Fantasy Take: Bowness Going to Winnipeg

Ian Gooding


According to multiple reports, the Winnipeg Jets will hire Rick Bowness to be their new head coach.

A onetime Jets player and head coach, Bowness is an experienced bench boss who coached the Dallas Stars to a Stanley Cup Final in the 2020 playoff bubble. He is known for a defensive structure, which is not unlike what the Jets might have been seeking when they were rumored to be interested in Manitoba native Barry Trotz.

Paul Maurice is known more as an offensive-minded coach than Bowness, and Jets scorers have provided solid returns to fantasy teams while he was head coach. One example where Bowness might not be as offense-friendly than Maurice is with icetime distribution among forwards.

Key Jets forwards, 2021-22 under Paul Maurice/Dave Lowry

Kyle Connor: 21:47

Mark Scheifele: 21:08

Blake Wheeler: 19:32

Pierre-Luc Dubois: 18:56

Nikolaj Ehlers: 18:04

Key Stars forwards, 2021-22 under Rick Bowness

Joe Pavelski: 18:28

Jason Robertson: 18:07

Roope Hintz: 18:02

Tyler Seguin: 17:49

Jamie Benn: 16:45

Bowness tends to spread his icetime more evenly among his forwards than other coaches. In other words, four current Jets forwards had a higher average time on ice total in 2021-22 than any Stars forwards. Connor and Scheifele could be affected the most, although a potential decrease of three minutes per game should only result in a minor drop in potential goals and assists. It's possible that these forwards could be more productive with the minutes that they have, though. Likewise, third-line forwards like Adam Lowry and Mason Appleton could be in line for increased minutes and thus better production under Bowness.  

There's also the concern that any Jets that have had thoughts about leaving might not mesh as well personally in a Bowness system anyway. Names that come to mind include Wheeler, Dubois and Scheifele. By providing much-needed structu