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Why is Stars coach Rick Bowness stepping down?

Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness and his assistants are stepping down. Stars say Bowness was one of the most respected individuals in the NHL.

Update:
Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness and his assistants are stepping down. Stars say Bowness was one of the most respected individuals in the NHL.
Jerome MironUSA TODAY Sports

One of the NHL’s most respected coaches, Rick Bowness, is leaving his team, the Dallas Stars. The franchise announced Friday that the 67-year-old will not be returning, as well as his assistants, John Stevens, Derek Laxdal and Todd Nelson.

“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 in a statement released by the Stars.

Rick Bowness was more than just a head coach

Bowness took over Dallas on an interim basis in the 2019-20 season, and led the Stars to the Stanley Cup Final. He then became the full-time head coach following that postseason run.

Stars general manager Jim Nill said that Bowness “is one of the most respected and beloved individuals to have ever coached in the NHL.” He added that the Canadian coach guided the Stars through “unprecedented global events that affected our players and staff both on and off the ice.”

Bowness has “lots of fire left” in him

Bowness isn’t planning on stepping away from coaching. On Tuesday, he told reporters following Game 7 that the “excitement and that pressure and everything, that’s what we live for. I’m an old man, but still lots of fire left in me.”

Bowness held a record of 89-62-25 in the regular-season in Dallas and an 18-16 postseason record with the Stars. He’s also had periods of head coaching the Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, Winnipeg Jets (later Coyotes), the New York Islanders, and the then-Phoenix Coyotes.

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