Wings need to replace Bowman

June 14, 2002 at 2:26 PM
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DETROIT, June 14 (UPI) -- Scotty Bowman, the greatest coach in NHL history, announced his retirement Thursday night after guiding the Detroit Red Wings to

their third Stanley Cup in six years and the record ninth of his unparalleled career.

Bowman revealed his plans to players on the ice at Joe Louis Arena, moments after the Wings posted a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Five of the Finals.

"It's my last game as a coach," he said. "I made up my mind (during) the Olympic break. We got lucky, I had a little bit of a rest. But I am so happy to go out now."

With a ninth championship, Bowman broke the record held by his mentor, Toe Blake. Three nights earlier, he passed Blake with his 35th Stanley Cup Finals victory.

"Toe Blake coached 13 years in this league and he won eight Cups," Bowman noted. "I think he was far and away the best coach that's ever coached in the league. I have had 30-something

years at it, so if you stay long enough on a job, you can get yourself in a position where you are looked at."

Los Angeles Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and former Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach of the NBA are the only other coaches in major professional sports to win nine championships.

Casey Stengel managed the New York Yankees to 10 pennants and seven World Series titles.

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