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|Who is the best coach of all time?|
A panel of 41 writers were asked their opinions on various great debates in hockey. Multiple choices were not provided so as not to color the outcome.
Winning nine Stanley Cups with three teams made Bowman a great coach, but spending five decades behind the bench of a continually changing game made him a legend.
As good as Bowman was, he spent the best part of his career coaching
powerhouse teams, which had been assembled before he got there.
He took over a Stanley Cup champion his first season with Montreal in 1971-72. He did the same thing in Pittsburgh in 1991-92. The Buffalo team he took charge of in 1979-80 still had two-thirds of the high-scoring French Connection line and a 56-goal scorer in Danny Gare.
And when he arrived in Detroit in 1993-94, the Red Wings had just come off a 103-point season.
The same can't be said for Al Arbour, who took over an Islanders team in 1973-74 that won only 12 games in its inaugural season and built it into a four-time Stanley Cup winner over the next decade.
Arbour took raw stones and turned them into gems. That's why he's the best coach ever.