Rick Bowness shouldn’t be the next head coach of the Dallas Stars, and it isn’t even close.
If you’re the Dallas Stars front office, you cannot ask for a more conservative decision than settling with Rick Bowness as your next head coach. There are at least 6 coaching candidates with NHL coaching experience including former Las Vegas Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant and almost a dozen top NCAA coaches that I would personally rather see given a chance.
No offense to Bowness, but he has had over 25 years to prove his coaching skills. It might be time to give someone else a shot. Though he has the experience, he drastically lacks the results or success that is needed to take the Stars to the next level.
All hockey fans know about the Jim Montgomery saga that happened in Dallas earlier this year and how Rick Bowness was appointed as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season after his quick and quiet dismissal. Montgomery was an instant fan favorite with his hands-on coaching style and knockout fighter mentality, but things outside of hockey sometimes can get in the way.
After the coaching change, the Stars just haven’t looked the same offensively. Their Goals per Game has dropped, Shots per Game has decreased and they have been shutout or scored only one goal in 5 games in a little over a month of play, including having 9 days off for the All-Star Break. When they do lose, they are going down in flames and getting the hockey equivalent of “run-ruled”, including giving up 7 goals to both the Wild and Panthers not too far apart. Other than the speedy Gurianov and suddenly ruthless Jamie Benn, there hasn’t been a lot to the Stars offense whatsoever.
Montgomery was a vocal leader; Bowness is not.
In his first career season, Montgomery’s Stars went to the playoffs and were narrowly defeated by the eventual Stanley Cup champions.
In Bowness’ entire head coaching career spanning across three decades, he has only had one playoff appearance.
Dallas sports fans have dealt with coaches who have wasted their franchise players in the primes of their career (looking at you Jason Garrett) and if the Stars aren’t careful they will be dealing with the same issue for the Stars. Seguin, Benn, Bishop, Dobby, Radulov, and Klingberg are all in the prime years of their hockey careers, and when it is all said in done, all of the hard work to form this roster over the last decade of drafting, scouting, trades, and free-agent acquisitions could be for absolutely nothing.
I really hope Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill is watching what is unfolding and not unfolding with his team, because as much work as it takes to form a solid squad from top to bottom, it takes just one slip to completely come unraveled.
Featured Image: Dallas Morning News