Tom Watt

Tom Watt (born June 17, 1935 in Toronto, Ontario) is a professional ice hockey scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL).[1] Watt has served as a coach in the NHL for 11 seasons, including seven as a head coach, four as assistant coach and one as development coach. As head coach of the Winnipeg Jets, he won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL Coach of the Year in 1981–82.

Early career

In 1964 Watt became the head of men's phys-ed at Monarch Park Secondary School in Toronto.

In 1965, he began a highly-successful 15-season stint as head coach at the University of Toronto of the CIAU (Canadian Inter-University Athletic Union), where he had also played during his undergraduate studies. Under Watt's guidance, the University of Toronto's Varsity Blues men's ice hockey team hockey teams captured 11 conference titles and nine CIAU championships.

Returning in 1984–1985 between his NHL tenures in Winnipeg and Vancouver, he replaced NHL-bound Mike Keenan, and was later honoured by Ontario Universities Athletics in 1992.

Professional coaching career

Watt broke into the NHL coaching ranks as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks in 1980–81. His first NHL head coaching experience came with the Winnipeg Jets, whom he guided for two-plus seasons (1981 to 1984). In 1981–82, Watt helped the Jets to a 48-point improvement in the standings, and was named Coach of the Year, winning the Jack Adams Award for his efforts.[2]

He held the positions of head coach and assistant general manager with the Canucks for two seasons beginning in 1985–86. Watt was then an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames from 1988 to 1990, including the Stanley Cup-winning 1989 club. In 1990 he was hired in as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and took over as head coach just 12 games into the 1990–91 NHL season. After two seasons behind the Maple Leafs' bench, he served within the Toronto organization as director of professional development in 1992–93 and director of pro scouting in 1993–94. Watt then became the head coach for the Leafs' farm club, the St. John's Maple Leafs of the American Hockey League (AHL) for two seasons beginning in 1994–95.

Watt spent 1997–98 season as head coach of the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), returning the Wolves to the playoffs after a three-year absence.

In 1999–2000, Watt returned to the NHL as a development coach for the Flames. Watt then joined the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim on January 5, 2001 as special assignment scout. On July 24, 2001 he was become an assistant coach for the Mighty Ducks, and was reassigned to player development July 1, 2002. Watt joined the Florida Panthers on August 16, 2005, as a pro scout. In September 2008 Watt returned to the Maple Leafs organization as one of the Leafs' pro scouts.[3]


Watt's international experience with Team Canada includes two Olympic games, two World Hockey Championships and three Canada Cup assistant coaching assignments.


Watt was inducted as an honoured member into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame on October 20, 2005.[4]

Coaching record

TeamYearRegular SeasonPost Season
WPG1981–82 80333314-802nd in NorrisLost in First round
WPG1982–83 8033398-744th in SmytheLost in First round
WPG1983–84 216132-(73)4th in Smythe(fired)
VAN1985–86 80234413-594th in SmytheLost in First round
VAN1986–87 8029438-665th in SmytheDid Not Qualify
TOR1990–91 69223710-(57)5th in NorrisDid Not Qualify
TOR1991–92 8030437-675th in NorrisDid Not Qualify


  1. "Maple Leafs Management". Toronto Maple Leafs. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  2. Rosen, Ron (8 November 1983). "Watt Out of NHL Job". Washington Post. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  3. Hunter, Paul (10 September 2008). "Familiar faces back with Maple Leafs | The Star". Toronto Star. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  4. "Tom Watt". Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame. 16 July 2005. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Red Berenson
Winner of the Jack Adams Award
Succeeded by
Orval Tessier
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mike Smith
Head coach of the original Winnipeg Jets
Succeeded by
Barry Long
Preceded by
Harry Neale
Head coach of the Vancouver Canucks
Succeeded by
Bob McCammon
Preceded by
Doug Carpenter
Head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Succeeded by
Pat Burns
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