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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

WILLIAM 'SCOTTY' BOWMAN

Inducted in 2004

Member Details

Date of Birth: September 18, 1933
Place of Birth: Montreal, Quebec
Sport: Ice Hockey
Member Category: Builder

Career Highlights

1973,76-79

Stanley Cups - Montreal Canadiens

1992

Stanley Cup - Pittsburgh Penguins

1997, 1998, 2002

Stanley Cups - Detroit Red Wings

1991

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame

Regular Season coaching record: 1244-584-313 (wins-losses-ties)

Playoff coaching record: 223-130 (wins-losses)

Coached most Stanley Cup winning teams (nine) 

Honoured Member WILLIAM 'SCOTTY' BOWMAN
Inspire

Story

Life didn't turn out exactly how Scotty Bowman had imagined, but sometimes the twists and turns of fate are welcome all the same. Bowman was a promising junior hockey player with the Canadiens and the Montreal Royals until, in 1952, a serious blow to the head ended his chances of rising to the NHL and forced him off the ice. Forty-two stitches later, the course of Bowman's life had been completely altered; he could have been a good hockey player, but instead he went on to become the greatest coach in history. After his injury, the Canadiens put Bowman through business school at Sir George Williams University in Montreal. He began working for a paint manufacturing company and coaching hockey at the Junior B level. Only 21 at the time, Bowman was barely older than his players. In 1956, Sam Pollock convinced Bowman to come aboard as assistant coach to the Ottawa-Hull Junior Canadiens. Bowman agreed, and the within two years, the team claimed the Memorial Cup, marking the first of many championship titles for the new coach. After several years coaching junior hockey with the Peterborough Petes and the Montreal Junior Canadiens, Bowman was called on to coach the St. Louis Blues when the NHL expanded in 1967. Bowman's talent as a coach became well apparent when he led this new team to the Stanley Cup finals three times in their first four years. Bowman became head coach with the Montreal Canadiens in 1971 and, over the next eight years, helped them to reclaim the glory days of the 1950s and '60s with five Stanley Cup victories. The Canadiens of the late '70s were almost unbeatable, with over 50 wins each season and four consecutive Stanley Cups. For his tremendous achievements, Bowman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991, but his career was far from over. Over the next eleven years, Bowman continued to coach and collected an additional four Stanley Cups, one with Pittsburgh in 1992, and three with Detroit in 1997, 1998, and 2002. With an unprecedented nine Cups under his belt, Bowman surpassed his mentor, Toe Blake, as the most victorious hockey coach in history. Bowman knew how make his players perform to their full potential and was an expert at crafting winning teams. Over the course of his 30 year career, he coached some of hockey's finest players, including Henri Richard, Guy Lafleur, Ken Dryden, Glenn Hall, Mario Lemieux, and Brett Hull. Bowman retired from the bench in 2002 after more than 2,200 regular season games, 350 playoff games, and 1,200 victories.


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