Dallas Stars interim head coach Rick Bowness has been here before. Even then, his latest stop on his National Hockey League circuit is a major adjustment.
“Even for me walking into the office in Frisco was tough,” Bowness told the Dallas Morning News Thursday. “That’s Monty’s office, not my office.”
Bowness found himself thrust into the spotlight Tuesday when the team shockingly announced it made a coaching change after former head coach Jim Montgomery due to “unprofessional conduct.”
The team has still yet to release the exact reason Montgomery was fired and it might be something Stars fans never know. General manager Jim Nill only confirmed it “wasn’t a legal matter.”
Team captains Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg said they weren’t informed of the matter. Surely, no player or dressing room ever wants a distraction, but perhaps the biggest blow was that Montgomery had already put together a promising start to his NHL coaching career- racking up 60 regular-season wins in just 113 tries.
Perhaps more disorienting? All this went down on a game day. Dallas was set to take on New Jersey that evening at the American Airlines Center. In a day where a poor team performance could’ve easily been blamed on circumstance, the Stars rallied for a 2-0 shutout win.
That’s exactly why Dallas fans can and should be confident that the team can reach its lofty aspirations after such a dramatic shake up in the middle of their season.
Bowness has been in this spot before. He’s been a head coach for parts of nine seasons with five different franchises, and was the first coach in Ottawa Senators history. He hasn’t been a head coach since the 2003-04 with Arizona, but has served as an assistant for several years on Vancouver and Tampa Bay teams that both reached the Stanley Cup Final in his tenure.
LIVE: Interim coach Rick Bowness talks to the media following morning skate.
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) December 13, 2019
Just two weeks ago, when Montgomery was feeling ill before a Monday night home game against Vegas, Bowness stepped in to address the media. It’s just another reason to believe: even with a major change in circumstance, Dallas is still in a good spot atop the Western Conference Wild Card standings, and with a true rock behind the bench.
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