Adams led the way behind the bench

The legendary Jack Adams won three Stanley Cups as the coach of the Detroit Red Wings and four more as general manager. Photo courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame.

Trevor Letowski joining the Montreal Canadiens staff last month, he will become the latest in the line of northwestern Ontario products to have served behind a bench in the National Hockey League.

Topping this list is the legendary Jack Adams.

The honoured member of the Hockey Hall of Fame initially got into the coaching profession after retiring as a player in 1927.

Heading to Detroit that same year, he began an amazing run where he would spend close to the next four decades in the Motor City.

After appearing in the first three seasons of his residency leading the Cougars, and a couple more when they were dubbed the Falcons, the Detroit Red Wings were born in 1932.

He guided the club as head coach for 15 years before eventually stepping aside to just serve in his other role in the organization, which was that of general manager.

As the Red Wings skipper, his team won three Stanley Cups.

He was equally adept just the a GM as well.

From 1948 through ’55, Detroit finished in first place in the NHL standings every season during that seven-year run, that also saw the Red Wings win four more championships.

Adams, who has the NHL Coach of the Year Award named after him, is in fact the only person in league history to have his name etched on the Stanley Cup as a player, coach and general manager.

He held the franchise record for most wins as a coach for 67 years until surpassed by Manitouwadge-born Mike Babcock during the 2013-14 campaign.

Babcock himself has 700 victories to his credit, which is 10th best all-time.

Other locals who have guided squads as NHL head coaches over the years, include Kenora product Bob McCammon, who played his junior hockey in the Lakehead.

He led the Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers for a combined eight seasons from 1978 to 1991, collecting 221 wins.

After starring at forward for Detroit for many years, hall of famer Alex Delvecchio coached the Red Wings from 1973-77 during some lean seasons for the club.

Then there was Dave Allison of Fort Frances who had a brief stint as head coach with the Ottawa Senators in 1995.

Looking at local NHL assistant coaches, no one has been as successful than Jamie Kompon.

Currently in that role with the Winnipeg Jets, Kompon is one of three individuals to have won Stanley Cups with two different clubs as an assistant coach in the over 100-year history of the NHL.

He is also the only one to win a Cup in back-to-back years, with two different clubs, setting that feat with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 and again with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013.

Meanwhile presently the director of player personnel with the expansion Seattle Krakken, Norm Maciver did spend two seasons as an assistant with Boston in both 2003-04 and 2005-06 prior to being part of a trio of titles in Chicago.

A long-time and highly successful coach in the NCAA ranks, George Gwozdecky spent two years on the coaching staff of the Tampa Bay Lightning under Jon Cooper that featured a NHL Eastern Conference crown and a berth in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

Then there was former NHL netminder Rick St. Croix, who just recently retired after spending a good number of years remaining in the league as an assistant and goaltender coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Winnipeg Jets, as well as with their AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose.