While it may be the off-season, there are still some interesting happenings going in the world of the WHL.
The Victoria Royals have a new head coach in Dave Lowry, the club announced on Thursday. Lowry, who left the Calgary Flames as an assistant coach this past season along with head coach Brent Sutter, has WHL experience coaching the Hitmen as the bench boss for one season, another campaign as an associate, and two as an assistant.
The Victoria Times Colonist newspaper reported that three former Kootenay Ice coaches in Mark Holick, Cory Clouston and Kris Knoblauch interviewed for the job with Royals general manager Cameron Hope.
"The prospect of returning to the WHL in Victoria was an opportunity I couldn't pass up." Lowry said in a press release. "This organization is committed to doing things properly and I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with both Graham and Cam and continuing the development of the franchise to the highest levels. This team has a collection of talented young players returning and I'm eager to start the season."
Lowry played for five NHL teams over a 19-year career in professional hockey, which began in 1983 when the Vancouver Canucks selected him 110th overall in the NHL Entry Draft. Lowry played for the Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks and the Calgary Flames, which he captained for a season three years before his retirement.
Lowry twice made it to the Stanley Cup Final with the Panthers in 1995/96 and again with the Flames in 2003/04.
"There were many accomplished and qualified candidates for this position," said Hope, "but Dave was our clear choice after our first meeting. His experience coupled with our similar philosophies on both the management and structure of a hockey team secured my decision he was the right person for the position."
All WHL head coaching spots are now full, as the Brandon Wheat Kings recently promoted assistant Dwayne Gylywoychuk into the bench boss position that opened up after Wheaties owner Kelly McCrimmon relieved former coach Cory Clouston of his duties at the end of this past season.
Gylywoychuk is a familiar face in the organization, spending nine years as an assistant coach with the franchise-the same organization where he spent his junior career and still holds a club record for games played, with 323 in a Wheaties jersey.
In other news around the league, Swift Current Broncos assistant coach Andy Schneider has graduated up to the NHL to take on scouting duties for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Schneider, 40, spent one season with the Broncos after retiring from an extensive career playing in pro leagues in Europe.
Schneider will still call Swift Current home while working in his new role with the Blue Jackets.
In trade news, two teams swapped players on Thursday as the Calgary Hitmen sent 18-year-old forward Luke Gordon to the Everett Silvertips in exchange for 17-year-old defenseman Darian Henry.
Gordon spent last season in the BCHL with the Nanaimo Clippers, appearing in 49 games and tallying 20 points.
Henry got in 16 games with the Silvertips, but spent the majority of his season in the AJHL with the Drumheller Dragons.