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 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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#202 camdog
January 09 2014, 05:05PM
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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.

I am not an expert on the Swarm, but if what you are saying is correct, it's just as much on Mact as it is on Eakins.

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#203 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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#204 Brian
January 09 2014, 06:15PM
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Katz is reportedly worth $4 Billion. Oilers are worth reportedly $400 million. A nice toy for Harrison to enjoy, and provides a job for some of the Boys on the Bus. If Katz looked at the Oilers as something other than a vehicle to fleece Edmonton then changes would be made.

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#205 outdoorzguy
January 09 2014, 08:25PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Cold Beeeerr, ice cold beeerr.

Are you the beer hawker who is always sweating onto the tops of the beer in your case?

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#206 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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#207 Rod from Viking
January 09 2014, 09:39PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

Are you the beer hawker who is always sweating onto the tops of the beer in your case?

No I was just trying to be humorous, the beer guy on our side(section 114) has been packing beer for at least 10 years and he still runs to the bottom. I think that might be who you mean.

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#208 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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#209 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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#210 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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#211 Tikkanese
January 10 2014, 11:51AM
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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.

I never said or meant that the Swarm would work. That is debateable as it is a newer system. People also thought Lemaire was crazy for his defensive system until they started winning cups. I meant that the Oilers failed at executing it. They did not execute it the way it was taught to them. That is why he ended up scrapping it.

Why "NHL" players on the Oilers could not execute this system when AHL players could is what you should be asking. There are probably many reasons for that. The players themselves. 5 coaches in 6 years could be part of it. At least 5 systems in 6 years as well. None of which is Eakins fault. Changing coaches yet again will just further compound those issues.

If the system itself fails that is one thing, but the players failed at even executing the system properly. So we'll never know if the system itself was also a failure at the NHL level. Unless Eakins or another coach try it again.

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#212 bleedingoil
January 10 2014, 12:40PM
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hall the time wrote:

Read through comments man your so off topic right now.

When Eakins said they don't know basic defensive hockey he's throwing all previous coach's under the boys on the bus.

asshat, I am not reading 270 comments just to appease your need for consistency in the topic at hand. I am sure the topic the collective group of armchair GMs and owners have discussed changed more times than the coaching staff has in the last 7 years. The quick way to fix this trainwreck organization is to make a quick trade for the pieces we need to win today. Until Katz, Lowe, MacT and Eakins lace up and play some hockey, you gotta stop blaming them for the effort put forth by our players. Our players consistently give pucks away, pass to the opposition, screen our goalies, play out of position, watch as their teammates get pummeled by guys 6 inches taller and 20+ pounds heavier. That wont change if Lowe is gone, or MacT or Eakins. it is a problem on the ice and dressing room between players. They do NOT know defensive hockey and anyone with a television and one eye can see that.

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#213 camdog
January 10 2014, 01:01PM
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Craig Button on Stauffer's show just threw Eakins under the bus "the swarm was never going to work".

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#214 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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#215 camdog
January 08 2014, 03:21PM
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How many assistant coaches have survived multiple head coach firings and GM firings? It just doesn't happen, not unless there's somebody higher in the organisation protecting them. It's been pretty obvious from the start the Kevin Lowe does exert significant influence on his GM's. I don't understand how this can even be disputed?

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#216 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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#217 Kr55
January 08 2014, 04:49PM
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Craig wrote:

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

John MacKinnon I believe was the guy. Looks like he has been writing about the Esks and mainly game review type articles about the Oilers. Don't think he was sticking his neck out with his questioning of Lowe quite as much as some other "insider" type guys would have been.

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#218 Moog's helmet
January 08 2014, 05:05PM
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Well we know Kevin Lowe can help assemble the best team in hockey (Canadian men's olympic team) and the worst ( Edmonton Oilers) Question is, can he do anything in between? He had a great run of decision making in 2006 but I think at this point we can safely chalk that up to a fluke. I know a lot of people say "Why fire him? What does that do? Will the team improve? No." But his time is up, just like Horcoff's was. He's emblematic of this team's failure and based on his history there is a zero percent chance he's helping this team get better going forward. Zero. He assures us he's just as frustrated as the fans. That's cute. Wonder if making millions of dollars to watch this team makes it any easier. I'd love to give it a try.

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#219 camdog
January 08 2014, 05:16PM
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Moog's helmet wrote:

Well we know Kevin Lowe can help assemble the best team in hockey (Canadian men's olympic team) and the worst ( Edmonton Oilers) Question is, can he do anything in between? He had a great run of decision making in 2006 but I think at this point we can safely chalk that up to a fluke. I know a lot of people say "Why fire him? What does that do? Will the team improve? No." But his time is up, just like Horcoff's was. He's emblematic of this team's failure and based on his history there is a zero percent chance he's helping this team get better going forward. Zero. He assures us he's just as frustrated as the fans. That's cute. Wonder if making millions of dollars to watch this team makes it any easier. I'd love to give it a try.

"Sometimes change is good for both the organization and the player, but at the same time they're valuable players and we're not in a position where we're able to move them without getting something substantial in return...I have a lot of allegiance and a lot of loyalty to 'Horc' and to Ales. I have a lot of respect for both those players. But from both those perspectives, I think the ideal scenario would be to move them on and wish them the best in their next destination."

Craig Mactavish

Sometimes a fresh outlook given years of losing is good for the player/the team President.

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

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

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

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#221 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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#222 Serious Gord
January 08 2014, 07:01PM
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Consultant wrote:

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

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

Rubbish.

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

Or Hitchcock getting hired in St. Louis.

Your argument is ridiculous and nonsensical.

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#223 M22
January 08 2014, 07:27PM
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Consultant wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I would never employ you as a consultant.

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

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

I AM NOT A CAVEMAN

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

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

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

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#229 M22
January 08 2014, 09:57PM
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Oiler63 wrote:

"Boys on the Bus as champions" and "collectively incompetent" are two different things. Don't mix them together. It's insulting to every Oilers fan rightfully calling Lowe to step down!

No, the original statement is accurate, sadly. They are not "mixed"; they stand opposed, which is, I believe, Brian's point.

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#230 Reg Dunlop
January 09 2014, 01:15AM
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camdog wrote:

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

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

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

It seems that the GM disagrees with your assessment. 3 more years to being competitive? According to Mact: "We are quite obviously flawed. Those things are going to be rectified in short order. There's a lot of really positive signs we've seen in development seen this year... Quite clearly there is a good era ahead. It's too long coming for most of us. But it's coming." From terry jones@sunmedia.ca

There you go. We know Mac doesn't make hollow promises that he can't keep.

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#231 Spydyr
January 09 2014, 07:09AM
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pipeline wrote:

I disagree with those who say that the Edmonton media can't be tough on the Oilers because they might lose access. Performance dictates coverage, if the media is not critical when performance is abysmal they are merely lapdogs. Denying access to a reporter who is critical, even though objective and fair would make the Oilers look mean spirited and increase the fan's frustration with the organization. If a media outlet was denied access it should stop covering the team till acess is reinstated--this would be more damaging to the team than the media organization. The reporters that cover the legislature don't pull their punches because they are afraid of repercussions. They do the job of informing the public and speaking truth to power with journalistic integrity as they are paid to do.

Tell that to the boys on the Terry, Bill and Steve show on K-97. Around a year ago, they received a letter from Katz's lawyers stating they cannot use the name Oilers. They now call them Edmonton's hockey team.

That is how Katz rolls.

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#232 Serious Gord
January 09 2014, 07:35AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Tell that to the boys on the Terry, Bill and Steve show on K-97. Around a year ago, they received a letter from Katz's lawyers stating they cannot use the name Oilers. They now call them Edmonton's hockey team.

That is how Katz rolls.

With the admission by KLowe that he is directly involved in the operation of the hockey side of the oilers club the causality of the disaster is laid bare. The "what did the president know and when did he know it?" question has been answered and it is as incriminating as many suspected.

It now falls to Klowe to resign. If that does not happen within the next week or so, then Klowes superior has to fire him. That person - as I understAnd the oilers org chart - is the owner Mr. Katz.

If mr. Katz is derelict in doing that then fans should redirect their slings and arrows away from management and towards mr. Katz as he is now in the line of fire and is the only one with the power to do the right thing.

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#233 Marlin
January 09 2014, 07:47AM
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HOFFFF wrote:

The Krueger Factor

A real underrated ingredient for Team Canada has been the presence of Ralph Krueger as a consultant to the coaching staff. “A huge assistance, real smart,” Team Canada coach Mike Babcock told ESPN.com on Tuesday. Babcock said Krueger was going to join him for three Red Wings games in the next week starting in San Jose on Thursday to update him on what he’s picked up overseas ahead of the Olympics. The Canadian coaching staff as a whole has raved about his impact since last summer. Krueger was coach of the Swiss national team for a dozen years, from 1998 through 2010, and his experience with the international game already has proved immeasurable to the Canadian coaches. Krueger has been central in consulting Canada’s transition to the larger international ice surface, but he’s also been key in other areas, as relayed to ESPN.com Wednesday by Team Canada assistant coach Ken Hitchcock:

I miss Ralph...

Unfortunately he was never given a long enough opportunity to get the team where it needs to be. His ability as a coach was overshadowed by management incompetence.

Without him the team has regressed terribly.

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#234 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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#235 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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#236 mlselli
January 09 2014, 08:32AM
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Just waiting for Katz to send a text "Kevin Lowe isn't going anywhere." We all know what happens when he his the send button. Just ask MacT. To refresh the memories of the readers that may not be aware, Mac suddenly found himself stepping down as a head coach after Katz responded to the fans calling for Macs' head. C'mon Katz, send another text. Fans are anxiously waiting, #FIRELOWE

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#237 -30-
January 09 2014, 08:44AM
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If this keeps up maybe Oilersnation will also receive a letter from Katz lawyers asking them to remove the word "Oilers" from the website? LOL

I say that until Lowe is removed from his position that we all boycott Rexall Drugs and give our business to Shoppers, etc.

As long as this "toy" isn't costing him money he'll continue to NOT be serious about making the team a contender. They're his "toy soldiers". He's living his fantasy.

-30-

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#238 Serious Gord
January 09 2014, 08:55AM
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-30- wrote:

If this keeps up maybe Oilersnation will also receive a letter from Katz lawyers asking them to remove the word "Oilers" from the website? LOL

I say that until Lowe is removed from his position that we all boycott Rexall Drugs and give our business to Shoppers, etc.

As long as this "toy" isn't costing him money he'll continue to NOT be serious about making the team a contender. They're his "toy soldiers". He's living his fantasy.

-30-

Were i in charge of that radio station I would make sure the letter from katz was read on-air every morning...

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#239 Neal
January 09 2014, 09:26AM
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Yeah ok, Brownlee... but I don't see anything in the article that wasn't already widely known. Burke was right - Lowe ran this club into the sewer. That Mac has a next to impossible task ahead of him maybe should be the next article.

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#240 Rotten Ron
January 09 2014, 09:56AM
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Anyone one else on here recieve a call from the Oilers re:"fan experiance as a season ticket holder"?

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#241 Chris.
January 09 2014, 10:01AM
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Consultant wrote:

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

I have to politely disagree with your belief that a coaching change is all that is required for this team to win again.

Kevin Lowe was a wonderful hockey player but has been a below average manager. In fact, there is more than reasonable cause to be very critical of Kevin even during his one and only really successful season in management. The 2005/2006 Oilers loaded up on talent thanks mostly to a new CBA that made Peca and Pronger available. Kevin nearly squandered this sudden turn of good fortune by entering the season with Jussi Markkanen and Ty Conklin in net. This is so typical of a Kevin Lowe team: entering a season with a glaring hole in the roster and just hoping it'll work itself out... As usual, the team despite it's fresh injection of talent and high expectations stumbled out of the gate. The tandem fans dubbed Conkanen very predicatably performed well below the league average and was costing the team wins. Early Novemember, the team was riding a 6 game losing streak, and was in real danger of sliding clear out of the playoff race before Christmas (sound familiar?) when a miracle happened: Mike Morrison, an unproven AHL goalie, stepped up and played out of his mind winning 5 games in a row before pretty much disappearing from hockey. This bit of blind luck could very well be the only reason the Oilers were within striking distance for that incredible playoff run all those years ago when the Canucks lost their final game of the season.

That winter I checked the papers every day waiting to see if Kevin had finally traded for a serviceable goalie... and nothing was done until the last possible second when again, more good luck was required for the team to finish 8th in the west and...

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#242 Rick Stroppel
January 09 2014, 10:06AM
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W wrote:

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

So Karen Percy-Lowe is posting on this site. Weird. I thought she was more into skiing.

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#243 Spydyr
January 09 2014, 10:17AM
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Eric wrote:

RB,

Why didn't Logan Couture make the Canadian team?

I'm not buying the MSL he is old and not a great skater anymore and playing 7 + games against the best in 12 days is too much for a 38 yr

Giroux was probably beaten out by Duchene,

Logan Couture is out he just had surgery.

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#244 Serious Gord
January 09 2014, 10:18AM
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Neal wrote:

Yeah ok, Brownlee... but I don't see anything in the article that wasn't already widely known. Burke was right - Lowe ran this club into the sewer. That Mac has a next to impossible task ahead of him maybe should be the next article.

It was widely suspected. Not widely KNOWN.

And many vigourously claimed that Lowe was not involved in the day to day.

I have had at least one; and in some cases more than one, on air conversations with each of Bob Stauffer, Rob Brown and Jason Gregor over the past few years and they all rejected my argument that Klowe should be fired as POHO because - they claimed - he was not involved in the day to management and decision making regarding the team.

Now we have evidence - on the record tape from Klowe himself - that he is indeed involved.

And that destroys any claim that Klowe is not involved - not responsible for - the disaster that is this team from players to management.

And that changes everything.

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#245 Mustangheart
January 09 2014, 10:25AM
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@Dave

As many others have commented on; Just stop going to the games, buying Oilers merchandise boycott Rexall etc. The only thing any owner of any business understands and will make serious changes is in "lost revenue".

Food for thought. KLowe should be commended on his contribution to the organization after years of service, but everything and everyone has a "shelf life". It is very clear that KLowe has lost the trust of the fan base and by the teams performance, probably the players too.

If Katz ever grows a set of balls and does the right thing and fires KLowe, who could be hired to turn the organization around. It's easy to criticise, but lets help Katz find the replacement.

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#246 Rob...
January 09 2014, 10:34AM
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Consultant wrote:

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

Didn't you read the article or listen to Jason's interview? It was stated quite clearly in both that KLowe has had his hand in the cookie jar all along.

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#247 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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#248 Serious Gord
January 09 2014, 10:51AM
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admiralmark wrote:

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.

Fire lowe - the guy who has kept buck and smith in place all these years - and let the new POHO clean house at a pace and way he determines to be the best

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#249 SRELIOFAN
January 09 2014, 10:54AM
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As much as we'd love to see Kblowe resign, I think we can all admit it's not gonna happen...He is way too damn proud and stubborn. Katz needs to stop counting his money from the Rogers Place deal long enough to fulfill his responsibilities as an owner of a professional sports team and fire Mr. "if there's ever a concern..." Like NOW!

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

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

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

"So what's the problem?"

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

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

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