clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is Kevin Lowe Trying To Get Fired?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

I'm not trying to pile on here, but what the hell is Kevin Lowe doing in/to Edmonton? Let's put it this way - if Lowe worked in the current Bush Administration, he'd have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by now. Here are a few of the Oiler GM's recent head-scratchers:
  • Traded "heart and soul" Ryan Smyth to the Islanders at the trade deadline, sending OilerNation into a deep depression, only to admit just a few months later that had he known the salary cap was going to rise as much as it did and had he known the troubles he'd have luring free agents to Edmonton, he'd have given in to Smyth's ~$5.25 million demands (Smyth got $6.25m/year in Colorado). Regarding the former, everyone knew the cap was going to get a decent bump - take this report from back in February, for example, noting that a $4m increase was expected. Regarding the latter, Lowe is apparently just realizing "what Calgarians have known for years: no one wants to move to Edmonton." The trade itself was certainly defensible at the time. But the rationale given now raises an eyebrow.
  • Failed to draft Karl Alzner, who, by many accounts, was the guy the Oilers were targeting (they were clearly high on him), despite the fact that Los Angeles, with the 4th pick, was looking to trade down. The Caps, of course, drafted Alzner 5th, leaving the Oilers to draft Sam Gagner at 6th.
  • Traded captain Jason Smith and winger Joffrey Lupul to Philly for Joni Pitkanen and deadweight Geoff Sanderson. I'll give Lowe a bit of a pass on this one, given Pitkanen's upside and Lupul's horrendous 2006-07, though it's never a good thing when a trade "has [your] players fuming off the record" (though it is, presumably, better than when they're fuming on the record).
  • Lost out on signing unrestricted free agent Michael Nylander (in case you hadn't heard) who took significantly less money to play in D.C.
  • Traded a (likely very high) second-round pick in the impressively-deep 2008 draft to the Islanders for Allan Rourke - a guy who "will provide [the organization] with experience in Springfield (Edmonton's AHL affiliate)" - and the Isles' third-round pick in 2008.
Now, I'm admittedly an outsider looking in on the situation and have cherry-picked some less-than-favorable examples to make my point. But that point still remains - Kevin Lowe has made some questionable moves of late, and Edmonton Oiler fans deserve better.

Update: I just saw an explanation for the Rourke trade that makes sense, and that is that the Oilers needed to acquire that 3rd round pick - which had originally been there and was sent to the Island as part of the Marc-Andre Bergeron trade - in order to have the right picks so they can make an offer to a Restricted Free Agent. Maybe Lowe knows what he's doing after all.

Update: The Oilers have signed Sabres RFA Thomas Vanek to a 7-year/$50-million offer sheet. If the Sabres don't match, not only will the Oil be on the hook for $7+ million per year for the next seven years, but will have to compensate the Sabres with four first round picks as well.

Update: The Sabres match. Who's next up for Lowe? Zach Parise? Dustin Penner? What's Plan C?

Update: As of 1:30, here's the first graf of Lowe's Wikipedia entry:

Funny. (h/t to ExParrot)