Dave Lowry’s coaching star continues to rise.
The head coach of the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals was linked over the weekend to the vacant head-coaching position with the San Jose Sharks of the NHL.
TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger tweeted: “It’s believed the Sharks want a second interview with [Pete] DeBoer. [Dan] Bylsma, [Randy] Carlyle and Dave Lowry in mix.”
Nothing is ever static in hockey. Everybody is always looking.
“Dave [Lowry] will coach in the NHL one day. He is one of those guys who is going to get his shot, and every summer that opportunity gets closer,” said Royals GM Cam Hope.
“We are lucky to have and keep Dave for as long as we can.”
Lowry was named WHL coach of the year in 2013-14 and has been selected by Hockey Canada to coach the national junior team at the 2016 world championship in Helsinki in late December and early January. Lowry was assistant coach as Canada won gold at the 2015 world juniors in Toronto and Montreal.
“I don’t have anything to really say about all that [conjecture about the Sharks],” said Lowry, from Calgary on Monday.
“It is all rumours.”
But it’s not lost on Lowry that there is upward mobility from the WHL coaching ranks. Mike Johnston last season went from a successful bench tenure with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL to the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL, and former WHL Medicine Hat Tigers coach Willie Desjardins now guides the Vancouver Canucks. In another move over the last season, Derek Laxdal went from winning a Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL to coaching pro in the AHL with the Dallas Stars’ main farm team.
Lowry, a 19-season NHLer as player, already has three seasons of pro bench experience as assistant coach of the Calgary Flames before joining the Royals in 2012-13.
“There’s a wave of [WHL] coaches who have aspirations to move up to higher levels, and I’m no different than those guys,” said Lowry.
“It’s all about opportunities, but opportunities with the right people.”
Many predict it’s only a matter of time until that right NHL opportunity with the right people aligns for Lowry.