NHL: Rick Bowness steps down as Stars coach


Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness announced Friday that he is stepping away from the team, effective immediately.

Stars general manager Jim Nill also announced assistant coaches Todd Nelson, Derek Laxdal and John Stevens will not return to the team. Nill noted “the search for a new head coach will begin immediately.”

Bowness, 67, has been behind an NHL bench for a record 2,562 regular-season games as a head coach or an assistant.

He guided the Stars (46-30-6, 98 points) to a wild-card spot in the Western Conference this season. Dallas, however, fell in seven games to the Calgary Flames in the first round.

“After careful consideration with my wife Judy, we feel it’s best to step away and allow the organization the opportunity to pursue a different direction at the head coaching position,” Bowness said. “I’d like to thank all the passionate fans and the dedicated staff for their support and hard work in my time here. It has been an honor for me, and my family, to represent the Stars and the city of Dallas.”

Bowness, who joined the Stars as an assistant coach prior to the 2018-19 season, was named the team’s interim head coach on Dec. 10, 2019 after Jim Montgomery was fired. The team appeared to respond favorably to the move, as Bowness guided the Stars to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since the 2000-01 season before falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Bowness officially became Dallas’ head coach on Oct. 29, 2020.

Bowness, who owned an 89-62-25 record with the Stars (2019-22), joined Hockey Hall of Famers Scotty Bowman and Pat Quinn as the lone head coaches with games in five different decades. Bowness coached the Winnipeg Jets (1989), Boston Bruins (1991-92), Ottawa Senators (1992-96), New York Islanders (1996-98) and then-Phoenix Coyotes (2004).

“Rick is one of the most respected and beloved individuals to have ever coached in the NHL,” Nill said of Bowness, who owned a 211-351-76 (48 ties) career coaching record.

“His dedication and commitment to the game, and the impact that he’s made on countless players, coaches and support staff throughout his five decades in the League is unmatched. He has dedicated his life to our game, and we are honored to say that the Dallas Stars are part of his legacy. When he was called upon to lead our team a few seasons ago, he stepped into the role seamlessly and helped guide our team through unprecedented global events that affected our players and staff both on and off the ice.”

Bowness also served in assistant coaching roles with the Jets, Bruins, Senators, Islanders, Coyotes, Vancouver Canucks and Lightning.

–Field Level Media



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