Dallas Stars interim head coach Rick Bowness has the job permanently if he wants it after leading the team to the Stanley Cup Final. Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Stars GM: Interim coach Rick Bowness 'earned the right' to win full-time job

The Dallas Stars have apparently found their answer at head coach.

Dallas general manager Jim Nill told reporters on Tuesday that interim coach Rick Bowness has the gig if he wants it after leading the club past the Vegas Golden Knights and to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2000.

"Rick and I have both agreed from the start that we'll sit down at the end of this and we'll digest everything. Go through it," Nill said, per Greg Wyshynski of ESPN. "He definitely has earned the right to come back as the coach."

Bowness, who is the oldest coach in the NHL at 65 years old, was appointed interim head coach on Dec. 10 after Dallas parted ways with Jim Montgomery. Montgomery entered an inpatient residential program due to alcohol abuse in January.

Per Wyshynski, Bowness guided the Stars to a 20-13-5 record until the NHL paused the season on March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Dallas eliminated the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche and Vegas during the NHL restart to make the Cup Final.

In late August, Bowness explained that he was more concerned with the task at hand than his employment status. 

"I haven't even given that any thought," Bowness said. "There's no time for that. I tell our players [that] we stay in the moment. I want our coaches to stay in the moment as well.

"When they asked me to finish the season, that was the agreement we had right then. We'll talk about the future after the season. That's what we'll do."

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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