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Tommy Ivan

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Thomas N. Ivan (January 31, 1911 – June 25, 1999) was a NHL head coach of the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Black Hawks. With the Red Wings from 1947 to 1954, he won three Stanley Cups, and would win another while serving as the Black Hawks' GM. Ivan, born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, had an overall record of 288–174–111.

Tommy Ivan was a well respected coach and general manager in the NHL. His junior hockey days in Ontario on up to his first pro coaching job with Omaha, in the Central League, were merely the first steps in a distinguished Hall of Fame Career. Ivan was a keen judge of talent that helped discover young prospects like Gordie Howe and several other NHL players that would go on to Hall of Fame careers.

Ivan won 3 Stanley Cup while coaching Detroit 1950, 1952, 1954. He took the reins of Chicago Black Hawks coach/general manager in 1954, after winning six straight Regular season championships with Detroit. At the time the Hawks were a franchise in trouble. Ivan would lead a tremendous rebuilding effort, adding farm teams and stocking the Hawk farm system with good prospects. He also made key trades that would help fortify the Hawks into a contending team for the next several seasons. Rudy Pilous was hired to coach the Hawks by Tommy Ivan and he would eventually guide the team to the 1961 Stanley Cup. The 1961 Hawks team finally produced the results that Ivan's rebuilding process began back in 1954. The Chicago Black Hawks would also reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1962, 1965, 1971, and 1973. Ivan served 25 years as Black Hawks GM. He then served as Chicago Black Hawks Vice President and Alternate Governor (NHL Board of Governors) in the years following his GM tenure.

  • Ivan was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1974.
  • Ivan received the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1975 for "outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
  • Ivan also served as Chairman of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, and on the selection committee of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
  • Ivan played a key role as Chairman of the organizing committee for the 1979–80 Olympic Hockey Festival, helping bring more than 90 players together for Coach Herb Brooks and his staff to pick from. Eventually that team became the 1980 U.S. Men's Ice Hockey team ("Miracle on Ice") that went on to win the Gold Medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

Preceded by
Jack Adams
Head Coaches of the Detroit Red Wings
Succeeded by
Jimmy Skinner

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