Tampa Bay Times Forum Credit: Tasha Meares

Tampa Bay Lightning Hire Rick Bowness as Associate Coach

Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced on Monday that they have added veteran NHL Coach Rick Bowness to the position of Associate Coach, joining Head Coach Jon Cooper’s staff.

December 17, 2011; Toronto, ON, CANADA; Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Rick Bowness watches the Toronto Maple Leafs during the pre game warm up at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Bowness has spent the last 7 seasons behind the bench with the Vancouver Canucks. He began his tenure with the Canucks as an Assistant, and then later as Associate Coach. During his time with the club, they made appearances in all but one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, one of which was a trip to the Finals in 2011.

We are extremely pleased to add Rick Bowness to our coaching staff today,” Yzerman said. “With 24 years of NHL coaching experience as both a head coach and an assistant, we are confident Rick will be a valuable addition. We look forward to having him behind the bench next season.” ~ via TampaBayLightning.com

During his coaching career, Bowness have served in various capacities for six different NHL teams, the Winnipeg Jets (1984-89), Boston Bruins (1991-92), Ottawa Senators (1992-96), New York Islanders (1996-98), Phoenix Coyotes (1999-06) and the Vancouver Canucks (2007-13). On five separate occasions, he served as the Head Coach, the Jets in 1988-89, Bruins in 1991-92, Senators from 1992-96, Islanders from 1996-98 and in Phoenix in 2003-04.

Before any of his experience as a coach in the NHL, Rick Bowness was a player. He spent a total of seven seasons in the National Hockey League as a right wing. During his career, he was able to net himself 18 goals and 37 assists for a total of 55 points. He played with such teams as the Atlanta Flames, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, and then wrapped up his playing career with the Winnipeg Jets.

The Moncton, New Brunswick native has worked with some of the most world class organizations in hockey, and brings with him a plethora of coaching experience. This can only mean good things for the Tampa Bay Lightning bench.

It will be interesting to see if there are any more changes coming out of the Lightning back office this off season. My only hope is that any changes still to be made happen in enough time to start building a team chemistry before Training Camp starts. After last season’s shortened camp, if you even want to call it that thanks to the dreaded NHL Lockout, the Lightning need to capitalize on this time to work with all of the young talent that will surely be joining the main roster next season. The time has come for the team to take in what transpired last season, learn from the mistakes that were made, and rebuild as a stronger, more dominant force.

With the new NHL Alignment taking effect, and the Lightning moving into a new division with much tougher opponents like the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, and the Ottawa Senators (all of which are teams that Rick Bowness has spent time with in both coaching and/or playing capacities might I add) we are going to have to step up our game if we hope to have our names written in the Stanley Cup once again.

What do you think of the Lightning’s appointment of Rick Bowness as Associate Coach? Do you think he has what it takes to assist Coach Cooper in taking our team to the next level? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think!


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