WINNIPEG — The pride in Adam Lowry's voice was evident after being named captain of the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.
Lowry is the third Jets captain since the team moved from Atlanta in 2011. After going without a captain for the 2022-23 season, Winnipeg chose the rugged centre over alternate captains Josh Morrissey and Mark Scheifele to succeed Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd.
“It’s pretty special,” Lowry said at a press conference held at Canada Life Centre. “The FaceTime to my mom and seeing her reaction, and just seeing how proud she was, it was extremely special.
"Just growing up and dreaming of playing in the NHL, I don’t think this is something that you could have even dreamt about. I think it is right up there with playing in my first game and scoring my first goal. It’s a pretty special moment for me and my family.
“Obviously, it’s a huge honour and something that I am looking forward to doing and leading this team and leading this city. I am thrilled to be the captain of the Winnipeg Jets.”
Lowry, 30, was chosen due to his character reflecting that of the city where he has played since 2014.
“Now the organization is being led by someone that was a true Winnipeg Jet from day one,” said Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, who drafted the forward in 2011. “He bleeds blue and you can see that on a nightly basis with how he plays.
"It’s an important step and an exciting one. I think Adam really embodies a lot of what the city of Winnipeg is all about — hard work, honest, blue collar, and comes to work each and every day.”
Cheveldayoff believes that the Jets' newest captain will help usher in a new era.
"We believe the time is right for Adam Lowry to assume this role and set the standard for the way the Winnipeg Jets will move forward with new leadership and new purpose.”
Wheeler, who was stripped of his captaincy before last season started, was bought out earlier this summer.
In his first year as head coach, Rick Bowness wanted to evaluate who the best leader was before deciding on a new captain.
“I heard a lot of great things last summer before I came in here about (Lowry’s) character, his work ethic, how competitive he is, and just he's one of the guys, the first guy to stick up for his teammates,” Bowness said. “I saw all of those things.
"He has a lot of respect, not only from, obviously, our players and our staff and everybody else in the organization, but around the league. And that's just as important.”
Morrissey, who was on an NHL/NHLPA media tour in Henderson, Nev., fully supported Lowry getting the 'C'.
“I’m really excited for him and excited for the team,” he said. “The thing that stands out about him as a leader and as a teammate, a friend, he’s just a great person. The habits he has every day are truly professional.
“He’s an unselfish guy. Whether he’s playing more or less, or power play, or PK (penalty kill), or not, he’s definitely for the team first and willing to stand up for his teammates, as he’s shown many times.”
Scheifele, who was also out of town, was unavailable for comment. Both Morrissey and Scheifele will remain alternate captains.
Dave Lowry, Adam’s father, was the Calgary Flames' captain towards the end of his NHL career. Adam said his dad proved that one doesn’t have to be a superstar to lead a team.
Lowry, who was born in St. Louis, Mo., scored 13 goals and 36 points as a checking centre last season.
So, how will his role change this season?
“Maybe you don’t have to delegate so many responsibilities, but I think at the same time, my job is to be there in the tough times, be that solid consistent voice and presence — along with those other guys (alternates),” Lowry said.
“It just allows my voice, maybe, to be the most strong in the room.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 12, 2023.
— With files from Joshua Clipperton in Las Vegas.
Jim Bender, The Canadian Press