The Dallas Stars announced Friday that head coach Rick Bowness is stepping down after three seasons leading the team, the team announced. Bowness' two-year contract expired following his team's Game 7 loss to the Calgary Flames, which knocked them out of the postseason in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Stars had been the latest stop in Bowness' long and storied coaching career. The 67-year old took over as interim head coach after the team fired Jim Montgomery in December of 2019, leading Dallas to the Stanley Cup Final during the 2020 postseason before taking over as full-time head coach the next two seasons.
"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," read a statement by Bowness. "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 ends his tenure as Stars head coach with an 89-62-25 record and a .577 points percentage, the fifth-highest mark in the history of the franchise. This season, the Stars were able to make the first wild card spot in the Western Conference playoffs and force a Game 7 against Calgary, which they lost 3-2.
In addition to Bowness, assistant coaches Derek Laxdal, John Stevens and Todd Nelson will also not return to the Stars. Dallas becomes the fifth team in the NHL seeking a new head coach for next season, joining the Winnipeg Jets, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, and Vegas Golden Knights.