SAN JOSE — Longtime NHL executive John Ferguson said Friday that his decision to leave the Sharks hours before the 2014 entry draft has nothing to do with the team he is leaving behind and everything to do with an expanded role ahead of him with the Boston Bruins.

"There were other opportunities over the six years that did not make sense. This one very much did," said Ferguson, who will become Boston's executive director of player personnel after six seasons as San Jose's director of pro scouting. "It's a fit for me professionally and personally on many levels."

Ferguson, 44, had nothing but good things to say about his time with the Sharks. And despite that fact the team fell short of its Stanley Cup goal during his time in the front office, he wasn't ready to write off the future.

"I firmly believe the group is still in position to win and the future there is bright and in very good hands," Ferguson said.

That tone doesn't necessarily match the "rebuild" called for by Ferguson's former boss, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson, and Ferguson acknowledged it may be a matter of semantics and the fact "rebuild" can have different meanings with different groups in different markets.

"I don't know what terminology you want to use," Ferguson said. "But the group overall is not getting old, it's not going backwards. There are some real strong pieces under contract for many years. Obviously there's work to be done and there's improvements that are needed, but that group, as they've proven this year and others, are not far off."

Ferguson, the son of the late Montreal Canadiens enforcer who shares his name and the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs before coming to San Jose, said his new job "will be across a broader spectrum and will encompass some oversight on both the amateur and pro side and free agents. It's certainly a promotion on many levels.

It also keeps him much closer to his Rhode Island home.

"The two closest professional franchises to my home are the Providence Bruins and Boston Bruins," Ferguson said. "It's another first-rate organization, an Original Six franchise that has recently won the Stanley Cup and most recently won the President's Trophy -- all of those factors made this an opportunity that I could not pass up."

  • Wilson also announced Friday that Niklas Sundstrom, who former a strong third line with Mike Ricci and Scott Thornton early in the 2000s, has been hired as a European scout.

    Sundstrom had 137 points in 281 games with San Jose between 1999-2003. Overall, he played 10 seasons in the NHL with the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens as well as San Jose.

    Expanded roles were also announced for Ricci and Bryan Marchment that will include working with all players in the organization, not just prospects. Scout Dirk Graham's duties will also be broadened to include an emphasis on developing leadership and character.

    All the Sharks brass are in Philadelphia for Friday evening's NHL draft in which San Jose holds the 20th overall pick.