Sports

The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time 

Ranker Hockey
Originally by
Updated June 14, 2019 13.1k votes 2.2k voters 42.8k views 59 items

List Rules Only professional hockey coaches. No minor league or international coaches

The best hockey coaches of all time are the men who've led their NHL, Olympic or college hockey teams and done it the best. While many aspire to be a great professional hockey coach, only a select few will be remembered for being the elite. Much to the envy of the worst NHL coaches of all time, these are the best men ever to coach the sport of hockey.

Few experts or fans will disagree that the best hockey coach of all time is Scotty Bowman. With the most games coached, most games won, most Stanley Cup Playoff victories and the most Stanley Cup Championships during his 30 years coaching in the NHL, Scotty Bowman's numbers are simply leaps and bounds above any other competitor.

That's not to say that there are not dozens of other great hockey coaches. Others in the NHL who stand out include the likes of Toe Blake, Al Arbour, Dick Irvin, Glen Sather and Jack Adams, for whom the NHL Coach of the Year Award is named. In college hockey, Red Berenson, who has coached the Michigan Wolverines since 1984, is easily among the elite in the NCAA ranks as is Herb Brooks who made miracles happen with the US Men's Olympic Hockey Team in 1980.

Quite simply, these are the best men to ever stand behind the benches at hockey games and if they are not already, they are all deserving of being in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Which of these individuals stand out as the best hockey coaches in history to you? Vote for your favorite hockey coaches below!
list ordered by
1
Scotty Bowman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Age: 86
2
Herb Brooks is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 66 (1937-2003)
3
Al Arbour is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Age: 87
4
Joel Quenneville is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
5
Mike Babcock is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Age: 56
6
Toe Blake is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 83 (1912-1995)
7
Pat Burns is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 58 (1952-2010)
8
Barry Trotz is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Age: 57
9
Jack Adams is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 73 (1895-1968)
10
Pat Quinn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Age: 76
11
Jacques Lemaire is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Age: 74
12
Art Ross is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 78 (1886-1964)
13
Ken Hitchcock is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Age: 68
14
Glen Sather is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Age: 76
15
Fred Shero is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 65 (1925-1990)
16
Punch Imlach is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
17
Roger Neilson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
18
Bob Johnson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 60 (1931-1991)
19
Darryl Sutter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
doctch added Age: 61
20
Dick Irvin is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 65 (1892-1957)
21
John Tortorella is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
C Byers added Age: 61
22
Jacques Demers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Age: 75
23
Peter Laviolette is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
24
Claude Julien is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Age: 59
25
Gerard Gallant is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time
Bruno Guérin added Age: 56