Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

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    davetherave
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    Scotty Bowman: Rockin'' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by davetherave on Mon May 11, 2009 6:52 am

    Hockey people revere him. Some hockey fans love him. Some hate him. His players apparently hated him, but they loved him enough to make Scotty Bowman the most successful coach in the hockey history, and one of the most successful in professional sports.

    Many Ottawa hockey fans may not realize that Bowman has important ties to our city.

    He started his coaching career as the bench boss of the Ottawa-Hull Junior Canadiens (then managed by Sam Pollock) back in 1956, who later became the Ottawa-Hull Canadiens of the defunct Eastern Professional Hockey League.

    I was lucky enough as a boy to see that team play at the Hull Arena back in the early 1960s. My uncle took me to that game, and I remember being thrilled, even in the chill of the arena, to see players like Gilles Tremblay, Bobby Rousseau and Jacques Laperriere.

    Bowman's biography on Wikipedia, as well as the innumerable articles chronicling his career, tell the story of a man committed to hockey excellence in a way matched by few. Link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotty_Bowman

    Terry Jones of The Edmonton Sun writes that Bowman remains as passionate and engaged as ever, in this article about Scotty Bowman and his new role, rockin' with the Chicago Blackhawks:

    May 10, 2009
    Scotty beams up confidence
    Bowman a big help to young Blackhawks

    By TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

    VANCOUVER -- Patrick Kane marvelled when he looked over at Scotty Bowman on the Chicago Blackhawks charter flight here for last night's Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinal.

    "It probably would have been pretty easy for him to stay in Chicago, watch the game on TV and wait for Game 6 back home," said Kane of Bowman putting himself through a four-hour flight for one hockey game.

    "He's 76 or 77 years old and he still really wants to be a part of it, he still wants to be there. He's a really special person."

    Bowman won't be 76 until September, but Kane is right. Bowman may be in the background and intentionally keeping out of the spotlight, but he's still Scotty Bowman.

    "I talk to him almost every day," said Kane.

    "I'll just see him in the hallway. He's just got such a great hockey mind, it's great to have him around."

    Jonathan Toews said Bowman has become a study for the young Hawks.

    'TINY DETAILS'

    "He just kind of pops up and reads your mind and gives you advice. It's little tiny details that make such a difference."

    Coach Joel Quenneville spent most of the travel day with Bowman and says you'd be nuts to not take advantage of having the greatest coach in the history of hockey around.

    "I sat with him on the plane coming here. We watched the games on TV after we landed. He's the best hockey mind ever. Scotty sees so many things you wouldn't otherwise give any consideration."

    Bowman was named Blackhawks senior advisor of hockey operations at the start of the season after being part of 11 Stanley Cup championship teams, including nine as a coach.

    The NHL's all-time leader with 1,224 regular-season wins, he spent the previous seven seasons in a similar role with the Detroit Red Wings, where he expected to remain as long as he wanted to do this sort of thing.

    Then one day his son Stan, assistant GM with the Blackhawks, gave him a call.

    "In July he called and asked if I'd ever consider leaving Detroit," Bowman said of his son, who had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

    "He had a good scan a couple of weeks ago," he said of the recovery Stan has made.

    His son explained how Chicago had a plan to turn the organization into one of excellence and how they wanted him to play a part in it.

    Being able to work with his son, especially considering the circumstances, made it very attractive.

    "I was more concerned how I'd leave them," Bowman said of Ken Holland and the Detroit organization.

    "When I went to Detroit, I went with the intention of coaching for two years and then being part of the organization the way Keith Allen stayed involved in Philadelphia and Toe Blake did with the Montreal Canadiens when I took over as coach.

    "I didn't want to be disloyal and leave."

    The Red Wings gave him their blessing.

    "The great thing is that it makes it so much easier to talk hockey with my son. It's sometimes not been so easy because we've been on different sides."

    It would be interesting, Bowman admits, if Detroit and Chicago end up playing each other in the Western Conference final.

    "My wife and I would have to go somewhere," he said. "It would be tough."

    The job is essentially the same as Bowman did in Detroit.

    VERY SIMILIAR

    "It's very similar to Detroit. The difference is that I knew those guys so well. I coached a lot of them. Here ... well, I knew Patrick Kane from living in Buffalo.
    Some of his relatives are really good friends. But it's an entirely different group."

    Bowman sees a lot of comparisons between this Hawks team and the Edmonton Oilers of the early 1980s.

    "They don't have a lot of veterans. The trick now is that with the salary cap it's not that easy to grow together.

    "Joel reminds me a lot of Glen Sather the way he's had the same kind of effect on them, making them responsible players and pros on and off the ice.

    "And what I really like is they way the guys on this team seem to like to see each other get better.

    "Last year this team was just Toews and Kane, but that's not the case now."

    Bowman has been involved with some of the greatest teams in history.

    This looks like it's going to be another one.

    TERRY.JONES@SUNMEDIA.CA


    Last edited by davetherave on Wed May 13, 2009 7:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by davetherave on Tue May 12, 2009 12:12 pm

    Nobody picked up on this thread, but the series victory over the Canucks confirmed that Scotty Bowman's hockey knowledge gave the Hawks an edge.

    If the Blackhawks do indeed face Detroit--a team Bowman knows inside and out--it will be fascinating to see what impact he has on how Chicago approaches that matchup.
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by PTFlea on Tue May 12, 2009 12:16 pm

    I never really thought of it like that. Bowman's definitely lording over all proceedings. Neat.
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by SeawaySensFan on Tue May 12, 2009 12:18 pm

    davetherave wrote:Nobody picked up on this thread, but the series victory over the Canucks confirmed that Scotty Bowman's hockey knowledge gave the Hawks an edge.

    If the Blackhawks do indeed face Detroit--a team Bowman knows inside and out--it will be fascinating to see what impact he has on how Chicago approaches that matchup.

    I remember when Khabibulin was being shopped and his contract was a problem. Pierre McGuire said at the time that Bowman would engineer some sort of deal to get him off the books. He's magic.

    Will he get a ring if the Hawks win the Cup? Why don't they just can Quenneville and Tallon right now so Scotty can right the ship?
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by PTFlea on Tue May 12, 2009 12:20 pm

    I was thinking about the Khabby thing the other day as well. Free, he could have been had for free - and look what he's doing. Unreal...who the heck would have ever thought...
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by davetherave on Tue May 12, 2009 8:37 pm

    SeawaySensFan wrote:
    davetherave wrote:Nobody picked up on this thread, but the series victory over the Canucks confirmed that Scotty Bowman's hockey knowledge gave the Hawks an edge.

    If the Blackhawks do indeed face Detroit--a team Bowman knows inside and out--it will be fascinating to see what impact he has on how Chicago approaches that matchup.

    I remember when Khabibulin was being shopped and his contract was a problem. Pierre McGuire said at the time that Bowman would engineer some sort of deal to get him off the books. He's magic.

    Will he get a ring if the Hawks win the Cup? Why don't they just can Quenneville and Tallon right now so Scotty can right the ship?

    Can you explain that bizarre comment?
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by Hockeyhero22000 on Tue May 12, 2009 8:46 pm

    davetherave wrote:Nobody picked up on this thread, but the series victory over the Canucks confirmed that Scotty Bowman's hockey knowledge gave the Hawks an edge.

    If the Blackhawks do indeed face Detroit--a team Bowman knows inside and out--it will be fascinating to see what impact he has on how Chicago approaches that matchup.

    I know bowman has a lot of hockey knowledge and he does know detroit but that being said i am not sure if there is any extra jump or hints(cant think of the right word that i am looking for) that gives them an edge over the wings the main thing is that the hawks have to play their game and try their best to not go down early in games giving up leads is a hard way to win
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by davetherave on Tue May 12, 2009 8:59 pm

    Hockeyhero22000 wrote:
    davetherave wrote:Nobody picked up on this thread, but the series victory over the Canucks confirmed that Scotty Bowman's hockey knowledge gave the Hawks an edge.

    If the Blackhawks do indeed face Detroit--a team Bowman knows inside and out--it will be fascinating to see what impact he has on how Chicago approaches that matchup.

    I know bowman has a lot of hockey knowledge and he does know detroit but that being said i am not sure if there is any extra jump or hints(cant think of the right word that i am looking for) that gives them an edge over the wings the main thing is that the hawks have to play their game and try their best to not go down early in games giving up leads is a hard way to win

    HH, my question was a hypothetical... Wink Did you see the Blackhawks' last two regular season home and home wins over Detroit, by the way?

    The Hawks looked very Wing-like...
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by Hockeyhero22000 on Tue May 12, 2009 9:01 pm

    no i hadn't seen a lot of western conference games but the regualr season is completely different from the playoffs and you question may be hypothetical but after tonight it might become and interesting subplot in the next series
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by davetherave on Tue May 12, 2009 9:04 pm

    Hockeyhero22000 wrote:no i hadn't seen a lot of western conference games but the regualr season is completely different from the playoffs and you question may be hypothetical but after tonight it might become and interesting subplot in the next series

    Again, we're making an assumption at this point about a Wings-Hawks West Final. But Bowman has most definitely brought his knowledge that he used to help craft the Red Wings system over to Chicago.

    That has been evident to me as I have watched both teams over the past two years.
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by Hockeyhero22000 on Tue May 12, 2009 9:12 pm

    yea it is pure speculation it doesnt hurt...if the wings do play the hawks it will be up to the wings personnel to adjust as you said in the other thread one of the advantages in playing the same team so many games in a row is the ability to make adjustments.
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by davetherave on Tue May 12, 2009 9:20 pm

    Hockeyhero22000 wrote:yea it is pure speculation it doesnt hurt...if the wings do play the hawks it will be up to the wings personnel to adjust as you said in the other thread one of the advantages in playing the same team so many games in a row is the ability to make adjustments.

    My point is that both teams place a similar emphasis on puck possession and the synchonization of the five man unit at all times.

    There has been a great deal of discussion by Chicago hockey writers about Scotty's influence and the consensus is that the Red Wings have been used as a model of excellence for the Blackhawks to study and learn from.

    IMHO Dale Tallon and his staff (which includes Scotty's son Stan who is Director of Player Development) have looked very closely at the last two Stanley Cup winners, Detroit and Anaheim.

    Tallon has stated the Hawks are actually "ahead of schedule" according to the blueprint developed by the Chicago brain trust. Scotty's arrival may have helped accelerate that development.

    In a sense, we could be looking at a classic "master-student" confrontation if the Wings and Hawks meet in the playoffs.

    How cool would that be?
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by Hockeyhero22000 on Tue May 12, 2009 9:21 pm

    davetherave wrote:
    Hockeyhero22000 wrote:yea it is pure speculation it doesnt hurt...if the wings do play the hawks it will be up to the wings personnel to adjust as you said in the other thread one of the advantages in playing the same team so many games in a row is the ability to make adjustments.

    My point is that both teams place a similar emphasis on puck possession and the synchonization of the five man unit at all times.

    There has been a great deal of discussion by Chicago hockey writers about Scotty's influence and the consensus is that the Red Wings have been used as a model of excellence for the Blackhawks to study and learn from.

    IMHO Dale Tallon and his staff (which includes Scotty's son Stan who is Director of Player Development) have looked very closely at the last two Stanley Cup winners, Detroit and Anaheim.

    Tallon has stated the Hawks are actually "ahead of schedule" according to the blueprint developed by the Chicago brain trust. Scotty's arrival may have helped accelerate that development.

    In a sense, we could be looking at a classic "master-student" confrontation if the Wings and Hawks meet in the playoffs.

    How cool would that be?

    One heck of a series that goes to 7 games with all of them ending in OT :drooling: ....am I hoping for too much
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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by davetherave on Tue May 12, 2009 10:08 pm

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    Re: Scotty Bowman: Rockin' With the Hawks at 75 years young

    Post by davetherave on Wed May 13, 2009 7:38 am

    Bowman's fingerprints on Hawks

    "Young Chicago team has been the biggest surprise of the playoffs."

    RED FISHER, The Montreal Gazette, May 13, 2009

    Tell me, what has surprised you the most now that the NHL playoffs are a heartbeat away from the conference finals?

    Was it the No. 8 Anaheim Ducks sending home the No. 1 overall San Jose Sharks in the first round?

    The Washington Capitals losing three of their four
    first-round games with the New York Rangers - and then winning the next three?

    Or winning the first two at home against the Penguins in the second round, losing the next three, and then coming out of Pittsburgh with a 5-4 overtime victory to set up tonight's Game 7? (7 p.m., CBC, RDS).

    The only certainty about playoff hockey is its uncertainty.

    What else is there to be said about the young Chicago Blackhawks - my choice as the biggest surprise of the playoffs? They were winners over a very good Calgary Flames team in the first round, and now they're the first team to make it to the conference finals after their astonishing 7-5 victory over Vancouver on Monday.

    The Blackhawks have astounded most among us, up to and including their finale with the Canucks. It started with them losing a 3-1 lead in the second period, falling behind 4-3 and then 5-4 with only 7:45 left in regulation, before putting it away with three goals in 3:13. Astonishing in every way for a team that failed to make the playoffs in nine of the preceding 10 seasons and hasn't made it to the conference finals since 1994-95, a year in which they lost in five games to Detroit - three in overtime.

    Where does it begin with the Blackhawks, who have turned it around in one season? Was it when they replaced head coach Denis Savard with Joel Quenneville only four games into the season? The only thing wrong with that decision was that it should have been made during the offseason to avoid embarrassing Savard, one of Chicago's truly great stars as a player.

    How much did the hiring of a chap named Scotty Bowman as a consultant help? My guess is his counsel contributed greatly.

    Scotty always has been very good at avoiding the spotlight when he isn't the guy in charge, but he's a wise old bird who always has been free with his opinion on all matters, even when it isn't sought. The camera caught him often during the series with Vancouver sitting in a private box alongside Chicago GM Dale Tallon, and you can be sure the latter's ears were left ringing after every game.

    A lot of teams, including the Canadiens, can learn from the Blackhawks' surprising surge to the conference final, starting with the fact there was no quit in them.

    They came from behind in game after game. They didn't flinch if they trailed by one goal or three. Instead, they worked harder - as they did in Monday's shootout against a Vancouver team blessed with Roberto Luongo, arguably the NHL's best goaltender. A team is doing a lot of things right when it scores seven times against any goalie.

    What the Canucks might have learned was that money doesn't buy everything.

    Vancouver first-year GM Mike Gillis was the leader of a small pack of teams prepared to offer Mats Sundin an obscene amount of money to join the team.

    Obviously, the hope was that the ex-Maple Leaf would help the team win the Stanley Cup or, at least, lead them to the final.

    The Canadiens were among them, but Bob Gainey withdrew from the auction, and rightly so, when Sundin let it be known he would take his sweet time deciding
    whether or not to play. Gillis was prepared to wait, and the result was that Sundin, who missed the first half of the season, never really brought the complete package to the ice - not during the last half of the regular season, when he scored only nine goals and 19 assists, and not during the playoffs.

    What happens now is that somebody in Vancouver likely will lose his job, probably coach Alain Vigneault. That's too bad, because Vigneault had no say in the Sundin matter.

    It's not as if the Canucks were faced with a unique situation. Anaheim learned it the hard way when Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne played in only 48 and 26 games, respectively, in 2007-08, the year after the Ducks won the Stanley Cup. Both future Hall of Famers struggled when they finally agreed to return, and neither was a factor in the playoffs. It was no great surprise when the Ducks fell out of the first round in six games.

    Canada doesn't have a team in the conference finals, which is disappointing, but Chicago's youth will keep what remains of the road to the Cup something special.

    No matter who you root for, if you're a fan you have to get that warm and fuzzy feeling watching a 20-year-old such as Patrick Kane score three goals in a playoff game. You have to feel good about seeing Jonathan Toews, at 21 Chicago's captain, scoring twice. You have to be full of admiration for a Chicago team coming from behind twice in the third period of an elimination game with four goals - including two by Kane and one by Toews.

    The Blackhawks were a question mark at the start of the season. Now, there's no question they deserve to be in the final four.

    rfisher@thegazette.canwest.com

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