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Ferguson Press Conference Transcript

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

Ferguson: I want to thank Larry Tanenbaum, Richard Peddie, Ken Dryden and Pat Quinn. There faith in me is well placed and will be rewarded. I want to thank the media for bearing with me this past week and I look forward to answering your questions. To the great fans of the Maple Leafs I can asure you that I am as passionate about winning as you are. You deserve a Stanley Cup and I will do everything in my power to bring that Cup back to Toronto."

Q. What do you think of all the negative things that have happened to the Leafs in the past few years?

Ferguson: That's not my perception of the Leafs or their tradition here. Yes we have some work to do to improve, but there's a great base here and they've had a great amount of success in the last number of years. I'm here to improve on that.

Q. What will your duties be as general manager?

Ferguson: I have all the duties and responsibilities that are typically reserved for the general manager.

Q. How will you work with Pat Quinn?

Ferguson: One thing that was clear during this process was that Pat's desire to win is huge and that's great. He is a strong, experienced and respected coach and any general manager needs that and, at the same time, the coach will rely on the general manager. We're going to make each other better.

Q. You are a lot like your father. What percentage of your father's genes do u possess?

Ferguson: I would suppose that the percentage is 50%. My mother has been a great supporter of mine throughout my life. I think I have his competiveness, his desire, his commitment, all those things I was raised with and the support has been tremendous.

Q. What would you say to all the people who have been over-critical of your hire?

Ferguson: It fires me up. It's invigorating. The challenge is tremendous, but the opportunity is greater and we're ready.

Q. What is the chain of command and who has the final say on hockey matters?

Ferguson: The duties and responsibilities that are typical for all general managers across the league are mine. Our chain of command is clear and stable and it's in place. Our coach reports to the general manager, who reports to the president.

Q. What are the initial moves you would like to make?

Ferguson: I'll have a much better idea once training camp starts. It's a tremendous opportunity for me here. We're going to be well underway in a couple of weeks. I've already begun discussing things with Pat (Quinn) and Mike (Penny) and people throughout the organization and we have some ideas. Obviously some areas need to be addressed and those are ongoing. But we're well under way in that regard.

Q. Anyone you might want to bring in?

Ferguson: Again, clearly the Robert Svehla situation presents a challenge in that regard so that will dictate some of what we do either way. We have other ideas clearly not for public consumption just yet.

Q. What did they tell you about the budget?

Ferguson: I know we consistently operate on one of the top budgets in the league and we'll continue to do that. The bottom line is about performance more than payroll.

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