Thursday, July 5, 2007


Interesting item by Terry Jones in the Sun today. He popped by Kevin Lowe's house for coffee and a glimpse at the thoughts of a drowning man.


  1. Sad sad sad.

    If he had know the Cap was going to be what it ended up being he would have signed Smyth for sure.

    No plan and no clue.

    I think that's it for Mr. Lowe.

  2. Yeah, I just wrote about this story as well on our blog.

    It's sad, but it's abundantly clear that the era Oilers fans my age grew up with has come to a sickly, wheezing end.

    No question. Lowe's done.

  3. Lowe certainly looks like he's at the end of his rope. Which is apt.. because he's basically hung himself here. Fuck. Everyone here knew that we should have signed Smyth at the deadline, last offseason, signed him at all. Lowe thought he could get something better and he was dead wrong.

    This organization needs a fresh start and I can't see Lowe staying much longer. I just hope he doesn't screw up the Oilers' future even further in the meantime.

  4. Not good.........If i was Terry i'm no sure i would've printed that. I don't have a problem with the Oil rebuilding. I wish we got more outta the Smyth deal, the Isles first round pick next year would've been nice.

  5. He should stop trying to swing for the fences, and aim for a few more singles and doubles.

    He should also talk less, although that is difficult to do in hockey-mad Canadian markets.

    (1) Stars players are obtained primarily by drafting and player development. (2) Complementary and role players can be obtained by free agency.

    (1) makes (2) possible. Daryl Sydor signed a very reasonable contract in Pittsburgh. Jacques Martin mined the 2nd tier free agents in Florida this year.

    Not enough modesty and humility. If you talk, you have to deliver. Talk after you deliver. The only splashes we've been hearing are belly-flops. A good dive has minimal splash.

    I want one more solid veteran forward...I don't care if he can score. I don't mind going with the young guys. Coach and develop them.

  6. "It's sad, but it's abundantly clear that the era Oilers fans my age grew up with has come to a sickly, wheezing end."

    I'm thinking Marchant's goal in Game 7 OT vs. Dallas and Roloson's injury vs. Carolina are the bookends... maybe extend it to game 1 against Dallas and the Pronger trade demand if you want more story?

    Or... Smyth's Oiler career from draft day to trade framing the struggles, the amazing up, and the heart wrenching down?

    Sounds more like Requiem for a Dream than anything.

  7. I am the only one who read the words "$43 million budget" in that article?

  8. What a fucking idiot.

    Who couldn't see this coming?

    They just were not going to find a better player than Smyth for the money they were willing to pay.


  9. I believe some of us told you so;) The funny thing is that some posters/fans still won't give in. And the unfunny thing is that the Oilers are admitting they misread the market to the point where they thought Smyth was going to be asking for too much money. How was Howson this fucking cap genius if he didn't know it was gonna rise in '08? Fuck, the Oilers should know this stuff and they should've handled 94's contract demands accordingly.

    Lowe needs major help or he needs to be fired

  10. The problem was
    [well one of them]
    that they were looking at a $43 mm salary budget for next year.

    If you slide names & numbers around on a spreadsheet,
    which I do,
    Smyth's $5.4mm was damn dificult to fit in, while also adding to the line-up.

    Who set that number, $43mm?
    Who's supposed to know the Cap number?
    Who decided on that 90% number last summer?
    Lowe, Laforge, The Board?

    Whomever has gotta look in the mirror.

  11. I still think Kevin Lowe is one of the best GM's in hockey. If Roloson had not gone down, they'd have been defending champs still a month ago.

    No one bats 1.000. KL maybe could have gotten a bit more for Smitty, but Robert Nilsson is no career minor leaguer remotely and will work for cheap compared to 94. I wonder if they'll each score 20 next year and we'll all be laughing at Colorado.

    I only care about winning the playoffs. Statistically Oil should win once every 30 years, but with Kevin Lowe in the organization, Oil win 5 in 27.

    last year the team lost to Anaheim, Nashville, Vancouver, San Jose, and Detroit by one goal each, on the road, after the trade deadline. This team isn't SO ugly. Its not like NYI, or Boston.

    And since EVERY team in the league gets its game on when playing the Oilers (how many goalies get pulled against E town? A: almost none), an Edmonton team with 95 points is about par to a Dallas team with 101.

    Anyone complaining about Kevin Lowe should also be willing to complain about Slats or Burke or Lamarillo. But lets be real. We've got one of the most dominant franchises in the history of pro sports and Kevin Lowe was integral from the start.

    I think the Oilers can run with the team they have just fine, and count on Kevin Lowe to find a few diamonds in the rough like he did with Sykora, Peca, and Pronger.

  12. Hey kevin, I mean mike, how is Pronger a diamond in the rough?

    And yes, Kevin Lowe was an integral part of five championships, as a player. Getting on twenty years now, too.

    He did a terrific job in 05/06 - no argument here.

    But since June 17th, 2006 almost nothing has gone right.

    He doesn't even sound like he wants the job anymore.

  13. I think "mike" wouldn't even get mad at Lowe if kicked him in the balls and slept with his wife. Hell, he'd probably thank him.


    The Oilers aren't that bad. Everyone just plays really well against them. Nilsson will score as much as Smyth next year. And Mike Peca was a "diamond in the rough" find.

    Lord. When did you realize that Big Brother loves you?

  14. I'm not one to kick a guy when he's down, but I can't see how the club can keep Lowe much longer. It is bizzare how everything unraveled for him; being the talk of the league for landing Pronger, etc, then the deals he made at the '06 trade deadline. But the problem didn't start with Pronger asking for a trade; it started when he traded him for what, at the time, seemed like not much, and now, seems like sweet-jack-all. Then consequently throwing (relatively) big bucks at guys like Pisani, but ignoring Smyth.

    As much as it irks me to admit, Darryl Sutter has, very quitely, done a great job in the last 4 days (I'm an Oiler fan living in CGY). He's taking care of his UFA problem before it becomes a problem, he's signing free agents that fit his plan...things that seem obvious, but for whatever reason, Lowe is having a very difficult time figuring out.

    I like Lowe, and think he's doing the best he knows how. Having reporters over to your house and spilling all your beans seems an awful lot to me like pleading for your job. I think he sees the writing on the wall, as do most fans. The BIG question is, who would the Oilers replace him with? They love to stick within the family...Messier? MacT? Muckler? Or go for a big name GM? Pat Quinn is out there.

    Rebuilding is fine, as long as there is a sense of direction. Anyone get that sense with the Oilers?

  15. ...with Kevin Lowe in the organization, Oil win 5 in 27.

    I say that my streak of having the sun rise in the East every single day of my existence is way more impressive and indicative of the essential role that I play in ensuring consistency of locale in sunrises.

  16. It's getting to the point where I would rather the entire organization be cleaned out from top to bottom. Nichols, Laforge, Lowe, everyone.

    This team desperately needs a fresh start and having a fresh ownership and management would be a good start because it seems that things have just begun to pile down on the club.

  17. "The funny thing is that some posters/fans still won't give in"

    **Begin Rant**

    Look in the mirror, bub.

    I got a kick out of the fact that 12 minutes after the free agency period started you posted something along the line that, "see,Lowe sucks". Everyone of your posts says the same thing. Lowe could trade Joey for Sidney Crosby and you would still be caught up in the Smyth/ Pronger deals.

    Should have Lowe got more for Pronger? Who the hell knows? You have an idea what was out there in terms of offers? Not likely. The bottom line that whoever trades a star in his prime gets the bad end of the deal.

    Smyth. Yeah he would look good next year. Wow, the team might finish 11th instead of 12th. How would he look in years 4 and 5? Apparently GM's need not consider that.

    The draft, many other GM's passed on Cherapanov and Espisito but its chalked up as a mistake for Lowe. How many scouting trips did you do? How can you say they were overdrafts until 3 - 5 years from now?

    Free agency. Any likelihood any big names going to come here with another Genius GM (TM) at the helm? Hell no. The team is a rebuild and we don't have a beach. Wow, look at the big names signed by comparables like Calgary and Vancouver. Gee, if only the Oil could have locked up Sarich for 5 years.

    Look to future fellas. Every team that is a "power house" had a period of extended suckage that allowed them to garner superstar draft picks. Somehow, Lowe is to avoid this. Well, he can't, just like other GM's couldn't.

    Maybe he will get fired Dennis. You will have told us all so. Congrats. It doesn't make it right and it is not likely that any other other GM in Lowe's shoes would have been able to do anything else (well, except bring in some veterans to guarantee the Leafs v.2, mediocre team you have been screaming for).

    Let me give you a heads up Dennis. If Lowe gets fired, the new GM is going to (much like Burke has just done) get the benefit of the foundation built by Lowe. The new GM will look like a genius.

    Remember, I told you so.

    Finally, I am an Oilers Fan. It is not a sin to stick with it even in the dark times you appear to revel in. I will cheer for Smid and Nilson and Nash next year - not against them as you will. See you back on the bandwagon next time the Oil make the finals.

    **End rant**

  18. claytonmagnet:

    What about Jim Nill? Assistant GM of Ken Holland in Detroit. He's also an Alberta boy to boot. Win/win.

  19. C'mon Barry that's akin to saying that if you don't support your government then you don't love your country.

    I'm also a big Oilers' fan and I will follow the team this season and next season just as I followed them in the seasons before the '06 run.

    And for that matter I have supported Lowe, despite a lot of his questionable decisions over the past year.

    But it is quite apparent from the interview and from what has gone on over the past year that here is no plan - Lowe admitted as much.

    If he had made a minor move or two last summer or fall and picked up a couple of veteran defencemen then the Oilers may have actually made the playoffs. Even after he traded Smyth he conceded if the team had been closer to a spot at the deadline they probably would have met Smyth's demands.

    So, if they were six points closer, suddenly Smyth is the elite player they said he was not?

    And now this season the D has been weakened further and with Smyth and Sykora out the door I believe Horcoff had the most goals last season, with 16.

    I have no problem with a rebuild if your core players have aged or things have not worked out - say because you've lost a key player or two to injuries that have limited their effectiveness.

    But when the rebuild is self inflicted then its a little harder to take, no?

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. I'm not certain that Lowe is heading out the door just yet.

    The EIG is composed of a significant number of investors who aren't overwhelmingly wealthy. Most of them are medium-sized business owners who followed Cal Nichols into a venture that was far from safe at the time. It paid off, but profits from the team still comprise a large percentage of their capital (no billionaires here). They've got a much greater interest than most owners in keeping the salary budget low (capping at $43M saves them just over 7% of their original purchase price of the team every year. That's adjusted for inflation).

    Kevin Lowe is a great GM for this situation. For starters, he's pretty fiscally conservative. No 15 year deals or expensive buyouts to worry about. He was willing to let the face of the franchise walk for what we now know were financial reasons. He's also got a respectable eye for finding low to mid-level guys who can play above their salary (Pisani, Thoresen, Reasoner, MAB, Tarnstrom, Tjarnqvist, Hejda - He's better with the D). Finally, he's got that connection with the glory days. The owners can point to him and say "we picked him because he knows how to win, and we want to win. We're fostering a culture of winning." This draws some heat away from them for not spending to the cap to help that happen.

    The EIG must be painfully aware of the fallout from fans the last time the team really tanked. Ticket sales plummeted along with profits, and led to a change of ownership. This might be the reason for all the win now, fix it on the fly talk, rather than doing a full-on rebuild. I see Lowe's job as being to put together a modestly competitive team, to do it fast and cheap, and to talk big. "Just keep us contending for a playoff spot, and we'll be ok". He's well suited for that.

  22. Amen Barry....A freakn' men. Could not have said it better. Thanks for the rant.

  23. Barry, I wasn't around all day on Sunday, I don't think. Or I wasn't around for the vast majority of it so the "12 min after" thing really doesn't fly.

    Lowe himself is admitting his mistakes. He knows he blew it bigtime on 94 but lots of sensible people knew that. And he basically admitted the Pronger/Lupul mistake when he made the Pitkanen deal and now all we need is for him to come out and say he jumped too early last summer.

    As for the bandwagon, guys that don't really care jump off the bandwagon. The guys that do really care stick around and take the bumps and point out how maybe they wagon could've taken a different route.

  24. In hindsight the Smyth non-signing was a bad call and if his heart is no longer in it they need to look in a new direction.

    As a GM he obviously has to be held to a higher standard then the internet experts on here. He should have had an idea of the projected cap, who it would have been possible to sign to replace Smyth, etc.

    Having said that. Lets have a show of hands for all the experts with an axe in their hand who at the trade deadline said "no friggin way" to Smyth getting a 5 year deal at 6M+...?! Hindsight and no responsibility is a beautiful thing.

  25. I believe there's a Matheson article that shares the same sentiment as this one, and Lowe essentially admits that they did not re-sign Smyth based on an incorrect calculation about where the cap would go.

    You know things are pretty bad when the "notoriously subservient" Edmonton media begins to turn on Lowe. As I opined earlier last month though, none of this is exactly unpredictable and Lowe is going to start doing things based on the premise that he will not be extended as GM at year end. Even if the offer is there I am certain that he has no intention or desire to continue in the role of GM in the NHL. So basically I'm in favour of Lowe pissing other GMs off with offer sheets, as long as he doesn't cripple his successor's team.

    A change of ownership and higher management would be nice as well.

  26. Almost every one of Lowe's mistakes over the past 13 months can be directly tied to his complete misunderstanding of the market.

    Had the cap gone down or even levelled off, Lowe may actually have ended up looking quite good right now. He was wrong and the organization is paying a huge price for it right now. HUGE!!

    Georges was on the Team a week ago and spoke of how intimidating Lowe was to all reporters, etc.. and spoke of how the guys that travel with the team often simply repeat the compaby line for fear of losing the perks they recieve from the organization. I have to wonder if a similar kind of culture exists in managment where what Lowe says is gospel and the entire place is full of yes men.

    Incredibly tough 13 months for Oiler fans.


  27. Perosnally I think you are all mis-interpreting Lowe's comment about "If I had known..." I think he was referring to the fact that he was unable to lure any UFA's. I think he genuinely thought he could (and he did in a sense - Nylander - just not his wife).

    If the cap wasn't 50 million it was going to be 48 million like everybody thought. Don't try and tell me Lowe didn't know that. Seriously, some of you make him out to be an f'ing idiot.

  28. momentai:

    Nill is certainly due a GM spot somewhere. He's played a big part in Detroit's draft decisions, and no one can argue their draft/player development prowess (read: Zetterberg in the 7th round, Datsyuk in the 6th...). My guess is if he was actually looking for a GM spot, he would have one by now.

    I say, bring in Semenko as GM, McSorley as Coach, Laraque as Assistant Coach, draft a ton of Zack Stortini clones, and let them run wild Charleston Cheifs-style on the league. If we're not going to contend anyways, lets have some fun with it.

  29. Okay, forget what I said in my earlier post...he's an idiot. I just saw today's deal. The only thing I can think of is it might be a verbal promise on the back-end of Smyth not re-signing with NYI...(see NYI website)

    The Islanders have acquired Edmonton's second round pick in the 2008 NHL draft by trading depth defenseman Allan Rourke and a 2008 third round pick to the Oilers. The Islanders now have two second round picks in what is expected to be a deep draft in June, 2008.

    "Although it may seem a relatively small deal from a players' standpoint, this is very good news for us," said Islanders assistant GM/Director of Amateur Scouting Ryan Jankowski. "Next year is expected to be a stronger and deeper draft than the past few years. In this draft, you can never have enough early picks."

  30. Lowe let Terry Jones into his house at dinner time? Right there, that shows bad judgement.

  31. Interesting article. It seems as though KLowe is awfully frustrated about the way things have turned out this summer in Edm.

    The realization that the new 'cap' league is not going to help the Oilers in luring UFA's seems to have settled in... rather than allow each team to compete equally for UFA's, the new system seems to rather force players to make their hockey decisions based on location, lifestyle, and family. The money will be 'about' the same... Not good for Edmonton. When you add the self-restricting salary cap in Edmonton, you get the 07/08 Oilers.

    $43 million cap??? Makes me wonder what EIG gave KLowe as his 'Edm cap' before the 07/08 cap increase was announced? It would be tough to blame KLowe for regretably letting Smytty go if they were promising KLowe a whopping $40 million cap...

    I suspect the sad truth is that the Oilers problems are not KLowe based, but rather a result of EIG's salary cap restrictions combined with the fact that Edmonton is Edmonton!

    Like it or not, it's not a top choice for rich young hockey players and their families. I think KLowe understands that better than most of us... and that would explain why he looks and sounds like a beaten man.

  32. Ah the Lowe-bitching continues.

    1) How many posters here predicted a $50 million cap?
    2) How many posters here said that Smyth at $5 million for 5 years was a bargain in the summer of 2006? I recall a lot of hf posters saying that that was too high a number for Smyth.

  33. I can't believe people think Kevin Lowe is at the end of his rope or or about to lose his job. For all you content to simply make the playoffs, I suspect you'll find a better home in Toronto.

    As for me, a guy who first saw the Oilers play before Gretzky was at Ross Shep, I'm about winning the playoffs. If they make the tournament and don't have a chance to win, I'd say trade the front line, get picks and retool until they next have a chance to win the whole thing.

    And to whomever is wondering if Pronger or Peca can safely be considered diamonds, you may be wise to watch the games. Pronger is first ballot HOF and basically guaranteed. Peca maybe too. Outside of last year's injury season he's missed the playoffs once in his career.

    Trading Edmonton's second round for NYI's third is going to be different by how many? 15 selections? I thought it was going to be a deep draft. And Oil get another warm body too who is a few years closer to the league than anyone they can draft with their abundance of picks? What do you want from the guy? Four cups every five years? Oh actually he already did that.

    And for Pronger, what was at one time four first round picks has now become Pitkanen, Smid, and two other first round picks for one dude who has maybe five years left.

    I don't think you'd know a good GM unless he won 4 out of 5. Hey what's Sather doing? If he's too busy, maybe one of his students is available. Maybe we can find one of his students that can bat 1.000 despite having a city of raging fans who accost all his players every time they leave their vehicle and a group of UFA's who wisely(?) fear our thong.

  34. ha ha ha.

    I wasn't responsible for the fires on Whyte ave last year, but I was in on them for sure.

    In 84 Detroit had a throng which would humble our troops. We have a long way to go, but I think KL may be a key part in our soon coming development.

    Last year Edm was trading chances with some really good teams, the whole second half of the season. Outshooting San Jose in socal?

    There may yet be something really worthy to fear, but not I think if we axe the obvious program in place.

  35. Does the name of this blog change in the near future?

  36. Fun stuff about McPhee giving him the finger - I have a max offer RFA sheet waiting for Ovechkin next summer and his agent can know that any time. Anybody who says that you can't do this because it would upset other GMs can look to what McPhee did, the fact that Lowe is not getting any favors anyway, and the impact on PHI from signing Kesler last summer (absolutely zero).

    We need a GM who is willing to do anything to win and owners who are willing to pay to achieve the same. Until these conditions emerge - well the carnival continues.

    When did multi-millionaire hockey players turn into such pussies in dealing with spouse's that live off the fruit of their profession. At least Pronger's wife had her own dough - but this is getting ridiculous.

  37. Mike & Jerk Clown:

    "Now we've got a different budget and a different salary cap (up from $44 million last year to $50.3 million this season)," said Lowe, admitting he hadn't read the tea leaves well enough to know how high it would jump. If he'd known in February what he knows now, he said Smyth probably wouldn't have gotten away.

    I think the text fairly clearly states that Lowe's admitted mistake was in not anticipating the extent of the cap increase.

  38. i love being an armchair quarterback. Tony Romo, if he could have seen at that moment what we all know now, probably would have asked for a dry ball.

    However, here in the real world, the game changes, moves, and is awfully fast, and unlike the computer simulations, there is no reset button.

    But man I wish Lowe could bat 1.000 instead of only landing Hemsky, Smid, Roloson, and a few other notables. Bummer about the Curtis Joseph thing too. Maybe we should have hung him in the town square then. Oh. We would have probably missed last year's little escapade.

    If lowe was reading tea leaves rather than playing his hunch, we'd surely have crucified him long ago. If his hunch was right 100%, we'd call him sather.

  39. Sorry for the rant earlier. All the negativity go to me.

    A question: Lets say Lowe or his genius replacement makes an offer sheet to an RFA in a $$ range with a penalty of say a first round pick (I think they have to throw in other rounds too but I am to lazt to look it up).

    Can the Oilers give up the Ducks first rounder they own or do they have to give up their own? I would be reluctant to give up a lottery pick in a strong year.

  40. I'll say it again, this is going to be an entertaining year (it's already a pretty good summer)!

  41. barry;

    nope, the CBA is very firm on this - you have to give up your own pick. As such, offer sheets only seem to make sense when you're a strong team already as the compensation picks will be that much worse (lower)

    At what point does Yashin become the best available option. Say a one year deal at $3.0MM w/ another $2.0MM in bonus available. Too much? Too little?

    Yashin - Horcoff - Hemsky
    Torres - Stoll - Pisani
    Moreau - Reasoner - Thoreson/Sanderson
    Nillson - Pouliot - Sanderson/Thoreson


  42. I am pretty afraid that Lowe is going to panic and offer someone a RFA offer sheet. The worst case scenario here is that it gets accepted. The Oilers are way too poor of a team to be giving up 1st round draft choices. The player they're going to be acquiring is not going to be enough to vault them out of being a bottom 10 club. So the value of acquiring the player pales in comparison to the assets given up.

  43. mike - diamond in the rough would likely refer to a guy like Pisani or more recently, Hejda

    I'm not arguing the merits of Pronger or Peca as players but both have been highly touted forever - I remember reading about Peca when he was a bantam. Diamonds yes but not in the rough.

    And you know what, Lowe did a terrific jon in 05/06 - nobody disputes that and he got a lot of credit - and now he's getting a lot of blame because he's had a terrible year. You can't have it both ways.

    master lok - As for the number of posters who liked Smyth at 5 per for 5, I would guess 90% liked him at 5.5 for 5 so I'm not sure what you argument is. Go back to the trade and you will see the threads here. Can't speak for HF though.

    barry - good question; anyone?

  44. Its never a good time to sign Yashin.

    If Lowe used an offer sheet on Parise and the guy punches in 50 and E town wins the title, would it be a bad deal?

    Ah the gambles in hockey. Its so much safer to develop them rather than sign RFA's. Having a minor league team where Schrempf can learn to play defense may be the best thing that happens to KL's GM track record.

    I think its a first, second and third round pick for the 4.5M+ department, but I didn't look it up either.

  45. mike - I don't want to be the Leafs but how about the Wings or Jersey - you know, contend every year, win a Cup now and then

    Just saying if I had my druthers.

  46. barry:

    Compensation Breakdown:


    Let me re-state first that I like KL. That being said, Hemsky is still just ok, could be great, no one knows. Smid is a third liner on most teams, still in the minors for some, and has a long way to go. Roloson is a career backup goalie. A good one, but he's no Luongo or Brodeur. (Anyone else notice that VAN got Luongo for a bag of pucks named Bertuzzi a day after Pronger announced his desire to be traded? Got to think Keenan would've taken Pronger over Bertuzzi. If Lowe had pulled that off, we'd all be singing his praises...). And Cujo, well, he arrived here 3 years before KL became GM. So, don't know if you're trying to defend him or cook him?

  47. regarding peca the diamond, when KL signed the two, it was just after the lock out, when GM's were unsure which way to go. Lowe got them for, given their numbers then, a bag of hockey pucks. If Shane Doan is worth 6 now, Peca then was sure worth more than 4 and Pronger worth more that 25 /5. At the time, all free agents were in the rough because no one knew what was going to happen with the cap situation.

    Free agency is only 20 years old. Free agency under the salary cap is two. Did anyone really expect all the GM's to make the transition with Bure like prowess?

    that move with peca and pronger, at that time, was 4 stars. He didn't fall apart since then, I don't think. Since then actually, he nearly won the blinkin thing.

    I bet the Oilers get into the second round this next season and win the title before Pittsburgh.

  48. Well everyone.

    Welcome to the year where we pretend to be Pittsburgh or Washington.

    Without Crosby/Malkin or Ovechkin/Semin.

    My ass hurts already antipating the pain.

  49. I don't mind the situation we're in right now. It's always exciting as a prospects guy to watch seasons like this, and it means there'll be a few less games where I'm glued to the TV seeing if we get those two points.

    Regardless of whether or not you think Lowe is a good GM (I think he is), it's very obvious that at this point the team needs a new direction and new leadership at the top. Now it's just a matter of waiting and seeing who gets moved up.

  50. Mirtle: No, it'll stay Lowetide (although I reserve the right to take out the "e" in protest). :-)

    namflashback: Funny line, made me giggle. Are you HAVING a namflashback?

  51. I bet the Oilers get into the second round this next season and win the title before Pittsburgh.

    I think most people here would disagree with you (at least on the first bit), but that provides a nice basis for future evaluation of this argument. Instead of the Lowe supporters saying "The Hemsky extension was great! He got Pronger for virtually nothing! The Pitkanen move was a good one!" (all of which is true) only to have the Lowe detractors respond with "The return for Pronger was shameful! He completely botched the Smyth situation! His pursuit of Nylander was foolhardy!" (all of which is equally true), we can agree to evaluate him on results.

    I'm currently towards the detractor end of the spectrum, though certainly not as fas as a lot of people. If your prediction about them winning a 2008 playoff series proves correct, I will acknowledge that I had badly underestimated the guy. If these predictions about finishing between twelfth and fourteenth in the conference are correct, will you be similarily prepared to admit that Lowe's not what you thought he was? Or will it be just because all the other teams play better against the Oilers than they do against other opponents?

  52. (I should add here that if the Oilers get bounced in the second round but only get there by giving away all of their draft picks and most of their prospects, I won't be quite so ready to admit that I'd underestimated Lowe.)

  53. I bet the Oilers get into the second round this next season and win the title before Pittsburgh.
    I'll take both bets, straight up, any amount. One of the lawyer/bloggers could volunteer to hold the bets in trust.

  54. Am I the only person who is sad that Hejda signed with Columbus?

  55. Loxy: Agreed. Hejda was a solid player for the Oilers, I don't know why they didn't sign him. You can't tell me the guys they're bringing back showed better than he did (although imo Smid will be a player) but the LD now is Pitkanen, Smid, Tarnstrom and Grebeshkov.

  56. You know, Lowetide, I've been following the Islanders since Smyth got moved. Mostly just reading the Islanders Mania and HF fan boards, as well as Greg Logan's excellent blog. I have a family connection to that org as well, but I'm not sure if that's really the reason I have a bit of a soft spot for them. Probably it's just the obvious Oilers parallel.

    Anyhow, reading that stuff is funny but it isn't. The only fans left are wild optimists, just through natural selection.

    They have a prospect called Bergenheim who doesn't have a hope in hell of being a difference maker at the NHL level. He was drafted in the first round several years ago though, and for some reason he's loved by Isle fandom. I think if you asked internet Isles fans they'd project him as somewhere between Comrie minimum and Shanahan maximum. They're beside themselves when Snow plays hardball at contract time. They are, of course, as mad as hatters.

    I've never made a comment on the guy, but if you were an Islander fan you wouldn't be able to stop yourself, and you'd quietly convince the thinkers in Islander FanLand that this cat is a poor man's Jani Rita. And history would likely prove you right. Who wins an argument like that though? I dunno.

  57. Vic: Bergenheim signed I think for the fall and he should make the club (unless the Isles continue to sign UFA's).

    I know you like Tambellini, he looks like he'll be a player for them. He and some kid named Frans Neilson were the only +'s on the AHL team and Tambellini put up very good numbers too.

    Interesting player.

  58. Wow. In hindsight, trading Pronger for Luongo would have been stellar. Except Roli had just played his best, we were chanting his name on Whyte, and we'd have all been stunned, at the time.

    Cujo may have been here when Lowe signed in, but he walked out a UFA and people were pissed.

    Also to have a team like Detroit or Jersey would be interesting maybe, except right now Edmonton has the best winning percentage in the playoffs in NHL history.

    We clearly have one of the most dominant franchises in the history of professional sports, and rather than crucify the GM now, two years after collecting a team clearly able to win the tournament, and with a possible contender potentially coming together again, it may be, well, a bit premature.

    What about Nylander? Anyone want him on the team or should Edm get his rights and trade him off for a bunch of picks and pucks? Or drop the whole thing for the interest of the league?

    I'd personally try and gain his rights then trade his ass to Florida or Columbus, my own self.

  59. How much of that playoff winning percentage was generated between 1983-92? Yeah, that's kinda what I thought. Even with last year's run, they're still 37-49 (0.430) outside those nine years, and if you toss that run out, it's a dismal 22-40 (0.355).

  60. (Note that I didn't even bother with the WHA playoffs -- that record's even worse at 9-23 or 0.281)

  61. Okay, sorry for the triple post, but Jesus Christ, weren't we just talking about this?

  62. LT:

    That wasn't really my point. My point was that most remaining fans of teams like the Isles and Oilers are wildly optimistic. Completely irrational. And that's because they need to be, and that's fine.

    And that's cool, I think it's great that there are venues that cater to that. Like and And probably best for everyone's sanity if that's where it is contained, as well.

  63. Vic: I guess so, but imo some of us have gone too far to the other side, too. While stats and counting numbers can tell you where a kid is, there's also a Fernando Pisani in any group that works like a bugger to make himself into a useful player.

    THAT imo is what makes MacT valuable. I mean, look at that list of rookie forward's he's had, and go back and compare them to the people I (and others) were raving about on HF. Where IS Rita? What ABOUT Riesen?

    I don't know WHO MacT will pick out from this crowd, but if we see a kid getting 12 minutes a night and 2 on the PP this fall I sure as hell wouldn't bet against his future.

    And right now I can't identify that guy. That to me is the really interesting thing to watch moving forward (and I apologize in advance because this isn't really close to what you were talking about but you always seem to get me thinking).

    I do agree though that HF has become the ABBA of Oilers talk(did it when the talk of Oil acquiring Ovechkin began to heat up).

  64. I heard about the offer and Buffalo's acceptance just now. what fun. I bet this is going to make arbitration very VERY interesting.

    Was that a threat from Buffalo? What a bunch of kids. "Don't come shopping here." Or what? What a bunch of clowns.

    I think Kevin Lowe is smart enough to surround himself with people who really understand the rules, and how to push the parameters of the options available.

    So far the off season has been WAY better than the playoffs.

  65. posted the last one in the wrong place. sorry.

    As far as the playoff record, what's with separating two arbitrary era's? Its not like there were negro leagues somewhere else where the good players actually played.

    Edmonton has the best record in the history of the league. You can try and diminish that all you like, but the facts are clear.

    And I'd rather see the team mortgage the future to win now, or mortgage the now to win future. Barely making the playoffs every years sucks. I much prefer the concept of taking the early picks for a couple years, trading for a group of guys (who happen to be about 21 now) and givin er in a couple years with a real shot to win.

    As if the Oilers are going to can kevin lowe. If they could, they'd probably dump the fans who assault the players on the web and in the parking lots.