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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#101 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 08 2014, 06:39PM
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DAVE wrote:

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.

I don't have any special insight....but my guess is that it's a business and a one hand washes the other kind of etiquette exists, which makes sense. I think the reporters, the players, everyone involved is living a pretty good life. They get to see things up close and personal and it's in their best interests to play the game, to report the basics, ask the benign questions and otherwise leave well enough alone. Why kill the goose that laid the golden egg? They are all part of a big industry and it is well protected. And I'm not blaming them......if I could be inside that bubble I'd play the game too......I think it's the reason why there are so few "tell all" books about hockey.

As an example, look at the stuff in Theron Fluery's book. I don't remember any media coverage of the details of that stuff.

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#102 Brian
January 08 2014, 08:51PM
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The sad part is that the Boys on the Bus legacy as champions is being forgotten; replaced by sentiments that they are collectively incompetent and must disappear .

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#103 Hauk15
January 08 2014, 09:15PM
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thank god Darnell Nurse got cut. Eakins, Smith, Buchberger, Acton, coaching staff would have destroyed him. PLEASE BABY JESUS LET THESE CLOWNS BE FIRED! KLOWE AND EAKINS!

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#104 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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#105 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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#106 Sold Tickets
January 09 2014, 11:27AM
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Vinny wrote:

Most businesses want repeat customers. If your customers are not happy with the product, they won't come back. Particularly if it's a luxury product, which is what Oiler games are.

Any revenue projections that the Oilers are making today that have all seats being sold over the next few years, are out to lunch. Hope of a winning team has kept the seats full thus far, but I don't think hope will keep the seats full over the next few years. Only winning will do that.

Although Katz could try to hold the team hostage, Edmontonians could do the same to his pharmacy business.

Agreed - also the tickets to games may be sold, but there are quite a few empty seats. At the St Louis game, there were more empty seats than I have seen in a very long time. And I went after I wasn't able to give away my tickets. I am sure the Pens game will be a full building, but now fans seem to show up to see the OTHER team, not the oilers.

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#107 **
January 08 2014, 04:02PM
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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!

"They see me Trollin' they hatin'"

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#108 HOFFFF
January 08 2014, 04:10PM
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wizeman wrote:

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.

Makes me think anybody can run a drug store...

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#109 Craig
January 08 2014, 05:36PM
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@Robin Brownlee

From what I take from your article is you think Kevin Lowe is someone that should take most of the blame and should be looked at for replacement and then you agreed with Gregor that he should only be fired if he has to fire Mac T and that we should all come to our own conclusions. I figured you would of stood your ground more on all the facts that you brought up and not seem so passive on Gregors comments.

Would of liked to hear you finish what you had to say before you got interrupted.

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#110 Serious Gord
January 08 2014, 06:52PM
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DigDeepNBleedBlue wrote:

Dude, your negativity is beyond irrational. It's a hockey team, not the presidency of the most powerful nation in the world. LOL

To stay within the times, though:

"You are in more dire need of a blowjob than any white man in history." - Adrian Cronauer

Sorry, brah! I pucking had to. LMFAO!!!

Trust me when I state that I'm not taking it that seriously.

I like finding similarities through history - my post above is one of those comparisons.

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#111 Ben Dover
January 09 2014, 11:09AM
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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.

"..this has got to be the bottom.."???

Actually, this organization hit bottom a few years back. Instead of climbing their way out, they just grabbed their shovels, kept digging and, lo and behold, their bottom had a basement. And then another, and another, and another...

When 6-Rings says "We are where we are.", it's simply another way of saying 'It is what it is.' Which is what people say when things are not as they should be, but they don't know why it happened or how to fix it. (Per Urban Dictionary, also see: f#!* it, screw it, i don't care, this is ridiculous, whatever, nothing we can do now, oh well, deal with it, tough sh!t, TFB.)

Regardless of the loonies getting fast-stacked at Oilers HQ, Lowe has not delivered the desired results as POHO, where the primary goal is to win, or at least contend for, the Stanley Cup. Thus, it's unfair to characterize loyal fans as 'bandwagon jumpers' because they feel Lowe should be fired or step down.

As a 'consultant', surely you can recognize a solution. Implement one, likely not; but at least recognize the problem and a possible fix.

Does Lowe want to right the ship? Of course he does. Can he? Well, he hasn't proven much so far, and admits he's been hands-on all along.

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#112 Derian Hatcher
January 09 2014, 11:26AM
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@Spydyr

You know those TV shows where a "consultant" of "expert" goes into a business (bar, restaurant etc.) and assesses what is wrong and/or why the businnes is floundering? Now I realize, there is always a flair for the drama on TV, but maybe the team needs a "makeover" starting at the top by someone WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND HAS BUILT SUCCESSFUL ON-ICE PRODUCT IN THE PAST.

Problem is, when the consultant asks "so how are things going?" the response would be - "Great - we are making boatloads of money and are moving into a new building that is mostly paid for by the citizens of this fair land"

"So what's the problem?"

"Oh there's no problem, some of our customers say they are unhappy with our product but they keep paying for it, so things must be good"

"Ok then, I guess I'm not needed here, where is my next assignment...oh here it is, can you tell me where I could find somthing called Alberta Health, or Alberta Education?

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#113 tileguy
January 09 2014, 12:10PM
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What I would do to fix this broken wagon.

Katz... finf Klowe a nice cerimonial position within Rexall.

Tell MacT you have until the end of the 2015 season to turn things around, Make a bold move, we understand you have to give up value to receive value, do it when it is right to do it.

MacT... decide on Eakins now, if he is a failure lets move on, if you think he is on to something he gets to the end of the 2015 season as well.

New assistants, lets shed the boys on the bus image now. I would also explore the idea of bringing back Krueger to co-coach.

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#114 Brian
January 09 2014, 06:15PM
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Katz is reportedly worth $4 Billion. Oilers are worth reportedly $400 million. A nice toy for Harrison to enjoy, and provides a job for some of the Boys on the Bus. If Katz looked at the Oilers as something other than a vehicle to fleece Edmonton then changes would be made.

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#115 Kr55
January 08 2014, 04:35PM
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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.

Scared of losing some of the access they get to the team? The Oilers are pretty candid to reporters with all the moves they want to make. Candid to a fault, projecting their needs and who we don't like on our team that we want to get rid of. That's the kind of great stuff no reporter that has to answer to his boss looking for stories is willing to lose access to.

You've seen how defiant Lowe is any time he is questioned. You'd probably be cut out of the inside info if you questioned him publicly so fast your head would spin.

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#116 Arius Mumin
January 08 2014, 05:05PM
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Puck_In_Throat wrote:

“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.

FIRE EAKINS!

*Friday night with the Penguins in town-perfect opportunity.

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#117 Oliveoiler
January 08 2014, 05:22PM
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If Mr. Lowe truly cares for the Oilers' organization, the fans and the people of Edmonton, he will do the decent thing and resign. By doing this he will retain some semblance of dignity, if not, I'd hate to be him having a quiet coffee anywhere in the city - he'd never avoid all the negativity. Yes, he WAS a good player, and not too bad a GM, but now, he's a dictator and the team wont thrive much longer with him in charge. PLEASE hand over the reins to MacT, as GM. A POHO is NOT needed, it was a created position to put someone somewhere when no-one knew what else to do with him. Give MacT the absolute right to choose his players. Give it up, PLEASE, you are destroying Edmonton's reputation and credibility. Brian Burke was never a favourite of mine, but reading what he said about KL leading the Oilers into the sewer makes me respect him a bit more. Come on ex #4, you time REALLY is up.

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#118 Hockey mom
January 08 2014, 06:11PM
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Sisyphus wrote:

I just feel badly for players like Hall. Drafted #1, should have had a glorious career. Made the mistake of signing a long contract in Edmonton, and has essentially locked himself into losing for the next 3-4 years as badly as this year.

Everyone knows unfortunately players like him won't have a remote shot of getting out of town unless they flat out refuse a trade. And even then, I can't see Oilers moving Hall--if they move him, they admit the past 6 years have been a bust. Never happening.

Poor guy. Sorry that you're stuck Hallsy--you really are a great player and deserve so much better than this pathetic joke of an organization

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

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#119 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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#120 camdog
January 09 2014, 03:44PM
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The Barons record last season (during the lockout) on the road with Eberle, Hall, RNH and Shultz was below 500 in the minors last season. Even in the AHL our young guns had trouble winning hockey games when checked by the other teams top line; even under the direction of Todd Nelson. If they can't lead a team to wins in the AHL, how can we honestly expect them to lead the team to wins in the NHL?

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#121 The Soup Fascist
January 08 2014, 03:03PM
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Apparently I cannot work a keyboard. Sorry for the double post, folks

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#122 The Soup Fascist
January 08 2014, 03:18PM
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To do with nothing wrote:

Best Minor hockey league teams name:

Beacon Heights Bandits [ Yosimite Sam was our logo] Kilkenny Komets Next ?

Yeah- tired of reading about losing and Lowe...

Castor Raiders

...tough to beat.

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#123 CMG30
January 08 2014, 04:32PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

You joke....but these are the fans that Lowe listens too.....unfortunately there is not as much anger in the general fan base as there is on this site or other social media sites. I'm not saying they are happy with the current state of affairs but they are willing to support the team and wait it out.

I know people who don't analyze things like we do here and they still enjoy going to the games.

I for one don't mind that Klowe made that statement because it's the bare truth. The people who pay the most get the most consideration. It might have been tone deaf but at least he had the balls to say it.

The unfortunate part is that it seems that the people who can afford the season tickets and skyboxes are not necessarily the people who care the most about the team. But as long as the people paying the bills are content nothing changes. If you want to know how long that can go on check out Toronto...

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#124 KBLOWES
January 08 2014, 04:57PM
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I had a dream that Rogers bought the Oilers from Katz and fired everybody and than hired some real professionals to run the team. Sad. As long as Katz owns the Oilers, Kevin Lowe will keep his job.

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#125 Sisyphus
January 08 2014, 05:27PM
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I just feel badly for players like Hall. Drafted #1, should have had a glorious career. Made the mistake of signing a long contract in Edmonton, and has essentially locked himself into losing for the next 3-4 years as badly as this year.

Everyone knows unfortunately players like him won't have a remote shot of getting out of town unless they flat out refuse a trade. And even then, I can't see Oilers moving Hall--if they move him, they admit the past 6 years have been a bust. Never happening.

Poor guy. Sorry that you're stuck Hallsy--you really are a great player and deserve so much better than this pathetic joke of an organization

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#126 M22
January 08 2014, 07:27PM
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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 assume that you are aware that the problems with this team started long before Eakins. So, if it is your assertion that Eakins is the one upon whom the majority of the blame lies, who does the finger get pointed at before 2013/14? Kreuger? And before him, Renney?...etc, etc, etc. Or, how about Tambellini? That hiring alone, hand-picked by Lowe, is almost a firing offense, in my books. Listening to him talk was truly awkward.

I agree with you that the team looks better on paper than ice, but who cares? Looks are deceiving. In my mind, there are two entities here in question: 1) the team, and 2) the organization. A team is a component of an org, albeit a pretty big one. Poor teams are often the result of poor organizations. Poor organizations are hardly ever the result of poor teams for SUCH a prologed period of time. Good orgs FIX poor teams. And it shouldn't take near 8 yrs, when you consider we had the #1 draft pick three years running.

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#127 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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#128 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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#129 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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#130 -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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#131 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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#132 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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#133 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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#134 steelymac
January 09 2014, 08:29PM
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@camdog

Eakins as a coach in the NHL has to adapt and not at the 28th game mark.He blew smoke up MacTs ass as to how he would do it and you know what he should sell used cars on Jasper ave.

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#135 Randaman
January 08 2014, 04:20PM
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Romanus wrote:

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.

Neither one of you will give up your tickets though will you? Wouldn't want to give up your seats in the new building? This is why Katz makes no changes. Why should he? Rebellion is more than posting, it takes ACTION! Easy for me to say I know but still...

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#136 Oilerz4life
January 08 2014, 05:23PM
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It is true, unfortunately, that the Edmonton Oilers organization should gut management. I used to get frustrated about hearing the fire Lowe rant all the time but its true. Lowe, MacTavish, Smith, Bucky, they should all be let go. The Edmonton Oilers need a fresh unbiased approach, with new experienced management put in place.

Its completely fair that that message needs to come across loud and clear from the fans until there is change. Seeing that this is an article about Lowe I don't mind adding my voice to the crowd. Also, jerseys on the ice and fire Lowe signs are par for the course. That is the voice that fans have to communicate their frustration and let that voice be heard. Fans are the ones paying for all of this and that's how we can communicate our appreciation for all that Lowe and company has contributed to the Edmonton Oilers.

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#137 Saytalk
January 08 2014, 07:59PM
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@Rama Lama

Consensus management doesn't work if it leads to Groupthink. I don't know if that's the case here, but I'm guessing the boys on the bus will agree more than disagree with one another.

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#138 Still in a rebuild
January 08 2014, 08:01PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

I would love to be a fly on the wall when the Oilers Brass are meeting and talking about the current state of affairs.

What I can't understand is when reporters finally have a chance to ask these clowns a tough questions, they become scared and ask the normal "cliche" type questions. I'm not suggesting this is true with ON reporters........more with the Main Stream TV media.

We as fans would love to ask Lowe and company certain tough questions..........no doubt this is harder in person, of that I am certain. There has to be someone out there with nothing left to lose, who will eventually have Lowe blowing a blood vessel.

Watching Oil Change, you certainly get the idea that the Oilers practice consensus management........and generally speaking that make for better decision making. The thing that is not so obvious is who is developing the macro-strategies ( you know the vision thing) that brand the organization.

The old Oiler brand was easily identified during Sathers tenure.......now I'm not sure any could define the brand including Klowe and Katz!!

Why doesn't the media go after Katz himself?

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#139 Walter Sobchak
January 08 2014, 10:14PM
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On articles like this, I sure do miss DSF & Doug the Slug they had some of the most insightful posts, along with great debates.

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#140 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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#141 BigE91
January 08 2014, 03:40PM
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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?

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#142 madjam
January 08 2014, 03:52PM
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Great minds think alike . Lowe appears to be in control of hiring those below him with similar beliefs . Sometimes it works , but does not appear to be doing the fans any favors , or accomplishing an on ice product capable of making even the playoffs anymore . Clean house - I doubt would make anything worse at this time , and new management would have plenty of time to change that philosophy and culture for next season . The sooner the better I feel , as this season is already lost .

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#143 Spydyr
January 08 2014, 05:03PM
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While watching the Blues Oilers game it was hard not to notice every shift the blues were much larger then the Oilers.They might be on to something there.

You think?

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#144 Robin Brownlee
January 08 2014, 05:05PM
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Craig wrote:

Very disappointing to hear robin back track on his story on air.

Back track on air? How so? Do explain.

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#145 Rama Lama
January 08 2014, 07:35PM
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I would love to be a fly on the wall when the Oilers Brass are meeting and talking about the current state of affairs.

What I can't understand is when reporters finally have a chance to ask these clowns a tough questions, they become scared and ask the normal "cliche" type questions. I'm not suggesting this is true with ON reporters........more with the Main Stream TV media.

We as fans would love to ask Lowe and company certain tough questions..........no doubt this is harder in person, of that I am certain. There has to be someone out there with nothing left to lose, who will eventually have Lowe blowing a blood vessel.

Watching Oil Change, you certainly get the idea that the Oilers practice consensus management........and generally speaking that make for better decision making. The thing that is not so obvious is who is developing the macro-strategies ( you know the vision thing) that brand the organization.

The old Oiler brand was easily identified during Sathers tenure.......now I'm not sure any could define the brand including Klowe and Katz!!

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#146 Oliveoiler
January 08 2014, 09:10PM
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For all the negativity, for all the rants, I STILL believe that when the cup comes back to Canada, it'll be through the Oilers' front door. The only problem is, I hope to be alive to see it!

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#147 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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#148 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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#149 Vinny
January 09 2014, 10:58AM
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@Anton

Most businesses want repeat customers. If your customers are not happy with the product, they won't come back. Particularly if it's a luxury product, which is what Oiler games are.

Any revenue projections that the Oilers are making today that have all seats being sold over the next few years, are out to lunch. Hope of a winning team has kept the seats full thus far, but I don't think hope will keep the seats full over the next few years. Only winning will do that.

Although Katz could try to hold the team hostage, Edmontonians could do the same to his pharmacy business.

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#150 Victor
January 09 2014, 11:09AM
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The way I see it, Lowe has the final say (excluding areas where Katz is involved) on everything. Therefore, he is responsible for what ails the team now. He's also the reason why this team will always have GM's like Tambellini and MacT, because no GM with a track record or highly sought after executive who's ready to take the next step will ever come here as long as he knows that the job includes having Lowe looking over his shoulder.

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