Numbers game: pass it on, Kevin

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: President of Hockey Operations for the Edmonton Oilers, Kevin Lowe, looks on during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

If Kevin Lowe has any sense of timing and drama, announcing Taylor Hall’s first contract with the Edmonton Oilers won’t be the only matter of business on the agenda at Rexall Place today.

Hall let the cat out of the bag when he told reporters yesterday at Commonwealth Stadium he expects to have his three-year, entry-level deal signed today, and that’s something Bob Stauffer confirmed on TEAM 1260 this morning. The announcement will be made at noon.

The numbers on Hall’s contract aside — the allowable rookie maximum salary and bonuses under the CBA — the digit I’m thinking about is No. 4, which, as everybody knows, is Lowe’s old jersey number.

Could there be a better time for Lowe to hand over his old number, which hasn’t been worn by anybody but him in Edmonton, to Hall in a symbolic gesture of passing the torch?

I think not.

Give it to the kid

Hall, 18, has already suggested he isn’t going to ask for No. 4, out of respect for Lowe, the first player ever selected by the Oilers in the NHL Entry Draft. That’s understandable. It’s not like he’s Rob Schremp.

Like I said this spring, it’s up to Lowe, then, to make the gesture — take the onus off the kid and offer Hall the jersey number he wore with the Windsor Spitfires and Team Canada.

In the broader scope of things, of course, it doesn’t really matter what number Hall wears with the Oilers. Still, Lowe could make a splash by delivering his jersey along with that new contract today.

What better way to send a message? "History and tradition mean a lot to this organization, but you’re the future, kid." "It’s time for us to look ahead instead of back." Hall isn’t going to fuss and make an issue of it, but Lowe should.

Why keep No. 4 in mothballs? It’s not like it’s headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame and, thus, the rafters at Rexall Place. Lowe was a very good player who won five Stanley Cups in Edmonton and another in New York with the Rangers, but he’s not headed to the HHOF.

If Lowe wants to make a statement today, he should find out where Sparky Kulchisky hid his linen, dust it off and hand it over to Hall at high noon with that new contract today. There’s a time and place for symbolism, and this is it.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Grab a brain, why should Hall get #4. Kevin Lowe was a great Oiler player and was an OK GM and now is a good president. D Katz wouldn’t let anyone wear #4 because the guy loves the Oilers and has forever, and Kevin Lowe is his guy. I for one believe Lowe should be in the Hall of Fame. The guy did nothing but win wherever he played here and NY. He is more worthy of the Hall of Fame then some that are there now. People want to rage on hime for the last couple of years but he isn’t the only one to blame for the problems the Oilers have had. I’m sick of Lowe being bashed, how many of you great armchair GM’s would have done better. It’s time to move on and bring in a new era of hockey.

    • Good to know as it was at the last Toronto honoring that I first heard that. As for the rest of the teams I was making a educated (or lack there of) guess. Thanks for the links, I will store this info away in my brain until the next pointless hockey discussion that I’ll need it. Now I think I forgot how to drive! Doh!
      BBG!

  • ATTN Nation: There is NO fuss. Taylor Hall isn’t starting crap. Kevin Lowe isn’t staring crap, and Robin Brownlee is NOT starting crap.
    End of Story.
    BBG!

    EDIT: Where did the original #115 go?

  • Any one going to the rookie camp ? It would be awesome if Wayne posted a couple videos on the nation. This is the first site I check in the morning, I know the oilers site will have some but a video from the nation would be kick a$$

  • As per NHLPA release, Brule, Deslauriers and Jacques file for salary arbitration. More to come . . .

    31 PLAYERS ELECT SALARY ARBITRATION

    TORONTO (July 5, 2010) – Thirty-one players have elected Salary Arbitration:

    Anaheim Ducks
    James Wisniewski

    Atlanta Thrashers
    Ben Eager
    Andrew Ladd
    Clarke MacArthur

    Boston Bruins
    Greg Campbell
    Blake Wheeler

    Buffalo Sabres
    Tim Kennedy

    Calgary Flames
    Ian White

    Chicago Blackhawks
    Antti Niemi

    Columbus Blue Jackets
    Jared Boll
    Anton Stralman

    Dallas Stars
    Fabian Brunnstrom

    Detroit Red Wings
    Derek Meech

    Edmonton Oilers
    Gilbert Brule
    Jeff Drouin-DesLauriers
    Jean-Francois Jacques

    Los Angeles Kings
    Brad Richardson

    New Jersey Devils
    Mark Fraser

    New York Islanders
    Matt Moulson

    New York Rangers
    Daniel Girardi

    Ottawa Senators
    Chris Campoli
    Peter Regin

    Philadelphia Flyers
    Daniel Carcillo

    St. Louis Blues
    Cam Janssen

    Tampa Bay Lightning
    Nate Thompson

    Vancouver Canucks
    Tanner Glass
    Jannik Hansen
    Mason Raymond

    Washington Capitals
    Eric Fehr

    Tomas Fleischmann
    Jeff Schultz

    The deadline for Club-Elected Salary Arbitration notification is July 6, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to August 4, 2010.

  • JohnQPublic

    A) I think that the Oilers should give Hall #4

    B) However, they should wait until after training camp and Hall has made the team – giving out uniforms before Hall has even attended day 1 of training camp sends a poor message to those who are fighting for jobs

  • Don't Do it Len... think of the children

    That’s a very arrogant assumption to think you can say Kevin Lowe’s jersey won’t hang in the rafters. Find someone else who scored the Oiler’s first EVER goal. Or maybe another Oiler who won as many stanley cups as he did and then came back to retire an Oiler (I know, people retire as Oilers all the time, no big deal eh) Then returns as coach, Gm, and Lord overseer of all things Oilers, orchestrating a western conference championship along the way.

    The guy’s jersey hangs in the rafters one day. Book It!