January 25, 1955 |
Moncton, NB, CAN
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Played for||Sherbrooke Jets (AHL)
Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
Tulsa Oilers (CHL)
St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Salt Lake Golden Eagles (CHL)
Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Atlanta Flames (NHL)
Nova Scotia Voyageurs (AHL)
|NHL Draft||26th overall, 1975
|WHA Draft||62nd overall, 1975
Richard Gary Bowness (born January 25, 1955 in Moncton, New Brunswick) is a Canadian former National Hockey League right winger and previously an associate coach with the Vancouver Canucks. He played for the Atlanta Flames, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets and Central Hockey League, AHL and QMJHL teams. He has been a head coach for the Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes.
Playing career 
Quebec Remparts 
Bowness began his junior career with the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL in the 1972-73, where in 30 games, Bowness had two goals and nine points. In 14 playoff games with Quebec, Bowness had a goal and five points.
Bowness started the 1973-74 season with the Remparts, as he appeared in 34 games, scoring 16 goals and 45 points. Midway through the season, the Remparts traded Bowness to the Montreal Bleu Blanc Rouge.
Montreal Bleu Blanc Rouge 
Bowness finished off the 1973-74 season playing with the Montreal Bleu Blanc Rouge, scoring nine goals and 26 points in 33 games with the club, helping them reach the playoffs. In nine post-season games, Bowness had four goals and eight points.
In 1974-75, Bowness played the entire season with the Bleu Blanc Rouge, appearing in 71 games, scoring 24 goals and 95 points to finish fourth in team scoring. In eight playoff games, Bowness scored five goals and eight points. After the season, he was drafted by the Atlanta Flames in the second round, 26th overall in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft, as well as in the fifth round, 62nd overall by the Indianapolis Racers of the WHA in the 1975 WHA Amateur Draft.
Atlanta Flames 
Bowness spent a majority of his first professional hockey season in 1975-76 with the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL, where in 64 games, he earned 25 goals and 63 points, as well as 160 penalty minutes with the Oilers. In nine playoff games, Bowness had four goals and seven points. He also played two games with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs of the AHL, getting an assist in those games. Bowness also made his NHL debut during the 1975-76 season, going pointless in five games with the Atlanta Flames.
The 1976-77 season was split between the Oilers and Flames, as Bowness appeared in 39 games with Tulsa, scoring 15 goals and 30 points. In eight post-season games with the Oilers, Bowness had an assist. He also played in 28 games with the Atlanta Flames, recording four assists. On August 18, 1977, the Flames traded Bowness to the Detroit Red Wings for cash considerations.
Detroit Red Wings 
Bowness spent the entire 1977-78 in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, as he scored eight goals and 19 points in 61 games, helping the team reach the playoffs. In four playoff games with Detroit, Bowness was held off the scoresheet as the Red Wings lost to the Montreal Canadiens in the quarter-finals.
St. Louis Blues 
Bowness spent most of the 1978-79 season in the CHL with the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, as he appeared in 48 games with the team, scoring 25 goals and 53 points with Salt Lake. In 10 playoff games with the Golden Eagles, Bowness had five goals and nine points. Bowness also did appear in 24 games with the St. Louis Blues, scoring a goal and four points with the club.
Bowness once again spent a majority of the 1979-80 with the Golden Eagles. In 71 games with Salt Lake, Bowness had 25 goals and 71 points to finish fifth in team scoring, while accumulating a team high 135 penalty minutes. In 13 playoff games with Salt Lake, Bowness had five goals and 14 points. He also played in 10 games with the Blues, scoring a goal and three points. On June 13, 1980, the Blues traded Bowness to the Winnipeg Jets for Craig Norwich.
Winnipeg Jets 
Bowness played in 45 games with the Winnipeg Jets in the 1980-81, scoring eight goals and 25 points, however, the Jets failed to make the playoffs. Bowness also returned to the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL for 35 games, scoring 12 goals and 32 points.
He spent the entire 1981-82 regular season playing with Tulsa, finishing second on the team in scoring with 34 goals and 87 points in 79 games. In three playoff games with the Oilers, Bowness had two assists. Bowness also appeared in a playoff game with the Jets, as he was held off the scoresheet.
Bowness wrapped up his playing career in the 1983-84 season with Sherbrooke, playing in 21 games, scoring nine goals and 20 points. He retired after the season to become an assistant coach with the Winnipeg Jets.
Coaching career 
Sherbrooke Jets 
Bowness became the first head coach of the Winnipeg Jets new AHL affiliate, the Sherbrooke Jets in the 1982-83 AHL season, as he was a player-coach with the club. Sherbrooke had a tough season, finishing in last place in the North Division with a 22–54–4 record, earning 48 points. He stepped down as player coach before the 1983-84, as he played one last season before retiring in the summer of 1984.
Winnipeg Jets 
Bowness became an assistant coach of the Winnipeg Jets under head coach Barry Long in the 1984-85 season. Winnipeg had a successful season, going 43–27–10, earning 96 points, finishing second in the Smythe Division. In the playoffs, the Jets defeated the Calgary Flames before losing to the Edmonton Oilers in the Smythe Division final.
Bowness remained on the Jets coaching staff in the 1985-86 season, however, the club changed head coaches during the season, as Barry Long was replaced by John Ferguson late in the season. The Jets struggled to a 26–47–7 record, earning 59 points, but still good for third in the Smythe Division. In the season opener against the Calgary Flames, Bowness was once fined $500 and suspended for three games after punching Calgary forward Tim Hunter in the head during a brawl. Brian Hayward and Tim Hunter had been involved in a scuffle which escalated to a full brawl after Hunter continued to attack Hayward.  In the playoffs, the Jets were swept by the Calgary Flames in the first round.
In 1986-87, Winnipeg hired a new head coach, Dan Maloney, and retained Bowness as an assistant. The Jets rebounded from their poor season, going 40–32–8, earning 88 points, to finish in third place in the Smythe Division. In the playoffs, Winnipeg defeated the Calgary Flames in the opening round, however, they were swept by the Edmonton Oilers in the Smythe Division final. After the season, Bowness left Winnipeg to take a head coaching job with their AHL affiliate, the Moncton Hawks.
Moncton Hawks 
Bowness became the first head coach of the Moncton Hawks, the Winnipeg Jets AHL affiliate for the 1987-88 season. Bowness led the expansion team to a 27–43–8–2 record, earning 64 points and a sixth place finish in the North Division, failing to qualify for the playoffs.
He began the 1988-89 season with Moncton, leading the club to a 28–20–5 record in 53 games. Bowness was then promoted to the NHL, as the Winnipeg Jets fired their head coach Dan Maloney, and named Bowness as his replacement.
Winnipeg Jets 
Bowness coached his first NHL game with the Winnipeg Jets on February 9, 1989, as the Jets lost to the New York Rangers 4–3 at Madison Square Garden. After a 0–3–1 start, Bowness earned his first NHL victory on February 17, 1989, defeating the New Jersey Devils 3–2 in overtime at the Winnipeg Arena. Bowness led the team to a 8–17–3 record to finish the 1988-89 season, as the Jets missed the playoffs.
Maine Mariners 
Bowness became the head coach of the Boston Bruins AHL affiliate, the Maine Mariners, for the 1989-90 AHL season. In his first season with Maine, Bowness led the club to a 31–38–11 record, earning 73 points and a fifth place finish as the club failed to qualify for the playoffs.
He returned to the Mariners for a second season in 1990-91, as the Mariners improved to a 34–34–12 record, getting 80 points, however, Maine finished in fifth place once again, and failed to make the playoffs.
Following the season, the Bruins organization promoted Bowness to become the new head coach of the Boston Bruins.
Boston Bruins 
Bowness returned to the NHL to become the head coach of the Boston Bruins for the 1991-92 season. He coached his first game as a Bruin on October 3, 1991, defeating the New York Rangers 5–3 at the Boston Garden. Overall, the Bruins finished the season with a 36–32–12 record, earning 84 points and second place in the Adams Division. Bowness coached his first playoff game on April 19, 1992, losing 3–2 to the Buffalo Sabres. The Bruins would eventually win the series in seven games, followed by a four game sweep over the Montreal Canadiens to reach the Wales Conference finals. Boston was then swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who would go on to win the Stanley Cup.
Ottawa Senators 
Bowness became the first head coach in Ottawa Senators history for the 1992-93 season. On October 8, 1992, the expansion Senators won their first ever game over the Montreal Canadiens 5–3 at the Ottawa Civic Centre. Wins would be few and far between, as Ottawa finished with a 10–70–4 record, earning 24 points and a tie for last place in the overall NHL standings with the San Jose Sharks.
The Senators continued to go their some growing pains in the 1994-95 season, as Ottawa finished with a 9–34–5 record in the lockout shortened 48 game schedule, finishing in last place in the league for the third straight season.
Bowness began a fourth season with the Senators in 1995-96, and after a promising start, as Ottawa had a 6–5–0 record after 11 games, the club fell into an eight game losing streak to fall to 6–13–0, and Bowness was relieved of his duties, as he was replaced by Dave Allison.
During the summer of 1996, Bowness joined the New York Islanders as an associate coach.
New York Islanders 
Bowness joined the New York Islanders as an associate coach for the 1996-97 under head coach Mike Milbury. After the Islanders got off to a rough 13–23–9 start, Milbury resigned and Bowness became the new head coach of the Islanders. On January 22, 1997, Bowness coached his first game with New York, leading the team to a huge 8–1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. The Islanders went 16–18–3 under Bowness, however, they failed to reach the playoffs.
Phoenix Coyotes 
Bowness joined the Phoenix Coyotes coaching staff as an assistant under Bob Francis for the 1999-2000 season. The Coyotes had a strong season, going 39–31–8–4, earning 90 points and third place in the Pacific Division, sixth in the Western Conference. In the playoffs, the Coyotes lost in five games to the Colorado Avalanche in the first round.
The Coyotes rebounded in the 2001-02, going 40–27–9–6 to earn 95 points and finish in sixth place in the Western Conference and reach the post-season. In the playoffs, the Coyotes lost in five games to the San Jose Sharks in the first round. After the season, Coyotes head coach Bob Francis won the Jack Adams Award for Coach of the Year.
The club had another tough season in 2003-04, as the Coyotes had a 20–24–15–3 before the team fired head coach Bob Francis and named Bowness as the interim head coach. Under Bowness, Phoenix continued to struggle, as they went 2–12–3–3, and finished well out of the post-season once again.
With the 2004-05 NHL lockout cancelling the season, Bowness returned to the club in 2005-06 as an assistant under new head coach Wayne Gretzky. The Coyotes missed the playoffs once again with a 38–39–5 record, earning 81 points. After the season, Bowness left the club and joined the Vancouver Canucks as an assistant.
Vancouver Canucks 
Bowness joined the Vancouver Canucks as an assistant coach under Alain Vigneault for the 2006-07 season. In his first season with Vancouver, the team won the Northwest Division with a 49–26–7 record, earning 105 points and third in the Western Conference. In the playoffs, the Canucks defeated the Dallas Stars in seven games in the first round, however, Vancouver lost in five games to the Anaheim Ducks in the second round.
Vancouver rebounded in 2008-09, winning the Northwest Division for the second time in three seasons, going 45–27–10, recording 100 points and third place in the Western Conference. In the playoffs, the Canucks swept the St. Louis Blues in four games, however, they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games in the second round.
The 2009-10 was another very successful season for the Canucks, as the club once again won the Northwest Division with a 49–28–5 record, good for 103 points and third in the Western Conference. Vancouver defeated the Los Angeles Kings in six games, however, they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games in the second round for the second consecutive season.
The club had a record breaking 2010-11, as the Canucks won the President's Trophy with a 54–19–9 record, earning a club record 117 points. In the post-season, Vancouver defeated their rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games, followed by winning a six game series against the Nashville Predators to make the Western Conference final. The Canucks easily defeated the San Jose Sharks to clinch a berth in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, against the Boston Bruins. In the final round, the Canucks built a 3–2 series lead, however, the club lost their last two games to lose the Stanley Cup in seven games. In 2013, after being swept in the first round of the playoffs, Bowness, couch Alain Vignault, and assistant coach Newell Brown were all fired from there positions in the Canucks coaching staff on May 22, 2013.
Coaching record 
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|WPG||1988–89||28||8||17||3||-||(64)||5th in Smythe||Missed playoffs|
|BOS||1991–92||80||36||32||12||-||84||2nd in Adams||Lost in third round|
|OTT||1992–93||84||10||70||4||-||24||6th in Adams||Missed playoffs|
|OTT||1993–94||84||14||61||9||-||37||7th in Northeast||Missed playoffs|
|OTT||1994–95||48||9||34||5||-||23||7th in Northeast||Missed playoffs|
|OTT||1995–96||19||6||13||0||-||(41)||6th in Northeast||(Fired)|
|NYI||1996–97||37||16||18||3||-||(70)||7th in Atlantic||Missed playoffs|
|NYI||1997–98||63||22||32||9||-||(71)||4th in Atlantic||(Fired)|
|PHX||2003–04||20||2||12||3||3||(68)||5th in Pacific||Missed playoffs|
See also