Many believe Scotty Bowman to be the most complex and confounding of all NHL coaches.
But Bowman had moments when even he couldn’t fathom Freddie (The Fog) Shero, the newest addition to the Hall of Fame builder’s wing.
“Sometimes I don’t think he knows Wednesday from Thursday,” Bowman once said, “then sometimes I think he’s a genius who’s got us all fooled.”
That statement would get a hearty endorsement from the Philadelphia Flyers of the 1970s, a team Shero infused with Canadian spirit and Anatoli Tarasov’s Russian tactics, then cloaked it all in Darth Vader armour.
They won two straight Stanley Cups under the guise of the Broad St. Bullies, yet Shero insisted to his dying day that he never ordered his teams to goon it up, only to be first on the puck and to watch each other’s back.
That bond extended off the ice, starting in the summer when he’d warn his players’ wives that a long season of team meetings and boys’ only functions were planned.