Rick Bowness ran the defence and the penalty kill in Vancouver, both of which featured Kevin Bieksa.

If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Rick Bowness, you know he’s as nice as people get. If you’ve been lucky enough to get to know him, you know he’s a character.

The exact same things can be said for Kevin Bieksa. Put the two of them together for an interview and no scripts are needed, no talking points handed out, you just make some popcorn and enjoy the show.

During their 22-minute presentation at the Virtual Hockey Summit in 2021, Bowness, the ninth head coach in Dallas Stars history, was interview by Bieksa, a former NHL defencemen turned studio analyst for Hockey Night in Canada. These two have a lot of history together as Bowness was assistant coach for in Vancouver from 2006 to 2013, while Bieksa played for the Canucks from 2005 to 2015. Bowness ran the defence and the penalty kill in Vancouver, both of which featured Bieksa.

While these two coming within a game of hoisting the Stanley Cup was not a discussion point, Bieksa opened the interview asking Bowness what are important habits for players to have to be successful. Bowness didn’t hold back in saying that if a player can’t skate, they can’t play.

“Skating is absolutely priority number one and not just skating forward, but skating backwards. And just as important is your lateral movement, you’ve got to be able to go east to west as well as you can go forwards and backwards because the speed of the forwards coming at our defencemen today is incredible.”

There are plenty of tips and tricks for coaches to take from this interview, including how Bowness gives laminated cards to his players on game days; the pair also discuss what makes Victor Headman such an incredible defenceman, and more.

This video is available exclusively to members of The Coaches Site.

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Rick Bowness

Rick Bowness is the ninth head coach in Dallas Stars history. Bowness joined the club as an assistant coach prior to the start of the 2018-19 season and was named interim head coach on Dec. 10, 2019. Bowness proceeded to guide the team to a 20-13-5 record in 38 games behind the bench and a berth in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. His resume features a 32-year NHL coaching career, which followed a nearly 10-year pro career as a player.

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