Thursday, 25 November 2010

Lowes Enjoying Latest Stage in Career in Hockey

It’s been seven years since Bob Lowes stepped behind the bench in the Western Hockey League but the all-time winningest coach in Wheat Kings’ history is enjoying the next stage of his hockey career.

Lowes spent nine seasons coaching Brandon from 1992 to 2001, compiling an impressive 363-235-32 record (a .610 winning percentage) and leading the Wheat Kings to back-to-back Memorial Cup berths in 1995 and 1996, the ’96 WHL Championship and a third trip to the League Final in 1998.

After leaving Brandon, Lowes was head coach of the Regina Pats for three seasons from 2001 to 2004.

Following his tenure with the Pats, Lowes did not have a job in the game of hockey (though he did serve as Brandon’s advance scout during that time) and eventually was hired as a part-time scout with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators in 2006.

He became a full-time amateur scout in September of 2008, and has been enjoying the opportunity ever since.

“I’m enjoying it a lot. I’ve come on full-time in the last three years,” says Lowes, “It’s different than coaching, obviously, but you’re still in hockey and you’re getting paid to go watch hockey so it’s enjoyable that way.”

Lowes ranks seventh all-time in coaching victories in the WHL with 453 and admits the transition to scouting has been interesting.

“I think the biggest thing is that you’re looking at the game a little differently when you coached. You looked at individual players, but more in a concept of a team concept and what other teams are doing, and how to make your own team better,” says Lowes, “You don’t evaluate or scrutinize individual players as much and scouting is, obviously, about individual players and what they can bring to the forefront in pro hockey, and what they have to offer.”

Lowes was a major supporter of current Wheat King Mark Stone, and a big reason why the Sens selected the Winnipeg product in the sixth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

“At the time, we felt we wanted a big forward from Major Junior and I thought he fit that bill,” says Lowes, “I saw him as a 16-year old, so I had some background on him. His 17-year old year wasn’t as strong as he would have liked or what other scouts saw and I saw enough there and, as a group, we saw enough there to take him in the sixth round. I think he has a chance based on how he’s played so far this year.”

It’s been nine years since Lowes and his family lived in Brandon and he was coach of the Wheat Kings but he still feels a special connectioin to the Wheat City.

“The other night, I was in Brandon, and it felt good to get back there. We spent ten years there as a family…for our kids, that was a big part of there lives, and same with my wife Shelley,” says Lowes, “The organization with Kelly (McCrimmon) still being there, and everyone around the organization, and with the assistant coaches being guys that I coached. I definitely track how they’re doing, and like to see them doing well.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice job on the Lowes interview.Classy guy,who did a great job here.