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One Minute Remaining: Chicago flavor to NHL's coaching records

by Harvey Wittenberg / Chicago Blackhawks

When Blackhawks Head Coach Joel Quenneville registered his 693rd NHL win on Jan. 29 against Vancouver, he moved up to third on the NHL's list of winningest coaches.

In the top six throughout NHL history, five have Chicago connections:

Atop the list is Scotty Bowman, who in 30 seasons saw his teams emerge victorious 1,244 times in regular-season play, in a career capped off with nine Stanley Cups. Scotty coached five different teams and celebrated the Cup five times with Montreal, three with Detroit and once with Pittsburgh. Now with the Blackhawks as a Senior Advisor, you can add two more rings to that haul—plus his son, Stan, is the current GM.

Al Arbour ranks second on the NHL coaching wins list with 782 victories, 740 of which came with the New York Islanders, as he won four straight Stanley Cups (1979-83). Arbour, a defenseman and the only NHL player I know that ever wore glasses, played for the Blackhawks for three seasons, including the 1961 Cup-winning campaign.

As of the Olympic break, Coach Q has registered 695 wins with the Blackhawks, Colorado and St. Louis; he has two Cup titles here, and he was an assistant for the 1996 Colorado title team. Also, Quenneville ranks second in franchise history with 257 victories behind the Blackhawks bench, trailing Billy Reay, who had 516.

To reach third place, Coach Q passed up Hall-of-Famer Dick Irvin, Sr., who had 692 wins and four Stanley Cups—three with Montreal and one in Toronto. Irvin was named the first-ever Blackhawks captain in 1926 and served for three seasons before moving behind the Chicago bench for two years. However, Irvin clashed with GM Bill Tobin five games into the 1931 season and was fired. Irvin was hired shortly after by Toronto and led the Maple Leafs to the 1932 Stanley Cup. The organization brought Irvin back as Chicago's coach for the 1955-56 campaign, but he was in failing health.

The controversial Mike Keenan ranks sixth among the NHL's winningest coaches with 672 victories and one cup with the Rangers. "Iron Mike" is fifth on the Blackhawks coaching list, accruing 153 wins in four campaigns (1988-92) and serving one year as GM.

The only non-Hawks connection in the top six is Pat Quinn, with 684 triumphs in 21 years with five different teams.

While Quenneville is in his 17th season as a coach and his sixth in Chicago, he says he really doesn't keep track of the numbers, but is more interested in bringing home another Stanley Cup to the Blackhawk fans!

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