Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN

Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Royals announced today that NHL veteran and former WHL head coach Dave Lowry has been named as the head coach of the Western Hockey League (WHL) team for the 2012-2013 season.

Lowry comes to the Royals after spending the past three seasons as an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames, and prior to that, as head coach of the WHL Calgary Hitmen where he led the team to a 59-9-3-1 record during the 2008-2009 season.

IMG 0014
After 3 years as an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames organization, former NHLer Dave Lowry will be the Head Coach of the Victoria Royals in 2012-2013 (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

“We are very excited to have Dave join our team,” Royals owner Graham Lee said. “Our goal for the Royals organization is to create and environment for players to succeed and Dave brings experience and a winning track record at the WHL level that will help us achieve our goal.”

Royals General manager Cam Hope introduced Lowry, noting that, “His experience coupled with our similar philosophies on both the management and structure of a hockey team and the fact that he is a guy of great character and a man who understands how to work with young players and build and grow a young hockey team secured my decision he was the right person for the position.”

IMG 0025
New Victoria Royals Head Coach Dave Lowry (centre) addresses the media Thursday morning (Photo by Christian J. Stewart -ISN)

In addition to his coaching experience with the Flames and Hitmen, Lowry brings 19 years of NHL playing experience to the job. Over that time Lowry played for five NHL teams including Vancouver, St. Louis, Florida, San Jose and Calgary, amassing 1,084 games and scoring 351 points (164 goals, 187 assists).

“When I started the conversations with Graham Lee, I was adamant that I did not want any part of the General manager duties, so I was very happy to hear that this was going to be a coach position only,” noted Lowry. “My strength is coaching and that is the avenue I wanted to pursue.”

“The prospect of returning to the WHL here in Victoria was one I couldn’t pass up,” added Lowry. “This organization is committed to doing things properly and the opportunity to work with Graham and Cam, who are quality people and good citizens, to continue developing this franchise to its highest levels, was certainly an attractive aspect of joining the organization.”

IMG 0023
New Royals Head Coach Dave Lowry hope to bring an up-tempo style of play to the team for 2012-2013 (Photo by Christian J. Stewart  -ISN)

When asked how he would describe himself as a coach, Lowry said, “Well I think I am a players coach and by that I mean that I understand that, at this level, there has to be an environment where the players need to have some fun. However our style will also need to one that is conducive to winning and for me that is an up tempo game. I can’t guarantee you at this point how that will flesh out with this team yet, or how exciting it is going to be as I have to take a look at and assess all our personnel, but suffice it to say that the last team I coached scored 330 goals, so you know that I like to play with the pedal fully to the floor.”

General Manager Hope is also excited to have Lowry on board. “I expect Dave to be exactly as advertised. He is a great guy and a great coach and while I’d like to say I expect him to win every game, the reality is I expect he will bring to this team what he brought to all the teams that he has coached – a high level of integrity and a hard working attitude. I can’t wait for him to get going.”

IMG 0029
New Royals Head Coach Dave Lowry (left) and General Manager Cam Hope (right) will work hand-in-hand to continue building the Royals franchise and ice a quality team in the fall (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)

With training camp approaching fast, Lowry’s next step will be to begin to sit down with players who were here last year to assess what strengths and weaknesses the team has moving forward and then, working closely with Hope and the rest of the organization, put all the puzzle pieces together to ice a quality team come September.

“Our goal is to continue to build this team and take steps to improve the product we put on the ice,” said Lowry. “I look forward to working with Cam and the knowledge he brings to the management side of things. I am sure that over the course of time, we will fire some pretty hard questions at one another and challenge one another, but both of us know that it will simply be in the interest of making this team better.”