PHILADELPHIA - Scotty Bowman had been here before.
He was acting like it.
The Chicago Blackhawks senior advisor was taking part in his 12th Stanley Cup celebration on the ice at the Wachovia Center, hands in the pockets of his suit, a “Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Champions” hat perched high on his head. He casually let the various acts play out around him, winger Marian Hossa over there, finally picking the right team for Cup glory, Patrick Kane, the only guy to know the ’Hawks had won for the first few seconds after his overtime goal, over to the left, all surrounded by media, friends or family.
But, as many times as Bowman had been in the middle of these kinds of celebrations, this one after the bizarre ending to the ’Hawks 4-3 overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night had a different feeling to it.
This is one he got to share with his son, Stan, the ’Hawks general manager.
“It’s great,” said Bowman, when asked if winning the Cup could ever be routine, “but I’m very pleased for Stan. He’s had to deal with a lot off the ice. It’s been tough with his health. I wanted him to get his name on the Cup.”
In one of the great completions of a circle, a man named for the Stanley Cup gets to have his name put on it.
In 1973, Scotty Bowman had won his first of his dozen Stanley Cups, coaching the Montreal Canadiens to a six-game victory over these same Chicago Blackhawks. Bowman’s wife, Suella, was expecting a child, due in late June.
“I just said, ‘if we have a boy, let’s name him Stanley,’” said Bowman, starting a walk down the ice to go and congratulate Chicago captain Jonathan Toews. “Stanley Glenn. Glenn was after Glenn Hall. My first three years in the league, as a young coach, he was a big reason we were where we were.”
Hall, the Hall of Fame goaltender, tended goal for Bowman with the St. Louis Blues when Bowman broke into the NHL. In those first three years of expansion, the Blues represented the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup final. Bowman would go on to participate in 13 more finals.
Stan was born in Montreal after that first of five Stanley Cups Bowman won behind the bench of the Habs in the 1970s.
Like most kids, Stan Bowman played hockey growing up, but knew playing wouldn’t be his vocation. He went on to Notre Dame and graduated with degrees in business and computer applications. He worked in Chicago in the business world for five years and joined the Blackhawks front office under general manager Mike Smith in 2001. He became the assistant to former ’Hawks GM Dale Tallon in 2007 and replaced Tallon in a controversial move last summer.
Stan Bowman was battling through another bout with cancer in 2008 and Scotty wanted to be closer to him, making the tough decision to leave the Detroit Red Wings and join the ’Hawks.
“I feel like those commercials they play when the guys don’t know what to say,” said Stan, standing out on the ice Wednesday. “It’s hard to put into words what it means right now. It’s something I’ve dreamed of. I’ve been fortunate with my father to be around the Cup quite a bit.”
It all came together Wednesday night, a father and son sharing a moment, a boy named for a trophy now earning the right to have his name engraved upon it as a man.