Scotty Bowman, the winningest coach in NHL history, will return to the champion Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
The team said the 65-year-old coach received a clean bill of health from his doctor Monday. Bowman had an angioplasty in July to clear a blocked artery and had his left knee replaced in August.
Bowman, whose brother Jack died during heart surgery in June, had said he would not return unless his doctor said he was healthy enough.
Bowman said Saturday he expected to return.
"Oh, yeah, I don't think there's any question about that," he said. "I have no qualms about coming back."
Bowman said his cholesterol and blood pressure were normal and his heart reacted better during a medical exam on Friday than it did in July.
| Scotty Bowman (right), recovering from heart surgery, gets help waving to the crowd as Detroit raised its title banner Friday. (AP) |
General manager Ken Holland said Bowman will run practice on Thursday and be behind the bench when Detroit plays host to Toronto on Friday.
Bowman has a 1,057-484-277 regular season mark and a 194-112 playoff record, winning five Stanley Cups with Montreal, two with Detroit and one with Pittsburgh. The only other coach to win eight Stanley Cups is his mentor, former Montreal coach Toe Blake.
Following their 2-0 victoron Sunday, the Detroit players were excited about reports of Bowman's return.
"He's the guy in charge; it's Scotty's team," captain Steve Yzerman said. "He's molded it the way he wants it."
Yzerman said Bowman's return would enhance Detroit's chances for winning another title.
"We've enjoyed playing for him and we'd like to keep this going," Yzerman said.
Added forward Brendan Shanahan: "He's a part of this team and a part of the team's success the past two years. We want this to continue."
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