Scotty Bowman

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Scotty Bowman
Scotty Bowman at the 2006 NHL Awards
Born(1933-09-18) September 18, 1933 (age 81)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Current positionSenior Advisor of Hockey Operations
Current teamChicago Blackhawks
Previous team(s)St. Louis Blues
Montreal Canadiens
Buffalo Sabres
Pittsburgh Penguins
Detroit Red Wings.
Stanley Cup wins13
Years as a coach1950s–2002
Years as an NHL coach1967–2002
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This article is about the retired NHL coach. For the Michigan politician, see Scotty Boman. For the Welsh musician, see The Beef Seeds.
Scotty Bowman
Scotty Bowman at the 2006 NHL Awards
Born(1933-09-18) September 18, 1933 (age 81)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Current positionSenior Advisor of Hockey Operations
Current teamChicago Blackhawks
Previous team(s)St. Louis Blues
Montreal Canadiens
Buffalo Sabres
Pittsburgh Penguins
Detroit Red Wings.
Stanley Cup wins13
Years as a coach1950s–2002
Years as an NHL coach1967–2002

William Scott Bowman, OC (born September 18, 1933) is a retired National Hockey League head coach. He holds the record for most wins in league history, with 1,244 wins in the regular season and 223 in the Stanley Cup playoffs and ranks 2nd all time (behind Jean Béliveau (17)) for most Stanley Cup victories by a player, coach or executive with 13. He coached the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Detroit Red Wings. He is currently the Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations for the Chicago Blackhawks. Bowman is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in history, in any sport.[1]

As head coach, Bowman has won a record nine Stanley Cups; five with the Canadiens (1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979), one with the Penguins (1992) and three with the Red Wings (1997, 1998, and 2002). He has also won four Stanley Cups as a member of an organization's front office. He was director of player development for the 1991 Penguins, Consultant with the 2008 Detroit Red Wings, and Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations for the 2010 and 2013 Chicago Blackhawks. Bowman won the Jack Adams Award in 1977 and 1996. In the 1976–77 season he won a record 60 games, breaking his own record of 58 wins the year before. He broke his own record again in the 1995–1996 season, with 62 wins. His 8 losses in 1976–77 are a modern record. His teams also made it to the Stanley Cup Finals a record 13 times and the semi-finals a record 16 times.

Early years[edit]

Bowman was born on September 18, 1933 in Montreal, Quebec. He played minor league hockey until a fractured skull resulting from a slash by Jean-Guy Talbot ended his playing aspirations. [2]

Bowman's brother, Jack, was a longtime scout for the Buffalo Sabres, his nephew, Steve Bowman, is a scout for the Washington Capitals, and his son, Stan, is the General Manager of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Coaching career[edit]

He started coaching with the Ottawa Junior Canadiens in the Quebec Junior Hockey League in 1956. Two years later, the team coached by Bowman and managed by Sam Pollock won the Memorial Cup in 1958. Soon thereafter, he moved into a coaching job with the Peterborough Petes of the OHA, the Montreal Canadiens' junior farm team.

St. Louis Blues[edit]

Bowman moved into the NHL in 1967 when he joined the expansion St. Louis Blues as assistant coach to Lynn Patrick coach-manager. However, Patrick resigned after a slow start, and Bowman started as coach at age 34. The Blues caught fire, and made it to the Stanley Cup finals in their first three years of existence. Bowman also served as Manager after Lynn Patrick gave up the job in summer of 1968. Bowman remained manager-coach in St. Louis until the end of the 1970–71 season, but left due to a dispute with team ownership.

Montreal Canadiens[edit]

Bowman then joined the Montreal Canadiens as head coach. Though the Canadiens were the defending champions, Al MacNeil had been sacked as head coach due to accusations of favoritism toward the team's anglophone players. Bowman was hired in part because he is fluently bilingual in English and French. His team lost in the first round of the playoffs in 1972 but won the Stanley Cup in 1973. The Canadiens would make the playoffs over the next two seasons but bow out in the first and third rounds, as the rival Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup.

From 1976 to 1979, Bowman won four consecutive Stanley Cups with a talented Canadiens squad that included Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Larry Robinson and Ken Dryden. Bowman's team won at least 45 games in each of his eight seasons. However, after a falling-out with ownership, Bowman stepped down after the 1978–79 season. The reason for the falling-out was the team's decision to pass him over as the new General Manager of the club in 1978 after Sam Pollock's retirement, as they hired Irving Grundman instead.[3] The Canadiens' dynasty ended after Bowman and several key players left the team. Bowman remains the second-winningest coach in Canadiens history after Toe Blake.

Bowman and General Manager Sam Pollock not only presided over a Canadiens dynasty, but many of their players went on to have successful coaching and managing roles with their own teams.

Buffalo Sabres[edit]

For the 1979–80 season, he moved to the Buffalo Sabres as coach and general manager. He served as the team's general manager until 1987, doubling as coach on three separate occasions. During this time, he missed the playoffs for the only time in his coaching career, in the 1985–86 season. He left the Sabres as the winningest coach in franchise history, though he has since been passed by Lindy Ruff.

Bowman joined the Sabres around the same time that their stars were growing old. While the Sabres remained competitive for much of his tenure, he was unable to build them into anything approaching the powerhouses he'd coached in Montreal. Bowman was relieved of his duties during the 1986-87 season and replaced by Gerry Meehan 12 games into the season. Scotty then become an analyst for the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.

Pittsburgh Penguins[edit]

He became the Director of Player Personnel of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 as a builder.[4]

In the summer, Bob Johnson, who had just won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins, was diagnosed with brain cancer and Bowman took over as head coach. Bob Johnson passed away on November 26, 1991. Under Bowman, the Penguins repeated as Stanley Cup champions in a season dedicated to Johnson.

The next season, the Penguins had their first 100-point season in franchise history and finished with the league's best record. The 1992–93 Penguins under Bowman set the NHL record for consecutive wins in the regular season with 17. Their 119 points is still a franchise record. In the playoffs, the Penguins were upset in seven games in the Patrick Division finals by the New York Islanders coached by Al Arbour, the NHL's next-winningest coach after Bowman and a former Bowman player with the Blues.

After his two seasons as head coach in Pittsburgh, he was offered a long-term deal by the club. However, he indicated that he was not interested in their initial offer, which was not disclosed to the public, so they rescinded it. "We have to get somebody who wants to coach this team," Penguins owner Howard Baldwin said. "Scotty was clearly looking elsewhere."[5]

Detroit Red Wings[edit]

In 1993–94, Bowman became coach of the Red Wings, and led them to a first-place finish in the Western Conference, but his Red Wings were ousted in the first round by the young San Jose Sharks. According to an apocryphal story, Bowman had difficulty in the maze-like tunnels of the San Jose Arena, eventually having to be rescued after getting lost and twice locking himself into rooms.[6]

In 1995, the Red Wings made it to the Stanley Cup Finals but were swept by the New Jersey Devils in four straight. This was the Red Wings' first appearance in the finals in 29 years. In the 1995–96 regular season, he won a record 62 games. However, they lost to the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Finals.

In the 1997 playoffs, Bowman led the team to its first Stanley Cup in 42 years by sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers 4–0. The Red Wings repeated the feat the following season (1998) by sweeping the Washington Capitals.

In 1999 and 2000, they lost to the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Semi-Finals, and in 2001 they were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings in the first round.

Bowman decided in February 2002 that he would retire at the end of the season and he went out as a winner as his Red Wings won the Stanley Cup by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 4 games to 1. During the presentation of the Cup on the ice, Bowman put on an old pair of skates so he could take a lap with the Cup. He then publicly announced his retirement from coaching. He is third on the Red Wings' all-time wins list behind only Jack Adams and Mike Babcock.

Team Canada[edit]

Bowman coached Team Canada at the international level in the 1976 Canada Cup (winner) and 1981 Canada Cup (second).


Bowman currently lives in East Amherst, NY with his wife Suella. They have five children (Alicia, David, Stanley, Robert and Nancy). In 2003 Bowman was inducted into Canada's Walk Of Fame.[7]

Since his retirement as coach in 2002, Bowman worked as a special consultant to the Red Wings.[8] On August 3, 2007, it was reported that Bowman was offered the position of President of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bowman later appeared in an interview on Hockey Night in Canada on January 12, 2008 confirming that he was very close to taking the job only to be turned away by Richard Peddie, CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE).[9][10] In July 2008, he took a position as Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations for the Chicago Blackhawks to work alongside his son Stan Bowman, who is the General Manager.[11] The Blackhawks' Stanley Cup victory in 2010 gave Bowman his 12th Stanley Cup including coaching and team management, and the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup victory in 2013 gave Bowman his 13th.

In 2012, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "for his contributions to hockey as a coach and mentor".[12]

Coaching record[edit]

TeamYearRegular seasonPost season
GWLTOTLPtsFinishWLWin %Result
STL67–6858232114703rd in West810.444Lost in Final
STL68–6976372514881st in West84.667Lost in Final
STL69–7076372712861st in West88.500Lost in Final
STL70–712813105312nd in West24.333Lost in first round
STL total238110
2652626.5004 playoff appearances
MTL71–72784616161083rd in East24.333Lost in first round
MTL72–73785210161201st in East125.706Won Stanley Cup
MTL73–747845249992nd in East24.333Lost in first round
MTL74–75804714191131st in Norris Division65.545Lost in Semi-Finals
MTL75–76805811111271st in Norris Division121.923Won Stanley Cup
MTL76–7780608121321st in Norris Division122.857Won Stanley Cup
MTL77–78805910111291st in Norris Division123.800Won Stanley Cup
MTL78–79805217111151st in Norris Division124.750Won Stanley Cup
MTL total634419
9437028.7148 playoff appearances
5 Stanley Cup Championships
BUF79–80804717161101st in Adams Division95.643Lost in Semi-Finals
BUF81–823518107433rd in Adams Division13.250Lost in Division Semi-Finals
BUF82–8380382913893rd in Adams Division64.600Lost in Division Finals
BUF83–8480482571032nd in Adams Division03.000Lost in Division Semi-Finals
BUF84–8580382814903rd in Adams Division23.400Lost in Division Semi-Finals
BUF85–863718181375th in Adams Division
BUF total404210
4801818.5005 playoff appearances
PIT91–928039329873rd in Patrick Division165.762Won Stanley Cup
PIT92–9384562171191st in Patrick Division75.583Lost in Division Finals
PIT total16495
2062310.6972 playoff appearances
1 Stanley Cup championship
DET93–9484463081001st in Central34.429Lost in Conference Quarter-Finals
DET94–954833114701st in Central126.667Lost in Stanley Cup Final
DET95–9682621371311st in Central109.526Lost in Conference Final
DET96–9782382618942nd in Central164.800Won Stanley Cup
DET97–98824423151032nd in Central166.727Won Stanley Cup
DET98–997739317(93)1st in Central64.600Lost in Conference Semi-Finals
DET99–008248221021022nd in Central54.556Lost in Conference Semi-Finals
DET00–01824920941111st in Central24.333Lost in Conference Quarter-Finals
DET01–028251171041161st in Central167.696Won Stanley Cup
DET total706410
9208648.6429 playoff appearances
3 Stanley Cup championships
2,814223130.63228 playoff appearances
9 Stanley Cup championships


External links[edit]