Rick Bowness has been on an NHL bench for a record 2,562 regular-season games as a head coach or an assistant over nearly four decades. The 67-year-old coach is not ready to be done yet even though he is at the end of his contract with the Dallas Stars.
"The playoffs bring out your passion. ... That excitement and that pressure and everything, that's what we live for," Bowness said Tuesday. "It's tough to walk out of that rink losing in overtime in Game 7, but it also shows you that, yeah, I'm an old man, but still lots of fire left in me."
Two days after the wild-card Stars ended their season in a 3-2 loss at Calgary, and two seasons after he took them to a most unusual Stanley Cup Final, it was unclear if Bowness will be back.
General manager Jim Nill, who has only one year left on his contract, did exit interviews with players Tuesday. He said he would be sitting down with owner Tom Gaglardi to determine the team's direction, including the coaching situation.
Bowness landed a two-year contract after that 2020 final as interim head coach, a stint that included the 4½-month pause in the season because of the pandemic and two months in a postseason bubble in Canada. There was then a shortened, 56-game season when the Stars had an NHL-high 14 losses after regulation and missed the playoffs. They had 98 points this season and secured the No. 1 wild-card spot in the West during the final week of the regular season.