Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Bowman, Scotty

William Scott “Scotty” Bowman is a retired hockey coach who led the Detroit Red Wings for 9 seasons, steering them to three Stanley Cup victories.

Born in Montreal, Quebec on September 18, 1933, Bowman played minor league hockey until a head injury ended his career. He turned to coaching in 1956, eventually becoming the head coach of the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League in 1967. His time there was brief, and he went on to lead the Montreal Canadiens to five Stanley Cups in the 1970s, four of them in consecutive years.

In 1993, Bowman became coach to the Detroit Red Wings. He led the team to a Stanley Cup victory in 1997, ending the team’s 42-year drought. Bowman’s Red Wings went on to become champions the following year in 1998, and again in 2002. During his tenure in Detroit, he coached several all-star players, including Steve Yzerman, Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Igor Larionov, Sergei Fedorov, Chris Osgood, Brett Hull and Nicklas Lidstrom.

Bowman exhibited intensity and commitment to excellence and demanded the same from his players. He was a positive force in glory days as well as in tragedy, such as the limousine accident that ended Vladimir Konstantinov’s NHL career in 1997.

Bowman is the winningest coach in NHL history with 1,244 wins and a superb .632 win percentage. He and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. Bowman is often cited as one of the greatest NHL coaches of all time, a belief that is supported by his legacy and following.

 


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