Detroit Red Wings: Scotty Bowman
For such a storied and historic franchise, choosing a most beloved coach is no easy task, and the Detroit Red Wings are no different. Coaches like Jack Adams, Sid Abel and Tommy Iven all hold special places in the hearts of Hockeytown’s inhabitants, but Scotty Bowman takes the cake as the most beloved coach in Red Wings history.
Scotty Bowman is arguably the greatest coach in the history of the NHL, and the stats easily prove it. Bowman has 1244 career wins as head coach, the only coach in NHL history to surpass 1,000 wins and leads second place Joel Quenneville (884 wins) by a little less than 400 wins. The playoffs are the same story, Bowman has coached the most playoff games of any coach and also won the most playoff games. Not convinced? Bowman has won nine Stanley Cups, the most of any coach in history.
Before coming to Detroit, Bowman was already a well renowned and legendary head coach. Bowman had coached the Blues to relevancy in their first seasons, won five Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens, led the Buffalo Sabres for six full seasons, and finally brought the Penguins their second consecutive Stanley Cup.
Bowman became the head coach of the Red Wings in 1993 and brought the team to winning the Western Conference in his first season. Then next year he brought the Red Wings to their first Stanley Cup Finals in 29 years before getting swept by the New Jersey Devils. Finally in 1997, Bowman led the Red Wings to their first Stanley Cup since 1955 with a sweep over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Normally ending a long drought for a franchise would be enough to place a coach at the top of this list, but Bowman didn’t stop at one Cup. Detroit would sweep the Washington Capitals next year for a second consecutive Stanley Cup, and finally in 2002 Bowman would claim his third Stanley Cup and a record-setting ninth personal Cup with a five-game win over the Carolina Hurricanes.