The Brandon Wheat Kings continued an off-season revamp Thursday by hiring Dave Lowry as their new head coach.
Lowry joins the Wheat Kings after spending the last two years as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings. He wasn’t retained by the Kings after they hired Todd McLellan as their head coach in April.
Lowry said in a statement that he’s looking forward to returning to the Western Hockey League and working with the players.
“I’m excited to get to Brandon to sit down with the hockey operations staff and make preparations for the 2019-2020 season,” Lowry said. “My wife and I look forward to joining the Brandon community and continuing the winning Wheat Kings tradition.”
He helped the Victoria Royals to a 209-124-27 record over the course of five seasons prior to jumping to the NHL and earned WHL Coach Of The Year honours on two occasions.
Lowry was Canada’s head coach during the 2016 world junior championship and was an assistant with the team a year prior when they won gold.
Brandon general manager Darren Ritchie, who was promoted by the organization last week, said hiring Lowry is a positive step for the organization.
“Dave’s teams are always prepared, they play fast and are very competitive,” Ritchie said.
Lowry played 19 seasons in the NHL with Vancouver, St. Louis, Florida, San Jose and Calgary. He scored 164 goals and 351 points in 1,084 career games while helping the Panthers advance to the Stanley Cup Final in 1995.
The move also brings Lowry closer to his son, Adam, who is a member of the Winnipeg Jets.
The Wheat Kings didn’t renew the contracts of general manager Grant Armstrong and head coach David Anning after failing to qualify for the WHL playoffs last season for the first time in six years.