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By: Gayle Troiani | Follow me on Twitter @LadyBruinsFan

Being an Original Six franchise in the Nation Hockey League means plenty of history to sift through when picking the best of the best. Having already compiled the lists of best defensemen, goalies, and right and left wings, the next “best of” series brought me to bench bosses.

This topic was a bit harder because coaches are held to a different standard than the players, and more often than not, the same coaches are used as scapegoats when a team is not performing.

Like players, there have been some fascinating characters behind the bench, some that fans will forever love, and some that just didn’t get what it means to be a Boston Bruin. The list is long with 28 candidates; Jim Montgomery wasn’t considered since he hasn’t coached a game yet, but I am looking forward to him knocking someone off the list. So who tops the best of the best?

Don Cherry

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Although Cherry didn’t win a Stanley Cup with the Bruins he did coach the black and gold to four straight Adams Division 1st place finishes and two trips to the Finals. In five years behind the bench, Cherry had a 231-105-64 record reaching 100 points or more in four seasons. He won the Jack Adams Award for the NHL’s best coach in 1976.

Bruce Cassidy

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Like Cherry, Cassidy didn’t win the ultimate prize of Stanley Cup Champion, losing Game 7 to the St. Louis Blues in 2019. During his six years behind the bench, the Bruins made the playoffs each season with a record of 245-108-46 reaching four seasons of 100 points or more. Cassidy was awarded the Jack Adams in 2020.

Harry Sinden

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Sinden led the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup victory in 29 years when they defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-0 and posted a 153-116-58 record behind the bench over his career. Sinden was not only a successful coach for the Bruins he also spent more than 28 years as the General Manager.

Art Ross

Ross was the first coach of the Bruins when they joined the league in 1924. He coached the team to two Stanely Cup victories (1928-29 and 1938-39) and was instrumental in a third Cup victory in 1941 while serving as GM of the black and gold. In 17 years with Boston, Ross recorded 387 wins, 290 losses, and 95 ties. Ross’s legacy continues even after his retirement in 1954, with the donation of the Art Ross Trophy, awarded to the leading scorer of the NHL regular season.

Claude Julien

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As the winningest coach in Bruins history (419-246-94), Julien is rightfully at the top of the list, especially after leading the team to their 2011 Stanley Cup win over the Vancouver Canucks in seven games. In his 10 years behind the bench, the Bruins only missed the playoffs twice and made a second trip to the Final in 2013, losing in six games to Chicago. He was awarded the Jack Adams in 2009.

There’s the Top 5; would you rank them differently? What makes a coach the best? Playoff appearances or Stanley Cup victories?