|Rick Bowness enters his third season as a member of the Vancouver Canucks coaching staff and 19th NHL season in a coaching capacity. Bowness joined the Canucks from the Phoenix Coyotes where he served as Assistant Coach for the last six years; Bowness assumed head coaching duties on an interim basis in 2003-04. Prior to joining the Coyotes, Bowness was a member of the New York Islanders coaching staff for three seasons.|
The Moncton, New Brunswick native has held the position of Head Coach for five NHL teams: the Winnipeg Jets (1988-89), Boston Bruins (1991-92), Ottawa Senators (1992-96), New York Islanders (1996-98) and Phoenix Coyotes (2003-04). In addition to his NHL coaching experience, Bowness was also a player/coach for the Sherbrooke Jets (1982-83), Head Coach and General Manager of his hometown Moncton Hawks (1987) and Head Coach of the Maine Mariners (1989-91) of the AHL.
Prior to his coaching career, Bowness played seven seasons (1975-82) in the NHL as a right wing with Atlanta, Detroit, St. Louis and Winnipeg. He saw action in 173 games, recording 55 points (18-37-55) and 191 penalty minutes. Bowness was originally drafted by the Atlanta Flames in the second round, 26th overall, of the 1975 NHL Entry Draft. Bowness began his career in coaching with the American Hockey League’s Sherbrooke Jets as a player/coach during the 1982-83 season. He served the next four seasons (1983-84 to 1986-87) as an Assistant Coach for the Winnipeg Jets before returning to his hometown in 1987 as the Coach and General Manager of the Moncton Hawks, the Jets’ AHL developmental team. In February 1989, Bowness had his first NHL head coaching stint when he took over as interim Head Coach of the Jets for the final 28 games (8-17-3) of the 1988-89 season.
The following season, Bowness joined the Boston Bruins organization, coaching the AHL’s Maine Mariners for two seasons before assuming the head coaching duties for the Bruins in 1991-92. Bowness coached the Bruins to a 36-32-12 record in 1991-92, his best season as a Head Coach. In his only year with Boston, he led the Bruins to the Prince of Wales (Eastern Conference) Finals, losing 4-0 to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
Bowness was then named the first Head Coach of the Ottawa Senators on June 15, 1992. In three and a half seasons (1992-93 to 1995-96) with the expansion franchise, Bowness finished with a record of 39-178-18. Despite the tough times, Bowness was highly regarded for his positive style and was credited for the development of many of the Senators’ young stars. Bowness remained behind the Senators’ bench until November 20, 1995, becoming only the second coach in NHL history to head an expansion team through its first three seasons.