Jets introduce Rick Bowness as their new Head Coach Featured

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Winnipeg, Manitoba (NHN)-Rick Bowness was officially announced as Head Coach of the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.

Bowness, 67, was hired after the NHL club unsuccessfully pursued Barry Trotz following his dismissal from the New York Islanders earlier this spring.

He has been signed to a two-year deal with an option for a third year.

"Listen, if I am in [Cheveldayoff's] chair, I am going after Trotzy too," said Bowness. "Trotzy is the perfect guy for this. I get that. With his resume I would have done the same thing Chevy did. I got a nice text from Trotzy a couple days ago. It didn't work out and that's fine. So do I feel bad about second choice? Absolutely not. I would've done the same thing."

After sporting a 89-62-25 record coaching the Dallas Stars over the past three seasons, including an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2020, the Jets felt they have a winner in Bowness.

"You don't take a team to the Stanley Cup just by luck," said Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. "This is a really good hockey club and for whatever reason it lost it's way last year, and myself and the coaching staff, when we get it all together, we're going to work very closely with ownership, management and everyone associated with this organization," he said.

"We're going to get this team back in the playoffs," he added.

Bowness spoke with some players over the weekend, including Mark Scheifele, who clearly stated his frustration with the club's lack of success during the final media availablity earlier this spring.

“I just have to know where this team is going and what the direction is and what the changes are going to be, if any. I have to think about my career and what’s going to be best for me. Those are going to be…talks with my agents and everyone in my family and stuff like that and figure out what I really want. So, it will be a tough talk tomorrow," said Scheifele at that time.

Bowness has a reputation for being a clear communicator and excellent defensive coach.

"All you have to do is look at the last two Stanley Cup deciding games," said Bowness. "1-0, 2-1 and that's how you win in the playoffs. So if you're talking to an offensive guy, if he wants to win he buys in. It's as simple as that."

"And if he doesn't buy in then you're taking away his ice time and you're taking away his ability to get all those points because the team has to come first."

Philip Paul-Martin

A well rounded journalist with experience in both print and broadcast mediums, Philip has written news stories with impact, broken national news while at the CBC, anchored radio news and hosted talk show radio. His coverage includes feature writing, game stories and more in-depth pieces during the off-season as well as writing about the National Hockey League and the Winnipeg Jets. He calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.