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 Superstars 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 that time, he took over on a temporary basis after the team parted with the coach Jim Montgomery In December 2019. Bowness led Dallas to the Stanley Cup Final during the “bubble” post-season necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, losing to Tampa Bay Lightning. He then got a two-year contract.

Dallas failed to make the playoffs in the 2020-21 season, but finished the championship in first place Western this season, pushing Pacific Division leaders Calgary further afield before losing 3-2 in overtime from Game 7.

He was the twenty-fourth 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.

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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 major 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 (2019-2022). In addition, he has worked in assistant coaching positions with Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes, Vancouver Canucks and Tampa Bay Lightning. He is also one of three coaches in NHL history to have served as head coach in five different decades alongside 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 throughout his five decades in the league is unparalleled. He has devoted his life to our game, and we are honored to say that the Dallas Stars are part of his legacy,” Neal said. “When he was called to lead our team several seasons ago, he took the position seamlessly and helped guide our team through unprecedented global events that impacted our players and staff on and off the ice. On behalf of the entire organization, I want 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 coach in the off-season, joining the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets. It is expected to be a strong market for coaching candidates, from recently dismissed coaches such as Barry Trotz and Peter Debord to veteran bench chiefs such as Claude Julien, Paul Morris, Alan Vinault, Rick Tucci and John Tortorella.

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Mike Babcock and Joel Quinville, two of the best coaches ever, could be around too although they both bring a lot of baggage. Babcock has been accused of mental abuse by former players after he was sent off in Toronto. Quinville resigned from the Florida Panthers after a report detailed how the Chicago Blackhawks mishandled allegations that a player was sexually assaulted by an assistant coach in 2010, when Quinville was head coach.

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