesting the inclusion of John Sr. While working with Winnipeg journalist Scott Taylor the other day on their book about the Jets, Shenkarow said: “It is an absolute disgrace to the NHL and the game of hockey that John is not in the Hall of Fame.”
Fergie was Shenkarow’s GM in Winnipeg.
Shenkarow also questions the intelligence of the folks running the Hall, expressing bewilderment after recently offering them the AVCO Cup, which was the equivalent of the Stanley Cup for the old WHA.
“They say to me, ‘No, we have the AVCO Cup,’ and I laughed,” Shenkarow said. “I said, ‘No, you don’t. I have the Cup that was awarded to the Jets when we won the last AVCO Cup in 1979. It’s in my house. It’s the real AVCO Cup. Do you want it?’
“They said, ‘No, because we have the real AVCO Cup.’ That’s how stupid they are. I have the Cup that was awarded after the final game of the WHA and they say they have it. It’s never left my sight for 28 years. I wonder what it is that they have ... They have thick heads.”
•Fergie Jr., by the way, has let it be known that he’d welcome Peter Forsberg in Toronto should the superstar waive his no-trade clause with the Philadelphia Flyers ... In a similar position is baseball star Todd Helton, who’ll be sent this week to the Boston Red Sox for a package that’ll include Mike Lowell and Julian Tavarez if he waives his no-trade clause with the Colorado Rockies ... And the Seattle Mariners have decided to deal Ichiro Suzuki if he doesn’t sign a new contract soon.
•In the CFL, Jason Clermont has asked B.C. to trade him to the Roughriders. Clermont, arguably the league’s top Canadian receiver, is from Saskatchewan, where he has a real-estate licence ... Former Saskatchewan head coach Danny Barrett, unable to find work in the CFL, reportedly has applied to Simon Fraser University in B.C. to become the school’s new head coach ... Also interested in the Simon Fraser opening is Joe Paopao, whose CFL experiences included stints as the head coach in Ottawa, Winnipeg and B.C.