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Report: Winnipeg Jets Closing in on Rick Bowness as Head Coach

According to reports, Rick Bowness is close to becoming the next head coach of the Winnipeg Jets.
Rick Bowness

The Winnipeg Jets have appeared to have found their man. 

The Jets are in the final stages of coming to an agreement with Rick Bowness to become the team's next head coach.

TSN's Darren Dreger was the first to report it.

If it all comes together, Bowness heads to Winnipeg roughly a month after stepping down from his role with the Stars following three seasons at the helm, a tenure that included two playoff appearances and one trip to the Stanley Cup final. 

The 67-year-old certainly has a fair amount of experience behind an NHL bench, having compiled a 212-351-28 record in 639 games as a head coach while also serving as an assistant with the Jets, Stars, New York Islanders, (then-named) Phoenix Coyotes, Vancouver Canucks, and Tampa Bay Lightning. 

After replacing Bob Francis as Coyotes head coach midway through the 2003-04 season, Bowness would transition back into an assistant's role and not hold another head coaching job until he took over for Jim Montgomery on the Stars' bench in an interim capacity roughly a quarter of the way into the 2019-20 campaign. 

Bowness then proceeded to lead the Stars on an improbable march to the Stanley Cup final in the 2020 NHL Playoff Bubble, ultimately losing in six games to the Lightning but earning himself the full-time gig until his resignation last month. 

With Barry Trotz opting to take some time away from coaching to focus on his family after emerging as the Jets' leading candidate, the organization clearly wasted no time to search for another veteran figure to fill their vacant coaching job. Bowness certainly fits that bill. And while his teams don't exactly play a thrilling brand of hockey, his defense-centric system will hopefully reign in some of the bad habits displayed on the other side of the puck by Jets stars such as Mark Schiefele and Blake Wheeler. 

Buckle up, folks. The off-season news cycle is just getting started. 

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