The 20 Most-Feared Coaches in NHL History

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2012

The 20 Most-Feared Coaches in NHL History

0 of 20

    If you've never looked an angry man in the eyes before, here is your chance.

    This is a list of the 20 most feared coaches in NHL history, including those who are feared for their excellence and those who are feared for their antics.

    Please feel free to comment if you find someone unjustly listed or unlisted.

No. 20: Jim Playfair

1 of 20

    This guy has to make the list. Forget that he's only coached one season in the NHL, and that this didn't even happen in an NHL game. It is just too good.

No. 19: Tom Webster

2 of 20

    Mr. Webster only coached a few years, but this incident lands him a place in the top 20.

    He also once threw a stick at a referee, javelin-style.

No. 18: Terry O'Reilly

3 of 20

    Of course, most of O'Reilly's bad moments were from his playing career, but his attitude carried into his coaching career as well.

No. 17: Glen Sonmor

4 of 20

    Sonmor had a difficult time keeping coaching jobs, but spent six full seasons coaching the Minnesota North Stars.

    Unfortunately Sonmor got involved in several bar fights that kept him from focusing on his coaching. He sounds like the kind of guy you wouldn't want to meet in the street.

No. 16: Jim Schoenfeld

5 of 20

    What fun.

    I would be afraid of this. Especially his hair.

No. 15: Guy Boucher

6 of 20

    Boucher just looks scary.

    He has a scar on his face that he won't even tell his own kids about.

    He can't be fun to be around when he's angry.

No. 14: Robbie Ftorek

7 of 20

    You've gotta be afraid of anyone chucking wood.

    Here is Ftorek throwing a bench fit.

No. 13: Bryan Murray

8 of 20

    This is not a guy anyone wants to run into.

No. 12: John Tortorella

9 of 20

    Tortorella is just abrasive. You know you've done some good work when you have your own Top 10 Angry Moments clip.

No. 11: Michel Bergeron

10 of 20

    Nicknamed "Le Tigre" and "Napoleon" because of his French descent, fiery temper and small stature, Bergeron was a successful and wild coach in the NHL.

No. 10: Pat Quinn

11 of 20

    "The Big Irishman" never won a Stanley Cup, but he has the fourth most wins of any coach, and even won 94 playoff games.

    Thankfully, he did earn one Jack Adams Award for his excellent coaching.

    As a player, he played some hardball.

No. 9: Pat Burns

12 of 20

    Any guy who hangs out with people involved in organized crime should be feared.

    I'm not saying this is a good or bad thing, it's just a thing.

    And there's this.

No. 8: Tom Johnson

13 of 20

    Tom Johnson won 73.8 percent of the games he coached. That number is just unreal.

    Who wouldn't be scared of facing the Boston Bruins in the early 1970s with this guy at the helm?

No. 7: Toe Blake

14 of 20

    Toe was well-known for controlling players with hot tempers. This made him feared around the league because he could channel this energy into something good for his team.

    Blake coached the Montreal Canadiens for 13 years, winning eight Stanley Cups.

No. 6: Jack Adams

15 of 20

    The man whom the NHL Coach of the Year Trophy is named after definitely deserves to be high on this list.

    He once punched a referee, and fearlessly built an organization with an entire farm system in Detroit.

No. 5: Dick Irvin

16 of 20

    With four Stanley Cup wins and nearly 700 games won under his belt, Irvin was a feared coach in the NHL.

    He was known for his fiery passion for the game.

No. 4: Marc Crawford

17 of 20

    This man may or may not have been responsible for plotting to destroy Steve Moore's career. Crawford is included in a lawsuit for the hit on Moore by Todd Bertuzzi in 2004.

    He was allegedly laughing while Moore was down on the ice.


No. 3: Lindy Ruff

18 of 20

    The man may have started this really great fight by sending out his three enforcers after a hit to which he took offense. He also ended it with a bang.

    As the NHL's longest tenured coach, Ruff has developed a nice montage of crazy, scary moments. He's been fined several times for instigating conflicts and criticizing referees.

    Nobody wants to mess with Mr. Ruff.

No. 2: Mike Keenan

19 of 20

    I don't know who wouldn't be afraid of Mike Keenan.  He got the nickname "Iron Mike" for a reason.

    He could never develop long-term relationships with teams because he was just too crazy. He refused to put his team in certain uniforms. He had rows with Brett Hull and Trevor Linden.

    Sometimes he just plain went nuts. I don't blame him a bit for this one, though.

No. 1: Scotty Bowman

20 of 20

    Bowman notched 1467 wins, including 223 in the playoffs, nine Stanley Cups with three different teams and two Jack Adams Awards.

    Not much more needs to be said.

    Nobody wanted to face this guy. He could put you in your place in a hurry.