Oilers History: Kevin Lowe becomes Head Coach

Fresh off of shocking the world (ok maybe really only Dallas) by defeating the Stars in a historic Game 7 that is the stuff dreams are made of, only to be eliminated in five games right afterwards by the Colorado Avalanche, and then the reversal of fate the next year beating the Avs only to lose to the Stars the Edmonton Oilers announced a bench shuffle that would alter their history for years to come. They hired the all-time leader in games played in the orange/blue/copper/red/silver jersey Kevin Lowe as an assistant coach. Flash forward to a year later on this date, June 18th, when they replaced then head coach Ron Low with Kevin Lowe, continuing his fast track to the head office.

Ron Low was a long-tenured coach on the team, having spent time coaching the minor league affiliate Cape Breton and Nova Scotia Oilers. In 1990 he was promoted to assistant with the Edmonton Oilers, a spot he would maintain until in 1995 when late in the season he was promoted to Head Coach after the oustering of George Burnett. He would lead the team to three playoff appearances in four full seasons before being replaced by Lowe.

Kevin Lowe would only coach for one season behind the bench of his beloved Oilers. He added fellow “boy on the bus” Craig MacTavish to his staff that season. After leading the Oil to a 32-26-16 record that year, the Oilers would end up being swept by their perennial dance partner Dallas Stars.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Long-time GM of the team Glen Sather would leave the team after that year and Lowe would once again find himself promoted to another part of the organization, as general manager of the team — a position he would hold until he would be promoted for the third time in 2008-09 to Director of Hockey Operations.

Love him or hate him, Lowe is definitely a big part of Edmonton’s history.


Season Team Lge Type GP W L T OTL Pct Result
1998-99 Edmonton Oilers NHL Assistant
1999-00 Edmonton Oilers NHL Head 82 32 26 16 8 0.537 Lost in round 1


  • Daniel Tencer, Esq.

    I feel like your timeline is off.

    Ron Low was coach for both playoff upsets (1996-97 and 1997-98), and then Kevin Lowe came on as an assistant coach for Low for the 1998-99 season. That season they were swept by Dallas in the first round, Ron Low was fired, and Lowe took over HC duties for the 1999-00 season. Sather left for the Rangers for the 2000-01 season, which is when Lowe became GM.

    • Nation Dan

      Absolutely correct. I apparently got too misty-eyed watching the Game seven winner and glossed over the next season’s playoffs. Thanks for reading and for giving feedback!

  • McRaj

    Terrible Article. Timeline of everything is off, forgot to mention the 8 ties, and, article says they lost in round 2 but the stats shown, show they lost in round 1. Too many “bloggers” on here now and no proof-reading of articles. And no edit button 🙁

  • bd

    If the “boys on the bus” words were supposed to be negative in this case I would argue that Craig MacTavish was a pretty good add to his staff as he went on to some pretty successful years as head coach. Good add Kevin!