4 Days Until The Season Begins

Cam Lewis
9 months ago
Throughout the summer and into the fall, we’ll be counting down the days until the Edmonton Oilers begin their 2023-24 season with a daily trip down memory lane. Today at No. 4 we have Kevin Lowe, the team’s all-time games-played leader who also served as coach and general manager of the Oilers after his playing career.
Lowe played three seasons for the Quebec Ramparts and the Oilers made him their first-ever NHL draft selection at 21st overall in 1979, a few months after the team had merged from the WHA. He made his Oilers debut as a 20-year-old in 1979-80 and scored the team’s first goal as an NHL club on October 10 during a 4-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

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Lowe developed into an important part of Edmonton’s blueline throughout the 1980s and played a key role in the team’s five Stanley Cup championships. He was traded to the New York Rangers in December of 1992 and won his sixth Stanley Cup in 1994 alongside a handful of former Oilers, including Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson, and Craig MacTavish.
After spending two more seasons in New York, Lowe returned to Edmonton as a free agent in 1996. He played two more seasons with the Oilers and then joined the team’s coaching staff in 1998 after his playing career came to an end. General manager Glen Sather left the Oilers for New York in the summer of 2000 and Lowe took over his spot.

Edmonton Journal Newspaper Clipping From June 10, 2000.

Lowe’s tenure as general manager of the Oilers saw the team nearly win the Stanley Cup but then crash immediately after. He made a handful of excellent trades to acquire the likes of Chris Pronger, Mike Peca, Dwayne Roloson, and Jaroslav Spacek, but then traded away heart-and-soul forward Ryan Smyth the following season when the two sides couldn’t agree to a contract extension.
After the Oilers missed the playoffs in back-to-back years in 2006-07 and 2007-08, Lowe was promoted to become the team’s President of Hockey Operations while Steve Tambellini took over as general manager. Lowe held that role until 2015 when Peter Chiarelli took over as both PoHO and GM, though he stayed with the organization as the vice-chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group until retiring in August of 2022.
Lowe is the all-time leader in games played for the Oilers at 1,037 and he’s among the eight players who were part of all five of Edmonton’s Stanley Cup teams. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020 and the Oilers retired his number on November 5, 2021 ahead of a game with the Rangers.


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