William Scott "Scotty" Bowman, OC (born September 18, 1933) is a Canadian retired National Hockey League (NHL) 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's seventeen) for most Stanley Cup victories by a player, coach or executive with fourteen. 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 (his son, Stan, is the team's general manager). Bowman is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in history, in any sport.
As head coach, Bowman has won a record 9 Stanley Cup championships; 5 with the Montreal Canadiens (1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979), 1 with the Pittsburgh Penguins (1992) and 3 with the Detroit Red Wings (1997, 1998, and 2002). He has also won 5 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, 2013, and 2015 Chicago Blackhawks. Bowman is the only NHL coach to lead three different teams to Stanley Cup victories. 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 Coaching Career
Scotty began coaching with the Ottawa Junior Canadiens in the Quebec Junior Hockey League in 1956. Two years later, the team coached by Scotty 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 Ontario Hockey League (OHA), the Montreal Canadiens' junior farm team.
St. Louis Blues
Scotty 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 he started as coach at the age of 34. The Blues caught fire, and made it to the Stanley Cup finals in their first three years of existence. Scotty also served as Manager after Lynn Patrick gave up the job in summer of 1968. He remained manager-coach in St. Louis until the end of the 1970–71 season, but left due to a dispute with team ownership.
After his stint with St. Louis, Scotty joined the Montreal Canadiens as head coach. Even 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. He was hired in part because he is fluently bilingual in English and French. Scotty's 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 lost in the first and third rounds, as the rival Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup.
From 1976 to 1979, Scotty won 4 consecutive Stanley Cups with a talented Canadiens squad that included Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Larry Robinson and Ken Dryden. His team won at least 45 games in each of his eight seasons. However, after a falling-out with ownership, Scotty 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. The Canadiens' dynasty ended after Scotty and several key players left the team. He remains the second-winningest coach in Canadiens history after Toe Blake.
Scotty 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.
For the 1979–80 season, Scotty 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. Scotty left the Sabres as the winningest coach in franchise history; he has since been passed by Lindy Ruff.
Scotty 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. He was relieved of his duties during the 1986-87 season and replaced by Gerry Meehan 12 games into the season. He then become an analyst for the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.
In 1990, Scotty became the Director of Player Personnel of the Pittsburgh Penguins and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 as a builder.
In the summer, Bob Johnson (who had just won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins) was diagnosed with brain cancer and Scotty took over as head coach. Johnson died on November 26, 1991. Under Scotty, 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 7 games in the Patrick Division finals by the New York Islanders coached by Al Arbour, a former Scotty Bowman player with the Blues.
After his two seasons as head coach in Pittsburgh, Scotty 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. According to Penguins owner Howard Baldwin: "We have to get somebody who wants to coach this team. Scotty was clearly looking elsewhere."
Detroit Red Wings
In 1993–94, Scotty 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, he 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.
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, Scotty 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 in 1998 by sweeping the Washington Capitals.
In 1999 and 2000, they lost to the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Semi-Finals. In 2001, they were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1st round.
In February of 2002, Scotty decided 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 4-1. During the presentation of the Cup on the ice, he put on an old pair of skates so he could take a lap with the Cup. He then publicly announced his retirement from coaching. Scotty is third on the Red Wings' all-time wins list behind only Jack Adams and Mike Babcock.
Scotty has coached the Canada men's national ice hockey team at the international twice in his career. In the 1976 Canada Cup, his team won gold over Czechoslovakia and silver in the 1981 Canada Cup against the Soviet Union.
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|STL||67–68||58||23||21||14||–||70||3rd in West||8||10||.444||Lost in Final|
|STL||68–69||76||37||25||14||–||88||1st in West||8||4||.667||Lost in Final|
|STL||69–70||76||37||27||12||–||86||1st in West||8||8||.500||Lost in Final|
|STL||70–71||28||13||10||5||–||31||2nd in West||2||4||.333||Lost in first round|
|–||265||26||26||.500||4 playoff appearances|
|MTL||71–72||78||46||16||16||–||108||3rd in East||2||4||.333||Lost in first round|
|MTL||72–73||78||52||10||16||–||120||1st in East||12||5||.706||Won Stanley Cup|
|MTL||73–74||78||45||24||9||–||99||2nd in East||2||4||.333||Lost in first round|
|MTL||74–75||80||47||14||19||–||113||1st in Norris Division||6||5||.545||Lost in Semi-Finals|
|MTL||75–76||80||58||11||11||–||127||1st in Norris Division||12||1||.923||Won Stanley Cup|
|MTL||76–77||80||60||8||12||–||132||1st in Norris Division||12||2||.857||Won Stanley Cup|
|MTL||77–78||80||59||10||11||–||129||1st in Norris Division||12||3||.800||Won Stanley Cup|
|MTL||78–79||80||52||17||11||–||115||1st in Norris Division||12||4||.750||Won Stanley Cup|
|–||943||70||28||.714||8 playoff appearances|
5 Stanley Cup Championships
|BUF||79–80||80||47||17||16||–||110||1st in Adams Division||9||5||.643||Lost in Semi-Finals|
|BUF||81–82||35||18||10||7||–||43||3rd in Adams Division||1||3||.250||Lost in Division Semi-Finals|
|BUF||82–83||80||38||29||13||–||89||3rd in Adams Division||6||4||.600||Lost in Division Finals|
|BUF||83–84||80||48||25||7||–||103||2nd in Adams Division||0||3||.000||Lost in Division Semi-Finals|
|BUF||84–85||80||38||28||14||–||90||3rd in Adams Division||2||3||.400||Lost in Division Semi-Finals|
|BUF||85–86||37||18||18||1||–||37||5th in Adams Division||–||–||–||Missed playoffs|
|–||480||–||18||18||.500||5 playoff appearances|
|PIT||91–92||80||39||32||9||–||87||3rd in Patrick Division||16||5||.762||Won Stanley Cup|
|PIT||92–93||84||56||21||7||–||119||1st in Patrick Division||7||5||.583||Lost in Division Finals|
|–||206||23||10||.697||2 playoff appearances|
1 Stanley Cup championship
|DET||93–94||84||46||30||8||–||100||1st in Central||3||4||.429||Lost in Conference Quarter-Finals|
|DET||94–95||48||33||11||4||–||70||1st in Central||12||6||.667||Lost in Stanley Cup Final|
|DET||95–96||82||62||13||7||–||131||1st in Central||10||9||.526||Lost in Conference Final|
|DET||96–97||82||38||26||18||–||94||2nd in Central||16||4||.800||Won Stanley Cup|
|DET||97–98||82||44||23||15||–||103||2nd in Central||16||6||.727||Won Stanley Cup|
|DET||98–99||82||43||32||7||–||(93)||1st in Central||6||4||.600||Lost in Conference Semi-Finals|
|DET||1999–2000||82||48||22||10||2||102||2nd in Central||5||4||.556||Lost in Conference Semi-Finals|
|DET||00–01||82||49||20||9||4||111||1st in Central||2||4||.333||Lost in Conference Quarter-Finals|
|DET||01–02||82||51||17||10||4||116||1st in Central||16||7||.696||Won Stanley Cup|
|920||86||48||.642||9 playoff appearances|
3 Stanley Cup championships
|2,814||223||130||.632||28 playoff appearances|
9 Stanley Cup championships
In 2003, Scotty was inducted into Canada's Walk Of Fame.
Since his retirement as coach in 2002, he worked as a special consultant to the Red Wings.
On August 3, 2007, it was reported that Scotty was offered the position of President of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He 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). In July of 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. 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. Chicago's 2015 Stanley Cup victory marks Scotty's 14th.
In 2012, Scotty was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "for his contributions to hockey as a coach and mentor".
Scotty currently lives in East Amherst, New York with his wife Suella. They have 5 children (Alicia, David, Stanley, Robert and Nancy). His brother, Jack was a longtime scout for the Buffalo Sabres. His nephew, Steve Bowman is the Head Amateur Scout for the Washington Capitals and his son Stan is the General Manager of the Chicago Blackhawks.