Dallas Stars’ Rick Bowness has stepped down after three seasons as head coach

The team announced Friday that Rick Bowness will be stepping down as Dallas Stars coach after three seasons.

Bowness, 67, has a two-year contract expired after the stars were eliminated by the Calgary Flames in seven games in the first round of the Western Playoffs. Assistant coaches Derek Laxdale, John Stevens and Todd Nelson will also not return to the stars next season.

“After careful consideration with my wife, Judy, we feel it is best to step away and allow the organization to pursue a different direction in the lead coaching position,” Bowness said in a statement. “I would like to thank all the enthusiastic fans and dedicated staff for their support and hard work during my time here. It has been an honor for me and my family, to represent the stars and the city of Dallas.”

Bowness coached the stars for parts of three seasons, setting a record 89-62-25. As assistant coach at the time, he took over on a temporary basis after the team split from coach Jim Montgomery in December 2019. Bowness led the Dallas to the Stanley Cup Final during the “bubble” post-season necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and lost. To Tampa Bay lightning. He was awarded a two-year contract after that term.

Dallas failed to make the playoffs in the 2020-21 season, but finished the championship as number one in the Western Conference this season, pushing Pacific Division leaders Calgary away before losing 3-2 in overtime from Game 7.

Bowness was the 24th coach in the team’s history. Its score of 0.577 was the fifth highest in franchise history. General Manager Jim Neil Bowness described him as “one of the most respected and beloved individuals he has ever coached” in the NHL.

Bowness has 2,562 games behind the bench as an assistant or head coach, the most by any individual in National Hockey League history. He has a career coaching record of 211-351-76 in 638 games with Winnipeg (1988-89), Boston (1991-1992), Ottawa (1992-1996), New York Islanders (1996-1998), Phoenix (2003-04). ) and Dallas (2019-22). In addition, he has served in coaching assistant positions with the Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes, Vancouver Canucks, Lightning. He is also one of three coaches in NHL history to have served as head coach in five different decades, along with Hockey Hall of Famers Pat Quinn and Scotty Bowman.

“His dedication and commitment to the game, and the impact he has made on countless players, coaches and support staff during his five decades in the league is unparalleled,” said Neal. “He has dedicated his life to our games, and we are honored to say that the Dallas Stars are part of his legacy. When he was called up to lead our team several seasons ago, he transitioned into the role seamlessly and helped guide our team through unprecedented global events that impacted our players and staff on and off the ice. On behalf of For the entire organization, I would like to wish Rick, Judy, and the rest of their family nothing but the best moving forward.”

The Stars are now the fifth NHL team to seek a new off-season coach, joining the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Vegas Golden Knights and Jets. It is expected to be a strong market for coaching candidates, with recently dismissed coaches such as Barry Trotz and Peter DeBoer among other veteran bench chiefs such as Claude Julien, Paul Morris, Alain Vinault, Rick Tucci and John Tortorella.

Mike Babcock and Joel Quinville, two of the best coaches ever, could also be available, although both bring a lot of baggage. Babcock had been accused of mental abuse by former players after being sent off in Toronto in 2019. Quinville resigned from the Florida Panthers in 2021 after releasing a report detailing how the Chicago Blackhawks mishandled allegations of a player sexually assaulted by an assistant. Coach in 2010, when Quinville was the team coach.

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