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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#152 Anton
January 08 2014, 10:53PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

I received a call from the Oilers office yesterday,asking me about my fan experience at hockey games and what I thought of the team.I told her, I wasn't going to renew after 14 years as a season seat holder,that the Oilers sucked and that I was tired of wasting my money,she sounded surprised and said I could sell my tickets on the NHL ticket exchange,I told her,that I had tried and that no one wanted them,she asked how much I was asking for them, I told her below face value,she then said why didn't I just donate the tickets to charity, I told her I was no longer going to subsidize the team and that I already donate money to various charity's !!! I asked her if she could rely a message to Patrick Laforge for me,the reason for the empty seats is because the team is losing, not because of the weather,the lady on the other end of the phone repeated what Laforge said, no,no it really has to do with the weather,I asked her if she was reading from a card and there was silence on the other end of the phone. How can the Oilers be so disconnected with the fan base? I don't think Katz even understands WTF is happening here.I know quite a few season seat holders who are in the same situation as me,they will no longer support this team unless there are major changes,once it starts affecting the Oilers bottom line, then the team will respond with change, until then, it will remain business as usual.

It is truly sad to read that, I still remember when Pocklington was trying to sell the team to Texas but was remained in Edmonton because of the local commitment to the team. Truly sad that to know an Oilers fan will stop going to the game because of the disappointment and frustration about how poorly the team has been ran.

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#153 madjam
January 09 2014, 08:33AM
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One can hardly blame Tams for the mistakes of the group , as his hands were obviously tied by that group . Sounds like Katz and Lowe run the show , while others are simply pawns .

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#154 #ThereGoesTheOilers
January 09 2014, 11:11AM
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Anton wrote:

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

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

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

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

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#155 camdog
January 09 2014, 12:21PM
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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.

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

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

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#156 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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#157 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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#158 RJ
January 09 2014, 10:38PM
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This type of article makes me wonder about Jim Nill. Apprenticed for a long time with a successful org. Then when he decided to go out on his own, he had the knowledge and experience to act bold, not just talk about it.

If I was a hot prospect GM, why would I come to Edmonton when I know KLowe is going to stand over my shoulder monitoring everything? I could care less about the GM getting along with the Edmonton media. Get one that produces. Clean out all the cobwebs from the KLowe days. Ditch MacT. Keep Eakins. And bring in someone who doesn't carry the stink of KLowe.

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#159 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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#160 Cynic
January 08 2014, 03:21PM
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There is one person in that photo who is critical to Carpetbagger Katz's tenure as owner of the Oilers. And it's not Kevin Lowe.

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#161 -30-
January 08 2014, 03:24PM
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"At the end of the way..."? Huh?

Maybe at the end of the day?

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

Guess I was wrong. :(

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

-30-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#163 Blucifer Copperballs
January 08 2014, 03:35PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Castor Raiders

...tough to beat.

Book Hockey

NOTE* you will have to say it a few times fast to get it.

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

Nice article.

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#165 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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#166 **
January 08 2014, 03:56PM
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If there is ever a concern...

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

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

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

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

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#169 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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#170 Hoozonphirst
January 08 2014, 05:02PM
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To 'you of the 6 rings whose name cannot be spoken by mere mortals', I pray the next piece of paper you receive is pink and written with crayon if that helps you.

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#171 wizeman
January 08 2014, 05:18PM
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@jybute

I lived thru the Ballard years in Toronto and see the same thing happening here. Lowe was put in place to run a hockey team. Using your argument can you imagine how much more he would make if this team was winning. You or I could make this team make money given the loyalty here in this city. What most fans want is a competitive team. Changes are necessary if only to improve the optics of the situation. ( See coaching carousel)

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#172 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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#173 Sisyphus
January 08 2014, 05:34PM
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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

Gah. Not *refuse* a trade, rather unless they demand a trade, publicly

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

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

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

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

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

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

Etc. etc. etc.

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

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

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#178 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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#179 Serious Gord
January 08 2014, 08:11PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

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

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

SJ Anh NYR SJ Anh Pho Anh Col La Van

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

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

Full stop.

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

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

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#181 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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#182 GTL
January 08 2014, 09:06PM
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Everything that is klowe, is why I'm an indifferent fan. In case he is concerned.

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

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

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

A few facts as I see them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#184 G-Unit
January 08 2014, 10:03PM
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Oilers fan since I was a 7 year old boy. Dancing and jumping like a fool when they beat the Habs. Cried when the Islanders beat them. Screamed and cried when they beat the Islanders. Cheered when we beat our beloved Wayne. Sang "Oh Canada" and The Star Spangled Banner at the top of my lungs with tears in my eyes in '06 against San Jose. Was excited to get Hall, Nuge and Yak. Today I feel like my Oilers have finally begun to take that passion for granted. Maybe its just my old eyes seeing the light.

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#185 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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#186 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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#187 Serious Gord
January 09 2014, 10:36AM
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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.

Actually, it is evident from klowe himself that he is involved in both those position's decisions - thus he is responsible and at fault.

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#188 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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#189 morgie
January 09 2014, 10:59AM
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Anton wrote:

6lings behind the whole decision making is one of the worst kept secret in the league. Gregor merely confirm the suspicion that most of the fans have. Ask Lombardi about when he called out the entire Oilers organization about the whole Fraser/Smyth mess that who he has in mind?

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

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

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

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

- pursuing Danny Heatly and consequently missing out on signing Glencross

- Drafting Marc Pouliot instead of Zach Parise

- Getting nothing for Sheldon Souray

- Letting Brodziak go for nothing

- etc.etc

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#190 Spydyr
January 09 2014, 11:01AM
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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.

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#191 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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#192 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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#193 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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#194 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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#195 Ed in Edmonton
January 09 2014, 12:28PM
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camdog wrote:

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

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

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

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#196 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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#197 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 09 2014, 03:08PM
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Something painful just occurred to me.........watch Brian Burke trade Smid at the deadline to the Bruins for a late first round draft pick......just to rub it in MacT 's face!

Now that would hurt!

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#198 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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#199 Chris.
January 09 2014, 03:48PM
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I also don't think Craig MacTavish automatically deserves more time as GM.

During his long tenure as coach both Craig and Kevin publicly acknowledged that MacTavish had considerable input and influence on many managerial player personnel type decisions. Klowe, Howsen and MacTavish rebuilt the roster after Pronger left in a manner they belived would be competitive in the "New NHL"...

Now that the whole band is back together there are already similar patterns emerging from both eras: the inflated expectations, flip flops, knee jerk reactions, drama, and lack of general due diligence. All of this seems to illustrate that these guys have no real plan and are kind of just winging it.

. Are we building through the draft... or is this years first overall pick in play? (depends on the day I guess) Do we "change gears" and begin to really stockpile NHL players... or ship guys out for futures... (Smid?)

The MacIntyre thing is most disturbing. Would that be a flip flop or a knee jerk? How about basic poor due diligence? Maybe the fellas at Kingsway didn't really know what they had in Gadzdic... but there is no excuse to not have a bead on Smac's ability. Certainly the plan could not have been to push up tight against the contract limit with guys like McIntyre and Grebeshkov so that guys like Smid need to be dumped to make room to replace a useless goalie recommended by pro scouting.....

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#200 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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