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Scotty Bowman joins Blackhawks @NHLdotcom

CHICAGO (AP) -Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman is joining the Chicago Blackhawks as a senior adviser for hockey operations.

A special consultant with the Detroit Red Wings since retiring from coaching following the 2002 season, the 74-year-old Bowman signed a three-year deal with Chicago.

"It's always a tough decision when you leave an organization like Detroit," said Bowman, who won nine Stanley Cup titles as a coach - including three with the Red Wings. "It was a wonderful ride for 15 years. I spoke with all the people I worked with, including the ownership, and they understand the situation (is) an opportunity to come to Chicago to be with Stan."

Bowman's son, Stan, is in his eighth season with the Blackhawks and beginning his second as the team's assistant general manager.

"It's a dream come true for me, truthfully," Stan Bowman said. "When I first started (with the Blackhawks) it was in the back of my mind, but I kind of set it aside and wanted to go about and get my career in motion. That idea I had a long time ago kind of popped in my head now, and I thought, 'Maybe the time would be right."'

Scotty Bowman will report to general manager Dale Tallon, and along with attending the team's training camp, will advise Blackhawks coach Denis Savard and the team's Rockford AHL team.

"The free agent signings of the Blackhawks caught my attention, but you also have to develop your own players," Scotty Bowman said. "I can be another set of eyes for Dale and Denny and the organization."

Bowman's arrival comes soon after the NHL announced that the Blackhawks will face the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings in the Winter Classic on New Year's Day at Wrigley Field.

"With the outdoor game against Detroit, everything kind of goes together," said Bowman, who led the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup title in 1997, 1998 and 2002. "I'm really looking forward to getting this thing to where it should be."

In 30 seasons, Bowman led teams to the playoffs 29 times and accumulated an NHL-record 1,244 regular-season victories, 223 postseason wins and nine Stanley Cup championships.

Before his nine seasons in Detroit, Bowman guided the Montreal Canadiens to five championships in the 1970s and one with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992.

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