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NHL - US Sports: Top five coaches of all time

The NHL has seen many great coaches in its long history, but few have made the same impact and been as successful as our top five of all-time.

Scotty Bowman

Bowman is unequivocally the best coach that the NHL has ever seen.

Over 30 seasons in the NHL, from 1967 to 2002, he recorded 1,244 victories from 2,141 regular season games - the most in league history.

The Montreal native won a record nine Stanley Cup championships; five with his home town Canadiens, including four in a tow (1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979), one with the Pittsburgh Penguins (1992) and three with the Detroit Red Wings (1997, 1998, and 2002).

He qualified for the playoffs in an astonishing 28 of 30 seasons and won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year twice.

His first came after the 1976/77 season, in which he led the Canadiens to an incredible 60-8-12 record, and went on to win the Stanley Cup. His second came during the 1995/96 season, in which he led the Red Wings to a joint-best ever 62-13-7 record.

Bowman has also won five Stanley Cups as a member of an organisation's front office and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Jack Adams

Each year, the NHL's coach of the year is awarded a trophy named after Jack Adams, so it would be amiss not to have him listed in the top five of all-time.

Adams spent 20 seasons as a coach in Detroit, taking over in 1927 back when the franchise was known as the Detroit Cougars, then Falcons and finally the Red Wings.

His 413 regular season wins don't rank particularly high in history, but teams played less than 50 games a year for the majority of his career.

As a coach, Adams won the Stanley Cup three times (1936, 1937 and 1943) and is the only person to have won the cup as a player (twice), coach and GM (four times).

Adams was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1959 and the coach of the year award was named in his honour in 1974.

Al Arbour

Best known for his 20 years as coach of the New York Islanders in two spells between 1973-1986 and 1988-1994, Arbour led the franchise to an extraordinary four straight Stanley Cup championships from 1980-1984.

The run saw the Islanders win 19 straight playoff series, which remains an NHL record and six more than the next closest by Montreal from 1976-1980.

Arbour won a Jack Adams Award for the 1978/79 season, which saw the Islanders finish with a record of 51-15-14.

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Overall, Arbour won 782 of 1,607 regular season games and 123 of 209 playoff games, the second most of any coach in history. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.

The Islanders are +3300 to win the Stanley Cup next year.

Joel Quenneville

Quenneville began his coaching career in 1996 and has amassed 969 wins in 1,768 regular season games, second only to the legendary Bowman.

The now 63-year-old led the Chicago Blackhawks to three Stanley Cups between 2010 and 2015, an impressive achievement in the salary cap era.

The Blackhawks made the playoffs for the first nine years with him as their coach, before finally missing the post-season during his 10th season.

He then moved on to the Florida Panthers, helping them make the playoffs for the first time in four years. He stepped down as coach last season.

Incredibly, Quenneville has won the Jack Adams Trophy just once, though, in 2000 with the St. Louis Blues.

Toe Blake

Blake coached the Montreal Canadiens for the entirety of his 13-year coaching career between 1955 and 1968 and never missed the playoffs.

During his tenure, the Canadiens, who are +12500 to win the Stanley Cup in 2023, won a jaw-dropping eight Stanley Cups, which is the second-most all-time among NHL coaches.

Five of the championships came consecutively in his first years as head coach, which stands as an NHL record.

Blake's 82-37 record in the playoffs equals a .689 win-percentage which even beats Bowman's .632.

He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966.

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