The 2020-21 hockey season will be a family reunion for one Winnipeg Jets player.
The team announced Monday it has hired Dave Lowry — father of Jets centre Adam Lowry — as an assistant coach. And naturally that topic came up for discussion when the elder Lowry spoke with the media via a zoom call.
“That was something that we had to have Adam’s blessing on it and I totally understand that if he wasn’t comfortable with me coming in and being a part of the staff, this is something I wouldn’t have continued to pursue,” said the former Calgary and LA Kings assistant. “I realize and recognize he’s an established player in the National Hockey League and it should be an easy transition. I look at it, we’re both professionals. I’m a coach, he’s a player. That’s the way this works.”
Dave Lowry mentioned this was not the first time he had been approached by Paul Maurice about coming to Winnipeg. The two men had a similar conversation 4 or 5 years ago when the NHL entry draft was held in Buffalo, but there was a mutual agreement the timing was right because Adam “was still finding his way” in the NHL.
The elder Lowry was already spending time at a rink a few hours down the highway as head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings last season. And it was while he was in the Wheat City just a couple of weeks ago preparing for training camp that the call came – “right out of the blue” – and this time the fit was right. And Lowry is excited about the coaching staff he’s going to be a part of.
“Paul and I have talked at length about what my responsibilities are going to be. It’s not something I’m interested in divulging right now,” said Lowry when he was asked about what his role would be in replacing the departed Todd Woodcroft. “The big thing is Woody did leave and as an assistant coach you’re always out working with the players. The young guys, and the healthy scratches. That’s something I really enjoy.”
Lowry also served on the coaching staff of the Canadian national team at the World Junior Championships in 2015 — when the team won a gold medal — and was the man in charge in 2016 when Canada bowed out in the quarterfinals to Patrik Laine, Sami Niku and Team Finland. .
Lowry, 55, played more than 1,000 games in the NHL as a left winger with the Flames, San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues — the team he played for when Adam was born in 1993. And it was during those playing days he had a front row seat to a different type of family dynamic- brothers coaching brothers.
“Usually the tendency is the one that’s coaching is a lot harder on the one who is playing than he is on the rest of the guys.”