WINNIPEG - When Adam Lowry spoke to his agent, Craig Oster of Newport Sports Management, about his next contract, he wanted two things.
The first was he wanted to stay in Winnipeg.
The second was he wanted to stay there for a while.
Both of the items on that list were checked off on Friday, as Lowry agreed to terms on a five-year extension with the Winnipeg Jets with an average annual value of $3.25 million.
"If you have the opportunity to play your whole career with one organization, you want to jump at that opportunity," said Lowry. "Knowing the coaching staff here, knowing what the organization's like, it's such a hard opportunity to pass up, being able to sign this extension. I know my role in this organization, I love my teammates, I love playing for this team. I'm thrilled I got it done."
Video: VIDEO CALL | Adam Lowry
The deal didn't take too long to come together, either. Both sides were eager to get the deal done.
"I talked to (Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff) and he mentioned that generally Winnipeg doesn't do a lot of extensions midseason. They generally wait for the start of the season or the end of the season to get it done," said Lowry. "it's nice to have out of the way, it's nice to know where I'll be. The unknown, maybe a little bit of risk of some injury, but I'm thrilled to be staying in Winnipeg."
Now 28, Lowry is in his seventh season with the Jets. He's played 452 regular season games, notched 143 points, won key face-offs, blocked shots, and even scored the team's first playoff goal after relocation in Game 1 of the 2015 series against the Anaheim Ducks.
However, his time with the organization goes further back than just his NHL games.
He was selected in the third round of the 2011 NHL Draft, making him part of the first draft class the team had since relocation.
He has 77 games in the American Hockey League on his resume, all coming with the Jets affiliate (73 with the St. John's IceCaps and four with the Manitoba Moose).
Video: HELMET PRES | Adam Lowry
All told, he's been with the organization for 10 years, and there's a reason for that.
Lowry says it starts at the top with Governor Mark Chipman, who Lowry describes as an "honest" person who is committed to winning. Then there is Cheveldayoff, who has impressed Lowry with the moves he's made and how he's been able to sign players long-term.
"You go to the coaching staff and we see their commitment day in and day out. And then getting to kind of play with all these elite players and be surrounded by such good people in the organization, that's important to you," said Lowry.
But he has special affection for the fans.
"We have such a good fan base. The people here are awesome," said Lowry. "There are so many things that go into wanting to stay. I'm very fortunate and very pleased that we were able to work on a deal that works, and I look forward to these next five years."
With his name on the dotted line through the 2025-26 season, Lowry joins a big part of the Jets core that is also under contract for years to come.
Up front, Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele are signed through 2023-24, Nikolaj Ehlers through 2024-25, Kyle Connor's contract (like Lowry's) goes through 2025-26.
Video: WPG@VAN: Lowry chips in goal for second of period
Add in the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Connor Hellebuyck - inked through 2023-24 - and defenceman Josh Morrissey's deal through 2026-27, it's easy to see the belief a number of players have in what the organization is building.
"It shows a commitment to winning and it shows a commitment that these guys have and the belief they have in the group around us," said Lowry. "You look at the make-up of our team, we've got a Vezina caliber goalie, he gives you a chance to win every night. We have some elite, elite scorers and we have some good pieces on the back end, and a lot of young players that are coming up that are going to have positive contributions - a good mix of veterans and young guys."
Being with an organization that long, Lowry has also developed close friends inside - and outside - the Jets dressing room.
There is also the added benefit that his father, Dave - a former NHLer in his own right, was added to the Jets coaching staff this past off season.
Lowry said that wouldn't have swayed him to either sign or not to sign in Winnipeg, but it's definitely the "cherry on top."
"It's a terrific organization top to bottom. We have a lot of great people in this organization, I've got a lot of very close friends on the team," said Lowry. "Growing up in this organization, being drafted, coming up through the AHL, ultimately making the NHL and playing my first seven years in Winnipeg - it was important to me. I wanted to stay here."
Video: SIGNED | Adam Lowry
Lowry will be 33-years-old when the contract is up, but he's not looking that far ahead.
He's aware that the game is getting younger and some more veteran players are being "phased out," but he uses that as motivation.
"I'm looking forward to trying to find that next level, trying to help the team achieve that next level and chase a Stanley Cup," Lowry said.
Then he shifted his focus from the future to the present.
"I really believe in this group that we have in here is a chance to win the Stanley Cup," he said. "Hopefully I can play well past this contract, but as of right now I'm going to enjoy it and hopefully continue to stay healthy this year. We have a long playoff push before I start looking down the road too far."