Bowness stepping down as Stars' head coach

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness is stepping down from his position, the team announced Friday.

Bowness' contract expired at the end of the season. Assistant coaches John Stevens, Derek Laxdal, and Todd Nelson also won't be returning.

"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. "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 took over behind Dallas' bench in December 2019. He led the Stars to the Stanley Cup Final during the COVID-interrupted season and earned a two-year extension as a result.

Dallas missed the playoffs the following campaign and was eliminated in the first round by the Calgary Flames in seven games this spring.

Bowness has coached 639 games in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders, and then-Phoenix Coyotes. The 67-year-old has also served as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks and Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Stars are now the fifth NHL team with a head coaching vacancy, joining the Jets, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, and Vegas Golden Knights. Four other clubs - the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, and Edmonton Oilers - have an interim coach in place.

Barry Trotz, who was recently let go by the New York Islanders, is considered to be the most attractive coaching candidate on the market.

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Bowness stepping down as Stars' head coach
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