The Brandon Wheat Kings have announced that Dave Lowry will be the 23rd Head Coach in franchise history.
Lowry comes to the Wheat City with an impressive resume both as a player and a coach. The former London Knight was a 6th round pick by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft and went on to play 1084 NHL games with the Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames.
“I’m extremely excited to go back to being a Head Coach and to be doing it in Brandon,” said Lowry via phone call Thursday afternoon. “This is a team that is on the rise. I’m excited about the challenge and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
After hanging up the skates, Lowry didn’t take long to get into coaching. Just two years after his final NHL game he joined the Calgary Hitmen as an Assistant Coach where he spent four seasons, culminating in a promotion to Head Coach for the 2008-2009 season.
Following that season, he joined the Calgary Flames as an Assistant Coach for three years before returning to the WHL to guide the Victoria Royals for five seasons. In those five years he represented Canada behind the bench at the World Junior Hockey Championship twice, once as an Assistant Coach and once in the Head Coaching role.
The last two seasons, Lowry has worked as an Assistant Coach for the Los Angeles Kings. Although there are challenges when it comes to coaching teenagers as opposed to grown men, Lowry says the differences are minor.
“In junior, you have more responsibility when it comes to these players when it comes to their life away from the rink. Whether it be making sure they are home and in bed, their nutrition and their schooling but at the end of the day, hockey is the same game.”
In his six seasons as a Head Coach in the WHL, Lowry’s clubs never missed the playoffs. He also made it to the Ed Chynoweth Cup final in 2008/09 with Calgary, losing to Kelowna in six games.
“We are extremely excited to name Dave our head coach,” says Wheat Kings Owner and Governor Kelly McCrimmon. “He’s a proven winner, has tremendous experience and a great reputation for developing players.”
“This is a great hire for our players and for our fans,” he added. “I know Dave really well personally. I worked with him at the 2016 World Junior Tournament and I feel he embodies exactly what we want our organization to stand for.”
When it comes to rounding out his coaching staff, Lowry says he has had a conversation with current Assistant Coach Don MacGillivray and a decision will be based on a number of factors.
“I’d like to sit down with Kelly and with Darren. They know the organization and they know what the players are going to need. The priority is to find a fit and go from there.”
Dave and his wife Elaine will be moving to Brandon in the coming weeks, a transition they are looking forward to.
“Brandon will be home for us,” Lowry said. “We haven’t spent any time in Brandon outside of the game of hockey. But we look forward to exploring the city and getting to know the people.”