Life is all about The “story behind the “Story”.
Some of us all dream of playing or coaching in the NHL and winning the Stanley Cup.
It starts when you’re young and involved with the right people.
Clifford Lowe, Kevin’s father, and the Lowe family taught us how to compete, overcome and succeed, from 8 til 20 years of age… pretty lucky while playing and winning with the Lowe Brothers’ Dairy Shamrocks. We developed and won a lot.
I left home at 12 years of age to attend Rigaud College which was a great academic school and above average Sport Academy. Those were 8 of the best years of my life while completing my Bachelor of Arts and the “Classical Course” which was cancelled after I graduated in 1969. Brother “Arnois” wrote many books on hockey and revolutionised hockey. We developed and won a lot.
The “Story” continues with great experiences at St-Francis-Xavier’s (St-F-X) University and Dalhousie University where I completed my Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Masters of Science in Sports. Dr. Larry Holt, my thesis advisor, motivated us to do a lot of hockey research which we presented in between periods of “Hockey Night in Canada” games. He also was instrumental in helping me design new methods of training in the NHL in order to prevent and/or reduce injuries.
At the end of 1971-72, I got a try-out with the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs where Jim Gregory was GM, John McLellan Coach and Marcel Pronovost Farm Team Coach in Tulsa. I realized then that I was not an NHL player and quickly focused on finding a way to fulfill my dream to be an NHL Coach.
In 1972-73. I was offered to be Dalhousie University’s Head Coach and Lecturer in the School of Physical Education.
Al MacNeil had just won the Stanley Cup in Montreal in 1970-71 and was asked to be Montreal’s Farm Team GM/Coach the following year. Sam Pollock, the greatest manager in the history of hockey promised to take care of Allister MacNeil forever. Al won 3 AHL Calder Cups with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs in Halifax while they were winning 4 Stanley Cups in Montreal. He then moved on to be the Director of Personnel in Montreal where they won the Stanley Cup in 1977-78 and 78-89. He won another Stanley Cup as Assistant GM in Calgary in 1988-89.
Al adopted me, let me be a part-time consultant/skating coach with Montreal’s farm team from 1972-73 til 1976-77, and taught me so much about everything Montreal was doing to win at all levels.
Those were great formative years. I learned a lot and it helped me develop more than 20 players in my first three years as Calgary Flames Farm Team GM/Coach in the CHL in Denver and in Moncton in the AHL.
My career in the NHL coincided with the best years in the history of the Calgary Flames in 1980-81, again and again in 1985-86, 86-87, 87-88. I left to be the Minnesota North Stars Head Coach in 1989-90, the year Calgary won the Stanley Cup. Replacing Herb Brooks, the “Miracle on Ice” Coach, was not easy but together, we rebuilt and succeeded. Minnesota North Stars went on to the Finals of the Stanley Cup in 3 years.
I was supposed to be the first San Jose Sharks’ Head Coach but elected to accept the GM/Coach position with the Quebec Nordiques in 1990-91. Quebec had a chance to win the Cup in 1992-93, in its 3rd year, but won in its 6th year in Colorado.
The next opportunities with the Calgary Flames (1995-97) and Anaheim Mighty Ducks (1997-98) proved the theory that you cannot win with a team which cannot average 3.00 or more GF/Game average.
Best years of my career by far were in Berlin where we promised to win in 3 years and did and promised to develop the model organization in Europe and did. Berlin went on to win 7 Championships in 12 years, including the European Trophy/Champions League as Don Jackson replaced me in 2007-08 when I left for Red Bull
The best years in Berlin were surpassed by the incredible 9 years with Red Bull Salzburg where it became a model organization in Europe, winning 6 Championships in 9 years, including the European trophy/Champions League after only 3 years.
It all concluded with Red Bull owner, Mr. Dietrich Mateschitz, offering me to be Red Bull Global Sports Director Hockey, similar to what had been done with Ralf Rangnick with Red Bull Soccer. 2015-16 was the best year in the history of Red Bull Hockey where most teams won, many players got scholarships and Peter Wouters being drafted in the 3rd round by NHL Chicago Black Hawks.
Invest more to get a bigger return on your investment!
Developing is investing.
Develop and win.
“Develop and Win in Three Years” if you know what to do in the first year, implementing the “80-15-5” Process/ Results Concept.