IF THERE'S EVER A CONCERN: HANDS ON

Robin Brownlee
January 08 2014 02:18PM

 

 

Frustration within the passionate and loyal fan base of the Edmonton Oilers is growing by the day and by the loss with the Oilers destined to miss the playoffs for an eighth straight season. Rightfully so.

Much of that frustration -- again, rightfully so -- is being directed at Kevin Lowe, the team's former GM who is now owner Daryl Katz's president of hockey operations. There was a sign of that, literally, at Rexall Place during Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. A fan sitting front row displayed a cardboard sign that read: "Fire Kevin Lowe."

The frustration directed toward Lowe is, in large part, because of the perception that, while he's been bumped out of the hot seat and into the background publicly in his position by Katz, he's still had his fingerprints all over player personnel decisions – trades and free agent signings -- made by former GM Steve Tambellini and now Craig MacTavish.

Actually, perception is the wrong word. Lowe confirmed his participation in the decision-making process Tuesday during a wide-ranging interview on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260. While Lowe didn't get specific about how much influence he has, it's obvious he's hands-on – we're not talking about the façade of the "senior advisor" position Pat Quinn was dumped in.

Lowe has been, as has been noted before, the one constant in Edmonton's front office through these eight years of ineptitude and losing dating back to the 2006 Stanley Cup final, and beyond.

WHAT HE SAID

Gregor asked Lowe what role he played as POHO in the decision-making process with Tambellini and now MacTavish.

"I would say that uh, that uh . . . really, it's a tough, tough question," Lowe said. "Craig is the general manager, as was Steve Tambellini. They go about their business and shop around the NHL with the scouting staff and collectively throughout the organization try to come up with ways to make the hockey club better, whether it's signing a player or trading a player or what have you.

"At the end of the way, when those recommendations or when those ideas come up, Craig will talk to me and get my feelings on it and you know . . . we talk enough over the course of the season that I generally know where he's going on things and, you know, there's an owner that has to make a call in terms of whether you're going to spend the money for a free agent or trade an asset that's been part of the organization for a while, so there's a collective decision being made.

"I mean, if there's any concern that our people can't make decisions without me endorsing them, then that's not accurate. We've always had a, taken the approach from the day that I took over as general manager that we're collectively going to make decisions – not that it's a purely democratic process, but it's wise of you to involve as many people in your organization when you are making decisions.

"It's not a fiefdom where one person says, 'No, this is what we're going to do.' It's a collective group decision on any strategy that the hockey team is going to make. It's not easy. We've been in this rebuild and it's incredibly frustrating for everyone. The fans should know that, for the people that are running the show they are probably, I don't even know if you can compare it, but in terms of frustration, it's incredibly frustrating, but we're in it. We are where we are.

"The only thing we can do is continue to work hard and believe that, in time, if we've done the drafting we hope we've done and we are patient with the young players that they're going to become the players we expect them to be and it'll result in a, you know, positive and exciting hockey team."

(Photo via @quickone1 on Twitter)

STARTS AT THE TOP

Lowe was at the top of Edmonton's management food chain as GM for eight seasons – he had nobody to answer to in hockey operations decisions, except ownership, until he was moved to POHO in July 2008. Essentially, anybody Lowe huddled with when making decisions as the GM was an underling – an assistant GM, members of his scouting staff or coaches. It stands to reason Lowe's opinion carried more weight than anybody else's did.

Was that the case during Tambellini's troubled and indecisive tenure in Lowe's former position? I don't know for sure, but I doubt it. Is that the case now with MacTavish? No way. Still, you'd have to be a fool to think Lowe doesn't carry considerable swing in every hockey decision made now.

Simply put, Lowe had more say than anybody else in the organization in building the Oilers from 2000 to 2008 as GM. At the very least, he has had considerable influence in hockey decisions made since then. That's a span of command and influence approaching 14 seasons.

Draw your own conclusions.

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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#151 Anton
January 08 2014, 10:16PM
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6lings behind the whole decision making is one of the worst kept secret in the league. Gregor merely confirm the suspicion that most of the fans have. Ask Lombardi about when he called out the entire Oilers organization about the whole Fraser/Smyth mess that who he has in mind?

Hiring rookie GMs was not meant to fix the team but to give himself a comfortable position to make the decisions behind close doors. When things aren't working out that he can just blame someone else for those mistakes with plausible deniability.

I just don't understand why there's still some peoples naive enough to believe that this mess is not created by 6lings but someone else? Of course, you can blame Mr. Rexall for still keeping 6lings around. However, from top to bottom that the only constant for the past 15 years is 6lings. Other than the miracle run during 2005~06 season that Oilers were a mediocre team for the most of the 90s and early 2000s. That miracle run is more of the beginning of this giant mess, 6lings did not realize the reason behind that run was simply because of solid blueliners mixed with veteran leadership. Which most of them left right after that run. Failed to keep the team together that 6lings went for the other extreme by offering bunch of big contracts to players that weren't really deserve to have it. Dreaming about luring big name FAs without even confirming if those players are interested to join the organization. If he is believing the GMs that he hired to do the job properly then why that he needs to get himself involved in the "decision making" process?

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#152 Arius Mumin
January 08 2014, 10:22PM
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@Anton

The irony is that his name translates to win, but the Oilers have mostly been doing otherwise since his arrival.

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#153 RexHolez
January 08 2014, 10:23PM
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I we t to Home Depot today to buy a pitch fork but they were all sold out

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#154 Consultant
January 08 2014, 10:23PM
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A bunch of candy ass, cry babies here. We're a coaching change away from the switch, this has got to be the bottom and since we have spent so long here, when we do finally start winning again it will be beautiful and even more beautiful for those who stuck around. But no, year four of the rebuild destroyed us. So go ahead bandwagoners, pick a NFL team to cheer for. But go quietly cause if I see someone throw or deface an Oiler jersey I will defend the club.

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#155 Arius Mumin
January 08 2014, 10:26PM
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Consultant wrote:

A bunch of candy ass, cry babies here. We're a coaching change away from the switch, this has got to be the bottom and since we have spent so long here, when we do finally start winning again it will be beautiful and even more beautiful for those who stuck around. But no, year four of the rebuild destroyed us. So go ahead bandwagoners, pick a NFL team to cheer for. But go quietly cause if I see someone throw or deface an Oiler jersey I will defend the club.

If you are really a man of your word and honor: you would have jumped the glass already and assaulted half the team for defacing the jersey they wear.

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#156 6 ring circus
January 08 2014, 10:37PM
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I received a call from the Oilers office yesterday,asking me about my fan experience at hockey games and what I thought of the team.I told her, I wasn't going to renew after 14 years as a season seat holder,that the Oilers sucked and that I was tired of wasting my money,she sounded surprised and said I could sell my tickets on the NHL ticket exchange,I told her,that I had tried and that no one wanted them,she asked how much I was asking for them, I told her below face value,she then said why didn't I just donate the tickets to charity, I told her I was no longer going to subsidize the team and that I already donate money to various charity's !!! I asked her if she could rely a message to Patrick Laforge for me,the reason for the empty seats is because the team is losing, not because of the weather,the lady on the other end of the phone repeated what Laforge said, no,no it really has to do with the weather,I asked her if she was reading from a card and there was silence on the other end of the phone. How can the Oilers be so disconnected with the fan base? I don't think Katz even understands WTF is happening here.I know quite a few season seat holders who are in the same situation as me,they will no longer support this team unless there are major changes,once it starts affecting the Oilers bottom line, then the team will respond with change, until then, it will remain business as usual.

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#157 Anton
January 08 2014, 10:43PM
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Consultant wrote:

A bunch of candy ass, cry babies here. We're a coaching change away from the switch, this has got to be the bottom and since we have spent so long here, when we do finally start winning again it will be beautiful and even more beautiful for those who stuck around. But no, year four of the rebuild destroyed us. So go ahead bandwagoners, pick a NFL team to cheer for. But go quietly cause if I see someone throw or deface an Oiler jersey I will defend the club.

Oh nonono...just because the team is at the bottom doesn't mean that they can dig themselves out of the bottom. If you believe that eventually the team will start winning again, maybe you should have a talk with Chicago Cubs fans. The young players will eventually get old and if there's no upside coming that they will follow the footstep of so many previous Oilers and depart. Believe in winning without any sign of improvement is delusional. Let's put in this way, can you name another NHL team that has not made the playoffs since 2006?

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#158 Anton
January 08 2014, 10:53PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

I received a call from the Oilers office yesterday,asking me about my fan experience at hockey games and what I thought of the team.I told her, I wasn't going to renew after 14 years as a season seat holder,that the Oilers sucked and that I was tired of wasting my money,she sounded surprised and said I could sell my tickets on the NHL ticket exchange,I told her,that I had tried and that no one wanted them,she asked how much I was asking for them, I told her below face value,she then said why didn't I just donate the tickets to charity, I told her I was no longer going to subsidize the team and that I already donate money to various charity's !!! I asked her if she could rely a message to Patrick Laforge for me,the reason for the empty seats is because the team is losing, not because of the weather,the lady on the other end of the phone repeated what Laforge said, no,no it really has to do with the weather,I asked her if she was reading from a card and there was silence on the other end of the phone. How can the Oilers be so disconnected with the fan base? I don't think Katz even understands WTF is happening here.I know quite a few season seat holders who are in the same situation as me,they will no longer support this team unless there are major changes,once it starts affecting the Oilers bottom line, then the team will respond with change, until then, it will remain business as usual.

It is truly sad to read that, I still remember when Pocklington was trying to sell the team to Texas but was remained in Edmonton because of the local commitment to the team. Truly sad that to know an Oilers fan will stop going to the game because of the disappointment and frustration about how poorly the team has been ran.

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#159 G-Unit
January 08 2014, 10:56PM
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G-Unit wrote:

Oilers fan since I was a 7 year old boy. Dancing and jumping like a fool when they beat the Habs. Cried when the Islanders beat them. Screamed and cried when they beat the Islanders. Cheered when we beat our beloved Wayne. Sang "Oh Canada" and The Star Spangled Banner at the top of my lungs with tears in my eyes in '06 against San Jose. Was excited to get Hall, Nuge and Yak. Today I feel like my Oilers have finally begun to take that passion for granted. Maybe its just my old eyes seeing the light.

I forgot to mention I was at the lowest ever attended Oilers game in history in 1994 or so against the Senators. Listened all the way home how the fans had given up on the team. And we had no one to blame, but ourselves for the state of the team. No butts in seats meant they couldn't afford the talent. Now we keep getting told to be patient, because the talent is coming. When they suck for the next 3 years and no one is at the games it will be our fault that we gave up on the team.

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#160 dougtheslug
January 08 2014, 11:00PM
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I had the opportunity recently to chat with the CEO of a hugely successful company headquartered in Edmonton, a company that does business to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The conversation swung around to the Oilers and he said, "The Oilers are a textbook case of a Toxic Organization. For the next few decades, Business Schools will use them as an example, in their Organizational Management courses, of what not to do."

This from a guy who has no axe to grind with anyone, just making an informed, objective observation.

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#161 Serious Gord
January 08 2014, 11:03PM
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Consultant wrote:

Do you not see that Babcock and Hitchcock are coaches?

People here seem to not understand that coaches, gm's and presidents have different responsibilities, and that firing Lowe cause Eakins can't do his job is barking up the wrong tree.

Shocked this escapes so many people here, I guess we get blinded by the rage and the passion...

Some people here referring to Lowe as just a Katz buddy; learn a little history, Kevin Lowe has given a lot to this club and its history and here we are on a witch hunt running the original Oiler out of town.

Jesus.

Fine. you want GM examples - the San Jose sharks, the la kings, the boston bruins, the red wings. All of those teams were going nowhere until they changed the GM.

The oil management is a mess from top to bottom - lousy roster, lousy coaching, lousy assistant coaching. And all that was put in place with the participation and approval of one man - and if there is any concern or doubt you can read the transcript above - Kevin Lowe.

Your comments disgrace your nom de plume - and that takes some doing.

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#162 Doofus
January 08 2014, 11:04PM
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Robin, what was your reason for not making slight grammatical corrections in Lowe's comments?

I have listened to many of the interviews Gregor has had and read his printed version, and it's obvious that he corrects the slight flubs almost everyone makes in conversation. It seems that you deliberately wanted Lowe to look bad and even reported him saying "At the end of the way" when it's obvious he meant to say "end of the day"

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#163 Kr55
January 08 2014, 11:17PM
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Doofus wrote:

Robin, what was your reason for not making slight grammatical corrections in Lowe's comments?

I have listened to many of the interviews Gregor has had and read his printed version, and it's obvious that he corrects the slight flubs almost everyone makes in conversation. It seems that you deliberately wanted Lowe to look bad and even reported him saying "At the end of the way" when it's obvious he meant to say "end of the day"

He's actually doing you a favour and showing you how the conversation actually was as if you got to listen live. Lowe has a hard time trying to deflect blame and is desperate to keep his job, it shows in how unsure of himself he is answering questions that are as simple as questioning what his role is in the organization.

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#164 Nowuknow
January 08 2014, 11:17PM
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Mr. Katz. You want to be like the next Blackhawks, then clean out this management team. If you want to be the next (if not already) Okland Raiders of the NFL, keep the old boys club.

The choice is yours...,.....

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#165 6 ring circus
January 08 2014, 11:29PM
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So let's see if I understand this,Lowe ran the Oilers Cart Blanche for 8 years and the team got lucky and made it to the SCF in 2006,he then hires Mr Dithers (Tambellini) who then fires Mactavish okay (he resigned), then he hires fires Quinn,Renney and Kruger, then Lowe after realizing he screwed up by hiring Tambellini fires him and hires an inexperienced Mactavish who couldn't even get an NHL coaching job in the 3 years that he left the Oilers,Mactavish then says it wasn't krugers fault, that the team was bad and that he supported him and would get him help,then he back stabs Kruger, fires him and hires an inexperienced Eakins,who has the team headed for the worst losing record in franchise history,Lowe also brings back Howson last year, after he was fired because he didn't do anything in Columbus except have them compete with the Oilers at the lottery draft table,Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger are here this whole time through 3 head coaches, how this happens nobody knows.The list of Lowe mistakes is extensive,his most recent remarks when he had a fit, about tier 1 and 2 fans and no one knows more about winning than him, because he won 6 rings as a (PLAYER) should have had him fired, yet Katz keeps him around and Lowe can do no wrong.If this isn't the definition of a GONG SHOW, I don't know what is.

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#166 Swirvelous
January 08 2014, 11:30PM
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It is impossible to defend Kevin Lowe's record as an executive for the Edmonton Oilers. It's horrific. GM/POHO for the last 13 seasons & only three playoff appearances. Don't let a Cinderella run to the cup final in 05/06 fool you, that record is sickening. But adding to the puke-factor is this will be the 8th straight year missing the post-season. But wait, it gets even worse. Despite three straight #1 overall picks & a #7 in the past four years, the team is somehow worse. The same glaring weaknesses the team had four years ago are the same glaring weaknesses the team has today. This is the textbook definition of incompetence. In a sad way, when you think about how long this level of ineptitude has been maintained, it's actually impressive.

That said, here's my main point. Kevin Lowe ran this team into the ground at full speed & is deserving of every word of criticism directed his way, but my finger of blame is pointed at who I think is the real architect of this disaster..... Darryl Katz.

Katz is the only guy that has the power to institute change, to hold Mgmt accountable. But rather than do so, he has allowed the same arrogant, unapologetic, incompetent ass that torpedoed his franchise to remain in charge. You'd think a guy that has succeeded in the business world as Katz has would have a competitive streak. Instead, by allowing Lowe to remain, I see Katz as a guy that continues to show a staggering lack of personal & professional pride in regards to the Oilers. Three playoff appearances in 13 seasons, 8th straight year missing the post-season & Katz does nothing? This astonishing level of indifference has turned this once proud franchise into a punchline & plunged the loyal fan-base into an unprecedented level of embarrassment. Katz is, by far, the biggest problem.

Lowe is an idiot, but the real problem is Darryl Katz.

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#167 Anton
January 08 2014, 11:33PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

So let's see if I understand this,Lowe ran the Oilers Cart Blanche for 8 years and the team got lucky and made it to the SCF in 2006,he then hires Mr Dithers (Tambellini) who then fires Mactavish okay (he resigned), then he hires fires Quinn,Renney and Kruger, then Lowe after realizing he screwed up by hiring Tambellini fires him and hires an inexperienced Mactavish who couldn't even get an NHL coaching job in the 3 years that he left the Oilers,Mactavish then says it wasn't krugers fault, that the team was bad and that he supported him and would get him help,then he back stabs Kruger, fires him and hires an inexperienced Eakins,who has the team headed for the worst losing record in franchise history,Lowe also brings back Howson last year, after he was fired because he didn't do anything in Columbus except have them compete with the Oilers at the lottery draft table,Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger are here this whole time through 3 head coaches, how this happens nobody knows.The list of Lowe mistakes is extensive,his most recent remarks when he had a fit, about tier 1 and 2 fans and no one knows more about winning than him, because he won 6 rings as a (PLAYER) should have had him fired, yet Katz keeps him around and Lowe can do no wrong.If this isn't the definition of a GONG SHOW, I don't know what is.

Correction, he won 6 rings NOT as a player, he won his 6 rings by being Moose's posse.

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#168 camdog
January 08 2014, 11:37PM
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There is only one other NHL city that would support this team the way the Oilers fans have and that is Toronto. Any other organisation and Lowe is fired.

The reality is that in 2-3 years our defence will be NHL ready. In 2-3 years RNH will be able to line up against the other team’s top centre. In 2-3 years with 2-3 years of more high draft picks the organisation may become competitive.

The reality is that the Oilers rebuild is 2-3 years behind where Lowe expected it to be by now. In 2-3 years the Oilers "rebuild" will constitute one of the worst runs in NHL history. This is the reality.

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#169 Anton
January 09 2014, 12:20AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I had the opportunity recently to chat with the CEO of a hugely successful company headquartered in Edmonton, a company that does business to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The conversation swung around to the Oilers and he said, "The Oilers are a textbook case of a Toxic Organization. For the next few decades, Business Schools will use them as an example, in their Organizational Management courses, of what not to do."

This from a guy who has no axe to grind with anyone, just making an informed, objective observation.

That is truly debatable, if you are looking at just the W-L column then yes that Oilers is a poorly run franchise. In business standpoint that considering the team is still making profit and has tons of marketable pieces within the franchise then it is not a "toxic organization".

If a team doesn't need to win and still manage to pull in the profit, then why the ownership need to concern about how the image of the team is representing? We can only assume that if the team kept on this downward spiral that eventually the franchise will see the deficit. However if the team is start losing money that Katz may even reconsider his relocating plan that he has suggested in the past. Sadly, he is holding this team hostage against the fans of Edmonton by not stopping being a vicious malevolent businessman.

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#170 Reg Dunlop
January 09 2014, 01:01AM
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Doofus wrote:

Robin, what was your reason for not making slight grammatical corrections in Lowe's comments?

I have listened to many of the interviews Gregor has had and read his printed version, and it's obvious that he corrects the slight flubs almost everyone makes in conversation. It seems that you deliberately wanted Lowe to look bad and even reported him saying "At the end of the way" when it's obvious he meant to say "end of the day"

I could not agree with you more! While we are at it I thought that I should make slight corrections in your post. Here goes.

" It seems that you deliberately tried, unsuccessfully, to make Lowe out to be somewhat competent when we all know he failed to finish high school. You even reported him saying 'Oiler fans are suckers' when it's obvious he meant to say 'I resign'.

How did I do Doofus? Hopefully RB learns that what someone says is less important than what you thought they meant.

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#171 Reg Dunlop
January 09 2014, 01:15AM
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camdog wrote:

There is only one other NHL city that would support this team the way the Oilers fans have and that is Toronto. Any other organisation and Lowe is fired.

The reality is that in 2-3 years our defence will be NHL ready. In 2-3 years RNH will be able to line up against the other team’s top centre. In 2-3 years with 2-3 years of more high draft picks the organisation may become competitive.

The reality is that the Oilers rebuild is 2-3 years behind where Lowe expected it to be by now. In 2-3 years the Oilers "rebuild" will constitute one of the worst runs in NHL history. This is the reality.

It seems that the GM disagrees with your assessment. 3 more years to being competitive? According to Mact: "We are quite obviously flawed. Those things are going to be rectified in short order. There's a lot of really positive signs we've seen in development seen this year... Quite clearly there is a good era ahead. It's too long coming for most of us. But it's coming." From terry jones@sunmedia.ca

There you go. We know Mac doesn't make hollow promises that he can't keep.

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#172 pelhem grenville
January 09 2014, 04:33AM
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...was it too much for me to say on here ?

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#173 Bryzarro World
January 09 2014, 07:05AM
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Anyone see or hear MacT get into it with a fan?

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#174 Spydyr
January 09 2014, 07:09AM
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pipeline wrote:

I disagree with those who say that the Edmonton media can't be tough on the Oilers because they might lose access. Performance dictates coverage, if the media is not critical when performance is abysmal they are merely lapdogs. Denying access to a reporter who is critical, even though objective and fair would make the Oilers look mean spirited and increase the fan's frustration with the organization. If a media outlet was denied access it should stop covering the team till acess is reinstated--this would be more damaging to the team than the media organization. The reporters that cover the legislature don't pull their punches because they are afraid of repercussions. They do the job of informing the public and speaking truth to power with journalistic integrity as they are paid to do.

Tell that to the boys on the Terry, Bill and Steve show on K-97. Around a year ago, they received a letter from Katz's lawyers stating they cannot use the name Oilers. They now call them Edmonton's hockey team.

That is how Katz rolls.

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#175 Serious Gord
January 09 2014, 07:35AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Tell that to the boys on the Terry, Bill and Steve show on K-97. Around a year ago, they received a letter from Katz's lawyers stating they cannot use the name Oilers. They now call them Edmonton's hockey team.

That is how Katz rolls.

With the admission by KLowe that he is directly involved in the operation of the hockey side of the oilers club the causality of the disaster is laid bare. The "what did the president know and when did he know it?" question has been answered and it is as incriminating as many suspected.

It now falls to Klowe to resign. If that does not happen within the next week or so, then Klowes superior has to fire him. That person - as I understAnd the oilers org chart - is the owner Mr. Katz.

If mr. Katz is derelict in doing that then fans should redirect their slings and arrows away from management and towards mr. Katz as he is now in the line of fire and is the only one with the power to do the right thing.

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#176 Marlin
January 09 2014, 07:47AM
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HOFFFF wrote:

The Krueger Factor

A real underrated ingredient for Team Canada has been the presence of Ralph Krueger as a consultant to the coaching staff. “A huge assistance, real smart,” Team Canada coach Mike Babcock told ESPN.com on Tuesday. Babcock said Krueger was going to join him for three Red Wings games in the next week starting in San Jose on Thursday to update him on what he’s picked up overseas ahead of the Olympics. The Canadian coaching staff as a whole has raved about his impact since last summer. Krueger was coach of the Swiss national team for a dozen years, from 1998 through 2010, and his experience with the international game already has proved immeasurable to the Canadian coaches. Krueger has been central in consulting Canada’s transition to the larger international ice surface, but he’s also been key in other areas, as relayed to ESPN.com Wednesday by Team Canada assistant coach Ken Hitchcock:

I miss Ralph...

Unfortunately he was never given a long enough opportunity to get the team where it needs to be. His ability as a coach was overshadowed by management incompetence.

Without him the team has regressed terribly.

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#177 Dave
January 09 2014, 07:59AM
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Anton wrote:

That is truly debatable, if you are looking at just the W-L column then yes that Oilers is a poorly run franchise. In business standpoint that considering the team is still making profit and has tons of marketable pieces within the franchise then it is not a "toxic organization".

If a team doesn't need to win and still manage to pull in the profit, then why the ownership need to concern about how the image of the team is representing? We can only assume that if the team kept on this downward spiral that eventually the franchise will see the deficit. However if the team is start losing money that Katz may even reconsider his relocating plan that he has suggested in the past. Sadly, he is holding this team hostage against the fans of Edmonton by not stopping being a vicious malevolent businessman.

No the team isn't going anywhere soon as the new arena is coming soon. If the team continues to lose, the number of bums in seats will continue to drop which affects multiple revenue streams, particularly merchandise and concessions. I would not be surprised if they lose money this year or for sure next year if they do not improve their on ice performance.

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#178 Serious Gord
January 09 2014, 08:21AM
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Anton wrote:

That is truly debatable, if you are looking at just the W-L column then yes that Oilers is a poorly run franchise. In business standpoint that considering the team is still making profit and has tons of marketable pieces within the franchise then it is not a "toxic organization".

If a team doesn't need to win and still manage to pull in the profit, then why the ownership need to concern about how the image of the team is representing? We can only assume that if the team kept on this downward spiral that eventually the franchise will see the deficit. However if the team is start losing money that Katz may even reconsider his relocating plan that he has suggested in the past. Sadly, he is holding this team hostage against the fans of Edmonton by not stopping being a vicious malevolent businessman.

So Anton in your view the oil are now the Toronto maple leafs.

But up until last year the leafs had been on a steady decline in revenues. Sure the place was sold out on paper, but towards the end before Wilson was fired there were an increasing number of suites that were dark at games, merchandise was plummeting and the best selling jerseys in the GTA were not leak jerseys but Crosby jerseys.

The business side of the leafs was and remains profitable but it was underperforming and almost entirely the reason was the disgraceful on ice product. And even though it has always been profitable - heads rolled on the hockey side.

So as you see the leafs as the model you should wholly support the removal of much if not all of coaching staff.

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#179 mlselli
January 09 2014, 08:32AM
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Just waiting for Katz to send a text "Kevin Lowe isn't going anywhere." We all know what happens when he his the send button. Just ask MacT. To refresh the memories of the readers that may not be aware, Mac suddenly found himself stepping down as a head coach after Katz responded to the fans calling for Macs' head. C'mon Katz, send another text. Fans are anxiously waiting, #FIRELOWE

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#180 madjam
January 09 2014, 08:33AM
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One can hardly blame Tams for the mistakes of the group , as his hands were obviously tied by that group . Sounds like Katz and Lowe run the show , while others are simply pawns .

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#181 camdog
January 09 2014, 08:38AM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

It seems that the GM disagrees with your assessment. 3 more years to being competitive? According to Mact: "We are quite obviously flawed. Those things are going to be rectified in short order. There's a lot of really positive signs we've seen in development seen this year... Quite clearly there is a good era ahead. It's too long coming for most of us. But it's coming." From terry jones@sunmedia.ca

There you go. We know Mac doesn't make hollow promises that he can't keep.

The day that mact truely believes that this organization is close is the day when we start hearing rumours about our number 1 draft pick being up for grabs in a trade, and that hasn't happened yet...

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#182 -30-
January 09 2014, 08:44AM
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If this keeps up maybe Oilersnation will also receive a letter from Katz lawyers asking them to remove the word "Oilers" from the website? LOL

I say that until Lowe is removed from his position that we all boycott Rexall Drugs and give our business to Shoppers, etc.

As long as this "toy" isn't costing him money he'll continue to NOT be serious about making the team a contender. They're his "toy soldiers". He's living his fantasy.

-30-

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#183 Serious Gord
January 09 2014, 08:55AM
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-30- wrote:

If this keeps up maybe Oilersnation will also receive a letter from Katz lawyers asking them to remove the word "Oilers" from the website? LOL

I say that until Lowe is removed from his position that we all boycott Rexall Drugs and give our business to Shoppers, etc.

As long as this "toy" isn't costing him money he'll continue to NOT be serious about making the team a contender. They're his "toy soldiers". He's living his fantasy.

-30-

Were i in charge of that radio station I would make sure the letter from katz was read on-air every morning...

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#184 S cottV
January 09 2014, 08:56AM
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camdog wrote:

There is only one other NHL city that would support this team the way the Oilers fans have and that is Toronto. Any other organisation and Lowe is fired.

The reality is that in 2-3 years our defence will be NHL ready. In 2-3 years RNH will be able to line up against the other team’s top centre. In 2-3 years with 2-3 years of more high draft picks the organisation may become competitive.

The reality is that the Oilers rebuild is 2-3 years behind where Lowe expected it to be by now. In 2-3 years the Oilers "rebuild" will constitute one of the worst runs in NHL history. This is the reality.

Yeah - if Lowe and MacT could fess up and get away with it, the Oilers should gear to be truly competitive when RNH is ready to be a dominate 1C. 2 - 3, maybe even 4 years from now.

There are major holes in 2C, top 2 d, top 4 d and in goal.

In addition - there is a major problem with lack of size.

These things are not going to be dealt with in short order.

We will get raped in trades to overly force things and right now, UFA's are not exactly going to flock toward Edmonton, at this point in time. Some progress with trades and UFA's that make sense should obviously be made but the Oilers are not really ready to contend until RNH is ready to contend, so - it shouldn't be rushed at the expense of what this team could look like in 2 to 3 years.

Lowe and probably MacT are not going to be cut the slack to fess up and tell it like it probably needs to be told. So - Katz probably needs to make some changes, to buy the time that needs to be bought.

If the organization appears to be going in the right direction in the next 2 to 3 years, maybe a few key UFA's join the developed mix and the Oilers get over the hump to join the contenders.

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#185 Neal
January 09 2014, 09:26AM
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Yeah ok, Brownlee... but I don't see anything in the article that wasn't already widely known. Burke was right - Lowe ran this club into the sewer. That Mac has a next to impossible task ahead of him maybe should be the next article.

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#186 Rick Stroppel
January 09 2014, 09:46AM
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Doofus wrote:

Robin, what was your reason for not making slight grammatical corrections in Lowe's comments?

I have listened to many of the interviews Gregor has had and read his printed version, and it's obvious that he corrects the slight flubs almost everyone makes in conversation. It seems that you deliberately wanted Lowe to look bad and even reported him saying "At the end of the way" when it's obvious he meant to say "end of the day"

KEVIN LOWE IS NOT "ARTICULATE"

I think it was unusual, but not unfair, for Mr. Brownlee to show us EXACTLY what Lowe said. This is why.

Many (not all) of the media in this city have been involved in a collective man-crush on the Oilers Glory Boys for about the last 15 years. When they "interview" them, generally they whip them with wet noodles (eg. Bob Stauffer). Part of this sucking-up involves propagating the MYTH that Lowe and MacTavish are "articulate" and "well-spoken". In fact, Lowe and MacTavish use big words and obtuse language to try and make themselves sound smarter than they really are. When you consider the actual CONTENT of what they are saying, often it makes no sense.

Brian Burke and Jay Feaster were right. Lowe is a dunce. The team is wandering in the wilderness, despite all the high draft picks.

Everybody in this city needs to wake up to these facts. The 2006 Stanley Cup run was a dead fluke. Lowe and MacTavish are dummies.

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#187 Rotten Ron
January 09 2014, 09:56AM
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Anyone one else on here recieve a call from the Oilers re:"fan experiance as a season ticket holder"?

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#188 Chris.
January 09 2014, 10:01AM
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Consultant wrote:

A bunch of candy ass, cry babies here. We're a coaching change away from the switch, this has got to be the bottom and since we have spent so long here, when we do finally start winning again it will be beautiful and even more beautiful for those who stuck around. But no, year four of the rebuild destroyed us. So go ahead bandwagoners, pick a NFL team to cheer for. But go quietly cause if I see someone throw or deface an Oiler jersey I will defend the club.

I have to politely disagree with your belief that a coaching change is all that is required for this team to win again.

Kevin Lowe was a wonderful hockey player but has been a below average manager. In fact, there is more than reasonable cause to be very critical of Kevin even during his one and only really successful season in management. The 2005/2006 Oilers loaded up on talent thanks mostly to a new CBA that made Peca and Pronger available. Kevin nearly squandered this sudden turn of good fortune by entering the season with Jussi Markkanen and Ty Conklin in net. This is so typical of a Kevin Lowe team: entering a season with a glaring hole in the roster and just hoping it'll work itself out... As usual, the team despite it's fresh injection of talent and high expectations stumbled out of the gate. The tandem fans dubbed Conkanen very predicatably performed well below the league average and was costing the team wins. Early Novemember, the team was riding a 6 game losing streak, and was in real danger of sliding clear out of the playoff race before Christmas (sound familiar?) when a miracle happened: Mike Morrison, an unproven AHL goalie, stepped up and played out of his mind winning 5 games in a row before pretty much disappearing from hockey. This bit of blind luck could very well be the only reason the Oilers were within striking distance for that incredible playoff run all those years ago when the Canucks lost their final game of the season.

That winter I checked the papers every day waiting to see if Kevin had finally traded for a serviceable goalie... and nothing was done until the last possible second when again, more good luck was required for the team to finish 8th in the west and...

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#189 Rick Stroppel
January 09 2014, 10:06AM
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W wrote:

You have to give Lowe full marks for being on the show. He is a courageous, bright, passionate man who loves the Oilers and will be successful in the end! Winning or losing is a group and team effort, leave Mr. Lowe alone! He is not the problem nor is Mr. MacTavish or Mr.Eakins!

So Karen Percy-Lowe is posting on this site. Weird. I thought she was more into skiing.

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#190 Eric
January 09 2014, 10:13AM
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RB,

Why didn't Logan Couture make the Canadian team?

I'm not buying the MSL he is old and not a great skater anymore and playing 7 + games against the best in 12 days is too much for a 38 yr

Giroux was probably beaten out by Duchene,

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#191 Spydyr
January 09 2014, 10:17AM
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Eric wrote:

RB,

Why didn't Logan Couture make the Canadian team?

I'm not buying the MSL he is old and not a great skater anymore and playing 7 + games against the best in 12 days is too much for a 38 yr

Giroux was probably beaten out by Duchene,

Logan Couture is out he just had surgery.

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#192 Serious Gord
January 09 2014, 10:18AM
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Neal wrote:

Yeah ok, Brownlee... but I don't see anything in the article that wasn't already widely known. Burke was right - Lowe ran this club into the sewer. That Mac has a next to impossible task ahead of him maybe should be the next article.

It was widely suspected. Not widely KNOWN.

And many vigourously claimed that Lowe was not involved in the day to day.

I have had at least one; and in some cases more than one, on air conversations with each of Bob Stauffer, Rob Brown and Jason Gregor over the past few years and they all rejected my argument that Klowe should be fired as POHO because - they claimed - he was not involved in the day to management and decision making regarding the team.

Now we have evidence - on the record tape from Klowe himself - that he is indeed involved.

And that destroys any claim that Klowe is not involved - not responsible for - the disaster that is this team from players to management.

And that changes everything.

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#193 Consultant
January 09 2014, 10:25AM
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@Serious Gord

You still don't get it. Lowe is not the coach, and he is not the GM either... If someone skate is not shape enough that also is not Lowe's fault.

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#194 Mustangheart
January 09 2014, 10:25AM
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@Dave

As many others have commented on; Just stop going to the games, buying Oilers merchandise boycott Rexall etc. The only thing any owner of any business understands and will make serious changes is in "lost revenue".

Food for thought. KLowe should be commended on his contribution to the organization after years of service, but everything and everyone has a "shelf life". It is very clear that KLowe has lost the trust of the fan base and by the teams performance, probably the players too.

If Katz ever grows a set of balls and does the right thing and fires KLowe, who could be hired to turn the organization around. It's easy to criticise, but lets help Katz find the replacement.

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#195 Rob...
January 09 2014, 10:34AM
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Consultant wrote:

You still don't get it. Lowe is not the coach, and he is not the GM either... If someone skate is not shape enough that also is not Lowe's fault.

Didn't you read the article or listen to Jason's interview? It was stated quite clearly in both that KLowe has had his hand in the cookie jar all along.

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#196 Serious Gord
January 09 2014, 10:36AM
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Consultant wrote:

You still don't get it. Lowe is not the coach, and he is not the GM either... If someone skate is not shape enough that also is not Lowe's fault.

Actually, it is evident from klowe himself that he is involved in both those position's decisions - thus he is responsible and at fault.

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#197 admiralmark
January 09 2014, 10:45AM
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Personally I feel Bucky and Smith have had more of an influence on this team since 2006. Certainly in the last few years. And what have we got to show for their work as asst coaches? Firing Lowe at this point will only serve to placate the fanbase and maybe thats needed? I'd like to see all 3 go and get a fresh start in all 3 areas.

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#198 Serious Gord
January 09 2014, 10:51AM
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admiralmark wrote:

Personally I feel Bucky and Smith have had more of an influence on this team since 2006. Certainly in the last few years. And what have we got to show for their work as asst coaches? Firing Lowe at this point will only serve to placate the fanbase and maybe thats needed? I'd like to see all 3 go and get a fresh start in all 3 areas.

Fire lowe - the guy who has kept buck and smith in place all these years - and let the new POHO clean house at a pace and way he determines to be the best

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#199 SRELIOFAN
January 09 2014, 10:54AM
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As much as we'd love to see Kblowe resign, I think we can all admit it's not gonna happen...He is way too damn proud and stubborn. Katz needs to stop counting his money from the Rogers Place deal long enough to fulfill his responsibilities as an owner of a professional sports team and fire Mr. "if there's ever a concern..." Like NOW!

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#200 He Who Knows
January 09 2014, 10:57AM
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Maybe we need to come together and protest like they did in Egypt, Kosovo, Ukraine etc etc. to bring down a ruthless regime. Diplomacy is the first method, protest would be second and the third method would be a public boot kick in the ass. Preferably Lowe. In all seriousness of course. Also stop going to the games sheeple.

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