By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93
This Day in Bonaventure History
February 7, 2007
NHL coaching legend, William “Scotty” Bowman, is considered by many to be one of the best coaches ever.
The winning-est coach in North American professional sports history (he has a Stanley Cup ring for every finger but one) started his fame while coaching the Montreal Canadiens in the 1970s.
He won five Cups in six years in Montreal, but he must have wanted a challenge for once. He came to Buffalo in 1979 to serve as both coach and general manager of the Sabres. He coached the team on four separate occasions from 1979 to 1986, staying until 1987 as GM. After Buffalo he had stops in Pittsburgh and Detroit, winning championships in both cities. He stayed as coach in Detroit until 2002, when he became a senior adviser.
He was offered the position of Maple Leafs president of hockey operations in 2008, but turned it down. He chose to be a senior adviser with the Blackhawks, helping his son Stanley (named after Lord Stanley’s Cup), the GM of the team, win a championship. It was his 12th championship altogether, with three coming as a front office executive.
It was on this day that Bowman and Joel Darling, the executive producer of CBC-TVB’s “Hockey Night in Canada” spoke at a forum on pro sports and the media in Dresser Auditorium. Darling is also the son of famed Sabres play-by-play man and Hockey Hall of Famer, Ted Darling.
They were joined at the forum by Paul Wieland, journalism and mass communication professor. Wieland worked with both men in the Sabres organization during his 25 years there.
Wieland was the Sabres’ public relations director for nearly 15 years after their founding. After that, he directed the telecasts, alongside Darling who was a producer. Darling went on the produce the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
Bowman to this day is the only coach in the major North American professional sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL) to win championships with three different professional teams. He resides in East Amherst with his wife.