The PITTSBURGH PENGUINS Best Coaches of All Time

by Evelyn D. Shah on September 30, 2023

The PITTSBURGH PENGUINS Best Coaches of All Time

Ah, the Pittsburgh Penguins! They've been carving up the ice in the Steel City for decades, thrilling fans with their slick moves, sensational goals, and impressive Stanley Cup victories. But behind every successful team, a great coach is steering the ship. In this deep dive into the annals of hockey history, we'll explore the best coaches of all time for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

From the early days when the team struggled to find its footing to the recent era of dominance, these coaches have left an indelible mark on the franchise. So, grab your Terrible Towel (yes, even in hockey season!), and let's skate down memory lane with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Scotty Bowman: The Maestro of the Penguins

Scotty Bowman, the maestro of the Pittsburgh Penguins, deserves a special place in the hearts of Penguins fans. Though he's renowned for his time with the Detroit Red Wings, Bowman made a significant impact during his short but memorable stint in Pittsburgh.

🏆 Achievements:

  • In the 1990-91 season, Bowman led the Penguins to their first-ever Stanley Cup victory. That's right, folks, it was the beginning of a dynasty.
  • Known for his strategic brilliance, Bowman nurtured the likes of Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, turning them into superstar talents.
  • Under Bowman's tutelage, Lemieux won his first Art Ross Trophy, lighting up the league with an astonishing 131 points!

Bowman's icy tactics and ability to transform a good team into a great one put the Pittsburgh Penguins on the map. Even though he didn't stay long, his impact was profound.

Bob Johnson: "Badger Bob" and the Quest for Glory

After Scotty Bowman's departure, Bob Johnson, affectionately known as "Badger Bob," took the reins. He brought with him an infectious enthusiasm and a burning desire to take the Penguins to new heights.

🚀 Highlights:

  • Johnson instilled a winning culture in Pittsburgh, setting the foundation for future success.
  • The 1990-91 season, with Mario Lemieux leading the charge, was the pinnacle of his coaching career. The Penguins clinched their first Stanley Cup under his guidance.

"Badger Bob" was a terrific coach and motivator who knew how to get the best out of his players. His famous rallying cry, "It's a great day for hockey!", still echoes in the hearts of the Penguins faithful.

Mike Sullivan: A Modern Dynamo

Fast forward to the 21st century, and the Pittsburgh Penguins found themselves in the capable hands of Mike Sullivan. His arrival ushered in a new era of dominance for the team.

💪 Key Achievements:

  • Sullivan coached the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup victories in 2016 and 2017. That's right, folks, a repeat performance!
  • His adaptive coaching style and knack for making in-game adjustments have been crucial to the Penguins' success.
  • Sullivan's leadership helped evolve the team from a group of talented individuals into a cohesive unit.

Sullivan's ability to connect with the modern generation of players and his tactical prowess has solidified his place among the best coaches in Penguins history.

Dan Bylsma: "Disco Dan" and the 2009 Triumph

Dan Bylsma, often fondly called "Disco Dan," brought a fresh perspective to the Penguins' coaching staff. He took over mid-season in 2009 and led the team to an unforgettable Stanley Cup victory.

🕺 Dance Floor Delight:

  • Bylsma's energetic coaching style injected new life into the Penguins, and they clinched the Stanley Cup in a thrilling seven-game series.
  • He won the Jack Adams Award in 2011 for being the NHL's top coach, further solidifying his status as one of the best Penguins coaches.

Bylsma's impact was immediate and exhilarating, and his Penguins team displayed a level of speed and aggression that was nothing short of electrifying.

Eddie Johnston: The Steady Hand

Eddie Johnston, often overlooked in the pantheon of Penguins coaches, was a steady hand during some tumultuous times in the franchise's history.

🏒 Quiet Consistency:

  • Johnston's coaching tenure included some lean years for the Penguins, but his commitment to the team never wavered.
  • He played a crucial role in developing young talents like Tom Barrasso and Ron Francis.

While he may not have a Stanley Cup on his coaching resume, Johnston's unwavering dedication to the Pittsburgh Penguins left an indelible mark on the organization.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have a storied history of ups, downs, and unforgettable moments. From the early days under Scotty Bowman to the modern era led by Mike Sullivan, the Penguins have been fortunate to have some of the best coaches in the game.

These coaches have achieved remarkable success on the ice and left a lasting legacy of passion, dedication, and excellence. As the Penguins continue to chase Stanley Cup glory, fans can take pride in knowing that their team's history is intertwined with the brilliance of these coaching legends.

So, whether you're watching a game at PPG Paints Arena or cheering from afar, remember the coaches who have shaped the Pittsburgh Penguins into the beloved franchise they are today. Here's to the past, present, and future of Pittsburgh hockey!


Who is the most successful coach in Penguins history?

Scotty Bowman and Mike Sullivan share the honor of being the most successful coaches in Penguins history, each winning multiple Stanley Cups with the team.

How many Stanley Cups have the Penguins won?

As of my knowledge cutoff date is in September 2021, the Penguins have won five Stanley Cups. Please check the latest statistics for updates.

Who is the greatest Penguins player of all time?

Mario Lemieux is widely regarded as the greatest Penguins player of all time. His skill, leadership, and impact on the team and the sport are legendary.

Evelyn D. Shah

Evelyn D. Shah is a seasoned sports blogger with 15 years of experience covering the NFL. Throughout her career, she has established herself as a reliable news source and analysis for football fans worldwide. Her passion for the sport is evident in her writing, as she delivers insightful and engaging content on various topics related to the NFL. With her extensive knowledge and expertise, Evelyn is a trusted voice in the world of sports journalism, and she continues to be a go-to resource for all things NFL.