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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#51 RJ
January 08 2014, 02:41PM
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dang you kevin lowe. dang you.

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#52 oilerjed
January 08 2014, 03:25PM
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I wonder why KLowe has finally decided to come out from under his rock? Im not a conspiracy theory nut but here is a hopeful and plausable thought:

Fans are on the brink of a full scale rebellion and MacT is taking major heat without any sunrise on the horizon.

Maybe this is the beginning of the end for KLowe and he is readying himself to fall on the sword and take the heat off MacT by inferring that he is in fact making decisions. I hope Im right because that means he will soon be gone.

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#53 Edward
January 08 2014, 07:13PM
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My son was at the game last night at Rexall. He was absolutely disgusted by the timid play. The word gutless came up a couple times during the conversation. No commitment was another assessment. With KLowe's weasle draft picks and two aleady signed for a king's ransom The fans of the Oil can expect a continuation of losing and losing badly.

Sad. Another lost fan who won't buy another ticket.

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#54 Greenlingj
January 08 2014, 04:16PM
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Who wants to go get Jerseys that say #FIREKLOWE?

And the number on the back will be 2014

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#55 Serious Gord
January 08 2014, 05:47PM
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Robin:

On reading the first part of your post names and dates flooded my head:

July 16, 1973. Alexander Butterfield

June 23, 1972. Richard Nixon

August 5, 1974 Barry Goldwater

The first date and name go together as the day and person who revealed that the Nixon White House had a secret taping system.

The second name and date are what those tapes ultimately made public - that six days after the watergate arrests Nixon was caught on his own taping system plotting a cover-up

The final pairing is the date when the "smoking gun" tape was made public and Barry Goldwater - the pope of the rock-ribbed wing of the Republican Party and senate minority leader - promptly went to see Nixon and tell him he had lost his support - three days later Nixon submitted his resignation - one that took several staffers days to create -

Dear Mr. Secretary:

"I hereby resign from the office of the president of the United States."

Sincerely,

Richard Nixon

Yesterday is the day that the "smoking gun" exposing the depth of Kevin lowe's involvement in the disaster that is the Edmonton oilers was made public.

It was something many of us had long been certain of. But many others were solid Lowe loyalists who said there was little that the POHO had to do with the day to day.

Well the POHO himself has said flatly that he was involved. And thus he is an accessory in the crime that has been committed on the oiler fanbase.

There is no room for doubt now. The president has to go - either he is fired or - in a more dignified method - he can resign.

Just copy and paste the following Mr. Lowe:

Dear Mr. Katz:

I hereby resign from the office of the President of Hockey Operations.

Sincerely,

Kevin Lowe ...

PS - Kevin Lowe makes public appearances in two days over the last several months and on both occasions he makes a huge faux pas. Yet more evidence of his lack of competence.

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#56 Oliveoiler
January 08 2014, 06:04PM
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KEV JONG UN needs to step down; the people have spoken.

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#57 Walter Sobchak
January 08 2014, 09:51PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

IRC Kruger coached us to 10 straight losses down the stretch so he wasn't the savior either. I would've liked him as an assistant coach, but that might've been to awkward.

I'm going to have to defend Krueger here, I just want to clarify that I hate "what if's" so take it as you want.

A few facts as I see them.

Krueger never had the luxury of playing the softer East teams, Krueger had to play the much harder western teams.

Krueger had this team competing for a playoff position right into the trade deadline.

It was Tambellini & Lowe job to give him a team to compete with, when the injuries went down, Tambellini failed to act, causing the Oilers to drop dramatically in the standings.

Krueger got more out of less, his players on that roster were arguable worse then this team, that says a lot!!

With Krueger the "core" players showed huge improvement & his handling of all the kids was great.

Krueger respect around the NHL has been well documented, he wasn't a blow hole & seldom regurgitated the same nonsense that's heard by the present staff.

Krueger had his faults no doubt, but MacTavish fell in love with the Toronto hype & had to have his own shiny toy.

MacTavish could have moved Eakins into a co-coach much like Renney and Babcock, but made an awful decision to fire Krueger without allowing him at least a whole year.

This way MacTavish could have fired Krueger, had his coach in place & take no heat, instead just like everything else Oilers he made a piss poor decision.

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#58 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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#59 W
January 08 2014, 02:40PM
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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!

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#60 Craig
January 08 2014, 04:29PM
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Can someone explain to me why know one else is writing this? I don't understand why guys who write for the sun and journal don't jump all over this but they will when it comes to 8am practices.

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#61 Rick Stroppel
January 08 2014, 08:50PM
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Consultant wrote:

How can a management group discussion on important matters be a bad thing?? Is this really news? Lowe has a say in things, so see its all his fault, let's fire him? All I see here is a bunch of cry babies who want someone to blame. And since Lowe has been around for a while he takes the target, fine if he get fired who cares, it won't hurt but it also won't help. Lowe is just a self described sounding board. My problem with this Kevin Lowe witch hunt is that within its caveman satisfaction of bringing someone down, somehow the daily and real hands on incompentance of Eakins (coach, i.e. day to day manager of the team) gets excused. This team is not as bad on paper as it is on the ice, simple as that. King down in Calgary should be fired cause he hires Keenan and Feasters. I actally like our GM now (Lowe hired) and I see Eakins as MacT's muligan not Lowe's...

I AM NOT A CAVEMAN

Actually posters on this site have presented very reasoned arguments for ALL of these people to be fired: Lowe, MacTavish, Eakins, Buchberger and Steve Smith. In any other NHL city they would have been fired a long time ago for extended incompetence (with the possible exception of Eakins who probably deserves more of a chance).

The press in this city deserves a lot of blame for this. For too long they have been WAY TOO COSY with the Oilers Glory Boys. The fans figured this out before the press. The emperors are not wearing beautiful clothes, THEY ARE NAKED!

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#62 **
January 09 2014, 11:45AM
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I think that if the rebuild was going acording to plan, Renney, Krueger and Tambellini would still be here. The moment Renney was fired Klowe conceded that his master plan was going nowhere. Some may argue that it was part of the plan to have a new coach after the 3rd high draft pick, but what about signing Tambellini to an extension and then firing him just a year later?.

Klowe is not only lying to the public, but to himself, and it seems that he is willing to roll over anyone in order to keep his job.

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#63 Spoils
January 08 2014, 03:20PM
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I like MacT, and I know we have had too many coaches, but how is this not absolute rock bottom.

I get that Eakins and MacT were a big reboot, but given how bad that has gone we need to acknowledge that we are are in a place where we have meaningless games we should use for any new world order's learning period.

Might as well give a new group one additional trade deadline and one additional draft.

So yes, Fire LOWE and bring in a BIG someone like Burke - a big experienced management name. Give them the keys to the kingdom - and respect that this could mean firing Eakins and could mean trading any player and could mean firing MacT.

PLEASE DO THIS NOW.

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#64 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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#65 -30-
January 08 2014, 03:24PM
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"At the end of the way..."? Huh?

Maybe at the end of the day?

I met Kevin Lowe through work a few years ago. If first impressions mean anything my impression of him was as a self important, self absorbed, pretending to be intelligent person.

Guess I was wrong. :(

When will Katz lose his man crush on hockey players? Until he does Edmonton's NHL team seem destined to wander in the wilderness.

-30-

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#66 Pipeline
January 08 2014, 04:17PM
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Thanks Robin for "belling the cat" that is Kevin Lowe. The local mainstream media have long done a disservice to the fans by failing to be objective in covering the Oilers. Kevin Lowe was brought back to Edmonton by Slats (probably because Slats saw him as a similar player to himself--tough, good team player, played through injuries, blocked shots,limited offensive skills, street smart but no post secondary education). Under Slats, Kevin was assistant coach to Ron Low for one year then head coach for two years. In this capacity he did a decent job; the team was competitive and made the playoffs one year. When Slats was let go by the new regime, Cal Nichols inexplicably made Kevin the GM. I say inexplicably because he wasn't qualified for the job, either through administrative experience or academic training. He blundered along as GM until his buddy Mr. Katz bought the team and elevated him to President of Hockey Operations; again without solid credentials for the position. So his reign of error began with Slats but was extended by Cal Nichols and Mr. Katz and all along abetted by the local media who were too intimidated to seriously challenge what was clearly an enfeebled organization. That's why we are in the predicament we are in now.

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#67 Spydyr
January 08 2014, 04:36PM
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Craig wrote:

Can someone explain to me why know one else is writing this? I don't understand why guys who write for the sun and journal don't jump all over this but they will when it comes to 8am practices.

Quick answer, MSM does not want to bite the hand that feeds it.

Hard to cover the Oilers if your banned from Rexall.

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#68 Dean Belanger
January 08 2014, 05:11PM
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@KBLOWES

Oh you mean like when Rogers hired Kypreos and made him the lead guy on Sportsnet with NO training. The guy could barely form a sentence... He's improved some but he's still terrible.

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#69 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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#70 RexHolez
January 08 2014, 02:50PM
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Why did Gregor have to ask him such a grey "gotcha question"?

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#71 Serious Gord
January 08 2014, 06:15PM
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Hockey mom wrote:

How right you are! Nurse should beware of any long term contracts with the oilers as we'll.

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?

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#72 Walter Sobchak
January 08 2014, 03:09PM
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@Twoskidoos

"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."

While I agree with a lot of what you said and I'm certainly not a Tambellini fan, I just don't get when people say Tambellini LEFT a mess for MacTavish?

Tambellini gave MacTavish 5 damn good hockey player's, you have to remember WHO gave Tambellini the instructions to do things!

MacTavish cleared the cupboards.

I for one second don't believe Tambellini didn't want to sign Gagner! That's got Lowe all over it!

I believe Tambelinni wanted to trade Hemsky, instead Lowe gave him that extension.

This team is now run by the exact same staff that spun it into the ground 8 years ago, that's my concern.

Tambellini was Terrible, MacTavish has been less then unremarkable & Lowe record speaks for itself.

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#73 Still in a rebuild
January 08 2014, 07:52PM
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There is one man to blame. He owns the team. He hires his friends. When was the last time the Oilers searched extensively for the right coach or GM? Katz is the owner, this mess is on his head. But where is he? When will he have a presser to apologize to all the fans he has fleeced? Instead he makes Lowe the fall guy. I am tired of all the idiots blaming Katz's mgmt team. Blame the man who really calls the shots.

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#74 Kr55
January 08 2014, 03:51PM
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David S wrote:

We're NOT at the cap this year. Not even close. $7M below in fact.

http://www.capgeek.com/oilers/

The extra room is for bonuses. If all bonuses get paid out, we will exceed the cap.

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#75 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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#76 wizeman
January 08 2014, 04:07PM
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Nowhere in the business world would a management team survive with the results this organization has had in the last ten years. Lowe, MacTavish, LaForge,Howson, Smith, Buchberger, Macgregor, Semenko and all of the scouting team are to blame for this mess. When you hire inexperienced individuals, suggest bold moves, rid yourself of the kind of defenceman you are now in need of you have to shake your head. "Its the definition of insanity" Doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result.How can anyone take this organization seriously when the owner is nowhere to be seen except to threaten the city with relocation. Yet despite all this we are to look forward to a new area and a playoff team to fill it. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! As long as the fans show up at the rink nothing will change.

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#77 Craig
January 08 2014, 04:39PM
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@Kr55

What about the reporter who got kevin worked up the last press conference, is he still around?

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#78 Serious Gord
January 08 2014, 07:01PM
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Consultant wrote:

How can a management group discussion on important matters be a bad thing?? Is this really news? Lowe has a say in things, so see its all his fault, let's fire him? All I see here is a bunch of cry babies who want someone to blame. And since Lowe has been around for a while he takes the target, fine if he get fired who cares, it won't hurt but it also won't help. Lowe is just a self described sounding board. My problem with this Kevin Lowe witch hunt is that within its caveman satisfaction of bringing someone down, somehow the daily and real hands on incompentance of Eakins (coach, i.e. day to day manager of the team) gets excused. This team is not as bad on paper as it is on the ice, simple as that. King down in Calgary should be fired cause he hires Keenan and Feasters. I actally like our GM now (Lowe hired) and I see Eakins as MacT's muligan not Lowe's...

"It won't hurt but it also won't help"

Rubbish.

If that where the case then the wings hiring Babcock was no help

Or Hitchcock getting hired in St. Louis.

Your argument is ridiculous and nonsensical.

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#79 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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#80 #ThereGoesTheOilers
January 09 2014, 11:11AM
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Anton wrote:

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

That's reaching - Kevin Lowe was a very good hockey player. Try and separate the two men.

He's just not cut out for managment. His track record speaks for itself.

I really hope he does resign. I would rather be reminded of him for his contributions to the team than by the embittered sentiments of fans sick of losing.

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#81 Tikkanese
January 09 2014, 12:26PM
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Hate Lowe in the management positions as much as you want and that may be warranted.

But this Oilers' blue line desperately could use a couple of Kevin Lowe the player.

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#82 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 09 2014, 03:08PM
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Something painful just occurred to me.........watch Brian Burke trade Smid at the deadline to the Bruins for a late first round draft pick......just to rub it in MacT 's face!

Now that would hurt!

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#83 G-Unit
January 08 2014, 10:03PM
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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.

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#84 morgie
January 09 2014, 10:59AM
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Anton wrote:

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?

Lowe is the very reason the oilers are what they are here's just a few examples:

- Mike comrie trade for Corey Freaking Perry, which got nixed at last minute because lowe asked comrie for 2.5 mill in return

- pursuing Danny Heatly and consequently missing out on signing Glencross

- Drafting Marc Pouliot instead of Zach Parise

- Getting nothing for Sheldon Souray

- Letting Brodziak go for nothing

- etc.etc

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#85 Dallylamma
January 08 2014, 04:02PM
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Drunk Farmer wrote:

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…

Your Jib, Drunk Farmer...I like the cut of it.

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#86 lucky
January 08 2014, 05:48PM
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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!

Jasmine? Is that you?

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#87 Serious Gord
January 08 2014, 08:11PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

IRC Kruger coached us to 10 straight losses down the stretch so he wasn't the savior either. I would've liked him as an assistant coach, but that might've been to awkward.

Not defending Krueger - I think he was a mistake - but take a look at the schedule and the last ten games of this season:

SJ Anh NYR SJ Anh Pho Anh Col La Van

How many of those games is an Eakins-coached team going to win?

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#88 K_Mart
January 08 2014, 09:08PM
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Lowe, Smith, and Buchberger all have to go. NOW

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#89 **
January 08 2014, 03:58PM
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@BigE91

makes you wonder indeed. would be interesting to see if Klowe ever gets the boot, how the other GMS change their willingness to make deals with Edmonton.

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#90 oilcountryforlife
January 08 2014, 09:37PM
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Here are my five wishes for the night

1. Katz would hold a news conference and announce the resignation or firing of Kevin Lowe.

2. McTavish would join in the same news conference and announce the firing of Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger and the Oilers scouting staff just for fun.

3. At the same news conference, Katz would apologize to the fans for the terrible things they have done to the Edmonton Oilers, the city and their fans

if not....

4. At the next game, no fans would show up

5. At the next game, anyone did show up, would throw Oilers jerseys on the ice and walk out five minutes into the third period so the t.v. cameras(preferably HNIC) would get to pan around the arena and see no one there.

I actually do not hold the players responsible ultimately for the past six years. There have been players come and go...yes, they are lazy, entitled, whiners at time, yes we have no good defense, or goalies, and the tiny "skilled" wingers are young and don't know how to play beyond AHL or WHL levels, but look at the unintelligent brutes in the front office and behind the bench, driven by ego, fuelled by pride, inexperienced in their roles and blind to further education or change...the kids don't even stand a chance.

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#91 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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#92 Sal-Sational
January 08 2014, 03:13PM
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we need more signs at the game. "Lowe has to GO"!! - we need to pay whatever it takes to get 2 Solid D-Men - We need to get rid of Our 2 Assistant coaches who somehow managed to survive 3 head coach firings!! - we need a real second line center (maybe Yakimov whos 6'5 210lbs at age 19)

Line Combos should look something like:

Forwards: Hall - RNH - Perron Slepyshev - Yakimov - Yakupov Pitlick - Gordon - ?? Gazdac - Lander/Arcabello - Juensuu

Defence: ?? - Schultz Petry - Ference Marincin- Klefbom

Goalie: ?? ??

No Eberle, Hemsky, Smyth, Gagner, Jones, = around $20M that can be used to get 2 TOP Class Dmen and a really good Goalie

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#93 Romanus
January 08 2014, 03:34PM
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Drunk Farmer wrote:

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…

Ditto. Have had problems giving tickets away this year when I can't go.

They even had the nerve to up the parking prices this week, which means I now have to pay even more to go watch this crap.

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#94 DAVE
January 08 2014, 04:58PM
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Craig wrote:

Can someone explain to me why know one else is writing this? I don't understand why guys who write for the sun and journal don't jump all over this but they will when it comes to 8am practices.

You might have noticed Brownlee only writes the truth as he see's it. That in my estimation is why he does'nt write for either anymore.

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#95 Hoozonphirst
January 08 2014, 05:02PM
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To 'you of the 6 rings whose name cannot be spoken by mere mortals', I pray the next piece of paper you receive is pink and written with crayon if that helps you.

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#96 Loweblows
January 08 2014, 08:16PM
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Consultant wrote:

How can a management group discussion on important matters be a bad thing?? Is this really news? Lowe has a say in things, so see its all his fault, let's fire him? All I see here is a bunch of cry babies who want someone to blame. And since Lowe has been around for a while he takes the target, fine if he get fired who cares, it won't hurt but it also won't help. Lowe is just a self described sounding board. My problem with this Kevin Lowe witch hunt is that within its caveman satisfaction of bringing someone down, somehow the daily and real hands on incompentance of Eakins (coach, i.e. day to day manager of the team) gets excused. This team is not as bad on paper as it is on the ice, simple as that. King down in Calgary should be fired cause he hires Keenan and Feasters. I actally like our GM now (Lowe hired) and I see Eakins as MacT's muligan not Lowe's...

I would never employ you as a consultant.

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#97 Ed in Edmonton
January 09 2014, 12:28PM
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camdog wrote:

Many of those in the Edmonton media say the same thing as you in respect to Lowe. However where I get lost is when they said heads were going to role when Brian Burke was hired to more or less the same position in Calgary.

In Calgary Burke is responsible for the operations of the hockey club, but in Edmonton Lowe is not. I really have trouble understanding the double standard?

If the POHO is not responsible for the operation of the hockey club who is? In my world the president of an operation is responsible for everything that happens within the organization.

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#98 A-Mc
January 08 2014, 03:40PM
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I went to Lowes a few times.. I got a good deal on power tools!

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#99 Oneeye
January 08 2014, 04:19PM
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Thank You for putting to print this article. It's about time someone with influence(us their 2 fans having none) starts to look at at the feeling amongst many. These guys have had plenty of time to prove anything... And have proved nothing so let's move on.

I wish more media had your independance.

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#100 Spydyr
January 08 2014, 04:28PM
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And so it begins.This will not end well for Lowe.

It is way overdue.

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