Rick Bowness introduced as new Winnipeg Jets coach – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Rick Bowness doesn’t mind being the second choice to coach the Winnipeg Jets.

The new Winnipeg Jets head coach was introduced on Monday, just over a week after team first-round pick Barry Trotz declined an offer because he wanted to spend more time with his family. .

“If I’m in his place, I’m also going after Trotzy. I am. It’s as simple as that,” Bowness said with a laugh, referring to Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

“Trotzy is the perfect guy for that, I get that. With his resume, I would have done the same as Chevy. I got a nice text from Trotzy a few days ago, but it didn’t work and that’s okay. So, do I feel bad about the second choice? Absolutely not. I would’ve done the same thing. He would have been my first choice.”

Cheveldayoff said he quickly pivoted to Bowness.

“If you ever get the chance to sit down one-on-one, (Bowness is) easy to talk to, very engaging and that’s what players are looking for,” Cheveldayoff said.

“They want to be heard, but they want to know that someone is in charge. During that process of evolving his career, I think that’s probably been one of the most remarkable things, his ability to grow and connect with today’s players.

Cheveldayoff said he spoke to about a dozen candidates, including those who got head coaching jobs elsewhere, like John Tortorella (Philadelphia) and Bruce Cassidy (Vegas).

Bowness resigned as head coach of the Dallas Stars after the season, saying he felt the club needed a “new voice”.

Bowmess, 67, guided the Stars to an 89-62-25 record in 176 regular-season games over nearly three seasons, and an 18-16 record in the playoffs. His record as an NHL head coach is 211-351-76 over 12 seasons.

Dallas lost in overtime in Game 7 to Calgary in the first round of this year’s playoffs. He reached the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals in the playoff bubble in Edmonton and lost to Tampa Bay.

Bowness, who signed a two-year contract on Sunday, is the Jets’ eighth head coach in franchise history and the third since the club moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg in 2011.

The Jets missed the playoffs this year for the seventh time since the move.

Many players have expressed frustration over the season, including the unexpected resignation of Paul Maurice as head coach in December. The club finished under interim coach Dave Lowry and went 39-32-11.

The Jets were looking for someone with a connection to Winnipeg. Bowness has that.

The former right-winger ended his 173-game NHL career with Winnipeg. He played 45 games with the Jets during the 1980-81 season and played and coached with the organization for nine seasons until 1988-89. He was head coach in the team’s last 28 games in 1988-89.

Bowness said he had turned down three coaching positions since leaving the Stars, but none were for a head coach.

He was thrilled when Cheveldayoff called and said he was taking the job because it wasn’t a rebuild and he could “work with good people, work with a good team in a big market like Winnipeg.”

“Something was missing there,” Bowness said of the Jets last season. “I’m not going to do it because I wasn’t there. It just got a little off the rails.

“But if you go back and look at the list, how competitive they were for a while is there. We just have to work together, all of us, players included, to get it back.

Lance B. Holton