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A pilot gets his Wings

Scotty Bowman, the NHL's winningest coach, is to become coach of the Detroit Red Wings today.

His hiring has been widely reported for weeks and the club has scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. to make the announcement.

Bryan Murray, coach and general manager since coming to Detroit in 1990, will remain general manager.

"We need a coach who isn't afraid to lay down the hammer, and that isn't Bryan's style," owner Mike Ilitch said after his team was eliminated from the NHL playoffs by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round. "It's not in his nature to scream and yell."

Bowman, 59, became available when the Pittsburgh Penguins decided they needed an experienced coach who could handle the superstar-laden team. They wanted Bowman to become player development director or a consultant.

Bowman, with 971 victories and six Stanley Cup championships, was a bench coach last season. He coached the team during games but left practices to his assistants.

Bowman was named interim coach during the 1991-92 season after Bob Johnson was stricken with cancer. Last summer, the Penguins waited until opening day to name Bowman coach.

Murray's 467 wins rank him ninth in the NHL, and his .571 winning percentage ranks third among active coaches behind Bowman and the New York Islanders' Al Arbor. But no Murray-coached team has won a Stanley Cup.

"The one regret I have, of course, is not winning in the playoffs," Murray said. "But I think I had a really tremendous run. Hopefully, when you judge people, you consider everything they've accomplished."


Panthers: Florida unveiled its logo: a ferocious panther, ready to pounce while baring its claws and teeth. The home uniforms will be white with red, gold and navy blue trim; the road uniforms will consist of a red shirt, navy blue shorts, and red, white and gold leggings. The uniforms have a shoulder patch with a palm tree crisscrossed with a hockey stick over a backdrop of the sun.

Owner H. Wayne Huizenga also announced the Panthers will donate $50,000 to the Save the Panthers Foundation, and for every save made by a Panthers goalie on home ice, the Panthers will donate a still-to-be determined amount of money.