Winter Sports The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time  

The Round Mound
3.9k votes 638 voters 14.9k views 46 items

The worst NHL coaches of all time are really good at doing other hockey-related things, like playing the game or broadcasting, but when it came their turn to coach in the National Hockey League, they just plain sucked. These worst NHL coaches ever tallied some of the worst coaching records in professional hockey, disappointed fans and overall failed miserably at their job. Quite simply, it doesn't get much worse than this in terms of NHL coaches.

For many of these bad NHL coaches, prior to taking over as a head coach of a professional hockey team, they saw a great deal of success as a player in the league. Wayne Gretzky is perhaps the best example of this when he went from being arguably one of the best hockey players in history to a disappointing owner and coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, leading them to a sub-par performance over his four years as head coach. Lou Agnotti, Paul Holmgren, Jim Anderson and Butch Goring also fall into this category having made that disastrous leap from being a star NHL player to a terrible NHL coach.

Similarly, many who don't have what it takes to coach in the NHL have gone on to successful careers in other aspects of the game, such as broadcasting. Mike Milbury is a well-known face in the hockey broadcasting world but what you might not know is that he once coached in the league, and not so well. The same thing happened with Barry Melrose. He and his mullet can frequently be seen on ESPN and the NHL Network, a place he settled into in between being fired as head coach of the Los Angeles Kings in 1995 then again as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2008.

So whether these bad NHL coaches failed to make the transition from player to coach, like Steve Ludzik, or simply have their name in the record books for the worst winning percentages ever, like when Dave Allison led the Ottawa Senators to a 2-22-1 record in the 1995-1996 season, each of these coaches tried their hand at coaching in the National Hockey League and simply couldn't cut it. Like the worst NFL coaches of all time, if nothing else, they give us something to talk about.
list ordered by

1
258 67
Mike Milbury is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 65

2
134 60
Mario Tremblay is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time

3
142 81
Barry Melrose is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 61

4
196 124
Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 57

5
87 45
Paul Holmgren is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 62

6
82 46
John Brophy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 85

7
49 23
Trent Yawney is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 52

8
42 18
Adam Oates is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Ari Aries added age 55

9
67 41
Rick Bowness is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 63

10
38 16
Dallas Eakins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
zacx99 added age 51

11
48 29
John Paddock is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
John Paddock age 63

12
78 60
Bryan Trottier is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time

13
38 25
Steve Kasper is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 56

14
34 22
Mike O Conell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Rod11 added Mike O Conell

15
101 89
Mike Keenan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 68

16
49 39
Pierre Pagé is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Pierre Pagé age 69

17
67 62
Michel Therrien is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time

18
51 48
Butch Goring is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 68

19
50 47
John Tortorella is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
SalvatoreIanni added age 59

20
35 31
Glen Hanlon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 61

21
21 18
Craig Berube is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
slaft added age 52

22
36 35
Dave Lewis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 64

23
13 11
Cory Clouston is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
ahatrack added Cory Clouston age 48

24
33 34
Ebbie Goodfellow is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 79 (1906-1985)

25
37 39
Tony Granato is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 53

26
20 20
Hughie Lehman is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 76 (1885-1961)

27
56 62
Marc Crawford is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 57

28
26 28
Bill LaForge is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Bill LaForge Dec. at 54 (1951-2005)

29
22 24
Dave Allison is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 58

30
19 21
Dave Chambers is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
gaug66 added Dave Chambers age 77

31
26 30
Dan Bylsma is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
PerReconditus added age 47

32
15 17
Cooper Smeaton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Cooper Smeaton Dec. at 88 (1890-1978)

33
28 33
Ron Rolston is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
willyboymcoy added age 51 - 1966

34
21 26
Jim Anderson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 83 (1930-2013)

35
30 40
Bruce Cassidy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Bruce Cassidy age 52

36
19 26
Larry Regan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Larry Regan Dec. at 79 (1930-2009)

37
25 34
Milt Schmidt is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 100

38
14 20
Frank Fredrickson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 84 (1895-1979)

39
15 22
Larry Wilson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Larry Wilson Dec. at 49 (1930-1979)

40
14 21
Eddie Bush is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 66 (1918-1984)

41
27 39
Ned Harkness is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Dec. at 89 (1919-2008)

42
18 29
Steve Ludzik is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 57

43
12 23
Lou Angotti is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
age 80

44
13 25
Vic Stasiuk is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Vic Stasiuk age 88

45
5 15
Bob McCammon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
slaft added Bob McCammon age 76

46
26 51
Don Cherry is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Worst NHL Coaches of All Time
Ari Aries added age 84