The Winnipeg Jets have reportedly found their next head coach.
Per TSN's Darren Dreger, Rick Bowness is finalizing a deal with the Jets to become their full-time head coach.
ESPN's Kevin Weekes reported Thursday that Winnipeg had narrowed its list of coaching candidates to five.
Interestingly, Bowness wasn't among that group. Scott Arniel, Rick Tocchet, Jim Montgomery, Jeff Blashill and Pascal Vincent were on the list.
Montgomery came off the board Thursday after reports the Boston Bruins were set to hire him.
Bowness announced in May he was stepping down as head coach of the Dallas Stars. Saad Yousuf of The Athletic noted the decision was likely "driven" by the Stars because "his contract ran out once the season ended so it can conveniently be framed as a parting of ways."
The Stars hired Bowness in 2018 as an assistant on Montgomery's staff. After Dallas fired Montgomery midway through the 2019-20 season, Bowness took over on an interim basis and led Dallas to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2000.
Dallas then promoted Bowness to the full-time head coach role. He went 69-49-20 with one playoff appearance over the next two seasons.
Dave Lowry spent the bulk of the 2021-22 season as Winnipeg's head coach. He took over on an interim basis Dec. 17 after Paul Maurice resigned.
The 67-year-old Bowness began his coaching career with the Jets' AHL affiliate, the Sherbrooke Jets, in 1982-83. He joined Winnipeg as an assistant in 1984 and then took over the Moncton Hawks, the Jets' new AFL affiliate, in 1987. He finished the 1988-89 season as the Jets' interim head coach after being promoted following Dan Maloney's midseason firing.
In 12 seasons as a head coach with six different teams (Jets, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes and Stars), Bowness has a 212-351-48-28 record with three playoff appearances.
The Jets went 39-32-11 (26-22-6 under Lowry) last season. They finished sixth in the Central Division with 89 points and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016-17.