Harry Sinden (born 1932),
Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builder
category in 1983.
- Was a distinguished amateur hockey player
- Played as a defenseman for the Whitby Dunlops
- WC Gold in 1958
- Olympics Silver in 1960
- As a playing-coach of the Oklahoma City Blazers,
won eight straight playoff to receive the Jack Adams
Trophy as CPHL champions.
Coaching and Management Career:
- Boston Bruins Head Coach in 1966-1970, 1979-1980,
- Coached the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup in
- NHL Coaching Record includes 153W-116L-58T in
the regular seasons and 24W-19L in the playoffs
- Boston Bruins General Manager in 1972-2000
- Currently, serves as the Bruins' President
I might be a little biased about Harry SINDEN.
I live in Boston. I love my town and I love hockey. Think
about hockey in Boston and you simply can't miss Harry
Sinden. Love him or hate him, but he is a living legend
of the Bruins. His experience as a world-class amateur
player, elite NHL coach and outstanding GM arguably makes
him a unique personality in the history of the game.
Back in 1972, I was just a little kid in Moscow and knew
very little about Sinden. I didn't know that, as a top
amateur defensemen of the 1950s. Sinden won the Allan
Cup'57, the World Championship'58 Gold Medal and the Olympics'60
Silver Medal. Prior to the NHL expansion of 1967, the
waiting list for the Original Six rosters was too long
for a relatively small-sized and slow feet defenseman
by the NHL standards. Sinden chose to become a player-coach
of the Bruins' farm clubs. Later, he was appointed as
the Bruins' head coach. In the season of 1969-70, Sinden
brought the "Big Bad Bruins" to their first
Stanley Cup in 29 years.
In 1972, Harry Sinden was the first NHL coach that I
saw in action. The man behind the Team Canada'72 bench
looked quiet different from a "typical" Soviet
coach of that time. Most elite Russian coaches looked
older and much less emotional than Sinden. Call it a cultural
difference, but most coaches in Russia preferred not to
show their emotions publicly. I guess it was considered
a bad manner for the team spirit. Compared to Sinden,
even major fits thrown by flamboyant Tarasov looked like
a subtle diplomatic behavior. Sinden didn't hide his emotions.
In fact, he looked like a catalyst of team emotions pumping
energy into his players. For a man without a hockey stick
and skates, he seemed to be more in the game than some
of his players.
The story tells that Sinden got his head coach job because
of his experience and knowledge of international hockey.
I don't know if it was really the key factor, but the
truth is that the Soviet hockey of the 1950s and the 1970s
were two completely different stories. In addition, due
to the misguiding scouts' report on Team USSR prior to
the Series, Sinden and his players had to face a totally
mysterious Soviet team with unknown skills and unpronounceable
players' last names. It seems to me what really made the
difference was Sinden's coaching talent to manage the
all stars material. His ability to motivate the elite
players, to create a special chemistry between the top-notch
NHLers was shown in his work with the Bruins. In 1972,
Sinden's talent shined to the peak of his coaching career.
Team Canada of 1972 is considered one of the classiest
teams in hockey history. Harry Sinden brought his team
to one of the most unforgettable victories. By many accounts,
he definitely belongs to the list of the classiest NHL
Note: Special thanks to Pat Houda,
Joe Pelletier, Bill Underwood and Craig Wallace for their
contribution and opinions in preparation of this article.