Power Ranking the 10 Greatest Coaches in Montreal Canadiens History

April 17, 2017


The Montreal are the most storied franchise in the NHL, having won 24 Stanley Cups in their history. They’ve had legendary coaches and players leading their teams to glory on numerous occasions.It may not seem that they are continuing that tradition today due to their recent struggles. Interim head coach has been blasted by the Montreal media several times because wholesale jerseys
he can’t speak French and the team is in a downward spiral.That being said, the team has had decades of domination earlier in their history and there is no doubt that the history of the NHL can’t be told without the Canadiens and some of their successful coaches.Here are the 10 greatest of the 27 head coaches the Montreal Canadiens have employed.9. Claude Ruel 2 of 10Claude Ruel won the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1969.Although he had a .631 winning percentage for the Habs, he’s not higher on this list because the NHL was watered down in that era following the six team expansion of 1967.This means the star studded Canadiens would play against expansion teams like the Philadelphia , , and Pittsburgh quite often. There were only 12 teams in the NHL and half of them were expansion teams. There wasn’t much parity and the Habs took advantage of it.That’s a lot of easy wins for the Habs and it helped pad his winning percentage.That being said, winning the Cup took many trials and tribulations for the Canadiens and Ruel deserves to be on this list.7. Pat Burns4 of 10The late Pat Burns coached the Habs for five seasons but he never won a Stanley Cup with them. He did win the Jack Adams award in 1989 and had a .609 winning percentage.He also coached in the era which made it a lot more difficult to win Stanley Cups. The NHL had more parity in the 80s compared to the late 60s. Players like made teams like the Pittsburgh , who had historically struggled, more competitive.For that reason, it’s okay to give Burns a mulligan for not winning a Stanley Cup. It wasn’t as easy to establish dynasties in those days.In fact, the NHL hasn’t seen one since Gretzky’s Edmonton .That said, Burns won a plethora of games and won them often in a league that was becoming more difficult to win in.6. Cecil Hart5 of 10Cecil Hart’s name sounds familiar because the Hart Memorial Trophy is named after him.He coached the Canadiens after Leo Dandurand’s tenure and he won two Stanley Cups. After quarreling with the organization, Hart left as coach.When Dandurand sold the team in the mid 30s and the team tanked, Hart was called on to take over as coach again.He was able to lead a struggling Canadiens team to first place. This showed that Hart’s coaching had a lot to do with the team winning their Stanley Cups. It wasn’t because of talent on the ice alone.4. Jacques Demers7 of 10Jacques Demers was the last Canadiens head coach to win a Stanley Cup. He won it in 1993 against Wayne Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings.What’s most impressive about Demers’ achievement was that he did it in an era that belonged to Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky.The Pittsburgh were coming off two straight Stanley Cup victories and we all know how Gretzky dominated the 1980s.One thing is for sure. Winning the Stanley Cup in 1993 with over 20 teams in the league and a plethora of stars all over the continent is a lot more challenging than winning it in the 1930s when there were just a handful of teams in the league and travel was less difficult.


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