Dave Lowry is the Victoria Royals head coach

Ex-NHLer of 19 seasons Dave Lowry will coach the Victoria Royals Western Hockey League team

Dave Lowry

Dave Lowry

The last time Dave Lowry coached in the Western Hockey League, he led the Calgary Hitmen to 59 wins in 72 games.

Add in the Hitmen’s 14 playoff wins from that 2008-09 season and Lowry was behind the bench for 73 wins in total. That’s more than three times the amount of wins the Victoria Royals got in 2011-12.

It’s a fresh start for the Royals, with Cam Hope named general manager on July 6 and Lowry named head coach on July 19. But there’s no denying the new bosses have their work cut out for them.

“Opportunity is the reason I’m here,” said Lowry, who was with the Calgary Flames as an assistant coach the past three seasons.

“As soon as Royals owner Graham Lee said (Marc Habscheid would be replaced) by two different positions, general manager and head coach, it solidified my interest. I called the team to let them know I was interested.

“For me it’s coaching only, I’m not interested in the GM side of it.”

Lowry, a player’s coach, said he’ll push an up-tempo style of play.

As a pro, Lowry played 19 years in the NHL, starting in 1985 with the Vancouver Canucks, and ending in 2004 with the Calgary Flames. He moved into an assistant coaching role with the Hitmen in 2005-06 and was groomed into the head coaching role under friend and fellow ex-NHLer Kelly Kisio, who handled the GM and head coaching duties.

In 2007, Lowry’s name tag switched from assistant to associate as he took more responsibility on the bench, eventually taking over the head coaching duties from Kisio in 2008.

“Kisio is a good friend and we had a great professional relationship that allowed me to grow into the role of head coach,” Lowry said.

The expectations for that 2008-09 season was to rebuild the Hitmen, Lowry added, but instead the team finished first in the WHL regular season and lost to the Kelowna Rockets (and Jamie Benn) in the WHL finals.

“Just goes to show if you establish a good leadership group and culture it looks after itself.”

Lowry and Hope are now in the process of getting to know each other and the team.

“There was about 20 names that came forward for the coaching job, all with legitimate backgrounds, enough to be coaching at the WHL level,” Hope said.

“The process started even before I was announced as GM (on July 6). We had to be ruthless and whittle the list down to 10, but at no time did anything happen that made me second-guess Lowry as the top candidate.”

With the coaching role filled Hope, and Lowry, can turn to the draft, rookie and training camps, which will begin on Aug. 18, 22 and 25, or thereabouts.

WHL in the family

Dave Lowry has two NHL drafted sons, Joel, who played with the Victoria Grizzlies from 2009 to 2011, and Adam, 19, who will return to the Swift Current Broncos this year.

During Joel’s time in Victoria, he signed a scholarship deal with Cornell University and was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, having been previously passed up in the 2010 draft. The Winnipeg Jets selected Adam in the third round of the 2011 draft.

Dave is confident that Adam would refuse to come to the Royals, in such a situation that he was available.

“As a father, I want to say no, but then I’d love to have him. But I don’t think he’d want to come. Even so, it would have to be a very specific situation where, as a player, he’d be what we needed.”

Wouldn’t be the first time with this franchise, as one of Marc Habscheid’s first moves when he was hired as the Chilliwack Bruins GM in 2009 was to trade for son Zach’s playing rights.

Fast facts

The Vancouver Canucks drafted Lowry in the sixth round of the 1983 draft from the OHL’s London Knights. The Toronto Maple Leafs picked Russ Courtnall seventh overall that year from the Victoria Cougars.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penelope the cat showed up safe and sound at her owner’s porch after an unusual trip through the news cycle in recent weeks. (Photo courtesy of Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing)
Penelope, cat and friend of the Victoria HarbourCats, returns home safe

The cat had an after an unusual trip through the news cycle in recent weeks

Stanley Fischer (right) died while in a Victoria police jail cell hours after he was arrested on Nov. 15, 1981. Forty years later, his family is questioning his cause of death. (Photo courtesy of Mark Fischer)
Family wants investigation into man’s 1981 death while in Victoria police custody

Stanley Fischer’s death was ruled a suicide after he was found hanging in his jail cell

The Compost Education Centre is hosting its annual spring plant sale on May 8 at 1216 North Park St. Physical distancing protocols will be in effect during the sale, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Black Press Media file photo)
This weekend: Tenth annual spring plant sale hosted by Victoria Compost Education Centre

The non-profit event Saturday, May 8 will feature numerous varieties of plants, live music

Saanich police detectives are investigating a reported sexual assault that occurred near Glanford Park on the evening of Dec. 29, 2020 and have shared an artist’s rendering of the individual. (Image via Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Saanich police release sketch of suspect sought in December sexual assault

Anyone with information asked to contact detectives, Crime Stoppers

Work is progressing on the new student housing building at the University of Victoria. The building will be home to 398 students when complete in September 2022. (Photo courtesy of UVic)
VIDEO: Mass timber installation begins at UVic student housing project

Green technology plays key role in building that will be home to 398 University of Victoria students

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read