Bowness played in the QMJHL with the Quebec Remparts and Montreal Junior Canadiens. He was chosen 26th overall by the Atlanta Flames at the 1975 Amateur Draft. Bowness played most of his first two pro seasons in the CHL with the Tulsa Oilers before he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings.
Bowness checked effectively and saw time on the power play in Detroit but the Wings opted to go with Vaclav Nedomansky, Danny Grant, Dennis Polonich, and Bill Lochead at right wing. He spent his last half dozen seasons as a pro in the minors or as a role player on the St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets. The veteran winger retired as a player in 1984 after playing two years with the AHL's Sherbrooke Jets.
After hanging up his skates, Bowness became interested in coaching. He guided the AHL's Moncton Hawks in 1987-88 then experienced his first taste of big league coaching with the Winnipeg Jets late in the 1988-89 season when he took over from the fired Dan Maloney. Bowness replaced Mike Milbury behind the Maine Mariners' bench in 1990. In 1991-92, he was hired by Boston GM Milbury to coach the Boston Bruins. After leading them to the semi-finals, he was replaced by Brian Sutter in 1993.
Bowness bounced back quickly as the first head coach of the expansion Ottawa Senators. He guided the Sens through some tough times and was replaced by Dave Allison 19 games into the 1995-96 season. Bowness was hired a second time by Milbury as an associate coach of the rebuilding New York Islanders when the latter stepped down to focus on the general manager's duties in 1996. Milbury fired his friend a second time late in the 1998 season and took over the reigns himself.
After his stint with the Islanders, Bowness joined the Phoenix Coyotes in 99-2000 as an assistant coach before taking over head coaching duties midway through the 2003-04 season.
Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame