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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#1 EP
January 08 2014, 02:31PM
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Admittedly, I was somewhat indifferent to Kevin Lowe prior to hearing the interview on Gregor's show yesterday. After listening to him bumble through the question of his involvement in the decision making process within the Oilers, it is crystal clear to me that he is the source of the problem. He should be embarrassed by the way he responded to that question. It's not a "tough" question, it's pretty simple, he has his greasy paws on every decision in this organization. He is responsible for where we are today. His immediate dismissal is necessary.

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#2 dragon
January 08 2014, 02:33PM
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Until the team starts losing money, Daryl Katz will have no reason to fire Mr. 6 Rings. Do you want a better Oilers team? Stop going to the games...

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#3 Drunk Farmer
January 08 2014, 02:57PM
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The arrogance of this front office, KLowe specifically, is absolutely disgusting. The brain trust who got us where we are right now, are back together to continue this path of disgrace. (Howson, MacT, Lowe). I seem to remember this combination of hockey acumen once stating that Robert Neilson was someone who you could build a franchise around. Our pipeline of prospects has been a complete bust until recent time, and we not sure how the new crop are going to develop. Maybe some problems as an organization in developing talent? I think that record speaks for itself

I actually would not have any problem with MacT as GM, but under the current circumstances I believe that a wholesale change of management is necessary. Lowe at the very least should get the axe if not for at least the appearance of some accountability.

As a side note to the state of our beloved Oilers; we have season tickets in the family, and have had for 15 years. There was once upon a time where arguments were had on who got which tickets and who got to go to the games. The argument now is who wants to drive the hour each way to sit through another boring mediocre hockey game and listen to the same post game comments and bogus trade scenarios on the long quiet drive home in -30 weather in mid-January. There once was a list of friends who would gladly take the tickets off our hands if we couldn’t make it. Some would actually offer money in exchange for a night of entertainment. Now, there are literally games that I cannot give my tickets away for. “I will watch at home tonight”, “It’s too cold”, “Roads are crappy”, “Phoenix… seriously, maybe next time” are all excuses not to take free tickets to an Oilers game this year.

I am not entirely sure where the future of our franchise is heading, but being the laughing stock of the NHL is starting to become a little tired. Not sure what the answer is but… I won minor hockey week in 1996 with the K of C tier II midgets if there is ever a concern…

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#4 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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#5 bwar
January 08 2014, 02:29PM
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Yeah but he has six rings therefore is always correct.

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#6 2004Z06
January 08 2014, 02:52PM
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Safe to say that security will be checking everyone for signs at the next game?

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#7 The Soup Fascist
January 08 2014, 02:59PM
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At the end of this year the Oilers will have made the playoffs twice in the last 12 years. This is atrocious.

The Oilers are, for all intents and purposes, a "cap team" who, halfway through the season are last in the conference - a mere 18 points out of a wildcard spot. Unacceptable is not a strong enough word.

A common thread throughout this stretch has been Mr. Lowe. I do not dislike Mr. Lowe. No matter what I think of his hockey management skills I would never say he is not an intelligent individual. I also think his motives are sincere.

However, it is not working. There is no end in sight. The team is headed in the wrong direction. A very loyal and (too) patient fan base has had enough. I can only hope Mr. Lowe does the right thing and falls on his sword and resigns - and soon. It is the right thing to do.

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#8 2004Z06
January 08 2014, 02:51PM
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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!

Must be a Tier 1 fan.

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#9 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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#10 TeddyTurnbuckle
January 08 2014, 02:50PM
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Have we traded Gagner yet

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#11 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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#12 Taylor Gang
January 08 2014, 04:18PM
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A blog long overdue. Thank you Brownlee.

Kevin Lowe isn't a bad guy, he's just incompetent; he has to leave. Simple as that.

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#13 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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#14 Blucifer Copperballs
January 08 2014, 02:55PM
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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!

Go home, you're drunk.

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#15 HOFFFF
January 08 2014, 04:01PM
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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...

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#16 Kr55
January 08 2014, 02:52PM
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Well, nice to have confirmation Lowe is involved in every decision. Also have to remember all these people involved in the decision making process are people he picked to join the team. Basically everything this team does roots back to Kevin Lowe. That will include when we break Florida's 10 season playoff drought record. I hope that is a proud day for him.

The only hope for this team is a complete house cleaning. Anyone fired below Lowe will just be replaced by another Lowe guy.

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#17 camdog
January 08 2014, 03:21PM
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How many assistant coaches have survived multiple head coach firings and GM firings? It just doesn't happen, not unless there's somebody higher in the organisation protecting them. It's been pretty obvious from the start the Kevin Lowe does exert significant influence on his GM's. I don't understand how this can even be disputed?

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#18 Jerry
January 08 2014, 03:05PM
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Anybody else with Kevin Lowe's record would have been fired years ago.

He is a joke. Unfortunately the joke is on the fans.

How does this guy look himself in the mirror.

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#19 VK63
January 08 2014, 02:38PM
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My conclusion.

MacT is neutered.

Further to that conclusion.

what a joke.

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#20 LURKEYSON
January 08 2014, 02:56PM
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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!

Oh? then what is the problem? That just leaves the players. Yes they are not big enough, skilled enough, anthying enough. But guess who gets the players, who develops the players?? The President/the GM and the coach.

What other job in this world, could you do as pathetic of a job as Lowe has done, and still have your job. NOt to mention he was promoted.

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#21 Greg
January 08 2014, 03:27PM
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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!

Of all the bullsh*t I've read on here... This takes the cake. What the hell??? It hurts to see these type of fans are still out there. The same fans that jump out if their seats when the oilers score late in a game to make it 6-2. Pathetic

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#22 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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#23 Bucknuck
January 08 2014, 04:07PM
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It's hard not to want some heads to roll considering what the fans have had to watch for EIGHT seasons. I was quite pleased when Pendergast and Tambellini were canned.

I used to defend Lowe, but the more time goes by and the more arrogant stupid crap he says, the more I feel resentment and the more I want him to go away.

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#24 Kr55
January 08 2014, 04:04PM
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BigE91 wrote:

I really wonder how much the Oilers current futility can be attributed to Lowe's willingness to throw around the offer sheets in the wake of the 2006 Finals run and subsequent departure of 2/3 of the players?

Are NHL GMs and executives holding the Oilers in some sort of purgatory because KLowe was willing to "throw grenades" at the 29 other organizations?

He also has a bad reputation handling players. How he handled the Comrie situation will never be forgotten. No doubt he had his grubby paw prints all over how the Souray thing went down. MacT adds to that a little too. You think Penner would have ever considered joining the oilers last off-season if we wanted him with MacT as GM? Not a chance, and he would have been a great addition.

It's not just the weather that makes players wary about joining the Oilers. We carry around a lot of old baggage by keeping this group of buddies leading the team. Like we don't suffer enough by them simply not being good at their jobs.

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#25 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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#26 Twoskidoos
January 08 2014, 02:49PM
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I don't believe that KLowe has his fingerprints and signature on every trade or signing. Detroit is a perfect example of management by committee, it's not just one guy making decisions it's a collective. From a business perspective why wouldn't you want input from many people rather than an individual?

I don't see anything wrong with the approach. Of course it's Katz team and if I'm the owner of any business would want to know what I'm spending my money on, and that should be no different with a hockey club. It's big money being shelled out for what essentially become assets.

The actual team is the problem and MacT is faced with fixing Tambo's terrible management and inability to make a decision. He (Tambo) essentially spun his wheels his entire tenure here. Give MacT some time, he'll get it right.

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#27 vetinari
January 08 2014, 03:12PM
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It's a mess.

Lowe's record is basically that when he was GM, he kept the team hovering around playoff contention, some years in and some years out, and had one Cup run before being booted upstairs and everything imploded... and that implosion is still going on.

Whether he is the final decision-maker on the team or the chief amongst a group of decision-makers, the optics remain the same: every guy takes responsibility for the guys immediately below them whether they put them into those positions or not. Eakins wears it when the team underperforms. MacT wears it when Eakins can't work with the players that he has. And Lowe wears it for putting in two successive rookie GMs (Tambellini followed by MacT) on a rebuilding team.

Had either Tambellini or MacT ever been through a rebuild as a GM? No. Had either ever been GMs in the NHL or any other league? No.

Lowe's most damning mark on his record is that his second rookie GM has to rebuild the rebuild that his first rookie GM screwed up-- that alone should be a firing offence at the NHL level.

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#28 HOFFFF
January 08 2014, 04:45PM
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St. Louis is 4 points out of 1st in the league and Hitchcock likes doughnuts.

Edmonton is 5 points out of last place and Eakins doesn't allow doughnuts.

These kids need to be jacked up on sugar still. I can't believe we haven't picked up on this yet....

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#29 Rod from Viking
January 08 2014, 04:15PM
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I was a huge fan of every ex-Oiler that is in the organization when they played, I was also very happy when Kevin Lowe came back to Edmonton to finish his career and become the head coach, no one of the other 80's players had came back. I as well as many were ecstatic when he became the GM and under the tight budget he did quite well,and between good trades and lightning in a bottle got this team to the Stanley Cup finals. I also thought Mac T was a good coach and did well with the talent he had. However there was many mistakes made 2001-2004 and post cup run until now and no other C.E.O in any business could weather 8 consecutive years of failure. The people that are upset I would hope do not hate any of the boys on the bus, but between last years press conference, the unheard of assistant coaches surviving 3 head coaches and of course the on ice product the paying customer(and that includes all fans) deserve better and calling for his resignation is not out of line.

I bought 4 season tickets when the Oilers were going to be moved to Texas in the 90's when our dollar was worth 63 cents and there was 6-7000 fan's turning out

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#30 nick
January 08 2014, 06:38PM
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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...

I miss Ralph also, he was the one coach the Oilers have had that actually had the team improving. Hard to imagine MacIdiot fired him for Eakins

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#31 Tikkanese
January 08 2014, 02:54PM
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I would think most, if not all teams involve everyone from GM, Asst GM, coaches, scouts, President and most definately the owners on every trade and signing. I don't know why you are surprised.

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#32 2004Z06
January 08 2014, 02:58PM
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LURKEYSON wrote:

Oh? then what is the problem? That just leaves the players. Yes they are not big enough, skilled enough, anthying enough. But guess who gets the players, who develops the players?? The President/the GM and the coach.

What other job in this world, could you do as pathetic of a job as Lowe has done, and still have your job. NOt to mention he was promoted.

Promoted 3 times in fact! Player to coach, coach to GM, GM to POHO!

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#33 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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#34 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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#35 Brian
January 08 2014, 08:00PM
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My firm belief is that if 6IQ is arrogant, or stupid enough, to make the infamous 6Ring speech and publicly delineate the fan base into the favoured and not so much, then the same attributes would direct his minions as he wants.

"Listen Craig, I know something about winning so trade Smid for someone smaller and an ex-Keegan teammate."

"Listen here, Dallas, I know something about winning so Bucky and Smitty stay. You want the job or not?"

Etc. etc. etc.

I could be wrong but don't think so. He is an arrogant prick. A great stay at home DMan, but one lousy hockey management mind. If it were any different, he would have answered Gregor's question by saying as follows:

"Craig is the GM so is responsible for player and coach related decisions. If he asks for my opinion, fine, but it's his call, and his call alone".

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#36 Puck_In_Throat
January 08 2014, 03:01PM
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If Lowe is correct and the decisions being made are made "by committee" with input from a number of people, it stands as logical that every person who was part of those decisions is to blame.

It would also be logical that if you don't like the outcome of the decisions, you need new blood to bring in a fresh perspective to the group. That doesn't necessarily mean replacing everyone, but it does mean bringing in people from new organizations.

But what do the Oilers do? They re-hash old ideas by bringing in the same guys (Howson, MacT, Lowe) over and over. How well has that worked?

If I am Katz, I fire the lot of them and hope to god that I can snag Jim Benning (assistant GM with the Bruins) before Buffalo gets their greasy paws on him.

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Simply put it here

KEVIN LOWE HAS GOT TO GO

He's responsible.

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#38 nick
January 08 2014, 06:33PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

The next shoe to drop will either be one of the current stars going public and demanding a trade or one of the up and coming prospects refusing to sign.

And then the oil will have truly hit bottom - becoming a firm member of the "worst franchise in the league" fraternity with the likes of the NYI and the nordiques.

Will mr. Katz let it go that far?

Sorry to say Serious Gord, they are already the worst franchise in the league.

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#39 Rick Stroppel
January 08 2014, 07:27PM
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OBJECTIVELY SPEAKING, THE EDMONTON OILERS ARE ONE OF THE WORST NHL TEAMS OF ALL TIME

I reviewed the 96 year history of the NHL looking for the worst teams over an extended period of time. I tried to be as fair as possible.

1. KC Scouts-Colorado Rockies-NJ Devils, 1974-1987. Missed playoffs 12 out of 13 seasons, went out in first round only year they made playoffs.

2. Atlanta Thrashers-Winnipeg Jets, 1994-2012. Missed playoffs 11 out of 12 years, out in first round in only appearance.

3. NY Islanders, 1994-2012. Missed playoffs 12/16 years, out in first round four years they qualified.

4. Florida Panthers, 1997-2013. Missed playoffs 13/15, out in first round other years.

5. Columbus Blue Jackets, 2000-2013. Missed playoffs 11/12, out in first round.

6. Edmonton Oilers, 2006-2014. I am calling it, they are missing the playoffs this year, 8 years straight.

7. Washington Capitals, 1974-1892. Missed playoffs first 8 years in the NHL BUT made playoffs 14 straight years after that. I do not see the Oilers doing this.

Observations: Unless the Oilers make the playoffs AND enjoy some sustained success in the next 4-5 years, they will join the ranks of the worst NHL teams of the last CENTURY.

Edmonton stands out like a sore thumb among these teams. All the other teams were dealing with one or more of these SERIOUS handicaps: expansion team, playing in a city where no-one cares about hockey, not enough money, etc.

One of the silliest things Mr. Lowe said in his interview was "We are where we are", as if this was some kind of act of god. Lowe is RESPONSIBLE for this incredible mess. It is time for THE PRESS, THE FANS, and MR. KATZ to make him take responsibility.

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#40 Chris.
January 08 2014, 08:13PM
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Kevin Lowe teams have typically lacked a clear starting goaltender, experience, depth, and size.

Full stop.

Year after year... it's always the same.

Management predicted the 2008/2009 edition of the Oilers would compete for the division (after all we were entering year 3 of Lowe's five year plan)... The reasons they failed then are all the same reasons they are failing now... These guys just aren't that good at assessing and assembling a functional hockey club.

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#41 Brooser
January 08 2014, 03:11PM
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I was on the fence regarding Lowe. I am no longer on that fence. Nowe.

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#42 Gordie Wayne
January 08 2014, 03:50PM
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I am listening to Lowe on the podcast of Gregor's show on Tuesday since I missed the original interview.

I am just at the beginning, and Lowe says he would rather talk about players that made the Olympic team versus players that didn't make the team.

He then immediately goes on for about 2 minutes about Claude Giroux and all of the reasons he didn't make the team...

This is the man leading our team in the rebuild...sigh... :(

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#43 Butters
January 08 2014, 05:47PM
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I find it befuddling that Katz allows his friends to run a franchise worth 400mill right into the ground. It is his prerogative I suppose, but it doesn't make any sense to me.

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#44 Kr55
January 08 2014, 03:03PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

At the end of this year the Oilers will have made the playoffs twice in the last 12 years. This is atrocious.

The Oilers are, for all intents and purposes, a "cap team" who, halfway through the season are last in the conference - a mere 18 points out of a wildcard spot. Unacceptable is not a strong enough word.

A common thread throughout this stretch has been Mr. Lowe. I do not dislike Mr. Lowe. No matter what I think of his hockey management skills I would never say he is not an intelligent individual. I also think his motives are sincere.

However, it is not working. There is no end in sight. The team is headed in the wrong direction. A very loyal and (too) patient fan base has had enough. I can only hope Mr. Lowe does the right thing and falls on his sword and resigns - and soon. It is the right thing to do.

Well said. His intentions are pure, but he just doesn't have what it takes to compete in this age against all the smart hockey minds out there running the rest of the NHL teams. His loyalty to his friends also brings the team down because it prevents any new fresh ideas from entering into this decision making process he's created. It's just a bunch of the same guys all trying to do what they've never done before without any new ideas.

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#45 Puck_In_Throat
January 08 2014, 04:59PM
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“Every coach has a shelf life,” Burke said.

“After the last home game, it would be cruel and unusual punishment to let Ron coach another game in the Air Canada Centre.”

This is a quote from Brian Burke after the infamous "Fire Wilson" chant in Toronto.

Tier 1 fans, you know what to do.

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#46 Kevin
January 08 2014, 06:32PM
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Good read Robin- one thing though. There is NO debate, no other conclusion other than simply looking at the facts. We have a decade of resolve to draw on if there could ever be a debate I surely cannot see one. Kevin Lowe has been and is the mastermind behind this joke of a team/organization, the learning on the job has got to stop, its simply gone on for too long. The experiment has got to be over. How many questionable trades, free agent signing, pending free agents let go, over priced contracts, questionable length of term contracts, failed to pull trigger on on acquiring Cory Perry, Chasing Danny Heatly, Chasing Nylander, the Sheldon Souray handling, the questionable draft picks, the lack of depth, the obvious state of over hockey opps ie. wheres the depth, the state of the goaltending. Granted there has been some good but the bad truley out weighs the bad. Too much bad blood for this one sided costly relationship the fans have endured. Too much false hope and too much mediocrity for any organization including a millionaires game for the paying fan to endure. Can we simply say Thanks Sixs cups and move on. It's time ! There can be no other conclusion here.

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#47 Devolution
January 08 2014, 06:31PM
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I haven't read through all of the comments so please excuse me if this has already been asked. MacTavish does all the scouring and calling. Lowe discusses the moves before they are made. There have been roughly 5 moves in the past year. What exactly does Lowe do the rest of the time?

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#48 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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#49 Chainsawz
January 08 2014, 03:37PM
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Not what I was expecting, Brownlee.

Nice article.

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#50 **
January 08 2014, 04:04PM
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Jerry wrote:

Anybody else with Kevin Lowe's record would have been fired years ago.

He is a joke. Unfortunately the joke is on the fans.

How does this guy look himself in the mirror.

He puts on six championship rings and holds his bank account statement on his hand. Then he just smiles from ear to ear.

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