Dave Lowry leaves Wheat Kings to join Winnipeg Jets as assistant coach
WINNIPEG -- The Jets have a wealth of experience in new assistant coach Dave Lowry who has twice served as an NHL assistant coach in Calgary and L.A., clinched a playoff spot in each of his seven seasons as a WHL head coach, and suited up for nearly 1,100 NHL games during his playing career spanning nearly two decades.
He also happens to be the father of Jets forward Adam Lowry.
“We had to have Adam’s blessing on it and I totally understand if he wasn’t comfortable with me coming in and being part of the staff, if that were the case, this is something I wouldn’t have continued to pursue,” Lowry said,
“I understand he’s an established player in the National Hockey League and it should be an easy transformation for him.”
Lowry said he often talks hockey with his son and had the unique opportunity to do it in person on occasion last season while working in Brandon as the head coach of the Wheat Kings, only a couple of hours from Winnipeg.
“We talk more about how he’s doing, not how did he play or what happened here or what happened there. We had the typical father-son relationship. Obviously, with me being a coach there were times when he wasn’t happy with his game and sometimes he would reach out,” said Lowry.
It’s actually Jets' head coach Paul Maurice’s second attempt at bringing Lowry on as an assistant.
Lowry said he sensed the value Maurice saw in bringing in an experienced coach whose son was on the team back when they first discussed him joining the team at the 2016 NHL Entry draft. But with his son, Adam, having only a couple of years worth of NHL experience, the two decided the timing wasn’t right.
Now a veteran with the Jets, Maurice once again decided to pitch Adam Lowry’s father on joining Winnipeg, calling him “out of the blue” to join the team he’s understandably kept a close eye on.
“That was one of the things he did mention, that of a lot of candidates this would be a team I know a lot about and I was extremely familiar with.”
Lowry did not delve into what exactly his role will be as an assistant to Maurice, only that the two have talked at length about it and that he really likes the staff in place. Though, he discussed the importance of earning the trust of those players not related to him.
“It’s all about building relationships and getting to know the players and, for me, the big thing is to be there when they need you and really learn and identify how and what makes each player tick and how they learn,” Lowry said,
"With an established coaching staff, I’ll be able to pick their brain and figure out how to work and how to teach these individual players.”
The Wheat Kings finished the 2019-2020 incomplete season with 76 points in 63 games; a six-point improvement in five less games from the season prior to Lowry taking over as head coach, which he admits feels a little like he’s leaving without settling some unfinished business.
“I really enjoyed watching their growth after Christmas and how this team really came together and really understood what it took to be a competitive group, I really liked the lessons that we learned,” Lowry said.
I know the team is in a better place today and moving forward this team has an opportunity to win.”