Bownes was behind the bench in the 2020 Stanley Stars Cup final.

DALAS – The oldest NHL coach is now a free agent.

Rick Bownes, 67, resigned as head coach of the Dallas Stars on Friday, the team said in a statement.

“After a careful discussion with my wife Judy, we think it’s best to step back and give the organization the opportunity to follow a different direction as head coach,” Bownes said.

Bownes joined the Stars in 2018 as an assistant coach at the headquarters of new head coach Jim Montgomery.

In the middle of the chaotic 2019-2020 season, disrupted by COVID, Montgomery was fired for unprofessional conduct.

Bowness took on the role of interim head coach and helped the Stars reach the first Stanley Cup final since 2000.

“When he was called to lead our team a few seasons ago, he easily took on the role and helped lead our team through unprecedented global events that affected our players and staff both on and off the ice,” said Stars general manager Jim Neil. .

The “Stars” lost to “Tampa Bay Lightning” in the NHL Bubble Cup final in Edmonton, O.

The timestamp was removed a few weeks later when Bowness signed a two-year contract to head coach the Stars.

Bownes’ two-year contract ended after the end of the 2021-2022 season, which was marked by a terrible defeat of the “Stars” in the 7th game in overtime from the “Calgary Flames”.

“I would like to thank all the ardent fans and dedicated staff for their support and hard work in my time here,” Bownes added. “It was an honor for me and my family to represent The Stars and the City of Dallas.”

Bownes has coached more than 2,500 games behind the bench in the NHL as a head or assistant coach.

“Rick is one of the most respected and loved people he has ever coached in the NHL,” Neil said. “He has dedicated his life to our game, and we are honored to say that the Dallas Stars are part of his legacy.”

In addition to leaving Bownes, assistant coaches Stars John Stevens, Derek Laxdale and Todd Nelson also will not return next season.

The search for the next Dallas Stars head coach begins immediately.

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