clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How the 30 NHL Coaches Rank in Experience Terms - Part 1

30 - Ottawa Senators Cory Clouston

Cc_medium

Bio:

Clouston is the eighth coach in Senators history. He attended the University of Alberta from 1989-93, earning a bachelor's degree in recreation administration while playing for the Golden Bears. In 1991–92 he was a member of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship squad. Clouston's first coaching position was as an assistant coach with the Powell River Paper Kings of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League in 1994-95. He then served as general manager and head coach of the Grande Prairie Storm (143-82-15) of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He then joined the Kootenay Ice of the WHL in 1999, serving as an assistant coach. In 2001, he was promoted to coach, a position he held for five years (209–110–20–21). Clouston also served as a coach for Hockey Canada during his junior hockey coaching years, as assistant coach for the national under-18 2005 Junior World Cup gold medalists and head coach for the 2006 team that also took home gold. Clouston turned pro in 2007, when he was hired by the Binghampton Senators of the AHL. In February 2009, he was elevated to the head coach position of the Ottawa Senators, and signed a two-year contract extension with the club on April 8, 2009.

Most notable player feat: University hockey championship

Greatest coaching achievement: Reaching 2005 WHL final

Notorious or reknown for: Telling it like it is, really alienating Dany Heatley

NHL Player stats: None

NHL Coaching stats: 34-19-11-4 .618%

Route to the NHL: WHL and AHL

NHL Experience: 34 games

Winning seasons as an NHL coach: 1

Individual hardware:

AJHL coach of the year in 1995-96

General behind the bench demeanor: Poised like a snake

Coaching career:

Per Stanley Cup wins as a coach: 0 pts

Per Stanley Cup final appearances: 0 pts

Per 25 games won as an NHL coach - playoffs: 0 pts

Per 100 games won as an NHL coach - regular season: 0 pts

Per 100 games coached at the NHL level: 0 pts

Per 100 games coached at AHL/minor level: 5 pts

Per championships won coaching at junior, AHL or U.S. Collegiate or University level: 0 points

Playing Career:

Played minor/junior/U but did not reach pro ranks: 5 pts

Per 100 NHL games played: 0 pts

Per 100 AHL/minors games played: 0 pt

Per Stanley Cups won as a player: 0 Pts

Total points: 10

29 - New York Islanders Scott Gordon

Sg_medium


Bio:

Gordon was hired as coach of the Islanders in August 2008 – the 14th in franchise history. In 2007-08, he led the Providence Bruins to an AHL best record of 55-18-3, winning Coach of the Year honours. After spending two seasons as an assistant with Providence from 2000 to 2002, Gordon was promoted to coach, spending five seasons there, leading the team to a 221-141-20-27 record. Gordon began his coaching career with the IHL's Atlanta Knights in 1994, moving on to the IHL's Quebec Rafales in 1996. Gordon then coached the Roanoke Express of the ECHL, leading the club to consecutive Northeast Division first place finishes, compiling an 82-42-16 record. An Easton, Massachusetts native, Gordon began his hockey career as a goaltender. Attending Boston College from 1982-86, he posted a 64-35-3 record. Following the completion of his collegiate career, Gordon began his pro career in 1986-87 when he signed with the Quebec Nordiques. Gordon made his NHL debut in 1989-90 with Quebec and played a total of 23 career NHL games, all with Quebec. He holds the distinction of being the first ECHL graduate to play in the NHL. Gordon played on the 1992 United States Olympic team before retiring as a player following the 1993-94 season.

Most notable player feat: Surviving the abylmal late 1980 Nordiques

Greatest coaching achievement: Standout season with ECHL Roanoke Express in 1999

Notorious or reknown for: Nothing to speak of yet

NHL Player stats: GP 23 W2 L16

NHL Coaching stats: 82-26-47-9 .372%

Route to the NHL: IHL, ECHL, AHL

NHL Experience: 1 season

Winning seasons as an NHL coach: 0

Individual hardware: Good luck charm

General behind the bench demeanor: calm

Coaching career:

Per Stanley Cup wins as a coach: 0 pts

Per Stanley Cup final appearances: 0 pts

Per 25 games won as an NHL coach - playoffs: 0 pts

Per 100 games won as an NHL coach - regular season: 0 pts

Per 100 games coached at the NHL level: 2 pts

Per 100 games coached at AHL/minor level: 4 pts

Per championships won coaching at junior, AHL or U.S. Collegiate or University level: 0 points

Playing Career:

Reached NHL Level: 25 pts

Per 100 NHL games played: 0 pts

Per 100 AHL/minors games played: 2 pt

Per Stanley Cups won as a player: 0 Pts

Total points: 33

28 - Minnesota Wild Todd Richards

Tr_medium

Bio:

Richards, who in 20 seasons as a pro player or coach, has never missed the playoffs, was named coach of the Wild June 16, 2009. Prior to joining the Wild, Richards spent one season as assistant with the Sharks in 2008-09, helping the team to an NHL best 53-18-11. He spent two seasons as coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL, where took the team to the Calder Cup Finals in 2008. Before his time in WBS, Richards served four seasons as assistant with the Milwaukee Admirals, winning two West titles and making two trips to the Calder Cup finals, winning the AHL title in 2003-04. In seven seasons as coach or assistant, Richards’ teams have made the league finals three times. A former defenseman, Richards has also captured a pair of WCHA titles with the University of Minnesota in 1988 and 1989, the 1991 Calder Cup with Springfield, and the 2001 IHL Turner Cup with Orlando. Drafted by the Canadiens in round 2 of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, he made his NHL debut with Hartford in 1990-91. Following his stint in the Hartford organizations, Richards joined the IHL’s Las Vegas Thunder and was named the league’s top defenseman in 1994-95. He spent the next six seasons with the Orlando Solar Bears, captaining the squad for four seasons and winning the IHL Championship in 2000-01.

Most notable player feat: 1991 Calder Cup, 2001 Turner Cup

Greatest coaching achievement: Making 2008 Calder Cup finals

Notorious or reknown for: Give it time

NHL Player stats: 8-0-4-4

NHL Coaching stats: None

Route to the NHL: AHL assistant and head coach, NHL assistant in San Jose

NHL Experience: One season as Sharks assistant

Winning seasons as an NHL coach: 0

Individual hardware: So far, so what. Sky's the limit

General behind the bench demeanor: Too early to tell

Coaching career:

Per Stanley Cup wins as a coach: 0 pts

Per Stanley Cup final appearances: 0 pts

Per 25 games won as an NHL coach - playoffs: 0 pts

Per 100 games won as an NHL coach - regular season: 0 pts

Per games coached at the NHL level: 0 pts

Per 100 games coached at AHL/minor level: 1 pts

Per championships won coaching at junior, AHL or U.S. Collegiate or University level: 0 points

Playing Career:

Reached NHL Level: 25 pts

Per 100 NHL games played: 0 pts

Per 100 AHL/minors games played: 9 pt

Per Stanley Cups won as a player: 0 Pts

Total points: 35

27 - Florida Panthers Peter DeBoer

Pdb_medium

Bio:

DeBoer enters his second year as the Panthers coach, hired to the position on June 13th, 2009 after guiding the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL to a 53-11-0-4 mark on the way to a league championship and a berth in the Memorial Cup finals. During his seven year tenure with Kitchener, DeBoer earned 297 wins with a .676 winning percentage, while guiding his club to the 2003 Memorial Cup title. DeBoer, in earning his 500th OHL win, joined a select club of only five other OHL coaches to reach the milestone. The Dunnville, Ontario native has amassed 539 OHL wins while coaching the Detroit Whalers, Plymouth Whalers, and the Rangers, earning OHL Coach of the Year honors in 1999 and 2000. DeBoer was also named the 2000 CHL Coach of the Year, and was a member of the coaching staff on Team Canada’s 2005 Gold Medal winning junior team. DeBoer, a 12th round selection of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1988, played two seasons professionally with the Milwaukee Admirals of the IHL.

Most notable player feat: 65-45-46-91 stats with Windsor OHL in 1989

Greatest coaching achievement: 2003 Memorial Cup

Notorious or reknown for: '03 Mem Cup. '07 Mem Cup finals

NHL Player stats: None

NHL Coaching stats: 82-41-30-11

Route to the NHL: OHL

NHL Experience: 1 Season

Winning seasons as an NHL coach: 1

Individual hardware: Back to back OHL Coach of the Year - 1999, 2000

General behind the bench demeanor: Cool

Coaching career:

Per Stanley Cup wins as a coach: 0 pts

Per Stanley Cup final appearances: 0 pts

Per 25 games won as an NHL coach - playoffs: 0 pts

Per 100 games won as an NHL coach - regular season: 0 pts

Per 100 games coached at the NHL level: 2 pt

Per 100 games coached at AHL/minor level: 8 pts

Per championships won coaching at junior, AHL or U.S. Collegiate or University level: 10 points

Playing Career:

Reached AHL Level 15 pts

Per 100 NHL games played: 0 pts

Per 100 AHL/minors games played: 1 pt

Per Stanley Cups won as a player: 0 Pts

Total points: 36

26 - Nashville Predators Barry Trotz

Barry_trotz_now_medium

Bio:

Trotz is the only head coach in the Nashville Predators’ history, and enters 2009-10 as the second longest current tenured NHL coach, ranking 10th in history for games coached with the same team, and 13th among wins with the same club. In 2003, coacheding his 392nd game with Nashville, Trotz established a league record for most games by a team’s original coach since expansion in 1967. Prior to Nashville, Trotz spent five seasons (1992-97) as the coach of the Washington Capitals' AHL affiliate Baltimore Skipjacks. Following relocation to Portland in 1993, he led the Pirates to two Calder Cup Finals appearances and a Calder Cup win in 1994-95, winning coach of the year honors along the way. Trotz began coaching in 1984, as an assistant with the University of Manitoba. He served two seasons (1985-87) as the coach and GM of the Dauphin Kings junior hockey club before returning to the University of Manitoba as the coach in 1987. In 1987, Trotz served as scout for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) and a part time scout for the Capitals. In 1988, he joined Washington as a full time western scout, and the next season he became the Caps' chief western scout. Before coaching, Trotz played junior hockey for the WHL Regina from 1979-83, capturing a WHL championship in 1979-80.

Most notable player feat: Played with 1980 Regina Pats team that lost in the Memorial Cup final

Greatest coaching achievement: 1995 Calder Cup

Notorious or reknown for: Looks like Humpty Dumpty

NHL Player stats: None

NHL Coaching stats: 820-364-342-60-54 .513 / 22-6-16 .273%

Route to the NHL: Seven years AHL assistant and head coach

NHL Experience: 10 years

Winning seasons as an NHL coach: 5

Individual hardware: Steel guitar

General behind the bench demeanor: Grinding teeth

Coaching career:

Per Stanley Cup wins as a coach: 0 pts

Per Stanley Cup final appearances: 0 pts

Per 25 games won as an NHL coach - playoffs: 0 pts

Per 100 games won as an NHL coach - regular season: 9 pts

Per 100 games coached at the NHL level: 16 pts

Per 100 games coached at AHL/minor level: 4 pts

Per championships won coaching at junior, AHL or U.S. Collegiate or University level: 5 points

Playing Career:

Played minor/junior/U but did not reach pro ranks: 5 pts

Per 100 NHL games played: 0 pts

Per 100 AHL/minors games played: 0 pt

Per Stanley Cups won as a player: 0 Pts

Total points: 39

25 - Colorado Avalanche Joe Sacco

Jsac_medium

Bio:

Sacco, former head coach of Colorado's AHL affiliate Lake Erie Monsters, was named the 13th head coach in franchise history on June 4, 2009. He moves into the Avalanche position after four seasons with the organization serving both as assistant in Lowell and Albany and head coach in Lake Erie from 2007 to 2009. Under Sacco’s guidance, the Monsters finished with a 34-38-3-5 record (76 points) in 2008-09, posting eight more wins and 11 more points than they did in their inaugural season of 2007-08. Following the season, Sacco was named assistant coach for Team USA at the 2009 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Switzerland. He was a fourth-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. He would go on to play in 738 total games over a 13-year NHL career, which included stints with Toronto, Anaheim, the New York Islanders, Washington and Philadelphia. The right winger finished with 94 goals and 119 assists.

Most notable player feat: Hasn't been a PPG player since leaving NCAA

Greatest coaching achievement: None to really speak of

Notorious or reknown for: Playing with a sibling in the NHL

NHL Player stats: 738-94-119-213

NHL Coaching stats: 0-0-0

Route to the NHL: One season as AHL assistant, two as head coach (not a .500 record to be found)

NHL Experience: Has had a press conference

Winning seasons as an NHL coach: Tied with you for last all time

Individual hardware: An anchor and an anvil

General behind the bench demeanor: Did not qualify

Coaching career:

Per Stanley Cup wins as a coach: 0 pts

Per Stanley Cup final appearances: 0 pts

Per 25 games won as an NHL coach - playoffs: 0 pts

Per 100 games won as an NHL coach - regular season: 0 pts

Per 100 games coached at AHL/minor level: 1 pts

Per 100 games coached at the NHL level: 0 pts

Per championships won coaching at junior, AHL or U.S. Collegiate or University level: 0 points

Playing Career:

Reached NHL Level: 25 pts

Per 100 NHL games played: 14 pts

Per 100 AHL/minors games played: 0 pt

Per Stanley Cups won as a player: 0 Pts

Total points: 40

24 - San Jose Sharks Todd McLellan

Tm_medium

Bio:

McLellan was named the seventh head coach in Sharks history in June of 2008, after spending three seasons as a member of the Red Wings coaching staff. In Detroit, he quickly earned a reputation as a great offensive mind, leading the Wings power play unit and capturing a Stanley Cup Championship in 2007-08. Before Detroit, McLellan spent four seasons as head coach of the AHL Houston Aeros, leading them to the 2003 Calder Cup championship. Under his watch, the Aeros had a 154-111-37-18 record. Following the 2002-03 season, McLellan was named Minor Pro Coach of the Year by The Hockey News. Earlier, McLellan spent one season with the IHL Cleveland Lumberjacks, compiling a 43-32-7 record. In thirteen seasons behind the bench, including six seasons with the WHL Swift Current Broncos, McLellan never missed the playoffs. He was named the WHL Coach of the Year in 2000. McLellan acted as coach and GM with Swift Current in his final four seasons, having been awarded the WHL Executive of the Year award in 1997. The Melville, Saskatchewan native played junior hockey with Saskatoon (WHL), and was drafted by the New York Islanders in 1986. He spent two seasons in the AHL with Springfield, and played five games for the Islanders in 1987-88.

Most notable player feat: 73 point season with 1987 Saskatoon Blades

Greatest coaching achievement: 2003 Calder Cup, 2009 Presidents Trophy

Notorious or reknown for: One werewolf looking goatee

NHL Player stats: 5-1-1-2

NHL Coaching stats: 82-53-18-11 .713% / 6-2-4 .333%

Route to the NHL: Head coach WHL, IHL, AHL, three years NHL assistant

NHL Experience: Three years assistant, one year as head coach

Winning seasons as an NHL coach: 1

Individual hardware: Power drill

General behind the bench demeanor: Alert

Coaching career:

Per Stanley Cup wins as a coach: 0 pts

Per Stanley Cup final appearances: 0 pts

Per 25 games won as an NHL coach - playoffs: 0 pts

Per 100 games won as an NHL coach - regular season: 0 pts

Per 100 games coached at the NHL level: 2 pts

Per 100 games coached at AHL/minor level: 8 pts

Per championships won coaching at junior, AHL or U.S. Collegiate or University level: 5 points

Playing Career:

Reached NHL Level: 25 pts

Per 100 NHL games played: 0 pts

Per 100 AHL/minors games played: 1 pt

Per Stanley Cups won as a player: 0 Pts

Total points: 41

23 - St Louis Blues Andy Murray


Andy_murray_medium

Bio:

Murray was named the 22nd head coach in the history of the St. Louis Blues in 2006. In the 2009 campaign with the Blues, Murray guided them to a 25-9-7 record in the second half of the season, returning the club to the playoffs for the first time in five years. He won his 300th NHL game in February. Prior to arriving in St. Louis, Murray coached the Kings from 1999 to 2006 and is their all time franchise leader in wins (215) and games coached (480). During the 1999-2000 season, Murray’s first as an NHL head coach, he guided the Kings to a second place finish in the Pacific Division and the fifth seed in the Western Conference, making the Kings the third most improved club in the NHL that season. Murray has over 30 years of coaching experience, including seven seasons as an NHL assistant coach with Winnipeg (1993-95), Minnesota (1990-92) and Philadelphia (1988-90). In addition to NHL service, Murray has tremendous international coaching experience. He is the only head coach to lead Team Canada to three IIHF World Hockey Championship titles. Murray captured gold medals in 1997, 2003 and in 2007, going 9-0 during that final year.. Murray was the head coach of the Canadian National Team from 1996-98, guiding it to a 77-29-14 record. Murray also coached Shattuck-St. Mary’s, and served as GM for Koln of the German Hockey League. Murray served as associate coach for Team Canada under Marc Crawford at the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. He has six gold medals as a coach for Canada at the Spengler Cup Tournament in Davos, Switzerland.

Most notable player feat: Playing for CSHL Brandon Olympics

Greatest coaching achievement: Three Olympic Golds, managing to make the Blues a playoff team in 2009.

Notorious or reknown for: Being strict and structured, obsessive with notes and detail

NHL Player stats: Forget about it

NHL Coaching stats: 698-316-261-58-63 .539% / 28-10-18 .357%

Route to the NHL: Six seasons NHL assistant, an abundance of International experience

NHL Experience: Fifteen NHL seasons, nine as a head coach

Winning seasons as an NHL coach: 6

Individual hardware: Drill, as in sargeant

General behind the bench demeanor: Focused and adept

Coaching career:

Per Stanley Cup wins as a coach: 0 pts

Per Stanley Cup final appearances: 0 pts

Per 25 games won as an NHL coach - playoffs: 0 pts

Per 100 games won as an NHL coach - regular season: 9 pts

Per 100 games coached at the NHL level: 14 pts

Per 100 games coached at AHL/minor level: 3 pts

Per championships won coaching at junior, AHL or U.S. Collegiate or University level: 15 points

Playing Career:

Glorified house league: 0 pts

Per 100 NHL games played: 0 pts

Per 100 AHL/minors games played: 0 pt

Per Stanley Cups won as a player: 0 Pts

Total points: 41

22 - Tampa Bay Lightning Rick Tocchet


Rt_medium

Bio:

Tocchet has one season as head coach of the Lightning under his belt. He played 18 NHL seasons in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington and Phoenix. Tocchet is one of three players in the NHL history to score 400 goals and reach 2,500 penalty minutes. An 11 time 20-goal scorer, two time 30 goal scorer, and three time 40 goal man, Tocchet set career highs for goals, assists and points in 1992-93 with 48-61-109 while a member of the Penguins. The Scarborough, Ontario native won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992 and appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals with Philadelphia in 1987. Over his career, he was named to play in four NHL All-Star teams (1989, 1990, 1991, 1993). Originally drafted by Philadelphia in the sixth-round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. Tocchet began his career in 1984-85, retiring midway through the 2001-02 campaign. Shortly after retiring he joined the Avalanche as an assistant coach, spending a season and a half on the bench with Colorado before joining former teammate Wayne Gretzky as and assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2005. He was hired as a Lightning assistant at the start of the 2008-09 season.

Most notable player feat: 1992 Stanley, 400 goals / 2500 PIM

Greatest coaching achievement: Surviving 2009

Notorious or reknown for: Involvement in a gambling ring, tainting Janet Gretzky's good rep

NHL Player stats: 1144-440-512-952

NHL Coaching stats: 66-19-33-14 .394% /

Route to the NHL: From NHL assistant to head coach within three seasons

NHL Experience: 66 games

Winning seasons as an NHL coach: 0

Individual hardware: Brass knuckles, maybe a gold tooth

General behind the bench demeanor: Pissed off

Coaching career:

Per Stanley Cup wins as a coach: 0 pts

Per Stanley Cup final appearances: 0 pts

Per 25 games won as an NHL coach - playoffs: 0 pts

Per 100 games won as an NHL coach - regular season: 0 pts

Per 100 games coached at the NHL level: 0 pts

Per 100 games coached at AHL/minor level: 0 pts

Per championships won coaching at junior, AHL or U.S. Collegiate or University level: 0 points

Playing Career:

Reached NHL Level: 25 pts

Per 100 NHL games played: 11 pts

Per 100 AHL/minors games played: 0 pt

Per Stanley Cups won as a player: 10 Pts

Total points: 46

21 - Vancouver Canucks Alain Vigneault

Av_medium

Bio:

Vigneault is the 16th coach in Canucks history, serving three seasons since being named to the position in 2006. Vigneault has built a regular season record of 88-59-17 and a .588 win percentage, the highest winning ratio in club history. In his first year, Vigneault led the Canucks to their most successful regular season ever, establishing new marks for wins (49) and points (105), on the way to a division championship,and was named Jack Adams Award winner for 2007. Vigneault had previously coached the Montreal Canadiens from 1997 to 2001, compiling a 109-118-35-4 record. He finished second in voting for the Adams award in 2000. Prior to joining the Canadiens, Vigneault was an assistant to Rick Bowness in Ottawa from 1992 to 1996. He also spent two seasons as a scout in the Blues system. Vigneault joined Vancouver from the club’s AHL affiliate Manitoba Moose, where he led the team to within one game of the conference finals. Prior to ascending to the NHL ranks, Vigneault spent 10 seasons as coach in the QMJHL with Trois-Rivieres, Hull, Beauport and PEI. In 1988, Vigneault led the Olympiques to the Memorial Cup tournament and was named CHL Coach of the Year. Vigneault has also achieved success on the international stage, serving as an assistant with Canada’s National Junior Team in 1989 and 1991, winning a gold medal at the 1991 WJC in Saskatoon. He began his NHL career with the St. Louis Blues from 1981 to 1983. An eighth round pick of the Blues in the 1981 Draft, the defenceman recorded two goals, five assists and 82 penalty minutes in his NHL career.

Most notable player feat: Nothing of note, was a fairly decent offensive D man in the Q.

Greatest coaching achievement: Two .600%+ Canucks seasons, taking wounded 2000 Habs within game of playoffs

Notorious or reknown for: Nice suits, naming a goalie as his captain

NHL Player stats: 42-2-5-7

NHL Coaching stats: 512-242-204-35-31 .537% / 32-15-17 .469%

Route to the NHL: Junior and NHL assistant first time, AHL coach the second time

NHL Experience: 11 seasons, seven as head coach

Winning seasons as an NHL coach:

Individual hardware: Jack Adams

General behind the bench demeanor: Fire and ice

Coaching career:

Per Stanley Cup wins as a coach: 0 pts

Per Stanley Cup final appearances: 0 pts

Per 25 games won as an NHL coach - playoffs: 0 pts

Per 100 games won as an NHL coach - regular season: 6 pts

Per 100 games coached at the NHL level: 10 pts

Per 100 games coached at AHL/minor level: 6 pts

Per championships won coaching at junior, AHL or U.S. Collegiate or University level: 0 points

Playing Career:

Reached NHL Level: 25 pts

Per 100 NHL games played: 0 pts

Per 100 AHL/minors games played: 1 pt

Per Stanley Cups won as a player: 0 Pts

Total points: 48

Link to Part 2