• Lowe, you brilliant bastard…

    by  • May 22, 2007 • Uncategorized • 42 Comments

    Update: Thanks to the folks at edmontonoilers.com for providing me with the team’s banner celebrating Anaheim’s trip to the Stanley Cup finals.

    You’ve done it again. Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid and TWO first round picks for Chris Pronger? AND we get to pick at number six this year?

    Well done, sir. Well done. Of course, none of this would have happened if Steve Yzerman was alive. It must be shocking, yet somehow unsurprising to the Detroit fans to see their string of twenty two Stanley Cups with him leading the Red Wings come to an end. Now they probably won’t win again until End Days, when he returns to Earth to smite his foes and, well, whatever else it says in Revelations. I’m pretty sure that Flames third jersey figures it into somehow.

    Anyway, main point here: even with that second first round pick, this trade is still worse than an abomination. I never thought I’d think longingly about Jimmy Carson…if you live long enough, you’ll see everything, I guess.

    By the way, I wholeheartedly encourage this thread turning into a cheapshot Kevin Lowe and the Oilers thread. I was kicking this around with Dennis on MSN and so far there’s “I think it’s very impressive that the Ducks could win without Lupul and Smid…speaks to their depth” and “Kevin Lowe has now built two contenders: the 2005-06 Oilers and the 2006-07 Ducks.” Further suggestions are wholeheartedly encouraged.

    Does that sound a little over the top? I really don’t think it is. Dennis pointed me to a story in the Sun where Lowe is gloating about this trade. Now, if ever there’s a time to engage in such behaviour, it’s in a story that will get published on the Saturday of May 2-4, but still…it’s a spectacular story.

    “My mom actually said ‘You have enough draft choices.’ ” laughed Lowe. [With respect to getting another pick if Anaheim won the conference.]

    Now, I’m not opposed to getting draft picks. Still, Lowe’s mother is kind of the voice of sanity here: You have enough draft picks. Start trading for actual hockey players as opposed to draft picks and B level prospects.

    Lowe said he’s talked to Ducks’ GM Brian Burke a lot during the playoffs.

    “I talked to him just the other day, after the Pronger suspension,” he said.

    “I told him I thought the Ducks would win that game without Chris.”

    The two general managers have had a bit of fun throughout these playoffs kibitzing about the conditional pick.

    Burke tells the story this way: “Kevin said ‘Burkie, I’m handing you a ticket to the finals.’

    “I told Kevin, ‘OK, if that’s true, I’ll throw in another first round pick.’

    “I had no problem doing it. And I’ll be happy for Kevin and happy for the Oilers and the fans in Edmonton if we get there.”

    I can’t be the only one who thinks that he’s not laughing with Lowe about this, so much as laughing at him. Of course he’s happy to give Edmonton another draft pick – he’s given him pretty much garbage so far, in exchange for one of the best defencemen in the NHL, in his prime. Giving up that extra draft pick means that his team made the Stanley Cup finals, so who cares what he gave up in terms of a most likely late round extra pick.

    “But it all started because we were hung up. I wanted five assets for Pronger. With Smid and Lupul and the two draft picks, we’d got it to four,” recalled Lowe.

    If there’s any justice, this is Kevin Lowe’s “Pronger should have got a divorce” quote. As near as I can tell, scouting in Edmonton means counting the number of things that you get that are or were drafted in the first round. Even by that standard, you’d think that they’d have gotten around to asking for Vitaly Vishnevski. Of course, Brian Burke might have responded “I’m not in the business of handing out useful things within my conference.” Interesting policy, that.

    This is not a great draft year. The pick may or may not ever get to the NHL.

    Not to mention the poor bastard will have to carry the cross of having been a first round draft pick of the Oilers. He’ll be lucky if he’s not dead within three years, let alone playing in the NHL.

    But next year …

    Scouts are already calling it one of those rare years that come along every decade or so.

    “There’s a lot of high-end depth in next year’s draft,” said Lowe.

    Wow. Sounds pretty sweet. Kind of like the 2003 Entry Draft, when the Oilers had the 17th pick. Of course, rather than take Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kessler, Jeff Tambellini, Corey Perry, Patrick Eaves or Patrice Bergeron, they manged to turn the pick into Marc Pouliot and JF Jacques. To be fair to Pouliot, there are signs that there’s something there but all of the players named have enjoyed more success so far. To be fair to the Oilers, they also got JF Jacques out of the deal and he may have well set an NHL record for most time on ice without being on the ice for a goal for this season, which is a nice thing to tell your grandkids that you witnessed as a fan.

    I hope to God that Lowe doesn’t believe any of this, knows he got destroyed on this deal and understands why. I suspect that he doesn’t and that ultimately, there’s no real hope for these guys, other than drafting John Tavares this year and hoping to win the court case.

    About

    42 Responses to Lowe, you brilliant bastard…

    1. lowetide
      May 22, 2007 at

      You have to laugh though. If it wasn’t for this trade the Senators might win the Cup. Muckler is probably sniffing glue in Ottawa as we speak.

      Three more bullets for Anaheim, so Pronger will probably be 80% the player he is by the time one of the draft picks plays an NHL game.

      Not bad. Not bad at all.

    2. mc79hockey
      May 22, 2007 at

      You think ANA for sure eh LT? I couldn’t agree more. The only thing I can’t figure out is how something good happens for Comrie, as it has to to complete this year. My guess is that he finds true love…with Pronger’s wife.

    3. Bruce
      May 22, 2007 at

      Of course the pick Oilers got this year will be #29 or #30. The “extra” one next year could very likely be about the same, because the Ducks are going to be near the top for awhile. They already had a good team before importing Pronger at virtually no cost to their current roster. (From what I’ve seen, dropping Lupul was addition by subtraction.)

      Oh well, give the Oilers’ bird dogs enough chances, and that “blind squirrel” scouting system is bound to pay dividends sooner or later.

    4. May 23, 2007 at

      Thanks, Lowe. Or Lauren. Or whoever.

    5. SweatyO
      May 23, 2007 at

      Quantity over quality.

      Later over now.

      Lupul over Getzlaf.

      All bad things….

    6. May 23, 2007 at

      Comrie or CFP…hmm…

    7. mc79hockey
      May 23, 2007 at

      Enjoy Sleek. You were certainly kind enough last year, so I hope you guys have a good time and I suspect that you’re going to have a happier ending. I don’t know what you people did to deserve to benefit from God’s hatred for Edmonton, but you seem like an agreeable enough chap, so I’m happy for you.

    8. PunjabiOil
      May 23, 2007 at

      “Of course, rather than take Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kessler, Jeff Tambellini, Corey Perry, Patrick Eaves or Patrice Bergeron”

      Kind of a gross exaggeration, don’t you think?

      Bergeron went in the 2nd round – 45th overall – Eaves, Perry, Tambellini all went 27th-29th overall.

      Pouliot will definitely have a better career than Kesler.

      Parise and Getzlaf I can understand. It’s the reasoning behind passing on Parise that somewhat upsets me – but if they thought Pouliot to be the BPA, then you can’t really blame their motive.

    9. Julian
      May 23, 2007 at

      This Lowe standing there with a black eye saying “I… I fell down the stairs… me and Burkie were just playing around, and I uh, tripped, and…. uhm…

      wimper….”

    10. Lord Bob
      May 23, 2007 at

      You know, I really, really can’t wait until we move past the point where we keep saying “you know, that Pronger trade was really not very good” and just get on with hating that giraffe.

      Also, Pronger really hasn’t played spectacularly in much of the playoffs, and he’s probably something like fifth on the team MVP race. Which is still pretty good, but not exactly “contender-building”. Meanwhile, the trade managed to tank the Oilers and get us a sweet draft pick. So you see, we won the trade after all. Hooray!

    11. pete
      May 23, 2007 at

      drafting John Tavares this year and hoping to win the court case

      Without question, the funniest part of this whole ode. I’m serious. I hope a GM reads this and says “why not?”

      Just to cement the NHL’s reputation as a gong show.

    12. May 23, 2007 at

      Lowe and Matheson were back at it today.

      “I wouldn’t have done the deal for Chris just for the four assets we got,” said Lowe, who drove a hard bargain over Pronger, also nabbing Ladislav Smid, Joffrey Lupul, a first-rounder this June and a second-rounder in 2008.

      Drove a hard bargain? I’d really like to meet Jim Matheson. I really, really would.

    13. RiversQ
      May 23, 2007 at

      You know, I really, really can’t wait until we move past the point where we keep saying “you know, that Pronger trade was really not very good” and just get on with hating that giraffe.

      If Lowe would just hurry up and resign then we could get on to more important things.

      The problem is that he keeps opening that fool mouth. You’d think he’d at least have the good sense to shut up about one of the worst deals in the last ten years.

    14. Bruce
      May 23, 2007 at

      “You think ANA for sure eh LT? I couldn’t agree more.”

      From my couch it looks like a pretty even match-up. Ottawa is 13-deep in NHL forwards (inc. Saprykin) and 7-deep in NHL defencemen (inc. Schubert, who posted a mighty impressive +30 playing out of position as a depth winger). Anaheim’s fourth line and third defence pair are markedly weaker. But their Big Three on the blueline will make that point largely moot.

      FWIW, in this year’s “no surprise” playoffs, regular season goal differential has been an excellent predictor. (I’m talking about real goals, not shootout markers.) In 10 series the relative differential was greater than 5 goals, and in all 10 series the superior team won. So Ottawa (a league best +70) looks good against Anaheim (+56).

      Of course, the final will be the first and only series between the opposing conferences. Gary Bettman’s (mentally) unbalanced schedule assures that not only do the teams involved in every Stanley Cup Final have little or no recent history with each other, but that they have so little in the way of common opponents during the season that it is very difficult to calibrate their relative strengths based on regular season results.

      In short, my “infallible predictor” is virtually useless for the SCF. Especially when the teams are given more time off before the finals than a typical US college football team before a bowl game. MONDAY?? What’s with that?

    15. sketchy
      May 23, 2007 at

      Can the Oilers trade Draft Picks for a new GM?

    16. RiversQ
      May 23, 2007 at

      Yeah I think the Sens are the better team as well. They can play the WC style game and I don’t think anyone can stop that first line. After that, I think the Sens’ depth matches up very well with what the Ducks bring.

    17. Dennis
      May 23, 2007 at

      I was wondering why it took us all so long to get at this;) I read this the other day and the blood began to boil and I was about to joint email Cam and Ty and then I said, “No, fuck it.” Everyone with a clue, well besides LT who has a clue but he’s mule stubborn;), knows that we’re right about the deal and the fact that this can get published in both papers proves that most folks in Edm don’t have a fucking clue and that the Edm MSM is beyond help.

      As for who wins this matchup, let me say that it gives me a reason to actually watch to have Burke and Pronger in the finals. I’ve cheered against Ott the whole bloody time but now I’m big on the bandwagon even if it means a win for Comrie. I said with Riv on who should win, I don’t think anyone will stop the Spezza line and though Ana has the big 2 on D, I like Ott’s big four depth, plus the other two guys gives you some good playmaking in a limited role.

    18. Dennis
      May 23, 2007 at

      And it just gets better. From today’s Globe, and let me say that Mirtle’s buddy Eric D should know better than to write such a shitty piece overall, Lowe breaks another dandy:

      “We were cheering like mad,” said Oilers’ general manager Kevin Lowe Wednesday morning, “and trying to get everyone in Edmonton to cheer for Anaheim in this past series.

      “Watching last night particularly, it made the playoffs a little more interesting for us. It’s a small consolation, but at least it gives you some reason to cheer, other than being a spectator.

      “Now, we can cheer for Ottawa.”

      Trying to get everyone in edm to cheer? What the fuck does that mean? What would it accomplish? Lowe’s either trying to hard to cover up the stink of the deal or he actually believes that he’s gonna end up the winner in this deal.

      The thing that really makes me laugh is Lowe talking about the spectator thing. The Oilers were on a kick of missing the playoffs every second year so they’re a long way from having something to crow about, and the Oilers without Pronger weren’t much to write home about and with pronger they were. But now that he’s left and we have magic beans in return, I have a feeling we’re all gonna be spectators for awhile. If Lowe’s looking for a playoff rush in ’08, for instance, maybe he should trade Hemsky to the Sharks for Doug Murray and Curtis Brown and get himself one of dem shiny playoff victory clauses…yee haw!!!

      People in edmonton are stupid

    19. Puff Smokey
      May 23, 2007 at

      [quote]People in edmonton are stupid [/quote]

      That’s a massive generalization Dennis, being that Lowe has nowhere near the support you seem to think he has among long time and knowledgeable Oiler fans. Call us stupid for allowing as many cerebrally stunted, fish-catchin, coal-minin, good ol byes to infest the area, do our grunt work, and keep the liquor retails profitable, but please don’t paint all Oiler fans with the same brush.

    20. Bruce
      May 23, 2007 at

      Hey, it could be (even) worse. Lowe got 5 futures for Pronger, whereas Doug MacLean got Sergei Fedorov for Francois Beauchemin, the underrated third member of Anaheim’s Big Three. While an admirable museum piece from the past, Fedorov came with a variety of present ailments (physical and otherwise), and a bunch of future liability including yet another season at $6+ MM.

      This season Beauchemin played almost 125% of Fedorov’s minutes for only 8% (eight per cent) of the money. That’s not including playoffs, where Beauchemin is *averaging* over 30 minutes a night, while Fedorov is on vacation.

      The dumpage of Fedorov’s contract also made the acquisition of Pronger even possible. Which of the two would *you* rather be paying $6+ MM? (he asked rhetorically)

      So chalk up two great trades for Brian Burke, throw in the signing of Niedermayer, and within a year of taking over the club he had put together a trio of defencemen that are the envy of the league. I don’t like Brian Burke much, and I certainly don’t know how he does it, but there’s no arguing results. That in acquiring CFP he was able to also dump Lupul and his imminent raise over any member of the Duckling Line was a master stroke. Too bad it came at Lowe’s expense.

      An Oiler trivia note with a sour taste. The throw-in for Fedorov was none other than Tyler Wright. He’s an afterthought in that he did for Anaheim what he did everywhere else – more or less nothing – yet Wright is arguably the sixth best of Oiler first-round draft picks over the past 25 years (1982-2006). Which is to say, behind Beukeboom, Rucinsky, Arnott, Smyth, and Hemsky, about even with Devereaux, and far ahead of the rest (although, ever the optimist, I hold out some hope for Cogliano and others of recent vintage). That’s a pretty sorry goddam haul for a quarter century’s worth of picks, which included five years of two picks each and only last year with none. With a track record like that, it’s hard to get too excited about all these first round picks in the immediate future. Magic beans, indeed.

      Finally, another Oiler trivia note with a little happier edge, at least for me. The other (unofficial) throw-in for Fedorov was Todd Marchant, acquired on waivers — re-entry waivers no less, so Burke the Bargainer got him at half price — a few days after the trade. While the thought of Pronger lifting the Cup is a galling, I have no such problem with an old Oiler warrior like Todd Marchant doing so. Even if the local media did the usual character assassination on him when he opted for market value instead of the hometown discount after ten years of loyal service. Like Ryan Smyth, Jason Smith, Steve Staios, Ethan Moreau, Shawn Horcoff, Fernando Pisani, etc. last year, Marchant is an honest veteran who deserves at least one shot at the Stanley Cup over the course of his career. For him, like many, it has come after he left Edmonton, but so what? More power to him.

      So Doug MacLean lost the trade outright, and immediately. Kevin Lowe had the smarts to buy a few years’ grace because while he may have lost the trade outright, it’ll take awhile to evaluate how badly he lost it.

    21. snafu
      May 23, 2007 at

      Justice would only have been served if Lowe had traded Pronger to a team that had no hope of contending for years to come. I think he would’ve looked great in a Yotes jersey. Even LA would have been a better choice– if justice had anything to do with it.

    22. May 23, 2007 at

      I still half-assed wonder if Pronger for Luongo was ever doable. Unlikely, but it’s a thought that amuses/pains me from time to time.

    23. mc79hockey
      May 23, 2007 at

      I can’t believe that it wasn’t. That would have required some creative thought on the Oilers part though.

    24. RiversQ
      May 23, 2007 at

      Kevin Lowe had the smarts to buy a few years’ grace because while he may have lost the trade outright, it’ll take awhile to evaluate how badly he lost it.

      People seem to think that’s conspiracy talk, but I’m pretty sure Lowe took that into account. It’s very hard to convince the sunshine and lollipops crowd how bad this deal is until all the chips fall. Inevitably, you’ll have some total idiot like Jason Gregor claiming that Pronger was traded for Lupul Smid and Young Star X, just like they pretend Guerin was traded for Carter and Hemsky.

    25. May 24, 2007 at

      The other (unofficial) throw-in for Fedorov was Todd Marchant, acquired on waivers — re-entry waivers no less, so Burke the Bargainer got him at half price — a few days after the trade.

      I don’t believe that Marchant is half-price for the Ducks, though the waiver story is accurate. So far as I know, the Ducks are on the hook for the full Marchant contract.

    26. Dennis
      May 24, 2007 at

      Well, Puff, I think you know what I meant when I said that, ie the people who buy the tickets and keep eating this crap are stupid. I didn’t think I needed any further clarification but one thing I’ve noticed, and it’s more from HF than here but you’ve now also exposed yourself in a similar light, is that Albertans hate and/or look down upon people from NF and love the chance to show it.

    27. Lord Bob
      May 24, 2007 at

      ie the people who buy the tickets and keep eating this crap are stupid.

      Yeah, only morons like to go to hockey games.

    28. RiversQ
      May 24, 2007 at

      I don’t believe that Marchant is half-price for the Ducks, though the waiver story is accurate. So far as I know, the Ducks are on the hook for the full Marchant contract.

      I could be wrong but I always thought the contract splitting was only for the year of the waiver. So I think Ducks had him at half price for one year and are now paying full freight.

    29. May 24, 2007 at

      RQ, I’m not 100% sure either, but they did make a big deal about how the rest of the league had an opportunity to take Marchant but after they all passed, then Anaheim took him (I think on his second waiver exposure).

      It would seem to me that if there was significant savings, somebody else would have bitten.

      Frankly, though, I don’t recall anybody on this waiver-discount-rule other than G Michael Leighton, but I think others have gone through waivers with full salary implications (Kunitz last year, for example).

    30. Bruce
      May 24, 2007 at

      Not sure as to who’s responsible for what re: Marchant. From TSN.ca at the time of the deal:

      http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=143275&hubname=

      “If he were recalled from the minors and a team claimed him on re-entry waivers, the Blue Jackets would be responsible for half his NHL salary but that would count against the Blue Jackets’ cap figure for the length of Marchant’s contract. That would be the only way the Blue Jackets could get rid of the player and pay a portion of the salary, but it’s a last resort because of the implications it could have on the Blue Jackets’ cap situation in future years.”

      According to a few blogs (but nothing “official” that I could find) there was a revision made to the re-entry waiver rule in June 2006 w.r.t. veterans of 320 games or goalies of 180, but I don’t know that it was retroactive or that it even applies to Marchant’s specific situation.

      Whatever, Marchant was originally part of the Fedorov deal but buggered up the deal by invoking his no-trade clause. Burke made the trade without Marchant and got him anyways … at a bargain, after the veteran endured the humiliation of being waived through the NHL not once, but twice. Again citingthe TSN article:

      “It will be interesting to see the reaction to that within the Blue Jackets’ dressing room, where Marchant is held in high regard both for his work ethic and his leadership.”

      Judging from subsequent results, the reaction was not good … esp. when the BJs saw Fedorov.

      Maybe K-Lowe’s biggest mistake is not talking trade more often with easy marks like Doug MacLean.

    31. May 24, 2007 at

      Anyone see the Barnes articletoday? Looks like Lowe’s been in love with Lupul forever.

    32. Asiaoil
      May 24, 2007 at


      I still half-assed wonder if Pronger for Luongo was ever doable. Unlikely, but it’s a thought that amuses/pains me from time to time.

      Lupul, Smid and picks is what you get when you want little or no salary in return for a player making $6 million – even an elite one like Pronger. Clearly many other options are available when you are willing to take on a big salary in return and Luongo WAS available AND Keenan loves him.

      The Oilers were being cheap – and this I can deal with – but what makes me crazy is that Lowe immediately signed Lupul to an undeserved big contract. Talk about f’ing up the only good part of the deal which was its cap friendliness.

    33. May 24, 2007 at

      “the fact that this can get published in both papers proves that most folks in Edm don’t have a fucking clue”

      Would you like some nails for that cross you appear to be carrying, Dennis? Doesn’t that schtick *ever* get old? What does it mean to say that because a reporter says stupid things in a paper, the whole city is stupid? (But a select few who happen to agree with you, anyway.) The people are stupid because, what, they’re not at the doors of the Journal with pitchforks baying for the blood of Matheson, so they can move on to hang Lowe himself from the rafters of the Northland Coliseum?

    34. Dennis
      May 24, 2007 at

      Fuck, does anything think Woywitka was the sticking point for Pronger coming to Edm?:D

      I didn’t think much of Perry at the time but I thought even less of Woywitka once I saw him in the NHL and the better deal for Comrie was surely for Perry and the pick but Lowe got caught up in the money and punishment angle. Obviously he’s gotten over the latter because he basically gave Pronger everything would ever want, playing in a city that doesn’t give a fuck and going to a contending team without anyone of substance coming back on the other side of the deal.

      And Mike, as long as that shit gets printed, I’ll keep bitching. I’m too old to change:) and I’ve been right enough on a few things that I don’t think I really ‘should’ change.

    35. sketchy
      May 25, 2007 at

      I’m doing my part. I wouldn’t trade my last wooden nickel for either of the fish wraps in Edmonton. If only it mattered…

    36. May 25, 2007 at

      Dennis, it’s one thing to say “that’s some stupid shit,” and quite another to say “everybody in that city is stupid – but me. Oh, and people who agree with me.” That’s just martyring yourself, and it doesn’t do your message any good. Or your blood pressure. :)

    37. May 25, 2007 at

      It seems pretty clear now that the *real* reason Lowe wouldn’t have taken Luongo straight up for Pronger is that he’d only be getting ONE asset. That would be, what, like, only 20% of the return he got from the Ducks.

    38. Dennis
      May 25, 2007 at

      My blood pressure is fine, Mike:) It gets high during playoff time but that only happens once every two years when you’re an Oilers fan so I should be fine:D

    39. Dom
      May 25, 2007 at

      The only thing I got from this thread that matters is that Dennis is from NF and should be mocked mercilessly because of it.

    40. Pat
      May 26, 2007 at

      “Now they probably won’t win again until End Days, when he returns to Earth to smite his foes and, well, whatever else it says in Revelations. I’m pretty sure that Flames third jersey figures it into somehow.”

      Your biblical allusions kill me. Hilarious.

    41. February 4, 2009 at

      You fell? You’d better be careful next time. =) My friend had an injured knee due to a fall while playing baseball. Now we lost a player :(

    42. August 18, 2009 at

      Learn heavy metal guitar faster than you thought!

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