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Bowness breaks Bowman's record for games behind NHL bench


Take a Bow, Rick.

Rick Bowness has now coached in more games than anyone in NHL history.

The Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach broke Scotty Bowman's all-time record Friday night by working in his 2,165th career game, according to Bryan Burns of the club's official website.

Granted, Bowness has been a head coach for only 463 of them, while Bowman occupied the lead role for 2,141 regular-season contests.

Still, it's an impressive accomplishment for the 62-year-old Bowness, who's been a reliable assistant for more than a decade.

"He knows how to change with the times," Bowman told Burns before Friday's game. "Over the three or four decades, he's kept up. He's got the experience. Nothing's going to surprise him now."

Before becoming one of the league's most dependable associate bench bosses, he served as head coach of the original Winnipeg Jets and the Boston Bruins for less than a season in both locales, spent parts of four campaigns as the head man with the Ottawa Senators, parts of two more with the New York Islanders, then reunited with the old Jets franchise for 20 games with the Arizona Coyotes in 2003-04.

Bowness joined the Vancouver Canucks as Alain Vigneault's associate in 2006-07 and remained there until the end of the 2012-13 season, joining the Lightning for the following campaign under then-first-year head coach Jon Cooper.

To this day, the quest to lift Lord Stanley's mug is still his primary driving force.

"That's my main motivation," he said. "I don't care what the job description is, assistant coach, head trainer, I don't care about that. I just want to win the Stanley Cup. So the drive of trying to win a Stanley Cup is still there. I've never worried about the job description. I just want to go somewhere where you have a legitimate chance to win and to win that Cup."

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