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

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#202 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 09 2014, 05:20PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

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.

F&^KIN A!!!!

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#203 jay
January 09 2014, 08:26PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

It's been said here before....hockey is a business...as long as the business is making money hand over fist the POHO is probably secure in his position....in business it's called "the bottom line"

Yes, but its also been said that hockey is a results based business. The results aren't there. The fans are in revolt. It kind of looks like the writing is on the wall for Lowe. The Oilers organization has themselves said that in this business sometimes you just come to a crossroads and its time to move on. Obviously its time to move on for Kevin Lowe.

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#204 mayorblaine
January 10 2014, 05:49AM
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it is the job of Patrick LaForge to make money for this organization, despite the best efforts of Lowe, he continues to do so.

Lowe is hockey. the hockey sucks. has for a long time. accountability. the word needs meaning.

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#205 Rob F
January 08 2014, 09:15PM
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how is this Kevin Lowes problem.

Hes not the one not back checking, or playing 60 minutes a night. This is the a player problem and their dogged playing.

Unfortunately as the Oilers were finishing 30th and 29th, there were no Towes, or Crosbys or Malkins or Ovechkins.

Its just been a bad time to finish last

Get over it, He is POHO not GM or coach or player

Its easy for everyone to just want someone fired. He has a family and bills like everybody else. I find it quite distasteful that everyone want another person to be fired and out of a job

you 'fans' are so bloodthirsty......bad carma......shame on you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#207 Rob...
January 09 2014, 12:37PM
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I wonder if this isn't a Katz strategy, similar to the war movie where the one guy fires off a bunch of rounds and tries to draw off the majority of the enemy while the majority of his comrades escape unscathed. Perhaps Lowe was ordered to 'fall on his sword' and state to the media that he has been in control all along, just before Katz lets him go from the PoHO position. He'll of course be hired to another position within the Katz empire for his faithful service.

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#208 Tikkanese
January 09 2014, 03:18PM
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S cottV wrote:

Well - I think he is on the cusp of losing the room and it won't take much more adversity before it's gone. Once you lose the room - you're done.

He has had long enough to ingrain his systems and philosophies, to the point that we should be seeing some improvements. Indications of a player group buy in that gives a sense of things coming together. After a reasonable time a coach is only as good as his ability to influence his players to buy in.

Have you, or even your 5th cousin been in the room? No.

A coach is only as good as the players given to him. Gagner, Yakupov, Dubnyk, Acton, the entire defense just to name a few have not been playing like NHL players for 95% of the season so far. Scotty Bowman couldn't coach this effort anywhere near the playoffs either.

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#209 Hauk15
January 09 2014, 03:30PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Have you, or even your 5th cousin been in the room? No.

A coach is only as good as the players given to him. Gagner, Yakupov, Dubnyk, Acton, the entire defense just to name a few have not been playing like NHL players for 95% of the season so far. Scotty Bowman couldn't coach this effort anywhere near the playoffs either.

The entire team is worse under Eakins. This team was out of the playoffs in October. Fire him and get someone who is a legitimate NHL proven coach. MacT should be coach and gm. The players that don't buy in will than easily be singled out and gone. Next fan to get in a yelling match with MacT, please put this idea into his head. Fire Eakins. Coach the team yourself.

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#210 HOFFFF
January 09 2014, 04:11PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Eakins isn't going anywhere. 5 coaches in 6 years, will not become 6 in 6 or 6 in 7 for that matter. That's just ridiculous. The fact that Eakins AHL squad easily adapted his Swarm and was very succesful with it is further proof that the players are the biggest problem with the Oilers. Not to mention that OKC has adapted the Swarm this season with no problems.

The assistant coaches could and quite possibly should be on the move.

Some of the players will be on the move first. It's just a matter of time. MacT doesn't want to make losing trades just for the sake of a shakeup and why should he? The season is lost already anyways.

Eakins has played for 20 different teams in 15 years. He was either a weak player or knew nothing about how the game is played. Our goalie coach only played 34 games in the NHL. Bucky and Steve Smith? Theres a couple of tacticians. Howson? Bizarre.

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#211 Ryan2
January 09 2014, 04:40PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Eakins isn't going anywhere. 5 coaches in 6 years, will not become 6 in 6 or 6 in 7 for that matter. That's just ridiculous. The fact that Eakins AHL squad easily adapted his Swarm and was very succesful with it is further proof that the players are the biggest problem with the Oilers. Not to mention that OKC has adapted the Swarm this season with no problems.

The assistant coaches could and quite possibly should be on the move.

Some of the players will be on the move first. It's just a matter of time. MacT doesn't want to make losing trades just for the sake of a shakeup and why should he? The season is lost already anyways.

The fact that the SWARM does not work in the NHL is an indictment of the coach, not the players, as it is a flawed strategy that only works against less skilled players in the minors or juniors. It was a farce watching how many wide-open chances other teams had because the Oilers would overcommit under the SWARM. All of the ex-coach and player talking heads in the media that I heard commenting on it said the same thing - the SWARM can work in juniors, and maybe the AHL, but in the NHL it means that someone is always open and the players are good enough to find them. All it takes to beat the SWARM is two quick passes and you will find the open man in the high slot.

Eakins came into the big leagues with an AHL system and approach that would not work and the team was burned by it. That shows his inexperience. The question now is whether he is able to adapt and grow. So far, he has not shown that ability.

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#212 RSD
January 09 2014, 08:43PM
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jay wrote:

Yes, but its also been said that hockey is a results based business. The results aren't there. The fans are in revolt. It kind of looks like the writing is on the wall for Lowe. The Oilers organization has themselves said that in this business sometimes you just come to a crossroads and its time to move on. Obviously its time to move on for Kevin Lowe.

You missed Die Nasty's point. He is saying that it doesn't matter what the fans have to say about how D.Katz's company is being ran. If the fans were revolt, Rexall would be 3/4 empty. Throwing a jersey on the ice is not revolt it is a gesture of disgust. If someone gives up their season tickets because they are fed-up with the hockey based results, then why is there 10 people in line to buy them. That my friend is the exact results that Mr.Katz cares about. Hockey based results are for fans, stats people and the media.

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#213 Oilerz4life
January 10 2014, 05:44AM
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Just read an interesting article about the Oilers issues from the dressing room. Apparently Hall, Ebs and the kids effing hate Eakins. Apparently they liked Krueger but hate Eakins and that Mac-T, Lowe and company are behind it all trying to keep the kids in line. Apparently Katz is on the kids side but for some reason the whole mess is going sideways under Lowe, Mac-T and Eakins. Apparently handing the reins over to the kids under a good players coach like Krueger benefits the play of the team. Go figure. If that is the case then it just adds validity to the argument that Lowe, Mac-T and Eakins should be let go, with good experienced management put in place, with a good players coach. Makes sense to me. No where in the league is there an old boys club like Edm. Its a joke. Lowe. Mac-T. Bucky. Smith. Eakins. Should all be fired. Period.

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#214 Hockey Fan 1976
January 10 2014, 08:06AM
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"With 10 Olympians to the Edmonton Oilers’ three, St. Louis Blues dominations shouldn't come as a shock "

This is one of the resons I am beyond frustrated with the Edmonton media and Oilers. Yes, the statement is true, but you don't see the other 28 teams that have lost or will lose to the Blues write this on their papers as a feaking excuse for losing. Terry Jones, I know you are worried in losing access previlages to the team, but think of why you got into writing in the first place. i am sure integrity was floating around at one point of your career. It's because of writers like you that fans are still in denial and KLowe has a job still. Just STOP!!

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#215 David S
January 08 2014, 03:38PM
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Kr55 wrote:

Katz is letting these guys spend to the cap though. Of course it's Katz's fault that we have a terrible team because he keeps Lowe in charge. But if he just replaced Lowe with someone actually qualified to run a team in the NHL in 2014, we would be just fine. Instead of a bunch of stupid ideas being presented to him to OK for blowing all his money, he would get smart ones.

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

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

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#216 Days
January 08 2014, 03:56PM
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The Flames have two really good goalies we should be able to trade Eberle for on of them.

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#217 Rod from Viking
January 08 2014, 04:08PM
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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...

Our rec hockey team had Chicago Sweaters and the crest had Foghorn Leghorn laying on the ice concussed and the Chicken Hawk skating away with the puck, the name of course was "The Chicken Hawks"

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#218 Consultant
January 08 2014, 06:46PM
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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...

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#219 DigDeepNBleedBlue
January 08 2014, 07:06PM
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@Serious Gord

Brah, you're not going to use words like "ridiculous" and "nonsensical" to describe other people's posts are you?

Yes, you are! LOL

This whole internet thing is pucking awesome!!!

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#220 outdoorzguy
January 09 2014, 03:36PM
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Rob... wrote:

I wonder if this isn't a Katz strategy, similar to the war movie where the one guy fires off a bunch of rounds and tries to draw off the majority of the enemy while the majority of his comrades escape unscathed. Perhaps Lowe was ordered to 'fall on his sword' and state to the media that he has been in control all along, just before Katz lets him go from the PoHO position. He'll of course be hired to another position within the Katz empire for his faithful service.

What else could Loser Lowe do? Be the flu vaccinator at a Rexall pharmacy?

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#221 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 09 2014, 05:45PM
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Deke Rivers wrote:

It's not really a question of whether or not Lowe has a say, too much say, a group decision, a love in or whatever. He's the President of Operations and he's the one accountable. End of story. I can't believe that Katz became a billionaire by having executives stay in positions they were no longer effective in. Even the best executives, players, employees run their course with an organization. Scotty Bowman has moved on several times.Lowe is responsible, he's had his chance to make changes. It's time to try something new. Katz is too smart to not make the change while allowing Lowe to save face.

It's been said here before....hockey is a business...as long as the business is making money hand over fist the POHO is probably secure in his position....in business it's called "the bottom line"

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#222 Ted
January 09 2014, 09:02PM
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The Oilers front office have been a nightmare for years. It sounds like they try and make deals from a position of power and just end up not making any useful trades. They need a reality check. The franchise is a joke and not relevant...the only press they good is for how bad they are, how poorly they handled their talent and years of high draft picks. Time for the GM to get a clue and make some moves that he may not be the clear cut winner on.

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#223 China town man
January 08 2014, 06:25PM
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If my kids wher to miss behave or fall on deaf ears A little smack on the butt cheeks really get their attention!!! So Dallas Eakin loveing your Oiler players like they are your kids is good preaching is great, the only problem is they your kids aren't listening to you your pre game and after game talk is great but it is getting boring same old poop different pile!!! Maybe it is time to open a can of woop ass!!!! Just saying.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#227 Eric
January 09 2014, 11:48AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Logan Couture is out he just had surgery.

Yes but Logan stated he was told it was not the injury that kept him off the team.

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#228 Tikkanese
January 09 2014, 03:12PM
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steelymac wrote:

The NHL and AHL are two different things.The AHL is made up of players that 95% are not capable of playing at the NHL speed where the "SWARM" may work.Eakins never had the Halls,Yaks or any other world class prospects to develop and its showing with the way they are developing.Thoroughbreds don't pull plows they race.Eakins has to adapt his systems to the players on the roster and the way they are used.The thing standing in the way of that is his EGO or inexperience with those types of players.I am all for him teaching Yak the 200 foot game but the personality he portrays I am not.I would hope he praises Yak after the last game cause in my eyes he was great.The AHL can be a scrambley game comparedes to the NHL and that's been well documented,so in my opinion the "SWARM" may work better in the AHL then the NHL.If there is a successful team in the NHL employing that system I would like to see it,if not Eakins has to adapt to one that works for the OIL.

The "NHL" players on the Oilers couldn't even grasp the concept, nor employ it in the games. AHL players on two different teams from two different coaches, one of which was Eakins, grasped it easily. It has nothing to do with speed. In fact, speed would help immensely with the "SWARM".

Besides, Eakins scrapped the Swarm early in the season. I only brought it up because people keep using it as a crutch to lean on for firing him.

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#229 oilerjed
January 09 2014, 03:26PM
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YO ON! Where is todays daily fix?? Its getting late and ill be leaving work soon. Who has time at home to sit on the computer and read? Lets get on with it.

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#230 Deke Rivers
January 09 2014, 05:33PM
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It's not really a question of whether or not Lowe has a say, too much say, a group decision, a love in or whatever. He's the President of Operations and he's the one accountable. End of story. I can't believe that Katz became a billionaire by having executives stay in positions they were no longer effective in. Even the best executives, players, employees run their course with an organization. Scotty Bowman has moved on several times.Lowe is responsible, he's had his chance to make changes. It's time to try something new. Katz is too smart to not make the change while allowing Lowe to save face.

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#231 Consultant
January 09 2014, 05:57PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

What position do you hold within the Oilers management? Just curious

Just a loyal fan with perhaps too much nastalgia and too much optimism.

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#232 Brian
January 09 2014, 06:32PM
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Consultant wrote:

Just a loyal fan with perhaps too much nastalgia and too much optimism.

Nostalgia.

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#233 BIngBong
January 10 2014, 09:24AM
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camdog wrote:

Was at that game and understand exactly what are you speaking of. The high slot was open for the talking each and every game for the first quarter of the season.

What I don't understand is how Mact could have bought into the swarm when he hired Eakins? And no doubt about it the Swarm would have been discussed. If the system is so bad and no other NHL team in the NHL would play it how could Mact have hired a coach for selling it? Was this the Bold move Mact was speaking of? Why doesn't anybody in the media bring this up?

If you remember, after a month or so of the "swarm" Eakins finally canned it saying that the team had no idea how to play "basic defensive hockey", so properly executing the swarm was an impossibilty.

There's so much wrong with all this that I don't know what to say.

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#234 Oilbaron
January 10 2014, 11:48AM
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Did anyone actually think this team was improving last year? Would have been interesting to see where they would have ended up after a full 82 games.

Krueger was more amiable, and set less restrictions on his players for sure, but his team couldn't hold a candle to the rest 5x5.

OH NO, the players don't like Eakins (by the way there is no evidence to back up this claim), maybe its because they already got their 6 million and they've never had a coach tell them they weren't working hard enough before.

The way I see it Krueger's 'eventual' Oilers would make it into the playoffs by way of their special teams, and get knocked off by the first big team they faced (a la Toronto or Washington style).

Eakins' would be Oilers will compete 5x5 with the big dogs, and will be a team that has a chance to win against anyone on any given night.

Maybe I have too much faith in Eakins, but for a team whose management has basically hung them out to dry, there are many positive signs early in this BRAND NEW NHL coach's career

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#235 To do with nothing
January 08 2014, 03:21PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Castor Raiders

...tough to beat.

Lol - not bad bro, not bad .

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#236 David S
January 08 2014, 03:23PM
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"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"

The whole team is neutered. As Lowe said, inevitably Katz makes the final call. Nothing changes until he makes winning the number 1 objective of this team.

Firing Lowe won't make any difference whatsoever, despite what everybody thinks.

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#237 2004Z06
January 08 2014, 03:31PM
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-30- wrote:

"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-

Ahem! That's desert...ha ha.

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#238 DAVE
January 08 2014, 04:49PM
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Going with out a dedicated farm team was'nt K-Lowes fault, during the time of EIG, which I believe hurt player devolopement and acquisition within the organization very badly, but surely that should have been overcome by now. If not K-Lowes fault, then what or who is the problem? As the POHO It is my opinion that he should have the arrows at the very least pointing in the right direction by now. Unless it is Katz( Iam going to spend to the cap every year) to cheap to invest in such things.

Fan's in other city's might quit going to games because of the economy, but that won't be the case here, if that is indeed what happens. If the fans in Edmonton had a hockey team to be proud of, and had to decide if baby gets new shoes or go to a game? Well baby would have to wait for those shoes.

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#239 **
January 08 2014, 04:50PM
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problem is the six rings only excite your avarice, and they were made to control only dwarves. Klowe needs to go to Mordor to get the one ring to rule them all.

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#240 Harlie
January 08 2014, 05:46PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Castor Raiders

...tough to beat.

I was on a minor soccer team in Fort Saskatchewan in the 80's..we were laughably called..

The Coffee House Blue Boys

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#241 Oneeye
January 08 2014, 06:50PM
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Butters wrote:

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.

That is definitely not the issue. The teams value has only gone up exponentially while sucking. Good timing I would say as I give him very little credibility for anything else.

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

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#243 Spydyr
January 09 2014, 12:10PM
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Eric wrote:

Yes but Logan stated he was told it was not the injury that kept him off the team.

Oh, sorry missed that.

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#244 outdoorzguy
January 09 2014, 03:48PM
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Spydyr wrote:

On the business end of things Katz has done well for himself with the Oilers. He paid 200 million for them in 2007.They are now worth 400 million. That is one nice return on his investment. He has a new taxpayer funded arena going up. Now there is word he has his hand in an office tower to be built to house City employees. Pretty sweet deal.

The problem with the Oilers is the on ice product and that buck stops at The President of Hockey Operations (POHO).

Full STOP.

And this is where former Mayor Mandel comes into play. He will probably become President of Office Tower Operations. All as part of his reward for seeing the very bad for taxpayers new arena being built.

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#245 Oilerz4life
January 09 2014, 04:11PM
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bdiddy18 wrote:

While Kevin Lowe is undeniably a central figure and the most influential of the management team, if you think Craig Mactavish, Dallas Eakins and Stu McGregor and the owner Darryl Katz are a bunch of YES men, well you clearly dont hold any of these men in high regard.

in the personalities and interviews of all these indiviudals, there is no way you can conlude that any of the rest of the centrepieces are a bunch of pushovers.

yes there assistants as well (Olyck, Howson, Acton, Buchberger and Smith) but when the chips fall, its Katz, Lowe, MacT, Eakins and McGregor that would form the final call on a player or draft pick

AND I highly doubt a discussion at that table is a bunch of robots dancing the same tune. AND it should be a group deciding...provides more perspective and more debate to the decision.

People love to make complexity out of everything. I go back to the first ever press conference (actually the only one - LOL) Katz has ever had... We he took on the ownership of the team he stated - he wasn't interest in a playoff team he was interested in a team that could dominate the league again. He wants MULTIPLE CUPS not 8th/9th place finishes.

The stark reality is the Oilers were not even close to being a multiple cup threat when he took over and really no potential in its system to become one. Basically starting again like a 1979 expansion team with one MAJOR difference - this time they didn't have a teenager that was going to be the greatest of all time already under contract and begin his career with the Oilers.

For the first part of Katz "multiple cup" agenda they did try to purchase it (Hossa, Heatley, Vanek) etc when the finally realized it was a useless endevaour - they braced for the build within format which they UNDERESTIMATED the length of time it would take.

But they are in it thick now. There is no point of return other than sludge on through. Outside of the draft picks which are demonstrating the potential of what is to come...the rest is a mess.

perhaps by design though...remember the Multiple Cup agenda.... you need a cupboard full of promising prospects not just one or two to complete the feat.

Doubt the leadership all you want that they can't finish the job. But they are not changing any time soon so I'm hoping they can - I got nothing left but hope, everything else has been drained out of me over these 8 years.

Hope dies a slow painful death. A full house cleaning is in order. Lowe, MacTavish, Bukky, Smith, Eakins. The works. Experienced proven hockey management should be put in place. Expendable people that have to prove themselves and have no connection to an 80's old boys club. This team is a joke. We need bigger, stronger, tougher. The ownership group iced a way stronger team than this. This Katz era crap is a joke. Clean the f#@%ing house. Players too. Run and gun talented crap. Give me the Boston f#@%ing Bruins in Oilers jerseys. Im sick of this crap. Cant take it anymore.

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#246 S cottV
January 09 2014, 05:18PM
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Ryan2 wrote:

The fact that the SWARM does not work in the NHL is an indictment of the coach, not the players, as it is a flawed strategy that only works against less skilled players in the minors or juniors. It was a farce watching how many wide-open chances other teams had because the Oilers would overcommit under the SWARM. All of the ex-coach and player talking heads in the media that I heard commenting on it said the same thing - the SWARM can work in juniors, and maybe the AHL, but in the NHL it means that someone is always open and the players are good enough to find them. All it takes to beat the SWARM is two quick passes and you will find the open man in the high slot.

Eakins came into the big leagues with an AHL system and approach that would not work and the team was burned by it. That shows his inexperience. The question now is whether he is able to adapt and grow. So far, he has not shown that ability.

Exactly - his admitted trial and error learning curve cost this team points to the extent that they were out of any kind of playoff contention by mid Nov.

The swarm - for one of several things, was and still is a disaster in its mutated form.

I never thought the team was good enough to make the playoffs from the get go, but thought that they would at least stay in hopeful contention for much of the year. Play some meaningful games based on some even feint hope to go on a run and maybe get some help - to squeeze into an 11th hour playoff spot.

Now - we are in 29th place and could even slip to 30th by the end of the month, with who we are playing and with games that Buffalo has in hand.

The players know that this is worse than it needed to be.

It wont take much more adversity before things go too far and Eakins will lose that room.

If he is adapting and growing it will start to show. Not so much just in wins and losses but how things look to be shaping up for the better.

At this point - I am not sure anything looks better....

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#247 Byks
January 09 2014, 05:18PM
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"Who wants to be responsible? Whenever anything goes wrong, the first thing they ask is: who's responsible for this?" - Jerry Seinfeld

If you had a very, very large role in what's gone on over these past several years, and you're still involved (promoted, even, as some others have already mentioned), then you should be gone. Sorry, Mr. Lowe. But you're responsible for a LOT of this mess.

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#248 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 09 2014, 05:33PM
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Anton wrote:

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

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

may have been said but it does not take a genius to make money on the NHL in Edmonton when the economy is rolling. It is a no brainer only the truly insipid could screw this up.

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#249 madjam
January 10 2014, 11:34AM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

Just read an interesting article about the Oilers issues from the dressing room. Apparently Hall, Ebs and the kids effing hate Eakins. Apparently they liked Krueger but hate Eakins and that Mac-T, Lowe and company are behind it all trying to keep the kids in line. Apparently Katz is on the kids side but for some reason the whole mess is going sideways under Lowe, Mac-T and Eakins. Apparently handing the reins over to the kids under a good players coach like Krueger benefits the play of the team. Go figure. If that is the case then it just adds validity to the argument that Lowe, Mac-T and Eakins should be let go, with good experienced management put in place, with a good players coach. Makes sense to me. No where in the league is there an old boys club like Edm. Its a joke. Lowe. Mac-T. Bucky. Smith. Eakins. Should all be fired. Period.

Sounds like a hoax to me . Did you write the article yourself or just trolling ?

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#250 Tikkanese
January 10 2014, 01:27PM
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camdog wrote:

Craig Button on Stauffer's show just threw Eakins under the bus "the swarm was never going to work".

Just like Craig Button's Flames.

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