LOYALTY

Robin Brownlee
January 11 2014 02:29PM

If love is blind, as the saying goes, loyalty, as admirable as it can be, isn't far behind. Fans of the Edmonton Oilers can read an unflinching display of the latter from Oiler GM Craig MacTavish as it pertains to his team and friend Kevin Lowe in a terrific series by David Staples at the Edmonton Journal.

Lowe, as I pointed out in an item January 8, has been the focus of growing dissension within a passionate fan base with the Oilers on the way to missing the playoffs for an eighth straight season. While MacTavish is in his first year on the job as GM, Lowe has been at the top of Edmonton's hockey-ops department since 2000 as GM or president of hockey operations.

That focus isn't likely to change – nor should it – after an unexpected 4-3 overtime win over the powerhouse Pittsburgh Penguins at Rexall Place Friday. Framed in that, one snippet from the series – you can find it here – drives home how loyal MacTavish is to Lowe.

Staples writes: "With the Oilers losing so much in Lowe’s recent tenure, I suggest it is likely time to change the leadership of the organization, just as almost all NHL teams do when the losses start to mount."

MacTavish's response: "Well, I would say it would be a big mistake for us,” MacTavish says. "I appreciate Kevin Lowe’s leadership. I think we’re currently right on track to where we want to go. Like, I really feel like we’ve got limitless upside with this group."

TIES THAT BIND

I'm not stunned MacTavish would offer such a response. I'd be stunned, having some insight to their friendship and respect for each other dating back to their time as teammates in Edmonton and New York, if MacT said anything else. They have each other's back. Always have. Always will.

That, of course, doesn't change the fact that, in a results based business, Lowe has survived a staggering amount of failure since he took over as GM in 2000 and then moved to POHO under new owner Daryl Katz. The record is there for all to see. Like I said January 8, "Draw your own conclusions." Just don't expect MacTavish to admit or suggest he's come to the conclusion all these seasons of failure since 2000 during Lowe's tenure mean it's time for him to go. Those words won't pass by his lips.

Fans can insist that Lowe must go. They can display placards at games, as they have, saying he must be fired. Unless they stop buying tickets, parking and merchandise to show their displeasure – the building was packed for the Penguins – it doesn't matter. Members of the media can sack Lowe in the prints, TV and radio. It doesn't matter.

In the end, a public declaration about an outcome that seems long overdue to those not bound by loyalty or self-preservation will have to come from Katz, who is Lowe's friend, or Lowe himself. With a waiting list for season tickets and Rexall Place at or near capacity at the start of every season, what are the odds of that?

WHILE I'M AT IT . . .

Newspapers are collapsing under their own weight because of reduced advertising revenue, consumer demand for immediate information online and failure to grasp and/or monetize online platforms for distributing the news that's fit to print, but it's still an unhappy day to see a newspaper like the Kamloops Daily News go down, as it did last night.

The knucklehead in the photo above is me, around 1985, in a staged shot for a story about some lame new type of exercise equipment. I spent four years at the KDN, which published for more than 80 years, before moving on to the Edmonton Journal.

Back then, smaller dailies like the KDN were jumping off points for those hoping to move on to bigger newspapers. You worked your ass off doing everything and if you could hack it and were lucky, you were on your way.

I worked with many terrific and talented people back then. Ben Kuzma, my sports editor, has being covering the Vancouver Canucks for the Province for years. Iain MacIntyre, the other writer in the department, is a columnist, and a fine one, for the Vancouver Sun now.

Lots of talented people there now, too, like Gregg Drinnan, who wrote the best damn junior hockey blog in the business, at least until the paper put its last issue to bed Friday night. Sad to see it go.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 dave faulkner
January 11 2014, 03:16PM
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Mr. Brownlee, you must have a personal vendetta against K. Lowe, you continually attack him.

Let's examine the record, were the Oilers capable of being a championship team before the salary cap was in place. I don't think so, but they were a competitive team. When the cap came into place we got Pronger and Pecca, were those bad trades? At the trade deadline we were able to get Roloson, Spacek, Samsonov, and particularly with having Pronger we almost won the cup. Was K Lowe a bad GM at that time. Could you Mr. Brownlee have foreseen that Pronger would leave along with Pecca, Spacek and Samsonov? Combine that with Horcoff having a great season and Pisani playing well as well as Moreau, we know we have to overpay UFA's and while in retrospect the deals weren't good, would you have let them walk, what would the fan base have said at that time.

Around 2008 Tambellini was hired and it wasn't until the following year, I think that the rebuild was suggested as the way to go. Did you think Tambellini was a bad hire at the time, it is certainly easy to say so in retrospect.

We have no idea at this point if MacT is the right choice but I think he deserves the chance, if he fails then rightly so the blame can be attached to K. Lowe for not getting the right General Managers, until then this continuing nonsense of hammering K Lowe, will do nothing to change the status quo unless you believe that MacT should go now.

Mr. Brownlee, give it a rest

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#2 BloodyEyes13
January 11 2014, 03:31PM
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Kevin Lowe is loyal to the Oilers brand/franchise. We need more people like Kevin Lowe in the Oiler's organization. No doubt, he's putting 110% effort in to turning this team around. I have faith that he'll get the job done.

People make such a big deal about the "Old Boys Club", but when the winning begins (and believe me, we're not far off), people will jump back on the bandwagon.

Just have a little more patience, Oiler fans. GO OILERS GO!!!

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#3 Mac962
January 11 2014, 02:37PM
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I like MacT and believe he will make things right however, if he is that devoted to Lowe , don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out.

Messier is patiently waiting, another friend but one with more balls and if his fire is still there which i think it is, he is he greatest leader perhaps in pro-sports history period. He will cut the ties work wise and fix this mess [ No pun intended].

All hail Messier.

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#4 Oliveoiler
January 11 2014, 04:47PM
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A few relevant questions.......

1 Did Robin Brownlee ever play NHL hockey? 2 Did Robin Brownlee ever coach or manage an NHL team? 3 Does Robin Brownlee have a degree in business management? 4 What did Robin Brownlee do in the 20 odd years before 1989 when he became a hockey writer? 5 Just who IS Robin Brownlee? - oh, right, another armchair coach/critic, just like the rest of us.

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#5 DigDeepNBleedBlue
January 11 2014, 02:32PM
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MacT is Gold!

That's all that really needs to be said....

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#6 samurai003
January 11 2014, 03:12PM
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Ya, I read the article in the Journal. My take? Ass-kisser, politically replied statements. "I think we’re currently right on track to where we want to go." - HA HA HA.

How else is he supposed to publicly respond? Who's side is MacT supposed to publicly defend?

Smooch-Smooch, lick-lick. Brown-noser.

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#7 He Who Knows
January 11 2014, 03:39PM
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Hey I hope you are reading this Mac T. You traded away Smid for hockey pucks to a rival team after grooming him for 7 years! Go back to TSN and do some analyzing.

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#8 Citizen David
January 11 2014, 10:17PM
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Things that I've "learned" from bitter jaded Oiler fans: 1.) Kevin Lowe is responsible for the fortunes of the team even after moving on to President of Hockey operations.

Things I've learned from time of being an Oilers fan: 1.)Building a good team isn't as simple as drafting high for several years. 2.) Lowe isn't going anywhere.

Question: When the Oilers start winning again and are a contender will any of the credit be given to Lowe?

Answer: Nope, because Oiler fans.

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#9 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
January 11 2014, 04:22PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Messier?

Unless he arrives somewhere down the road with at least a couple of years as an NHL general manager under his belt, what makes him more qualified than MacTavish to run hockey-ops?

Career points:

MacTavish: 480

Messier: 1887

~He knows a thing or two about winning...~

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#10 JohnCusac
January 11 2014, 04:55PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Messier?

Unless he arrives somewhere down the road with at least a couple of years as an NHL general manager under his belt, what makes him more qualified than MacTavish to run hockey-ops?

Messier wants to coach. I would fire Eakins in a heartbeat for Messier.

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#11 Craig
January 11 2014, 05:27PM
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If we were guaranteed to get an expansion team if Oilers where to be relocated just to get rid of the old boys club, I would be in favor and that's sad. It's really sad to because an expansion team couldn't be any worse.

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#12 Oliveoiler
January 11 2014, 05:09PM
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brad wrote:

Mr. Lowe how many log-ins do you have for here?

I have 497,941 aliases, I also have 497,941 people working for me, as I am FAR to busy trying to fix this mess the Oilers are in.

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#13 gcw_rocks
January 11 2014, 03:36PM
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Love how he lied about the timing of the Acton signings.

MacT answers were such as load of crap I would bet Staples bad to get the janitor in to clean up the interview room. Probably needed a big bucket.

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#14 brad
January 11 2014, 05:06PM
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Oliveoiler wrote:

A few relevant questions.......

1 Did Robin Brownlee ever play NHL hockey? 2 Did Robin Brownlee ever coach or manage an NHL team? 3 Does Robin Brownlee have a degree in business management? 4 What did Robin Brownlee do in the 20 odd years before 1989 when he became a hockey writer? 5 Just who IS Robin Brownlee? - oh, right, another armchair coach/critic, just like the rest of us.

Mr. Lowe how many log-ins do you have for here?

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#15 Kurt
January 11 2014, 05:17PM
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Talk of firing Lowe is a waste of the internet. And with all the cat youtube clips thats saying a lot.

I loathe the guy just as much as the rest (I respect his Oiler passion, but loathe the results and arrogance). BUT ranting and raving about him being fired is pointless.

Might as well write articles and comment about the weather in Edmonton turning tropical. Because its equally as likely. If that's the only way you'll be happy the better approach would be to just pick a new team to cheer for.

This team will improve by default due to the ridiculous amounts of skill it has piled up. Lowe may never be able to build a winner, but this team will be at least good soon. Then Lowe will be locked in his job until he decides to retire.

Accept it.

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#16 TayLordBalls
January 11 2014, 03:54PM
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It's brilliant how owner and management have laid down a multi-year plan to create a dynasty.

There is NO WAY to trade for players to create a dynasty. It can only be assembled via the draft.

Keep that in mind as the team grows to the next level, then the level after that!

man.... its like a room full of nattering children

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#17 pkam
January 11 2014, 05:25PM
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Tim in Kelowna wrote:

Robin,

I respectfully disagree with the widely held belief that as long as the building is sold out nothing will change. The Boston Red Sox are a great example. They are a storied organization that responds to failure with organizational change without seeing a dip in attendance at Fenway. Likewise, the Toronto Maple Leafs ownership didn't wait for a drop in ticket sales to fire Brian Burke.

It goes without saying that you have more inside info than any of us pleebs in The Nation, but I'm guessing that Katz is nearing the end of his rope with Lowe and company.

I was fully on board with the rebuild and I was patient, but drafting 1st overall 3 years straight and THEN potentially posting the worst season in franchise history is beyond unacceptable. I've got a sense that Katz understands that. Right now I'm a pissed off fan, but if Lowe isn't dismissed in the offseason, I'll be heading towards indifference.

The Pens drafted Whitney 5th overall in 2002, MAF 1st overall in 2003, Malkin 2nd overall in 2004, Crosby 1st overall in 2005. Guess what, they finished 29th in 2006 and drafted Jordan Staal. Is that acceptable?

They made to the cup final in 2008 and made it again and won the cup in 2009. Guess what, nobody even talks about it anymore now. I wonder how many fans remember it or are even aware of it.

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#18 Yardbird
January 11 2014, 06:32PM
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Mason Storm wrote:

Let's hope the Oilers get to a Red Sox like team quicker than the Red Sox. I don't think I can last another 70 years waiting for them to figure it out.

Geeez you obviously don't know much about the Red Sox or anything about their recent history. Get busy and do your homework,also don't stay up late and be late for school again.

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#19 dave faulkner
January 11 2014, 06:35PM
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@Robin Brownlee

so if you are not firing MacT, how does changing the man at the top change things, unless you are of the opinion that MacT is a puppet. If you are frustrated with what is going on, so am I, but I fail to see how it changes anything by getting rid of Lowe

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#20 Dave "Killer" Carlson
January 11 2014, 03:07PM
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Totally agree with the statement that we, as fans, need to quit financially supporting the team if we want to see change. I've personally quit buying anything NHL related as a result of the idiotic lockout last season, with the exception of NHL Centre Ice so I can watch the Oilers. But I've even stopped doing that unless I have absolutely nothing else to do. Instead I've been watching other hockey - Sharks, Preds, Hawks, etc. I still follow Oilersnation devoutly but am not making special time to watch the Oilers till there is a consistent effort.

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#21 Bucknuck
January 11 2014, 03:24PM
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In my mind, if MacT is as smart as he seems, and he is the one making the personnel decisions, then Firing Lowe doesn't make a bit of difference. All it would be is a sacrifice to appease angry fans.

People always want to blame someone, and Lowe is the logical choice, since he has been the one in charge. I am just not convinced it really matters, so I wouldn't put much energy into it.

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#23 Oliveoiler
January 11 2014, 04:02PM
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We are ALL armchair coaches, critics and GMs, but what do we know about running the business side of an NHL club? Diddly squat. While I truly believe KL should go, I cannot fault MacT. Compared to Tambellini, he is a breath of fresh air. He says it like it is, he doesn't dither and makes changes as soon as is humanly possible. Lets face it - would any of YOU slam your boss and admit he should go? I doubt it. It would be shooting yourself in the foot and talking your way out of a job. MacT is an Oiler through and through, just like Ryan Smyth. Be thankful we have him now instead of Mr. Dither.

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#24 Tim in Kelowna
January 11 2014, 05:13PM
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Robin,

I respectfully disagree with the widely held belief that as long as the building is sold out nothing will change. The Boston Red Sox are a great example. They are a storied organization that responds to failure with organizational change without seeing a dip in attendance at Fenway. Likewise, the Toronto Maple Leafs ownership didn't wait for a drop in ticket sales to fire Brian Burke.

It goes without saying that you have more inside info than any of us pleebs in The Nation, but I'm guessing that Katz is nearing the end of his rope with Lowe and company.

I was fully on board with the rebuild and I was patient, but drafting 1st overall 3 years straight and THEN potentially posting the worst season in franchise history is beyond unacceptable. I've got a sense that Katz understands that. Right now I'm a pissed off fan, but if Lowe isn't dismissed in the offseason, I'll be heading towards indifference.

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#25 PutzStew
January 11 2014, 09:41PM
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Robin I would have agreed with you up until about 2 weeks ago.

Now all I have to say is....Keep Lowe,

Keep MacT,

Show more of the Katz Kid.

Play more of the Fart catchers trying not to criticizes the team.

Hire Messier too. Make him responsible for player development. I hear the you guys hated him in his last few years. He'll be great for the part in Edmonton.

In an industry and especially a team that has made no effort to hide the fact that this is a business first, and that there personal financial gain is more important then anything else.....Well at least this is entertainment that is worth watching.

I don't care who wins. Don't care who is on the ice. Won't give them any of my money.

I will be happy to be entertained by them and and what a better way to be entertained then a good old yard sale.

Lousy Excuses. Throwing guys under the bus. Guys not having a clue. You seriously can't write better scripts then this. The Oilers are Saturday Night live (The good one with Myers, Sandler and co), Epic Fails on YouTube and Gypsy Wifes all rolled in to one. And the best part is it keeps getting better.

Anyone else remember MacT saying Horcoff should have been on the 2010 team. Classic.

So screw the Oilers, Screw the NHL. If I want Hockey I'll go out and play it or watch the kids play. Just keep up the gong show because that is probably more entertaining then if this fiasco didn't happen.

Have a good night all and remember....it suppose to be just a game so who really cares. Sit back and enjoy the show.

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#26 Taylor Gang
January 11 2014, 02:36PM
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Lowe will be gone eventually. Considering less people show up to the games every year, Katz will start to sweat a little and finally realize that Lowe is just awful.

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#27 Robin Brownlee
January 11 2014, 02:52PM
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@Mac962

Messier?

Unless he arrives somewhere down the road with at least a couple of years as an NHL general manager under his belt, what makes him more qualified than MacTavish to run hockey-ops?

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#28 Jofa
January 11 2014, 03:37PM
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"I think we’re currently right on track to where we want to go." ... Really MacT???

For a guy who started out with some very honest responses and assessments of his team, this statement, and frankly the whole interview, seems so naive and out of touch with the reality of the team's position in this league. Behind closed doors, it feels like the Oiler brain trust, such that it is, still feel like the potential of this roster is the envy of the league.

While other GMs may want access to the sort of assets the Oilers have at their disposal, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a GM who would suggest the Oilers have built an enviable roster given the time and picks they've had.

I still feel like this ship could still be turned around with a few major trades, preferably without Lowe in the picture and getting Eakins some fresh assistant coaches who have been untouched with the past 8 yrs of losing. Wishful thinking at this point, I imagine. All we can do is hope MacT finds some good returns for the players he does move this trade deadline and beyond, and that the Smid trade isn't an indication of what we can expect from him.

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#30 Robin Brownlee
January 11 2014, 05:37PM
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@Kurt

Who is ranting and raving?

If you've been following along then you know I've written that because of his relationship with the owner, Lowe might keep his job for life even if the Oilers stay lousy. I long ago accepted that possibility.

So your answer to what fans are enduring here is, what, just shut up about it, then?

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#31 Robin Brownlee
January 11 2014, 06:14PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Honestly when I first saw the picture I thought it was Freddy Mercury and you were doing a tribute to Queen or something.......no offence Robin.

Nice shorts.

Mercury was a fine-looking man.

Nothing screams "stooge" like one of those sit-high baseball caps of the era -- editor's idea, not mine.

The ladies in the gym liked the shorts, just as you do.

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#32 TayLordBalls
January 11 2014, 07:03PM
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natter, natter, natter....

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#33 DAVE
January 11 2014, 07:38PM
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I find it interisting that it K-lowe fault that the team sucks.but not the owner. Is somebody being throwin under the bus.

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#34 Bryzarro World
January 12 2014, 09:58AM
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You know it's bad when people start praying to wizards in the sky...

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#35 Robin Brownlee
January 11 2014, 06:26PM
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@Rod from Viking

With the old sheet shutting down, I honestly wish I'd kept that hat as a keepsake. Never imagined they'd close the KDN.

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#36 Danger Pay
January 11 2014, 06:40PM
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Hate to say it but this season was needed for Oiler fans. We all bought into the Pre-season hype and neglected a Rookie GM andRookie Head Coach. More often than not when those two positions are replaced, it takes time for the franchise to turn it around. Struggling should have been expected.

Now it absolutely Kills me to say this next but replacing Tambo with Mac T was the smartest thing K Lowe has done as management. Only B/C it's self serving. It bought him (Lowe) 3-5 more years as POHO, B/C if Lowe was fired the new POHO would more than likely replace Mac T and the new GM would more than likely replace Eakins. I've heard enough jokes about Edmonton's revolving Head Coach door. 4 in the last 5 years?! Ridiculous, I think Edmonton still has Renny on the payroll!!!!!

So in my humble opinion, we are stuck with Lowe and Co. until about year 3 of the New Arena or the 2019-2020 season. That is, If the losing continues until then.

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#37 Robin Brownlee
January 11 2014, 06:53PM
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@dave faulkner

I'm not the least bit frustrated because I do what I do whether the Oilers win or lose, but I certainly understand why many fans are.

Leadership starts at the top. After 13 years overseeing the franchise as either GM or POHO, Lowe's record speaks for itself. The culture here now is the culture he has cultivated.

MacTavish is in his first year on the job as GM. There's no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water, at least not at this point. We've seen a carousel of GMs, assistant GMs and coaches these past eight years. There has been only one constant.

While a new POHO might want to make changes, starting with the GM, as Burke did down the road, there's every chance MacTavish would be philosophically aligned with the new boss.

One other possibility we don't talk about much -- who says the Oilers must have a POHO? Yes, it's the trend, but who says MacTavish, aided by his assistant GMs, couldn't run this show at least as well as it has been run lately?

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#38 Harlie
January 11 2014, 08:13PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Those hats are making a comeback.

How about that Bo's Gym Fitness wife beater that Brownlee is wearing ON TOP of a T shirt? Those comin back too?

Sorry RB, it's there, I had to take it.

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#39 Smokey
January 11 2014, 09:31PM
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I like Craig fine, but this whole idea that we turn a blind eye to his severe incompetance I find amusing. Craig can talk. He's a compelling speaker, says alot of the right things but he was an internal hire by Lowe. Could not get a job in NHL from any other organization.

Craig's driven but he never earn his stripes in another organization. He made nonsensical moves so far as a GM. Dumping a decent coach for a bad one. Signing Jones for too much, and Greby for anyones guess. He made one fine move in getting Peron, thats all he can hang his hat on. We are paying for the rest of his blunders.

Lowe at one time I recall said the right things too. Craig was good player and person, an average coach and so far a bad GM. Lowe and him need to go.

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#40 Cold Hard Truth
January 12 2014, 12:17AM
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I do not think MacTavish more time. He's a product of another one of Kevin Lowe's bone headed moves. Everyone knows the only reason he was hired was because he is friends with Lowe and Katz. Another ol' boy. A do-me-this-one-favour-for-ol-time-sake kind of hiring.

The Oilers need to truly flush out their management system. They need a president of hockey operations (with credentials and experience outside of the Oilers) to access the team, thereafter hiring a new GM, coaches, etc. as he sees fit.

But I agree with Robin Brownlee that considering the close-knit buddy-network of the Oilers, only a significant drop in revenue would truly rattle Katz's confidence in Lowe.

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#41 BLAKPOO
January 11 2014, 04:20PM
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Good job firing up the mob, Brownlee.

Not buying tickets and not supporting the team doesn't just see your management leave town, but the talent as well. The only reason half of these guys like playing here is because of the fan support. How do you think they'll react once that's gone?

Who wants to play amidst this circus?

I'm pretty sure that jerseys hitting the ice and bumper stickers on rusty pick-ups around town isn't gonna help draw quality UFAs.

They're certainly not coming here for the damn Mall.

But, of course, when MacT offers them a "can't miss" contract and they say "no", it's all management's fault.

Right?

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#42 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
January 11 2014, 04:38PM
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samurai003 wrote:

NHL Career Points: Messier: 1,887 Great One: 2,857 Scotty Bowman: 0

NHL points has no correlation in a successful upper management position.

Oh yeah, you're totally right. I see that now.

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#43 samurai003
January 11 2014, 06:41PM
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pkam wrote:

The Pens drafted Whitney 5th overall in 2002, MAF 1st overall in 2003, Malkin 2nd overall in 2004, Crosby 1st overall in 2005. Guess what, they finished 29th in 2006 and drafted Jordan Staal. Is that acceptable?

They made to the cup final in 2008 and made it again and won the cup in 2009. Guess what, nobody even talks about it anymore now. I wonder how many fans remember it or are even aware of it.

Tim - What's important to look at is the Pens turned it around, and won a cup. Now they are in the top 10. Compare that to the Oilers.

2006-2007, Pens made the playoffs, while Oil sat 25th, after the run to the cup. Bottom 10 members of that 2006-2007 year include the Blues, Bruins, Blackhawks, and the Kings.

Fast forward to this season, and the only remaining members are the Oilers, Blue Jackets and Panthers.

Some bottom 10 teams from 2006-2007 teams turned it around, some stay in the top 10. All b/c of decisions made in the leather chairs upstairs.

Oilers, Blue Jackets, and Panthers have consistently been in the 20-30 standing range. Why? Poor management decisions, that are taken out on the players. It's not the players faults - they are the end result of upper management.

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#44 Smokey
January 11 2014, 09:39PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

They hired MacT who has no experience so why not messier? I for one am against that completely but as long as that idiot is POHO this team will not be successful.

I think GM at the worlds, and special assistant under Slats has some value. Craig had his year under Tambo.

Messier would garner respect from free agents at least. Even if you did not come to Edmonton, you damn well pick up the phone when Moose wants to talk.

I'd would want a someone like someone like Hextall or Nill, who have learned how to build a winner and have been in successful organizations.

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#45 Brian
January 12 2014, 07:21AM
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Bi-Curious Gord wrote:

Lowe isn't getting pink slipped. If anything, he'll get promoted. Perhaps the new title of Supreme Leader of Hockey Winning / President Of Excellent

You forgot one ..., CEO Ring Counting

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#46 Neal
January 12 2014, 09:13AM
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It wasn't hard to see Lowe's ineptness as a manager. I remember knocking it around some years back on Cult of Hockey. It was always interesting because Lowe did know what it took to win. I remember him playing a hard playoff series with broken ribs. Yet the teams he built were almost exactly the opposite - smaller, faster, perimeter players with no heart to engage or understanding of how a team works together.

It was apparent that Lowe was so blinded by Gretzky's brilliance that he formed the belief that you only need elite level talent to win. "Talent" in his mind was stick handling and skating. He was a focused man and also an arrogant one, and that was all he considered. As a result we have the present day Oilers.

Lowe should be fired, but it probably doesn't matter. I think the torch has already been passed to Mac. From everything we've seen, Mac has a different view of what it takes (even though he will publicly support Lowe). He's smarter, and has a clearer picture of building a team.

The achilles heel with him though, is his ability to control his frustration. We've seen this many times as player and coach. While I even kind of like him not suffering fools gladly, he is in a job where he's going to experience frustration like he's never seen. Can he withstand this without an erruption? Don't know. Place your bets and watch the show.

In the meantime we still are where we are; praying that Nuge et all really are getting better, and hoping for trades that work.

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#47 Oilers4ever
January 12 2014, 10:14AM
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Loyalty be damned. Its all about winning. Clearly with katz he likes being loser so long as he's making money. Every other nhl owner would have turfed lowe long ago. The oilers are just a play thing to katz. So long as he's making money Stanley Cups are just a bonus in his eyes. Sad But True.

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#48 seanjohn667
January 11 2014, 02:40PM
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skidding Lowe wouldn't change much other than display for all to see that times are changing, and perhaps instill some confidence in the organization for UFAs.

but, tell me this, what harm would skidding him do? none.

does Lowe deserve to still be here when this train wreck eventually rights itself (in about 3 years)? no.

his poor decisions have this rebuild at least 2 years behind schedule and less of a guarantee that it will work out.

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#49 Bucknuck
January 11 2014, 02:48PM
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I've seen terrible bosses whose staff hate them stick around for years after they should have been fired. Conversely, I've seen bosses who were greatly admired by their staff get the can for inexplicable reasons.

The point is that MacT is an employee of Lowe, and as such has no real power over whether Lowe goes or stays. So it's really just words on the wind either way. It just doesn't matter what MacT says about his boss.

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#50 pkam
January 11 2014, 03:48PM
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Dave "Killer" Carlson wrote:

Totally agree with the statement that we, as fans, need to quit financially supporting the team if we want to see change. I've personally quit buying anything NHL related as a result of the idiotic lockout last season, with the exception of NHL Centre Ice so I can watch the Oilers. But I've even stopped doing that unless I have absolutely nothing else to do. Instead I've been watching other hockey - Sharks, Preds, Hawks, etc. I still follow Oilersnation devoutly but am not making special time to watch the Oilers till there is a consistent effort.

So if the team starts to play better, does it matter to you if K Lowe is fired or not?

And will you start to support the Oilers if K Lowe is fired but they continue to suck?

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