The Winnipeg Jets have found their next head coach. Months after Paul Maurice walked away from the team, Darren Dreger reports that the Jets and Rick Bowness are finalizing details of a contract that would bring the former Dallas Stars coach to Winnipeg.
The Winnipeg Jets and veteran coach Rick Bowness are working on finalizing his agreement to be the next coach of the Jets. This will end a thorough interview process for the @NHLJets that began with Barry Trotz as the target. Experience a key factor here.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2022
Bowness’s foray into the NHL’s coaching scene began with the original Jets franchise when he was hired as an assistant coach ahead of the 1984-85 season. Since then, he’s worked with eight teams, totaling 639 games as a head coach.
Most recently, Bowness was the bench boss for the Stars, leading them to the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bowness compiled a 46-30-6 record this season but was let go after a disappointing opening-round loss to the Calgary Flames in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Barry Trotz was rumored to be the frontrunner for the job early in the process; however, the Jets deferred to Bowness’s defensive acumen as they look to improve their defensive system. Winnipeg allowed the third-most high-danger and ninth-most scoring chances at five-on-five last season.
Now is the time to buy the Jets in the Stanley Cup futures market. They enter the season as +5000 dark horses at FanDuel Sportsbook, but given Bowness’s recent track record, we should see their stock rise early in the season.