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Winnipeg Jets head coach Rick Bowness to return to the bench against Panthers

Rick Bowness
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SUNRISE, Fla. -

Winnipeg Jets head coach Rick Bowness has returned to the team and will be behind the bench for Friday's road game against the Florida Panthers.

Bowness took a leave of absence a month ago after his wife had a seizure. Associate coach Scott Arniel served as interim head coach while Bowness was away.

A Jets spokesman confirmed via email on Friday that Bowness had returned to the club. The team also posted video clips on social media of Bowness at the morning skate and shaking hands with players in the locker room.

Entering play Friday, the Jets (11-5-2) were tied with the Colorado Avalanche for second place in the NHL's Central Division with 24 points, two points behind the Dallas Stars.

Bowness became Winnipeg's coach ahead of the 2022-23 campaign. He led the Jets to a 46-33-3 record and a playoff berth last season.

Winnipeg was eliminated in five games in the first round by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2023.

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