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Sunday, December 4, 2022
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Bowness Steps Down as Stars Head Coach


Rick Bowness | Image by The Canadian Press

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Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness will not return next season, announcing today that he would be stepping down as the team’s leader.

“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,” said Bowness in a statement on the team’s website. “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.”

Assistant coaches Derek Laxdal, John Stevens, and Todd Nelson will not be returning either.

Bowness, 67, joined the Stars in June 2018 as an assistant on Jim Montgomery’s staff. A year and a half later, he took over as interim head coach after Montgomery was fired in December 2019.

Bowness led the Stars to an 89-62-5 record and two trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, where they were defeated by the Tampa Bay Lightning. At 2,562 games as an assistant or head coach, he leaves Dallas as the NHL’s all-time leader behind the bench.

Bowness’ contract was set to expire at the end of the season, but he is reportedly not ready to retire.

“I still love it,” Bowness said. “I’ll have options. If I want them, the options will be there. I’m confident of that.”

Stars general manager Jim Nill said the search for a new head coach will begin “immediately.”

“I need to sit down with our ownership group and talk to them about the plan moving forward, and we’ll make that decision from there,” Nill said. “I’m hoping in the next five to six days to know what direction we’re heading in.”

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