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John Ferguson loses battle with cancer

The American Hockey League joins the rest of the hockey community in mourning the loss of former league All-Star John Ferguson, who passed away Saturday night following a courageous battle with cancer.

He was 68.

Widely regarded as one of the sport’s toughest players, Ferguson played three seasons with the AHL’s Cleveland Barons (1960-63) and was a First Team AHL All-Star at right wing in 1963, when he recorded 38 goals and 40 assists for 78 points in 72 games while finishing second in the league with 179 penalty minutes.

Ferguson went on to win five Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens, and later served as an assistant coach for Canada at the 1972 Summit Series against the U.S.S.R., head coach and general manager of the New York Rangers and long-time GM of the Winnipeg Jets. He later held player personnel positions with the Ottawa Senators and the San Jose Sharks.

Ferguson, who was first diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2005, served as an honorary team captain at the 2006 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic in Winnipeg.