IF THERE'S EVER A CONCERN: HANDS ON

Robin Brownlee
January 08 2014 02:18PM

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT HE SAID

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo via @quickone1 on Twitter)

STARTS AT THE TOP

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

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

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

Draw your own conclusions.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 W
January 08 2014, 02:40PM
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You have to give Lowe full marks for being on the show. He is a courageous, bright, passionate man who loves the Oilers and will be successful in the end! Winning or losing is a group and team effort, leave Mr. Lowe alone! He is not the problem nor is Mr. MacTavish or Mr.Eakins!

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

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#3 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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#4 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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#5 DigDeepNBleedBlue
January 08 2014, 06:42PM
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@Serious Gord

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!!!

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

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

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

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#7 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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#8 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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#9 etownman
January 08 2014, 09:49PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

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

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

Will mr. Katz let it go that far?

Get a grip & quit your whining, MacT has taken over the rebuild & I'm confident the team is going to turn the corner!

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#10 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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#11 Consultant
January 09 2014, 10:25AM
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@Serious Gord

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

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#12 Consultant
January 08 2014, 10:10PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

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

Rubbish.

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

Or Hitchcock getting hired in St. Louis.

Your argument is ridiculous and nonsensical.

Do you not see that Babcock and Hitchcock are coaches?

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

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

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

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#13 Consultant
January 08 2014, 10:13PM
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oilcountryforlife wrote:

Here are my five wishes for the night

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

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

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

if not....

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

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

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

Crazy that you spew this hate but your name is OIlerfanforlife... wow so much for support the club when their down...

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#14 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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#15 Sal-Sational
January 08 2014, 03:13PM
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we need more signs at the game. "Lowe has to GO"!! - we need to pay whatever it takes to get 2 Solid D-Men - We need to get rid of Our 2 Assistant coaches who somehow managed to survive 3 head coach firings!! - we need a real second line center (maybe Yakimov whos 6'5 210lbs at age 19)

Line Combos should look something like:

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

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

Goalie: ?? ??

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

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

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#17 Blucifer Copperballs
January 08 2014, 02:55PM
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W wrote:

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

Go home, you're drunk.

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

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

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

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

MacTavish cleared the cupboards.

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

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

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

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

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#19 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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#20 Arius Mumin
January 08 2014, 10:26PM
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Consultant wrote:

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

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

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

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#22 anonymous
January 08 2014, 04:18PM
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** wrote:

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

Sure BEATS what you afre always holding in your hand!

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#23 Tikkanese
January 09 2014, 01:39PM
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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.

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#24 2004Z06
January 08 2014, 02:51PM
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W wrote:

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

Must be a Tier 1 fan.

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#25 **
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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#26 Anton
January 09 2014, 12:20AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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#27 bdiddy18
January 09 2014, 11:38AM
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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.

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

MacT is neutered.

Further to that conclusion.

what a joke.

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#29 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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#30 The Real Scuba Steve
January 09 2014, 08:24PM
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Rob F wrote:

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

You.. uh.. spelled.. Karma wrong...

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

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

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#33 **
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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#34 Taylor Gang
January 08 2014, 04:18PM
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A blog long overdue. Thank you Brownlee.

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

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#35 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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#36 Jerry
January 08 2014, 03:05PM
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Anybody else with Kevin Lowe's record would have been fired years ago.

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

How does this guy look himself in the mirror.

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

And the number on the back will be 2014

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#38 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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#39 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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#40 LURKEYSON
January 08 2014, 02:56PM
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W wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#42 A-Mc
January 08 2014, 04:36PM
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Craig wrote:

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

Credible writers tend to stick to facts they can prove. Until Lowe bumbled his way through a well placed question by Gregor, there was absolutely no proof of what he really did in the organization.

Even with the interview response, there is much left to be desired in terms of details, but it's a start.

I would suggest a sneaky follow up question like: "Have you ever had to pull the reigns on one of your GMs when maybe they wanted to make a move that you just couldn't let happen?"

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#43 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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#44 lucky
January 08 2014, 05:48PM
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W wrote:

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

Jasmine? Is that you?

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#45 pipeline
January 08 2014, 06:45PM
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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.

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#46 Time Travelling Sean
January 08 2014, 07:31PM
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IRC Kruger coached us to 10 straight losses down the stretch so he wasn't the savior either. I would've liked him as an assistant coach, but that might've been to awkward.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#49 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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#50 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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