Victoria Royals coach Dave Lowry hired as assistant for L.A. Kings
The winningest coach in Victoria Royals history is quitting his job for the big leagues.
The team announced Tuesday that Dave Lowry has accepted an assistant coaching position with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.
“I’m extremely excited. Great opportunity, and I knew from going through the interview process that this was a place that was a great fit,” Lowry told CTV News.
He said he’s familiar with the L.A. Kings organization because his son, Joel Lowry, was drafted by the team in 2011.
Though he knows some people who work for the team, he said he’s looking forward to working with head coach John Stevens for the first time.
“The interesting part is John Stevens and myself never crossed paths, never played with each other, never worked with each other anywhere, and I felt there was chemistry right off the bat,” he said. “I really think we both see the game similarly.”
Lowry was a forward in the NHL from 1985 to 2004 with a handful of teams including the Vancouver Canucks, and later moved on to coach the Calgary Hitmen in the Western Hockey League before accepting a job with the Royals in 2012.
During his stint with the Royals, he amassed a regular season record of 199-112-13-9 and qualified for the playoffs every year.
He also set a Royals franchise record with 21 playoff coaching wins, and was twice honoured with the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as Coach of the Year.
“We are thankful for the time that Dave was behind the bench for our club,” President and General Manager Cameron Hope said in a news release Tuesday. “It was just a matter of time before he moved back to the NHL. Dave set a high standard and was an important part of building our program to where it is today. We thank the entire Lowry family for their commitment to our franchise, and wish Dave success as he takes another step in his career.”
The vacancy leaves a big hole to fill behind the bench for the Royals, who were eliminated from playoff contention in the WHL Western Conference quarterfinals earlier this year.
Lowry said he kept the Royals apprised of all his dealings with the Kings, and he hopes that he’ll still be called informally on if the team needs advice.
“I would like to think that [Royals GM Cam Hope] and I have really developed a relationship that we could still communicate, I could still answer any questions that he would have,” he said. “I think that for the five years that we’ve worked together, we’ve gotten along extremely well.”
Lowry will have his work cut out for him with the Kings, who placed 10th in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs by eight points in the 2016-2017 NHL season.
Still, with a squad of returning players like Drew Doughty, who Lowry referred to as one of the best defencemen in the league, he said he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“I look at the group I’m going to be working with, and I look at the athletes and I know that it’s a motivated group,” he said. “It’s a group that fell short of their goal last year and the players coming back, in talking with management and talking with John, they’re a motivated group.”