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30 Winningest NHL Coaches In Record Books

By Biraj Khanal / 4 December 2023 10:34 AM

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The NHL has seen its fair share of greatest coaches in the history. Bowman leads the chart with 1244 wins. 

NHL is a professional ice hockey league with 32 teams and each team has its one head coach who handles the game's direction, team practices, and provides strategy to the players, and also decides who will play and who won't.

Only 28 NHL coaches have managed to surpass the 500-win mark in NHL with Toe Blake being the last one with 500 wins. 

Lindy Ruff, Paul Maurice, John Tortorella, Todd McLellan, and Peter DeBoer are among the active NHL coaches who made the list with over 500 win marks. 

1. Scotty Bowman

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Scotty Bowman is considered one of the best NHL coaches with the most wins recorded.

He is known as the greatest of all time, being the only coach in the NHL to have more than 1000 career wins. His career wins are numbered 1244.

Scotty Bowman Stanley Cup wins are five with the Montreal Canadiens, 3 with the Red Wings, and one with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Summing up his coaching career, he has had 28 playoff appearances and 9 Stanley Cup titles, including 1244 wins in 2141 games with a .581 winning percentage.

2. Joel Quenneville

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Joel Quenneville stands second on the leaderboard with an all-time 969 career wins. 

He coached four NHL teams in his career including Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, and Colorado Avalanche.

 Quenneville managed to win all three Stanley Cup titles with the Chicago Blackhawks team and has 20 playoff appearances.

In his career, he has maintained his winning percentage of .548 winning 969, losing 572, 150 overtime losses, and 77 ties.

3. Barry Trotz

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Barry Trotz comes third in nhl winningest coaches list with 914 career wins in 1812 games.

He was the first Nashville Predators head coach and led the team to their first playoff appearances in 2004.

Trotz has won only one Stanley Cup Championship title in 2017-18 with the Washington Capitals. 

He has reached 14 playoffs in his career, 3 with the Islanders, 4 with the Capitals, and 7 with the Predators.

Summarizing his coaching career, he has coached 1812 games winning 914, losing 670, 168 overtime losses, and 60 ties with a .504 winning percentage.

4. Ken Hitchcock

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Ken Hitchcock is the fourth all-time winningest NHL coach with 849 total career victories.

In his 1598 games, he has won just one Stanley Cup title in the 1998-99 season with the Dallas Stars.

Hitchcock has maintained his winning percentage of .531 securing 849 wins, 534 losses, 127 overtime losses, and 88 ties.

Ken has coached NHL teams like the Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, St Louis Blues, and Edmonton Oilers.

5. Lindy Ruff

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Lindy Ruff is one of the active available NHL coaches on the list with the most wins, 845.

He stands fifth in the rankings besides Hitchcock. Ruff is currently a head coach with the New Jersey Devils for the 2023-24 season after signing a multi-year contract extension on 11th October 2023.

Though he stands fifth in the list, he has never won a single Stanley Cup in his career as a coach but has fifth fifth-highest winning percentage throughout NHL history with .487.
In 1734 games, he has won 845, lost 661, 150 overtime losses, and 75 ties.

6. Paul Maurice

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Paul Maurice is the sixth all-time winningest manager with 831 wins in 1789 games coached.

He has been the head coach for the Florida Panthers since 2022 and led his team to a Stanley Cup final in his first season.

Before the Panthers, he coached four NHL teams, including the Philadelphia Flyers, the Carolina Hurricanes, and the Winnipeg Jets.

He has 10 playoff appearances and has reached just two finals in his coaching career. Maurice has 831 victories, 719 losses, 140 overtime losses, and 99 ties, with a .465 winning percentage.

7. AL Arbour

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AL Arbour is the third after Joel Quenneville to coach more NHL games and 7th behind Scotty Bowman in all-time wins.

He has won 782 games in 1607 coached with a winning percentage of .487. His total games also saw 577 losses and 248 ties.

In his coaching career, he has won four consecutive Stanley Cup trophies with the New York Islanders from 1979-80 to 1982-1983. Arbour was the head coach for the Islanders from 1973 till 2007-08 season.

8. Peter Laviolette

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Peter Laviolette is the current head coach of the New York Rangers and is the 8th winningest coach of all time.

He has 768 victories, 507 losses, 25 ties, and 151 overtime losses in 1451 games coached in his career maintaining a winning percentage of .529.

He previously coached the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, and Washington Capitals.

He led the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup title in 2006, the Flyers to the finals in 2010, and the Predators in 2017 becoming the fourth coach to lead three teams in NHL Stanley Cup finals.

9. Darryl Sutter

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Darryl Sutter is 9th in the leaderboard with 737 wins in 1363 games coached. 

Sutter is just behind Laviolette with 32 wins even though he has coached more games. 

With a winning percentage of .498, the coach has 737 wins: 530 losses, 101 ties, and 111 overtime losses. 

He has served the Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, and LA Kings in the NHL. Darryl had his first Stanley Cup title with the Kings in 2012 and second in 2014.

10. Alain Vigneault

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Standing in the 10th in the list is Alain Vigneault with his 722 career wins as a head coach.

Vigneault has coached 1363 over four NHL teams including Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, and Philadelphia Flyers.

He has also recorded 489 losses, 35 ties, and 117 overtime losses maintaining a winning percentage of .530.

Over his tenure, he has reached the Stanley Cup finals only two times and has lost on both occasions. 

11. John Tortorella

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John Tortorella is among the active NHL coaches to make the list with 716 career wins.

Tortorella is the current head coach for the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL. He previously served as head coach for Blue Jackets, NY Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Vancouver Canucks.

His solo Stanley Cup title arrived in 2003-04 when he was with the Tampa Bay. He has a .481 winning percentage with 716 wins, 589 losses, 37 ties, and 147 overtime losses.

12. Mike Babcock

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Mike Babcock has altogether 700 career wins in 1301 games coached and is 12th in rankings.

He has also lost 418 games, 19 ties, and 164 overtime losses but managed to have a .538 winning percentage.

As a coach, he had 14 playoff appearances and had a single Stanley Cup title with the Detroit Red Wings in the 2007-08 season.

He served as the head coach for the NHL teams, including Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

13. Dick Irvin

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Dick Irvin stays on 13th with his 691 career wins at a .477 winning percentage. 

He has coached the likes of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and Chicago Blackhawks. With 1448 total games, he won 691, lost 527, and had 230 ties. 

Irvin managed to reach the Cup finals 16 times in his career and managed to win only four of them losing in 12. His first came in 1931-32 with the Maple Leafs.

14. Pat Quinn

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Pat Quinn remains in 14th winningest NHL coach with his 684 wins ni 1400 games. 

He lost 528, drew 154, and suffered 34 overtime losses in his coaching duties with a .489 winning percentage.

Quinn served as the head coach for five NHL teams including the Flyers, Kings, Canucks, and Oilers. 

Though he had 15 playoff appearances and reached 2 finals, he didn't have won the Stanley Cup in his career as a coach.

15. Mike Keenan

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With an.485 winning percentage and 672 career wins, Mike Keenan retains the 15th position in the leaderboard.

He has coached NHL teams like Flyers, Blackhawks, Canucks, Bruins and Flames. In his 1386 games, he won 672, lost 531, and had 147 ties. 

Keenan reached the finals in his first year as a head coach with the Philadelphia Flyers. He has won only one Stanley Cup trophy with the NY Rangers in the 1993-94 season.

16. Claude Julien

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Claude Julien is a former Montreal Canadiens coach who stands in 16th position with 667 wins.

Before joining the Canadiens, he was considered the longest-tenured head coach in the NHL.

Julien led the Bruins to their sixth franchise Stanley Cup title in 2011 defeating Vancouver Canucks in the finals. 

He had a winning percentage of .524 with 667 victories, 445 losses, 10 ties, and 152 overtime losses throughout his career. 

17. Dave Tippett

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Dave Tippett has 648 wins, 475 losses, 28 ties, and 134 overtime losses with a .504 winning percentage in 1285 games.

He is among the top 20 winningest NHL coaches in the record books and has coached four NHL teams. 

His Stanley Cup trophy cabinet is empty however he has 10 playoff appearances in his coaching career. 

18. Ron Wilson

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Ron Wilson is the 18th winningest coach in NHL history with 648 wins in 1401 games coached.

With a winning percentage of .463, he has over 8 playoff appearances including the one finals where his team, the Capitals lost to the Red Wings during the 1997-98 season.

Besides NHL, Wilson also coached internationally at the 1996 IIHF World Championship in Vienna guiding the United States to a bronze medal. It was the team's first medal at a tournament in 34 years.

19. Bryan Murray

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Bryan Murray was a head coach for the Capitals, Red Wings, and Senators in the NHL.

Murray stands at 19th in the leaderboard with 620 victories in 1239 games coached with a .500 winning percentage.

He has 13 total playoff appearances during his tenure with the most being with the Capitals, 7. He also reached the Stanley Cup finals with the Senators in the 2006-07 season.

20. Jacques Lemaire

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Jacques Lemaire was a former NHL player who spent the entire 12 NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. 

Though he won 8 Stanley Cups as a player, he managed to win just one with the Devils in the 1994-95 season.

Lemaire has won 617 games, 458 losses, 124 ties, and 63 over time losses with an.489 winning percentage in 1262 total games coached.

21. Bruce Boudreau

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Bruce Boudreau stands just below Lemaire in the 21st position with 617 wins in 1087 games coached. 

He has maintained a winning percentage of.568 which includes 617 victories, 342 defeats, and 128 overtime losses. 

Boudreau won the Jack Adams Award for NHL's most outstanding head coach in the 2007-08 season with the Capitals. 

22. Jacques Martin

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Jacques Martin has 613 total victories, 481 losses, 119 ties, and 81 overtime losses in 1294 games. 

Martin served as a head coach for NHL teams like Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, and Calgary Flames. 

He managed his .474 winning percentage and stands as the 22nd-winningest coach in NHL record books. He has a total of 12 playoff appearances throughout his coaching tenure. 

23. Todd McLellan

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Todd McLellan is the current head coach for the LA Kings in the NHL 2023-24. He signed a contract extension keeping him till the 2024-25 season.

McLellan is another active NHL coach to have his name on the list with 588 wins in 1116 games. 

With a winning percentage of .527, he has won 588 and lost 401. and have 127 overtime losses.

Besides NHL, Todd won the 2015 World Championship with the Canadian National team in 2015 with a 10-0 perfect record.

24. Peter DeBoer

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Peter Deboer is another active NHL coach behind McLellan to make the list with 574 wins in 1119 games. 

He is currently the head coach for the Dallas Stars since the 2022-23 season. Deboer previously coached other NHL teams like the Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, and San Jose Sharks. 

He has over 8 playoff appearances which includes one final appearance with the Sharks in the 2015-16 season.

His coaching stats to date show he has 574 victories, 405 losses, and 140 overtime defeats with a .513 winning percentage.

25. Marc Crawford

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Marc Crawford has 556 victories and stands as the 25th-winningest NHL coach in history.

He has coached over 1169 games and managed to have a winning percentage of .476.

Crawford has served as the head coach for teams like Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, and Dallas Stars.

He has a total of 8 playoff appearances and won a single Stanley Cup title when he was with the Avalanche in 1995-96.

26. Billy Reay

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Bill Reay has recorded 542 wins, 385 losses, and 175 ties with a .492 winning percentage in his 1102 games.

Ray served as a head coach for the Blackhawks for almost 14 seasons, won 5 Divisional titles with the team, and reached Cup finals three times.

When he retired as a coach, he was the second in NHL history to have more than 500 wins and is currently among 28 coaches to have won 500 games.

27. Pat Burns

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Pat Burns coached in 1019 games with the Montreal Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and NJ Devils.

In his total games, he won 501 games, lost 353, tied 151, and faced 14 overtime losses with a winning percentage of .492.

He is among the 28 NHL coaches to surpass the 500-win mark in NHL. Burns has a single Stanley Cup trophy and 11 playoff appearances.

28. Toe Blake

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Toe Blake is the 28th coach to have 500-win games as a head coach. He won 500 games in 914 games coached.

Blake won his first Stanley Cup title with the Canadiens in 1955-56 and continued his trophy triumph with the other 8 Cup wins in 13 playoff appearances with the Canadiens.

He created one of the most dominant Canadiens sides in NHL history who clinched 5 consecutive Stanley Cups in a row.

29. Terry Murray

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Terry Murray stands as the 29th-winningest coach in NHL history with 499 wins. 

He has coached 1012 games with the Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Calgary Flames, and LA Kings.

Murray has a winning percentage of .493 and has 10 playoff appearances including the one finals in 1996-97 with the Flyers.

30. Glen Sather

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Glen Sather remains in the 30th position with his 497 career wins, 307 losses, and 121 ties in 932 games. 

Sather is known for coaching the Edmonton Oilers team to their four Stanley Cup victories during the 1980s. 

He served for the Oilers for almost more than 14 seasons and has 13 playoff appearances winning 4 of them.

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