Kevin Lowe: Edmonton Oilers “appreciate each and every fan”

After drawing some fire for heated comments made during the announcement of Criag MacTavish as general manager of the Oilers, club president Kevin Lowe issued a statement on Tuesday to clarify his remarks.

The key line:

First of all, we appreciate and are grateful to every one of our fans who cheer for us, through good times and bad. We understand that we see many of our fans at Rexall Place, but we have hundreds of thousands of fans that never get to Rexall Place. We appreciate each and every fan. I did not make that clear yesterday, and if I offended anyone, I apologize.

Lowe’s statement is undoubtedly intended to address the answer he made to a question from Edmonton Journal reporter John MacKinnon, where he appeared to differentiate fans into two types based on whether they attended the games at Rexall:

We have two types of fans: we have paying customers and we have people that watch the game that we still care about but certainly the people that go to the games and support we spend a lot of time talking to them, delivering our message.

Making the clarification is a good move by an organization that in recent years has sorely tested its fanbase – both with poor performances off the ice and contentious arena negotiations that saw the owner issue an apology for his bargaining tactics. 

This clarification doesn’t come close to the same tone as the letter – it’s an ‘if you were offended, I’m sorry’ semi-apology, but it’s also worth keeping in perspective what Lowe said originally. Naturally, any business will value the customer who pays more to a greater extent than the customer who pays less, and Lowe didn’t even go that far – he simply stated that the two types existed and they communicate more with one than the other.

I suspect, because of the tone and language used, that some won’t view Lowe or the team any more charitably now than they did immediately after the press conference. The problem is that the Oilers have been losing for a long time with Lowe, first in his latter years as general manager and over the entirety of his run as president, and because of that the team simply doesn’t get the same amount of slack that a winning organization would. The clarification was a good thing to do, even if it was a little lacking in execution, but ultimately what will make things right with the fanbase is capable leadership from the new general manager and wins on the ice.  

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  • reaperfunkss

    Fire Lowe. Anyone who has had this little success for over a decade does not deserve his job. It really is that simple. Also trying to say that losing in a cup final once in twelve years makes you a hockey guru is delusional. THERE IS A DELUSIONAL ANGRY ARROGANT GUY LIVING IN THE PAST running the Oilers. That is not a good thing to have in management. I am no fan of MacT however as long as Lowe is the top dog it won’t matter if he is any good or not. Lowe Must Go!!!!!!

  • The Soup Fascist

    Not sure how Tambo got involved in this. Poor guy is busy looking for a job.

    You dont like to answer questions that prove you wrong – I get it.

    I think I speak for many when I sum up our little back and forth with this ……

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Later.

    • I’ve just grown accustomed to typing his name in conjunction with PR problems. Not surprising really.

      I don’t like answers to irrelevant questions which I’ve already answered? How does that work?

      If you think anyone else is still reading this you’re kidding yourself.

  • I am a Flames fan since 1980 but I also follow the Oilers closely and (believe it or not) I want the Oilers to do well other than when they go head to head with the Flames. Having said that anyone who posts and says that the fans are a bunch of media influenced sheep has no idea what they are talking about. Both the Oilers Nation and Flames Nation sites are really interesting in the comments section due to the varied opinions of so many people. It is a great forum to state opinions and many people are very blunt and eloquent in their reasons for dissecting the Management failures of both teams Ownership, Presidencies and Management. Keep it up everyone!