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Ferguson: Difficult but Exhilarating Business...

by John Ferguson / Toronto Maple Leafs

John Ferguson is entering his fourth season as general manager of the Maple Leafs. Ferguson became the 12th person in team history to hold the role when he was introduced August 29, 2003.

I am sometimes asked how I keep an even keel in a hockey market like Toronto.

The race for a playoff spot has been so tight and we’ve had more than our share of injuries this season.

The answer is: I don’t know if my keel is that even. My wife would tell you that. We talk after each game on the way home after games.

There is a recycling box in the area where we watch the game at Air Canada Centre that has been kicked around a little bit.

In our last game, we lost in the shootout after what would have an insurance goal off the stick of Mats Sundin was disallowed.

It’s hard to find the good news in one point, especially since that game meant the Islanders now have a winning record against us. In the case of a tie-breaker, that win will be the difference.

There are nights in this business where you don’t sleep well. When I’m home watching on television, I try not to look at the clock. If I do, not being to sleep becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. A lot of times, you’re still awake at 1:30.

Sometimes it gets worse when you get up. You realize the standings have been finalized and it hits you again: there’s nothing you can do about it.

The important thing is to have people you can talk to. There are guys within the organization, Jeff Jackson, Mike Penny, Paul Maurice. Most managers also have networks, people from different teams who they bounce ideas off of.

There are countless highs and no small share of lows. It’s not always easy but that excitement and emotion is what makes the hockey business so worthwhile.

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