Thursday, July 5, 2007

The beginning of the end

Surprisingly revelatory piece in the Edmonton Sun today on Kevin Lowe's bewilderment over our off-season failings. Lowe invites reporters over to his house ostensibly to talk about the possibility that the Oilers will try to launch a few offer sheets at RFAs to get the forward that we so desperately need. But as the interview goes on, the story's focus shifts from hopeful business talk to the confused, mournful peals of a man who knows he's drawing his last breath.

Among the bombshells that Lowe drops along the way: Nylander decided not to take our offer because — WAIT FOR IT — his wife didn't want to move here; leading up to free agency, the Big Three of Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Scott Gomez wouldn't even return his calls; and Lowe sheepishly admits that if he had known how badly the Oilers would strike out in July, he probably would have given Ryan Smyth what he wanted at the deadline.

Sigh.

Lowe admitted he can't take this team to the start of the season without more talent on offence.

"We need one forward for sure. Maybe we can hold on for a while until we get a second one in a deal after the season starts.

"We spent a lot of time at this. Our inability to attract guys. What is it? The city? Me? What's the statement?"

...

The way it's all worked out, with the $50.3 million salary cap, $43 million budget and not being able to land a free agent, Lowe probably should have given Ryan Smyth what he wanted at the trade deadline.
"If I had known ..."

No plan, no hope, and no idea what went wrong. Take a good look, folks. This is the beginning of the end of Lowe's tenure in Edmonton.

ELSEWHERE IN MISERYLAND: Lowetide also sounds Lowe's death knell in his post, "Melting," MC79 pulls the juiciest quote from Matheson's take on the interview and decides he hates this team in "It Wasn't a Hockey Decision," and Matt from BoA uses his vast knowledge of the Godfather to call out Lowe's jibber jabber as "loser talk" in "It's you, Kevin."

19 comments:

Black Dog said...

Agreed chris! - I read that this morning and I was bewildered by the fact that he was so bewildered - just a complete lack of a clue.

Its too bad.

Darien said...

Dammit. You write the most brilliant stuff when the Oil are locked in a septic tank, speeding down a cliff headed for the local nuclear power plant. In light of this, I can't tell if I want the team to get better now or if it should just die already.

mc79hockey said...

...the Big Three of Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Scott Gomez wouldn't even return his calls

I like how it was the Big Three. I guess if you've already left Edmonton, you can never be Big again.

Anonymous said...

I encourage Oilers fans to mobilize and form a protest outside of the Oilers office in the coming days calling for Lowe's resignation.

Notify all media.

Pleasure Motors said...

Man, what do you think Mathieu Garon thinks of the whole "Why can't we attract free agents" thing?

MetroGnome said...

You poor bastards. I'm actually starting to feel sorry for you.

Darien said...

Man, what do you think Mathieu Garon thinks of the whole "Why can't we attract free agents" thing?

He's getting on the first available flight out of town.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine how different the Oilers would be today if they had signed Smyth to a 5-year contract, kept Sykora, and did the Smith/Lupul trade with Philly?

They could have named Smyth as Captain and got him for 4 million a year less than Colorado is paying him next year -- and Lowe admits he should have kept him!!!

Oilers fans have got to be pissed and calling for Lowe's head -- especially when you see the Flames lock in their two best players for 5-year, nearly career-ending deals.

-- Bob

epinonymous said...

Like I said..."they could smell the desperation on me a mile away"...

the sieve said...

"[Nylander's] wife freaked out, like she was being shipped to Siberia or something."

Pure gold.

Peter said...

"If I had known..."
if he had known what?
this quote is useless.

The the Kevin Lowe bashing in this town has become borderline ridiculous. Just two summers ago every barstool manager in this city was praising Lowe as a genius for picking up Pronger for Brewer and a bag of pucks...how things have changed. Be patient, cut him some slack, give him some time to improve this team, the season doesn't start till October.

PJ said...

The next promotional package the Oilers send out to players/agents should be targeting strictly the unmarried UFAs and should feature a video montage of Joffrey tongue kissing 17 year olds as evidence that Edmonton is a great city to live in.

Chris! said...

Yes, god forbid fans change their minds based on a wealth of evidence that our GM has become increasingly clueless and ineffective to the extreme detriment of the team.

Thanks for the reality check, Peter.

d said...

I'm depressed. And what is it with the hockey wives?

Black Dog said...

peter - we've been waiting since the Pronger trade for a veteran defenceman or two - the veteran dman or two that likely would have made them a playoff team and a buyer at the deadline last season

Lowe did a terrific job in 05/06 - absolutely.

Since then he's stepped into an elevator shaft. The team as presently constituted as two rookies on D as well as Smid and Greene. And the top nine forwards will likely include Pouliot, Thoresen and Nilsson. I like all three of those guys and they hopefully will have long productive careers.

But their top remaining scorer from last season scored 16 goals.

Who would you suggest Lowe go after and who is he going to move to get the pieces they need?

Its a total rebuild and the worst part is its totally self inflicted.

stu catz said...

career-ending deals

Well, at least you've got that going for you.

And Peter sounds suspiciously McLeaesque. With maybe a 48% reduction in pomposity, though, so maybe I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Lowe is on the way out, the job is beyond him.

Duke

Anonymous said...

Duke...ha ha ha

Wait...is that your name?

Anonymous said...

"...and Lowe sheepishly admits that if he had known how badly the Oilers would strike out in July, he probably would have given Ryan Smyth what he wanted at the deadline..."

Is that what he said? My understanding was that if he had known how high the cap would go, he would have adjusted his offer to Smyth accordingly. Did any team have an idea what the final numbers would be before that day it was announced? Which was just after the NHLPA added the whatever % on top of it? And were there moves by those teams who knew beforehand, that reflected their wise foresight? Just wondering.