HALIFAX, N.S. -- More than 40 years after reaching the NHL, Rick Bowness, head coach of the Dallas Stars, is still chasing a Stanley Cup ring.

Born in Moncton, Bowness grew up in Halifax. He reached the NHL as a player in the 1970s, but is best-known for his coaching resume.

Bowness has held the role of head coach in Winnipeg, Boston, Ottawa, Phoenix, and now Dallas. Counting his work as an assistant, Bowness is the NHL’s leader for most games coached and is one of just three NHL coaches to work behind the bench in four decades.

Now, Bowness is three wins away from leading his team to a berth in the finals.

“It would mean everything to him to cap off his career,” says Ross McNeil, Bowness’ childhood friend.

McNeil says Bowness’ passion to win a championship is one of the things that keeps him in the game at the age of 65.

“His dad died before mine. He always said, ‘I am going to bring a Stanley Cup home. My dad was going to throw the party on Sunnybrae Avenue in Fairview where we all grew up,’” says McNeil.

Chris Larsen says his friend has stayed fiercely loyal to his home province.

“The lapel pin that he is wearing during the playoffs, his wife Judy made for him as a salute to the shooting victims and all the trouble we went through in the province in April. That's a reflection of just how much this man cares for his roots,” says Larsen.

Larsen says Bowness was behind the launch of Maritime NHLers For Kids, a charity that works to help ease the financial burden for young hockey players in the region.

“It was Rick who had the passion and the drive some 20 years ago,” he says.

Reached via text message, Bowness had one thing to say – “We have to bring that cup back to Nova Scotia.”