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Stan, Scotty Bowman share Stanley Cup success

Blackhawks GM, Hall of Fame coach have combined for 17 championships

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / Columnist

MONTREAL -- There was no plan B, Scotty Bowman admits, if his Montreal Canadiens didn't win the Stanley Cup in 1973, or if the coach's wife, Suella, gave birth to a girl.

But ultimately, things worked to perfection -- the Canadiens won the championship that year and, some six weeks later, Scotty and Suella named their son Stanley. Today, a father and son are a two-man hockey dynasty with a combined 17 Cup titles.

Bowman won the Cup nine times as a coach -- five with the Montreal Canadiens, one with the Pittsburgh Penguins and three with the Detroit Red Wings. Add five more to his resume as an executive - one as player personnel director for the Penguins, one as a special consultant to the Red Wings and, most recently, three as senior adviser of hockey operations for the Chicago Blackhawks.

With his father on staff, Stan Bowman has engineered three titles as general manager of the Blackhawks, in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

Scotty Bowman's five children thought their father was through with coaching after he was dismissed by the Buffalo Sabres during the 1986-87 season. They went so far as to give him a license plate reading "NHL 739," his wins total with the St. Louis Blues, Canadiens and Sabres.

But after a few years serving as an analyst for "Hockey Night in Canada," Bowman would return to coaching in 1991-92 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, that season winning his sixth Stanley Cup title as coach, and then add three more championships with Detroit from 1997-2002.

When he left coaching for good in 2002, the Bowman siblings freshened their father's license plate to one reading "COACH 09" to recognize his Stanley Cup haul. He has it on his car in his winter home in Sarasota, Florida.

All those titles and four-plus decades ago, a Bowman child was on the way and the pressing issue of a name was at hand.

"Suella and I were having a talk as she was going for tests near the end of her term and I said, 'If we win the Cup, we have to call him Stanley,' " Bowman said.

Neither childbirth nor the playoffs would be painless for the couple.

The Canadiens were pushed to six games in the first round by the Sabres, five by the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round, then six by the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final.

Montreal won its 18th of 24 championships on May 10, 1973 in Chicago; it was Bowman's first title and the 11th for Henri Richard, who established a record for a player that is unlikely to be broken.

On June 28, 1973, Suella Bowman delivered a second son, a boy to be christened Stanley Glen.

"Stanley for the Cup, Glen for Glenn Hall, though I don't know why we spelled it with one 'n,' " said Bowman, whose son's middle name is in honor of the iconic goaltender who starred with the Blues during the coach's first four seasons as an NHL coach, from 1967-68 into 1970-71.

"We were calling Stan 'Stanley Cup' for the first few years of his life," Bowman said, laughing again.

He recalled taking Stan with him everywhere on a hobby farm he had bought southeast of Montreal, an offseason getaway from hockey.

"We were going somewhere in my truck, maybe a license bureau, and I had to give the name of my wife, our oldest daughter, Alicia, our first son, David, and Stanley, who was about 3 at the time," Bowman said. "When I spoke to the clerk, I gave Stan's name as Stanley Glen.

"Well, Stan heard it, not that I thought much of it. But we were driving back to the farm and his head was down. I asked him what was bothering him and he looked up at me.

"He said, 'Dad, I heard what you said. Is my name not Stanley Cup anymore?' So I reassured him, 'You will always be Stanley Cup to us.' "

With three championships to his name in Chicago, Stanley Bowman has indeed earned his unofficial middle name.

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