Photo Credit: Derek Mortensen
By Scott Rosenhek
This morning, I learned from an article on the Victoria Sports News website that the Canucks may have an interest in Victoria Royals head coach Dave Lowry. The author of the article, Christopher Kelsall, reported from an anonymous source that the “Dave Lowry has been talking to the Vancouver Canucks for at least six weeks.”
Kelsall further elaborated that the source believes there are two possible ways this news can go.
The article poses an interesting question surrounding the recent events of Willie Desjardins’ dismissal this week. Travis Green is a very likely head coach option, supported by reports made by Darren Dreger and Bob Mackenzie.
As a head coach, Green has the advantage of experience in the AHL. Given that he has to work with a depleted roster from year to year, you can’t argue with the results he is able to produce. However, this article is about Dave Lowry and not Travis Green.
Dave Lowry is a good coach at the junior level, evident by his career regular season record with the Victoria Royals, going 209-124-14-13 (wins-losses-OT losses-Shootout losses) since he took over in 2012-13.
He has had consistent success in the regular season in Victoria as a head coach, but also had success in junior hockey as an assistant. Working under Brent Sutter with the Calgary Hitmen, Dave Lowry was part of a team that went 118-90-38 in his three years with the team.
Lowry was also an assistant coach of the dominant Canadian team at the 2015 World Junior Championships. The team won a Gold medal in convincing fashion and were incredibly successful.
However, Dave Lowry was the head coach of the 2016 team that underwhelmed with a 6th placed finish. It is not fair to solely pin the disappointment on Lowry, but I do feel it is worth mentioning this blemish on an otherwise spotless record.
Two years ago, Dave Lowry was selected to coach team WHL in the 2015 Canada-Russia series. Team WHL defeated the Russian squad twice, with scores of 7-3 and 4-2.
So, what do I think about hiring Dave Lowry? I would be all for it on the condition he is brought in as assistant coach. I have the feeling that since he has not coached at the AHL or NHL level yet, it may be too steep of a jump from junior hockey to the big leagues.
It would be especially more challenging if Lowry’s first head coaching job is a directed resurrection plan for the Vancouver Canucks. This is a time for transition that will come with a lot of growing pains.
Personally, I would feel better if the Canucks choose to insulate Lowry (assuming he is hired) instead of throwing him out into the fire. The strategy of pushing players too early has not exactly worked out so well for Jake Virtanen or Jared McCann. I don’t see why rushing Lowry into a head coaching job would be any smarter.