LOWE: ON LEADERSHIP, HIERARCHY AND THE LOTTERY

Jason Gregor
April 24 2012 11:31AM

Last week I caught up with Kevin Lowe and got his thoughts on being GM at the World Championships, picking Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, winning the lottery, the right time for the kids to become leaders and the hierarchy of the Oilers.

JG: You're the GM of the World Championships, but you’ve got around five assistant GMs. How does it work with that many guys?

KL: It's a good setup. Steve Yzerman wanted the Olympic management team, and the guys that are going to be in charge of picking the 2014 Olympic team to be part of the process; led by Steve, Kenny Holland, Doug Armstrong and myself. And then Peter Chiarelli and Dave Nonis are also assisting us in these Worlds, but he wanted that group collectively to be involved in this year's Worlds and next year's Worlds. So it's really ‑‑ it's great stuff. I mean, in terms of helping out with my day job with the Oilers to be able to talk to those guys about players and their thoughts on them, I mean it's just invaluable stuff, and it makes the selection process that much easier for these Worlds.

JG: Three Oilers are going: Eberle, Dubnyk, and Ryan Nugent‑Hopkins. Eberle was a no brainer, Dubnyk has really played well since January 1st, and Nugent‑Hopkins is coming off that injury. I know you're a huge fan of having players go over to play in the Worlds. It's a good experience and it also has them playing hockey into May. So maybe they get into the mindset that their body can handle playing hockey for an extra month or six weeks. Was there any hesitation with Nugent‑Hopkins about possibly just allowing him to rest?

KL: Yes, there was. In fact, I heard your show one day, and I thought it was really a bright comment that you made that maybe the Oilers are better off not having Hopkins go. So it wasn't an easy decision, but we relied on our doctors and T.D. Forss, our therapist, and Ryan Nugent‑Hopkins himself for how he felt. And we actually talked to his agent as well because he's been around him for a few years and knows him well. At the end of the day, with the time off, his shoulder finished strong. He had a little bit of an AC separation which is pretty common in all players. It's not the kind of shoulder problems that Ales Hemsky has had and Shawn Horcoff and guys like that. I really don't think there's any hockey player in the NHL that doesn't have some sort of AC separation.

So with the amount of time between now and the start of the tournament and then when the tournament does finish the 20th of May, there's still lots of time for Ryan to have some time off and then get into a strong strengthening program for the summer, so he's ready for next year. When we looked at all that and weighed it out and factored in the kind of experience he's going to get, this is an audition for him potentially for 2014, we just felt that it was the right thing to do for him.

JG: If we go back to the Canada Cup days, it seemed that whichever GM was running that team, he would like to get some of his guys on there. Was that your thought process with a guy like Devan Dubnyk? I know the other guys still had to approve of it and I know they are fans of him, but were you kind of pushing for it just because you want to see if he can continue on his development?

KL: Actually the interesting thing about the group that we have is that we all collectively seemed to go the other way. In other words, we're less likely to push our guys and wait for the other guys to sort of bring them up and talk about it. I mean Jordan Eberle is a slam dunk; but in terms of the other two, Devan and Ryan Nugent‑Hopkins, it was really interesting to hear the assessments. And that makes you feel good and feel proud of your guys, that there's strong support for those guys to go there. In Devan's case his play down the stretch got their attention, and he's consistently got better every year. Of course, this year playing more, he got better as the season went along, and it was really nice to hear the guys talk about him in terms of a guy that we really have to have, not just sort of a late addition, and thought that he was a great package with Cam Ward.

Then in Ryan Nugent‑Hopkins's case, the whole group is collectively intrigued by who he is and really thinking that he does have a shot for 2014 and wanting to see him on the big ice and play at a high level.

JG: Have you noticed a change of a mindset where more young guys and maybe even middle‑aged guys are really willing to want to go to the Worlds because they think they could be on the stage and have yourself and Yzerman and Ken Holland watching them and maybe that will help them for a potential Olympic spot?

KL: I think it has helped. That was definitely a directive from Steve and Bob Nicholson for that matter. Of course, Bob was quite disappointed last year when Canada didn't do well, and there were a lot of guys that turned down the offer to go play. It's tricky business. The players, rightfully so, recognize that they are paid by their respective teams in terms of playing hockey. But there's an unwritten rule in hockey ‑‑ and you're seeing it more and more now with the European players, even the U.S. are getting better representation ‑‑ that this is all part of the package.

The NHL has a contract with Hockey Canada and with USA Hockey and with the IIHF so that the players do participate in these tournaments. It's all good for the game. From a player's perspective, I can't imagine not wanting to go. You want to play hockey at the highest level; and if your team's not in the playoffs, this is the highest level.

In terms of the players accepting this year for Canada, no question they're thinking about it. Sochi is less than a couple years away, and that by being there, it might be ‑‑ heck, it might be their one opportunity to catch the eye of the GM. It might be the one opportunity for Eberle and Ryan Nugent‑Hopkins and Devan Dubnyk to play in front of that group on that scene because we hope that the team is in the playoffs next year, and they might not get that opportunity.

JG: Cory Schneider came out and said no one cares about Edmonton. Even though the Canucks have yet to win a Cup, they've clearly been the most dominant team in the Northwest for awhile. But do you get a sense that not only are they good, but they have a lot of guys that people hate to play against and fans hate watching. Do you look at that and say, ‘Man, we've got to get a few of those guys in Edmonton some time in the next few years?’

KL: You're right in some respects. I guess the reason why Cory Schneider said what he said is that the Oilers haven't been successful. Maybe that's part of it. Quite frankly, I think that players responding to these types of things shows the fragility of a player. Possibly a player that hasn't been around winning much and doesn’t have much experience.

I wouldn't personally get roped into those types of things. Your main focus should be as a group collectively staying together, keeping your focus in the dressing room, not worrying about the outside world too much and what's said because really all that matters is your play on the ice. I know it's a different game nowadays. There's more going on, the players are into the Twitter world and the social media world, but my response would be all the more reason that you've got to stay a tight‑knit group and not get into that stuff. Let that stuff swirl around you and keep your focus as a group and where it's most important: on your coach's game plan and your own personal health and your own personal support of one another to keep everybody's confidence up and, you know, being ready to play.

Hey, let's face it - the Canucks are a very good hockey team, and time will tell whether they win the Stanley Cup, but they are a very entertaining team. They are a very good team. For them to get their noses out of joint about what other people say does such a disservice to themselves. Just go prove it on the ice. Go win a championship. At the end of the day you're going to be judged on the success you have. And to go out and lose energy by focusing on stuff that is not important, isn’t good. It's destructive.

JG: How surprised were you when Bill Daley called out the Edmonton Oilers and not the Blue Jackets with the first pick in the lottery?

KL: All three lotteries, I've been sitting in my office watching on TV. And in all three cases when it came down to Bill Daley to announce the first overall pick, my heart stopped as it did this time around. A couple days before, I looked on the NHL's website and reminded myself of the history of who won and who didn't win the lottery, and it's quite evident or quite obvious to me that the 29th placed team had never gone to pick number one or never won the lottery. And I thought the law of averages has got to happen sometime, so why not now.

So when Bill Daley said the first overall pick, prior to him showing the Oiler's logo, I thought to myself, It's us. And it felt really good. I know Oiler fans are excited, and they should be because ‑‑ well, let's put it this way: The last time a team had three first overall picks, they went on to be a pretty darn good team for well over a decade, so let's hope that will be the case for us.

JG: I've said from the day you got the first pick I don't see the Oilers trading this pick. Do you think realistically someone could give you an offer that would seriously make you think about it, when you consider what offers you’ve received the past two seasons??

KL: No, I don't. I really don't. But having said that, Jason, I do think that there's probably more appetite for teams that are, you know, in the, ‑‑ I'm just throwing a number ‑‑ in the bottom 8 that are all around there that might be intrigued by having the first overall pick, and not a specific player I might add. But there definitely is a luxury in having the first overall draft pick, assuming it turns out to be a good player. You know, you can market that a little bit. It doesn't carry on forever, but it certainly adds some spin in your marketplace.

So maybe there might be some motivation there, or an organization has a feel about a particular player that they really feel will be a difference maker, and they might want to make a deal. My sense is there might be a little more appetite for that this time around. But we just really won the pick a few days ago, and it will be weeks or months before any concrete offers will come to Steve Tambellini. I would be shocked if anyone would step up and offer what we feel would be good enough to have us not take that player.

JG: Steve Tambellini is the GM, and you have said on record that he's the guy who makes the decisions. He came out and said, “Tom Renney take a few weeks off. I'm going away for a few weeks and then we'll make our decision.” Does he come back to you with his thoughts, or how do the dynamics actually work right now in the Oiler's hierarchy?

KL: Yeah. Steve will make the recommendations as to what he thinks the team needs to do moving forward, and he and I will discuss them as we have done for the last number of years. When Steve made the recommendation to hire Pat, and I thought that was a good idea. I admired Pat. I had worked with him. I had known Tom Renney for a lot of years, and I thought that was a good choice. And if it's Steve's choice to extend Tom Renney as a head coach, I'm sure he'll have all the reasons why that's a good idea. And if he chooses not to have Tom Renney carry on or extend his contract, I'm sure he'll have all the reasons.

But as he said in his season‑ending media availability ‑‑ and I think it's really wise of him ‑‑ there's no need other than fans are anxious and the media would like to know answers. The coaches' contracts don't expire until June 30th. There's no urgency to make any decisions. When the season ends, fans need to understand that you go in and you spend a day or two with all the players. In some cases you're sitting in an office for an hour or longer with a player, and you're listening to everything he has to say and factoring all that in. And then of course you spend time with the coaches, and there's so much going on that you just need to take a step back and say, Okay, what were the strengths? What were the weaknesses? What are the other options? Who do you want to lead the team going forward?

I mean, all these things. It's just wise of everybody to take some time and to think about it. Steve rushed off to the under-18's teams. So I applaud him in taking his time, and I know it will lead to making the right decision as to who our coaches will be next year.

JG: A quick one on leadership. When did Messier become the leader when you played with him? Did he grow into being a leader or did you see it right away? When was the right time for the young guys to take over the team? Is it up to the veterans to allow them to do that, or is it up to the players to just take it themselves? How did it work when you played?

KL: Yeah, a little of both. In our case, there wasn't a lot of older guys around. And in Lee Fogolin's case, he stepped down and gave the C to Wayne Gretzky, and I think that was ‑‑ I can't remember which year, if it was year three or year four. It's up to the young guys also to just flat out say something if they don't think things are right in the dressing room. They need the courage and they need to understand that they should say something ‑‑ they need to be encouraged by management and the coaching staff to say, ‘Hey, listen, I don't care if you've only been in the league for only your second year. You've got to step up and say things if you feel it's right.’ And if the veteran players don't appreciate that or don't respect that, then management has to intervene and either make them understand or move them out.

But, you know, it's not an easy answer, Jason. No question, you want to encourage leadership. You want to encourage players to be able to take leadership. In order to be a leader, really, some guys lead in the dressing room, but they can't do it on the ice. And other guys can lead on the ice, but they can't do it in the dressing room. So it's just finding the right balance within your group.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Spydyr
April 24 2012, 11:38AM
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Fist to be last works for Lowe

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#2 Dale
April 24 2012, 11:45AM
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Gregor you've been crushing it lately. Exclusive interviews, with actual good questions. Keep up the great work. Hall interview was awesome and this is great. Any idea when Oilers announce their plans with GM and coach?

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#3 baggedmilk
April 24 2012, 11:46AM
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Yakupov it is then.

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#4 Jonathan Willis
April 24 2012, 11:50AM
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Lots of interesting stuff here - especially the Yakupov comments.

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#5 Jonathan Willis
April 24 2012, 11:52AM
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I'll second Dale's comments, Jason. You've been doing killer work on interviews for a long time now, and it's much appreciated.

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#6 Greg Stink | ESPN
April 24 2012, 12:35PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I'll second Dale's comments, Jason. You've been doing killer work on interviews for a long time now, and it's much appreciated.

I've noticed the quality of Gregor's interviews really going up lately, or maybe I've just been paying more attention. Bob Stauffer has had some good interviews also. The Penner interview yesterday was great, the day after eliminating the Canucks. Interesting comment about how he thought the Canucks played themselves out of at least the first game, how two of them would try to rough up one of the LA players, opening up odd man rushed the other way, costing them the game.

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#7 KSC10032
April 24 2012, 12:49PM
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Many thanks for this, Quicksilver.

Its truly a wonderful story, especially for another Oldtimer(?).

I enjoy your posts, keep 'em coming.

KSC

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#8 Oiler Al
April 24 2012, 01:03PM
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Very good interview, and good read. Thanks. I always wondered if the buck REALLY, stopped on Lowes desk.? But reading inbetween the lines on the Quinn/Renney commentary, it would appear that Tambelini has a longer rope than I suspected. KL is making pretty obvious that it was ST, choice on the moves, and it is his choice on Renney moving forward? I am sure KL still has to sign off on these matters.

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#9 RexLibris
April 24 2012, 01:17PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

A hundred times props. That was an awesome story, thanks for sharing.

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#10 Gitagrip
April 24 2012, 01:27PM
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Riveting read Jason. I hung on every word. Pertinent questions and introspective answers. Good stuff......I think you "NAILED" it.

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#13 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 24 2012, 01:46PM
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...so you're saying there's a chance. A one in a million chance Steve won't be extended?

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#14 Millertime
April 24 2012, 01:49PM
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Touching story...from someone who is 100 years old? lol

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#15 Wanye
April 24 2012, 01:59PM
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Great work Gregor. Asking Lowe how the decisions are made at the top and who is responsible for what has been on my mind ever since Tambellini was brought in.

YOU DA MAN

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#16 aeiouY
April 24 2012, 01:59PM
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awsome article. so good

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#17 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 24 2012, 02:09PM
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Here's the link to the post/short story that fell into the Belanger triangle...

http://www.rogerknapp.com/inspire/information.htm

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#18 pipeline
April 24 2012, 02:22PM
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Jason that interview was too reverential. KLowe is likely the worst GM in the league based on his track record over the past decade. How about some probing questions into the bad trades and outrageous contracts that have kept the team out of the play-offs for six years. The Edmonton sports media gives KLowe far too easy a ride and this is another glaring example of it.

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#19 melancholyculkin
April 24 2012, 02:50PM
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Any reason you didn't ask about Ryan Murray getting an invitation to the worlds? I would be very interested to hear the justification for that.

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#20 The Beaker
April 24 2012, 02:51PM
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@pipeline

Because that is relevant now how? What would be the point of grilling a guy who isnt the GM about moves he made as the GM 5-6 years ago?

Why would Jason ignore questions relevant to today just to go burning bridges (we need to build bridges not put up walls!)? Get real man.

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#21 Shaun Doe
April 24 2012, 02:53PM
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Hold the presses!! None of this matters anyways, the Team 1040 ran a story that the Oilers have released a memo stating that they cannot guarantee that they will be able to provide tickets for the Molson win hockey tickets for life contest. This could only mean one thing (in their oppinion): The Oilers are still set to relocate!!!!!!

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#23 pipeline
April 24 2012, 02:59PM
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I guess it's relevant to the extent that, how can we expect those who created the mess that is the Oilers to somehow remedy it--even with the advantage of three #1 draft choices.

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#25 Hockeyjedi
April 24 2012, 03:09PM
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I'll add my kudos to you as well, Gregor. Fantastic interview with Hall last week and now another home run with Lowe. Now, since you're so connected, maybe you can give us a few subtle hints as to what the Oilers are going to do with Tambellini, Renney (Sutter??), Smyth and the first overall pick? I keed, I keed of course, but here's a serious one: Lowe has taken a beating for his track record, but other than his last 2-3 years as GM, he did a pretty damn good job. If Katz was to decide not to renew Tambellini, do you think he would quietly ask Lowe if he wanted his old job back, before publicly announcing that he was in search of a new GM? After all, Lowe's been away from the public spotlight for the most part since he stepped down. Perhaps he's recharged and eager to man the helm again? Food for thought....

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#26 Tyler
April 24 2012, 03:36PM
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Guys who are in charge don't make recommendations, they make decisions.

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#27 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 24 2012, 03:44PM
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Articles like the one Jason entered today really should be accompanied by some background music.

Might we suggest....

http://youtu.be/brIhacCP4Zc

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#28 Walter Sobchak
April 24 2012, 03:44PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

As always you bring a smile to my face, I enjoy reading your post's. Would be an honor to be your assistant GM when you get the GM job for the Oilers!

@ Gregor

Execellent interview's!! Wicked! Keep up the amazing work your doing. But..... I have that all worldly challenge for you, get the KATZ interview!

P.S an easier challenge would be a Yakupov interview as well!

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#29 Wax Man Riley
April 24 2012, 03:49PM
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Tyler wrote:

Guys who are in charge don't make recommendations, they make decisions.

Are you ACTUALLY implying that this isn't Tambo's team?

~you're crazy man, just crazy~

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#30 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 24 2012, 03:56PM
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@ Wes

Okay Wes, but you have to go on all roadtrips with the team. I don't go anywhere without my NHL 2K12, it only has a 50' extension cord.

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#31 Greg Stink | ESPN
April 24 2012, 04:06PM
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Hockeyjedi wrote:

I'll add my kudos to you as well, Gregor. Fantastic interview with Hall last week and now another home run with Lowe. Now, since you're so connected, maybe you can give us a few subtle hints as to what the Oilers are going to do with Tambellini, Renney (Sutter??), Smyth and the first overall pick? I keed, I keed of course, but here's a serious one: Lowe has taken a beating for his track record, but other than his last 2-3 years as GM, he did a pretty damn good job. If Katz was to decide not to renew Tambellini, do you think he would quietly ask Lowe if he wanted his old job back, before publicly announcing that he was in search of a new GM? After all, Lowe's been away from the public spotlight for the most part since he stepped down. Perhaps he's recharged and eager to man the helm again? Food for thought....

I don't think Lowe would want his old job back. I don't presume to know anything about it, but I would assume his current job is way better. Probably a lot of similar responsibilities, but has more flexibility and time to take part in the higher up issues in the organization. Also, doesn't have to deal with the day to day grind of being the GM, answering all the questions, and being the face. I'm glad that Lowe is still i the organization, I generally agree with most of his comments and the way he handles himself.

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#32 nqmt
April 24 2012, 04:26PM
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@pipeline

seems like KLowe gets more hate than i think he deserves...sure he's made some questionable decisions but you have to look at why he came about those decisions and what external pressures he had to deal with.

2006: I don't know if you all remember but there was a lot of rumblings that MacT was gonna get fired at the end of the year and they wanted to rebuild the whole team with Pronger as their cornerstone...unfortunately or fortunately (depending how you look at it) they overachieved and got to the Stanley Cup finals. With the ownership how it was where all that mattered was getting in the black, how do you justify to them and the fans that you want to blow everything up and start over? How do you tell your fans that you're gonna let your playoff hero Pisani walk? same as Staios? I believe that EIG were more interested in eeking their way into 8th place than to lose playoff ticket revenue for 4 years and build for a championship.

Horcoff: he was coming off at 70 some point year and was a point per game player, went to the allstar game before he was injured. He was bargaining from a point of strength. Factor in the fact Edmonton's ability to attract free agents, or lackthereof, they had to sign him. Also, rumor was it was more of a Katz signing than Lowe's.

Pronger: He even admitted he should have let Pronger sit. He was dealing from a weak position. The player made it public he didn't want to stay in edmonton and wanted to get traded. There's also only so many teams that could fit him into the budget. He got all he could with what he had to deal with

Hossa/Heatley: He wanted to make a splash and he tried his best but in the end he was chasing clouds. Can't fault the guy for that.

In the end, we don't know what's involved in an NHL team. I do believe not everything is cut and dry and that there is a lot of politicking involved. Lots of external pressures that we do not know of. All i can look at is how Kevin Lowe is viewed by his colleagues and it seems like he's held at the highest regard. We're all looking for someone to blame all the cause of our pain but i believe Kevin Lowe deserves some of it, but not as much as people are dishing out at him.

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#33 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 24 2012, 04:35PM
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Lotusland Letter

It has been found in the files of the National Hockey League, a statement from Commisioner Mr.G Bettman that your Stanley Cup dreams died gloriously as they battled on the ice in Vancouver earlier this week. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of ours which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. We must not refrain from tendering you the consolation from your opponent whom bested you that fateful day. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you with only the cherished memories of this loss, and falling 15 wins short of your ultimate goal and the solemn pride that must be yours whom laid so costly a sacrifice upon the alter of sporting entertainment.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully.......Oilersnation.

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#34 HallFever
April 24 2012, 04:36PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

We can only dream.... I have lost total faith in ST.

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#35 Greg Stink | ESPN
April 24 2012, 04:36PM
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@nqmt

To comment on what Lowe said about Pronger, it's good of him to admit this, most GMs never would. I like how Howson is handling the Nash situation, he could have gave in to the pressure and traded him at the deadline, but why? So Nash can feel good about it and get to a playoff team and on to his new life? In this case, you have to tell the player too bad and do what's best for the team. Trade him at your convenience when the return is fair and not cater to the type of personality that wants out of a contract they agreed to.

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#36 jr_christ
April 24 2012, 04:39PM
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Props to Jason on this one.

Excellent article.

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#37 nqmt
April 24 2012, 04:40PM
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@Scorecoff I like Lowe cause he doesn't dance around the question, he'll answer it truthfully and bluntly. You can tell he's just as passionate about his job now as he was when he was playing. He hates to lose and it shows. I think Lowe just wanted to trade Pronger before he starts cancering up the locker room and took what he got. You have to feel bad for him. He traded for a franchise dman who was suppose to be the foundation of the club and in one night, the foundation was gone and he was scrambling to fix it.

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#38 Oilcruzer
April 24 2012, 04:46PM
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Great interview. Are KLowe's responses word for word?

There's so little to suggest that the Rennie is back next year and lots that implicates he won't be.

If TR was the man, wouldn't he be coaching (even as an assistant) at the WHC?

Unless Sutter completely screws it (and his brother is doing him favours with how LA is performing), he's the next coach.

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#39 Greg Stink | ESPN
April 24 2012, 04:47PM
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nqmt wrote:

@Scorecoff I like Lowe cause he doesn't dance around the question, he'll answer it truthfully and bluntly. You can tell he's just as passionate about his job now as he was when he was playing. He hates to lose and it shows. I think Lowe just wanted to trade Pronger before he starts cancering up the locker room and took what he got. You have to feel bad for him. He traded for a franchise dman who was suppose to be the foundation of the club and in one night, the foundation was gone and he was scrambling to fix it.

Oh, for sure. I think it was a lose-lose situation for him. So frustrating to have it turn out that way after planning around the guy. The stars would have had to align perfectly for him to find a short notice deal that would bring back the kind of players that would benefit both sides equally, and like you said, he probably felt he needed to get him out right away and be done with it.

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#41 Oilcruzer
April 24 2012, 05:24PM
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Agreed Gregor. Wish everyone would follow that rule.

Great Job on Interview (yes there's an echo in here)

(Now everyone's gonna think you're on HGH cuz your hats won't fit)

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#42 2:00AM
April 24 2012, 09:48PM
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This is gold, as a oilers hockey fan this is a rare article that actually goes someways to clearing my head of the image of the Klowe puppet master figure. Before I didn't understand why they were waiting to sign/discharge Tom Renney, now I at least know why they have been so quiet. Thanks for the great read. I am pleased that you have been able to find out what so many of us were wondering, kudos to you. Great work, next up ... Getting the inside scoop on the smyth negotiations, what, a guy can dream right?

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#43 Hockeyjedi
April 24 2012, 10:24PM
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@Scorecoff

Agreed. Lowe may indeed enjoy his present position, I'm just curious as to whether he'd ever have that desire to be "the man" again. If Katz had any inkling that Lowe wanted back in the GM chair, and if he had a notion of canning Tambellini, you'd think it would be a given to offer Lowe the job again. I'm not saying that's what I'm hoping for, but I also don't think it'd be a bad thing either. Teams that lose in the Cup final have difficult decisions going forward, and most of those teams don't also have to deal with a disenchanted star defenseman wanting out, which throws a huge wrench in the plans. Bottom line, I think IF Lowe wanted the job, he would be a better GM than he was in his last go-around.

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#44 book¡e
April 24 2012, 10:29PM
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I wonder if KLowe contacted the advanced stats team about the 'law of averages' prior to the lottery (I kid, I kid).

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#45 common sense
April 24 2012, 11:10PM
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Yes, it was a good interview but "pipeline" made some good points too. It was a very non-confrontational interview which is par on course when a local media-type wants to continue to foster good team relations in order to continue to have good team access. Some of the difficult non-deferential questions weren't asked. A good but ultimately safe interview.

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#47 common sense
April 25 2012, 03:32PM
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Don't get me wrong Gregor, that was a good interview but you could've put KLO a little on the spot. How about a rhetorical direct question like "Are Tambellin and Renney going to get extensions?" . How about "What are the Oilers going to do to improve their defence?". Why not bring up the Horcoff and Khabi contracts again? You know that Oiler fans mention these almost daily. Why not ask him about all the terrible results the past 3 seasons and the public perception that management is not being effective enough. But on a positive note, I would say some pretty good questions about World Championships, the lottery pick, leadership, and the whole playing/working in Edmonton thing.

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#48 Rama Lama
April 25 2012, 05:01PM
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Morgan Rielly is getting a lot of press for his play since he has returned from his ACL injury..........Gregor you are based in Edmonton, have you ever seen this guy play?

Some reports suggest that this guy is the next Duncan Keith and the steal of the draft?

Is this guy on the Oilers radar?

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#49 Walter Sobchak
April 25 2012, 06:17PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Morgan Rielly is getting a lot of press for his play since he has returned from his ACL injury..........Gregor you are based in Edmonton, have you ever seen this guy play?

Some reports suggest that this guy is the next Duncan Keith and the steal of the draft?

Is this guy on the Oilers radar?

Yes, both Murray and Rielly are on the Oilers radar. However, Murray scares the crap out of me!

I got to watch both players this year, now I'm no scout and have no way to back up what I'm going to say but...

Both players skate very well, but Rielly has a better offensive upside and a great first pass as does Murray.

Murray is suppose to be better defense man, however the games I seen he wasn't very noticeable at all, which I guess could be a good thing, but he wasnt dominant, except the game vs Russia where he was in fact brutal.

Not sure how Murray will project like, maybe a Del Zotto, or Shultz with better numbers, not great offensively but very good defensively but not dominant.

I think your Keith on Rielly is a good comparison, very good speed, very good offensive, very good pass, good defense but not dominate defensively.

I still wouldn't take either over the very dominate offensive player like Yakupov. Certainly wouldn't use a 1st overall pick on them.

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#50 nuge2nail
April 25 2012, 10:05PM
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Lowe put together a great team in 06, and pulled off trades that paid off - havent seen that since he stepped up in the organization.

I wish I had confidence in Steve - his free agent signings have been horrible, his trades have been slightly to our advantage (Jury still out on the Whitney trade, Penner trade).

He needs to sign one of or both Carle and Wideman, move everyone down the depth chart and my faith will be restored. A team built of 3/4 defencemen can be extremely good(Vancouver).

Petry Smid Carle Wideman Schultz Whitney Sutton Whitney as #6 with a potential to have a bounceback year, defence all of a sudden looks like a strength on the team. Anyone else with me on this.

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