If I could hunt down and flay Kevin Lowe in the Oilers office parking lot on Kingsway, put on his skin and pose as Oilers GM for a season, I would have done this:
-- Not re-sign Staios, Pisani and Moreau for all of that extra dough, saving about $3 million. Let them walk if they have to. I'd understand. Then I'd use the phrase “cost of doing business” and watch Oilers fans swallow it up and barf it back on web boards.
-- Somehow negotiate Toby Peterson to play below the league minimum and have the NHLPA approve it. My negotiating acumen earns me the
-- Enjoy a nice lamb lunch at The Harvest Room with Cal Nichols, The Edmonton Journal's editorial board, Todd McFarlane and other EIG Investors, regaling them with witty hockey stories, magic tricks and one-line zingers, after which they all agree that I’m “a smash hit.”
-- Re-sign Ryan Smyth at a little bit more than you’d want, at a little longer than you’d want, citing the obvious leverage in Smyth’s favour: career year numbers that puts him in a top rung of the league, being fresh off a SCF appearance, consistent production, and other intangibles like leadership, a willingness to throw his face into pucks, and not least of all, a lack of cosmopolitan flair that makes living in other cities appealing.
-- Tell Mark Messier to stay out of the dressing room, lest I leave the impression that the franchise is merely a 1980s reunion clubhouse (god forbid).
-- Spot any
-- Then make the playoffs because I’m awesome, molt away Kevin Lowe’s skin, and fade back into the general public, with no one the wiser.