While coaches play a role in helping their team win in every sport, they are perhaps the most important in hockey. The fast paced nature of the sport requires important tactical changes to be made on the fly. These key decision can be the difference between winning and losing a heated game. Since hockey coaches play such an important role in the sport, they are often remembered just as much as the players. These are the four most famous NHL coaches of all-time.
When it comes to coaching success in the NHL, no one comes close to Scotty Bowman. His 1,244 regular season wins and nine Stanley Cup titles are easily the most all-time. He coached five teams over the years and took four of them to the finals. Bowman is best known for his time with the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings, but he also won a championship during his brief time in Pittsburgh.
Ken Hitchcock is currently third on the NHL’s all-time coaching win list. He led the Dallas Stars to a Stanley Cup title in only his fourth year coaching in the league, but he never managed to hold the prestigious trophy again. Hitchcock had extremely successful runs in Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis before retiring at the end of the 2019 season.
Barry Trotz began his career as the first ever coach of the Nashville Predators. His coaching career did not get off to a great start. The Predators missed the playoffs in his first five seasons. After leaving Nashville 15 seasons later, Trotz found a lot more success with the Washington Capitals. Trotz helped Washington win the franchise’s only title in 2108. He is currently coaching the New York Islanders and is poised to pass Hitchcock on the all-time win list in 2021.
Joel Quenville is the only NHL coach besides Scotty Bowman to win at least 900 regular season games. Quenville spent his first 11 years with the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche. He seemingly just missed out on the Stanley Cup every year with those teams. His playoff luck changed when he went to Chicago. Quenville led the Blackhawks to three championships before joining the Florida Panthers.