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Bowness on Jets' future: 'I know what I want to do'


Winnipeg Jets head coach Rick Bowness told reporters that he knows what his coaching future is, but won't disclose the information until a later date.

"I know what I want to do, I know what I'm going to do. You'll find out." said Bowness at the Jets' end-of-season availabilities on Thursday.

The 69-year-old head coach was emotional when discussing his future and added that he still needs to talk to his family and Jets' management before announcing his decision. TSN's John Lu notes that Winnipeg has a team option to bring back Bowness for a third season.

Bowness has a 98-57-9 record over two seasons with the Jets. He oversaw a 15-point improvement this year as the team finished second in the Central Division with a 52-24-6 record.

The Jets surrendered 28 goals in five games as they fell to the Colorado Avalanche in the first round. Winnipeg has failed to make it past the first round during Bowness’ time as coach.

Bowness has been behind an NHL bench for a record 2,726 games as either a head or assistant coach. He joins hall of fame coaches Pat Quinn and Scotty Bowman as the only coaches with a career spanning five decades.

The Moncton, N.B., native got his first head coaching job with the first iteration of the Winnipeg Jets during the 1988-89 season. He has a career 310-408-37 record with 48 ties split between both iterations of the Jets, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders, Arizona Coyotes, and Dallas Stars.

Bowness took a leave of absence a couple of times last season. He missed 13 games early in the season after his wife took ill and then missed five games in March after undergoing a medical procedure.

Associate coach Scott Arniel took over coaching duties in Bowness’ absence and had a 11-5-2 record as interim head coach.

Arniel, 61, previously coached the Columbus Blue Jackets for two seasons, going 45-60-18 with no playoff appearances.