• Can Lowe buy his way out of the Oilers current mediocrity?

    by Dennis • November 19, 2007 • Uncategorized • 27 Comments

    Noted Oilers blogger Lowetide and myself can agree on a lot of things. Like myself, he’s first and foremost an Expos fan and the guy has also been known to show some chops regarding some cool old-school music, ie it seems like the fellow knows an awful lot about old Rolling Stones gear.

    That being said, it seems like him and I can never get on the same page regarding one Mr. Kevin Lowe. Without even touching on what I thought was the touchstone quote from Staples newly minted blogger expose, LT and I had been going back and forth on his site regarding what it is exactly that Lowe can do to improve this team and just how much it would cost to do it.


    One thing we can agree on is that Lowe really thought he was building this team to win in ’08. Well, either that or he really doesn’t value the high-end of the ’08 draft class, which would put him in direct contrast with other notable parties. I say this because if Lowe had valued the class, he most likely wouldn’t have traded his chance at the lottery, which is what he did when he signed Penner to an offersheet and what he was willing to do when he earlier tried to nab Vanek.

    Before I really get into this, maybe Lain and I can agree on some things because I think we both said that the best the Oilers would do in ’08, and by best I mean that they enjoyed near pristine health and thus could fully exploit the accumlated talent, was 10th place. So, whether Lain said it or not, I certainly said that Lowe hadn’t exactly put together a playoff roster so for the second year in the row, the guy was about to fail.

    Well, a few things have gone right for Lowe if you’re willing to accept the idea that we can use the word right in terms of Lowe having some excuses to lean on at season’s end when everyone wants to hear him explain how his team missed the playoffs for the second straight year and three out of the last four seasons. And by right, I mean longterm injuires to both Pisani and Moreau plus time missed by Souray and Pitkanen. I’ve always said that “Excuses In Lieu Of Success” has been Lowe’s mantra and the good news for him, well besides the four year contract extention he received a couple of monts ago;) is that he’s got a few excuses in his backpocket already and we haven’t even gotten to the first of Decemeber.

    The Oilers have seven wins and 15 points in 20 games and their -20 goal differential is by far the worst total in the league. The only team worse, points-wise, than the Oil are the Caps who have six wins and 13 points in 19 games but are actually eight goals better than the Oil in terms of differential wise.

    This is to say that the Oilers have certainly bought and paid for their early season woes and aren’t the second worst team in the league because they’ve been the victims of a lot of bad bounces.

    So, without getting into just how much money we’re spending to ice a team that’s so bloody bad, and without wondering what kind of a difference would be made by the availabilty of any or all of Pitkanen, Souray, Moreau or Pisani, what can Kevin Lowe do right now to help this team escape from the Western Conference basement?

    LT, who always likes to believe the best in people and thus hardly ever gets to experience the feeling of satisifaction;) thinks that Lowe will make a quality for quanity trade, which is to say the Oilers send out two or three kids and get a talented vet in return. And one that hopefully turns the club around a little. Of course, you may know the quality for quanity trade in terms of how, first off, the Oilers ACQUIRED Pronger and then, later on, in terms of how they TRADED Pronger for Ladislav Ulanov, Lupul and three draft picks, forevermore known here as “The Five Assets.” I think what LT is hoping for is a trade like the one Sather made in December of ’97 when he dealt away Bonsignore, Kelly and the other Comrie for Roman Hamrlik. That cleared away some of the kids from the Oilers pipeline plus it provided that team with a another very useful dman.

    My counterpoint to LT was two-fold:

    1: Lowe doesn’t usually make qual for quan trades, he usually accepts them. For proof, I listed how, yes, Lowe once duped Larry Pleau into sending us Pronger for Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch but he was also the guy who did Pronger for Five Assets and also became flustered with Smyth to the point of dealing him for the inconsistent Robert Nilsson, California Dreaming Ryan O’Marra, hint: the guy currently plays in Stockton, California for an ECHL club and another first round pick.

    2: Qual for quan trades normally happen when the team accepting the qual portion has the capspace to pay for them longterm once the deal’s done. Now, I will allow for the possibility that you can do a quan for qual move as a rental, but, the Oilers really don’t have the capspace to do this at this time. Unless, of course, the team on the other end just can’t get a deal done with the guy they’re moving and they’re willing to take on some salary just to get rid of him.

    So, what do you guys think? Is there any way Lowe can get out of this mess via trade? Especially in terms of qual for quan, I mean. The only idea I have is if he tries to blow away the Thrashers with an offer for Hossa. But, in the process, he first moves Tarnstrom’s contract somewhere for nothing more than a draft pick and just saves the cash. Then, Lowe calls Atlanta and dangles Stoll, plus Gilbert or Smid, plus a prospect; take your pick of Nilsson-Schremp our Pouliot. If you could do that, combine the amount of cap space we have currently have available with the combined cost of the players moved, we would be able to afford what’s left of Hossa’s ’08 salary. So, you could look at it as a rental first and foremost and then you could try later to sign him longterm. Is that something that interests the Oil fan and if not, how would you go about trying to significantly improve this team trade-wise? And keep in mind that we started the season ~1.4 mill under the cap so we really don’t have a lot of room.

    There may be a minor move or two you could make right now that could help the club. I’m talking about things like resuing proven tough minutes muncher Mike Johnson from the Blues minor league club and putting him in the lineup in place of Sam Gagner. That alone would make it much easier for MacT to match lines. But, apparently Johnson’s agent called the Oilers in late summer and was rebuffed so I doubt the Edm brass would change their minds at this point. The org could also send send Allan Rourke back to the minors, diminish Smid’s role and look to peddle one of their young forwads to a Blues org that currently has a surplus of dmen. But that’s for another time. Right now, I’m wondering if there’s anyway Lowe can make the big splash.

    Any ideas?

    27 Responses to Can Lowe buy his way out of the Oilers current mediocrity?

    1. November 19, 2007 at

      Good post Dennis and you nailed the big one right on the head. The Oilers have to clear cap space to acquire someone like Hossa and the guys you’d want to move (Souray) can’t be moved (Souray can be used for different meanings for immobile apparently). Which means you move Staios or Tarnstrom or Torres or (god forbid) Hrocoff or Hemsky – which means you are robbing Peter to pay Paul.

      The Souray signing has fucked this team six different ways. Terrible terrible move. Maybe this shoulder problem will force him to retire.

    2. November 19, 2007 at

      Well, maybe someone should tell the Oilers this now so that they don’t make the same mistake they did when they let Smyth go;) but the cap’s going to go up for next as well so without factoring in the increases for our RFA’s, there will be more leaguewide room to move next year. Of course, that’s not to say the Oilers will decide to spend to the cap either.

      That was me trying to make you feel somewhat better about the Souray contract;) But in the interest of being balanced, if Penner doesn’t start playing better, we could be talking about the nearly 10 mill combined to pay him and Souray rather than just focusing on Souray’s pact.

      You can talk about you want about how he needs to go from a 13 min to 18 min a night guy and that’s not what was expected from him in Ana but that won’t exactly help us on the scoresheets, now will it? He’s gotta score more goals and if he’s not ready to do that, well then let’s look at the guy who decided that he was.

    3. lowetide
      November 19, 2007 at

      Dennis:

      I honestly believe you need to look at Lowe’s record post-CBA as unique to the period before the lockout. In the period of time when the Oilers were in a position to do so, Lowe acquired Pronger, Peca and then at the deadline Roloson, Samsonov, Tarnstrom and Spacek (did I miss anyone?) which based on what left town was textbook “loading up” for a run to the Stanley.

      Since the Pronger deal, he has been making what I think we can agree are ‘high risk’ and rebuilding moves and lord knows defending them is a sticky wicket. Many of them seem at cross purposes (sign Roloson long term, don’t sign Smyth but sign Lupul logterm the moment he arrives) and can debated as such, but imo saying he doesn’t make quantity for quality trades doesn’t ring true.

      He’s done it before, he needs to do it now.

      As for capspace deals, that is one element but I remain convinced this team needs NHL players so badly that they could improve markedly by adding veteran foot soldier from the Mike Grier-Mike Johnson of wingers or the Don Awrey group of defenders.

      Does anyone really believe the only way to improve the current Edmonton Oilers is with an impact offensive forward?

      Wouldn’t they be better the moment Stortini, Grebeshkov, Rourke, Nilsson and Smid were sent down in favor of veteran options?

      And I know that Pisani, Souray, Pitkanen and Moreau are Oilers, but they aren’t helping. What happens if G40 comes and three of those guys are not back yet or ineffective upon their return? No sir. I refuse to believe Kevin Lowe will let this continue.

      It makes zero sense, business or otherwise. Getting your brains beaten in is a tough sell in any era, and I can’t imagine that Sam Gagner is learning lessons that will help him down the line by wearing his ass for a hat every night.

    4. November 19, 2007 at

      I think the reason we haven’t seen any movement from Lowe yet is that no one’s beating down his door with demands the Oilers take one of their veteran wingers for a Rob, Schremp or Nilsson, or any one of our other rapidly depreciating second-tier assets.

      Twenty-point bubble players are five cents a bushel these days; anyone who’s called Lowe is probably looking for one of our actual “good” players, ie. Horcoff or Stoll. And I can hardly fault him if Lowe has self-imposed a moratorium on shipping out existing NHL talent. We need a forward move, not a lateral one.

      But bottom line, I think, is that it’s just too early in the season for GMs to be thinking about unloading their older, established players for younger, unproven talent.

      We’ve got a while to wait yet, I fear.

    5. mc79hockey
      November 19, 2007 at

      In the period of time when the Oilers were in a position to do so, Lowe acquired Pronger, Peca and then at the deadline Roloson, Samsonov, Tarnstrom and Spacek (did I miss anyone?) which based on what left town was textbook “loading up” for a run to the Stanley.

      Here’s the thing LT and, to be fair, this should be probably addressed to Dennis too: I don’t think that you can really plan on making quantity for quality deals, other than you can make sure that you’re well stocked with attractive young prospects that teams who are over a barrel would be interested in. Let’s be honest: if we’re going to cut Lowe slack for the fact that his hands were tied, forcing him to make quality for quantity deals pre-CBA, you can’t exactly turn around now and say that he did such a great job taking Pronger off of Pleau, whose hands were tied by the unique issues facing St. Louis at that time. I don’t know that there’s a great deal of skill involved in stealing a wallet from a guy who’s tied to a chair with a ball gag in his mouth. It cuts both ways – if you give him a free pass pre-lockout, you have to acknowledge Pleau was just as fucked and that Peca was a salary dump for the Isles.

      Where it reflects on the GM’s, I think, is what they can extract in that position. If you’re handcuffed to a chair and you convince the guy stealing your wallet to at least put the keys someplace that you can reach them, you’ve accomplished something. Pleau didn’t do that with Pronger. Lowe didn’t really do it with Weight, although he managed to turn some of his lesser stars into decent pieces. He certainly didn’t do it with Pronger, despite having the best leverage that he’s ever had in a situation like that – Pronger wasn’t playing for four years unless Lowe said it was ok. I don’t think that the early returns are promising for the Smyth return either.

      Does loading up at the deadline take skill? Well, in all of those cases, Lowe did a good job of identifying the hole and finding a solution, but he was trading for pieces that had no value to their teams – Minny, Chicago, Boston and Pittsburgh were going nowhere with or without those guys, so we were talking an auction type situation in which the Oil were (wisely, in retrospect) willing to pay the highest price.

      I see the situation now; really, the situation since Pronger demanded to be traded, as being different than the situations above. Lowe needed to and needs to remake this club, to transition it to the future. He needed to move value for value. He needed to spend the new budget wisely. He has, in my preliminary view – and I don’t think that you really disagree LT – done horribly at this. Four centrepiece moves – Pronger, Smyth, Penner and Souray and all four are shaping up as unmitigated disasters. The Roloson signing looks pretty piss fucking poor to boot.

      This team is in a bigger hole now than it was when Pronger asked for a trade. I don’t know how you can draw faith in the captain of the ship from his recent past performance.

    6. lowetide
      November 19, 2007 at

      MC: Agreed the major bets (as predicted by many) have gone badly wrong. However, there has to be a way to improve this team in the short term, and a 2-for-1 that sends away (say) Pouliot and Smid or Jacques and a pick in order to get better immediately can add another NHL player to the mix AND prune the tree (prospect wise). Both are needed.

      Inertia is not an option.

    7. November 19, 2007 at

      When I first heard of the news that Pronger had asked to be traded, I thought it might be a good situation for Lowe. Pronger’s value was huge after the playoff run, and there were a few star players out there that would have fit well with the Oilers team.

      Teams wouldn’t be looking to trade a star defenseman for another star defenseman, but there were plenty of great forwards as possibilities. Plus Lowe has a history of finding quality veterans for the defense.

      Gaborik came to mind, he had publicly said that he wanted out of Minnesota (this was before Riseborough acquired his personal hero, Pavol Demitra, in trade). Hossa might have been a good fit trade-wise. FLA were looking to lose one of Luongo’s or Jokinen’s salary. Every GM would listen to a Pronger offer if they could send back a similar salary to the Oilers.

      But for whatever reasons, Lowe wasn’t looking for an impact player in return, he was after young players. When you trade a guy who makes a positive difference in helping you win games for a couple of young guys who do the opposite … it won’t end well. We all know that.

      When Smyth was shuffled out the door it looked like a full blown rebuild on the cheap. Cal Nichols was speaking of a $2M increase in budget and telling Stauffer that they just hoped to break even in this non-playoff season, and LaForge was bandying around the $39 M budget number to season tix holders.

      Then the emergence of Katz, the wealth of the Oilers coming to light. And Lowe set himself on fire.

      On Dennis’ question: I think that LT is right about how to right the ship now; dump about 8 guys, the youngsters, and replace them with reliable vets from Europe or the waiver wire. Not so easy to do this time of year though. And what message does that send to the fans? It’s just not practical.

      I saw that a player named Clutterbuck was playing for Minnesota the other night. Lowe should trade for him.

    8. November 19, 2007 at

      I know I can be stubborn;) but the thing about aruging with Lain is that he’s never really ready to give up on Lowe. He may some some weakness, but you never get him to go over the edge. Though, to his credit, I think he was pretty choked over Lowe getting the latest four year extention.
      I’ve praised some of Lowe’s past moves, for instance, I was all about the Garon signing as soon as I heard it, so I’d like to think that I can go both ways when it comes to pro and con Lowe. But, when it comes to LT, he’s seen all of Lowe’s huge misses and he’s still a hard sell when it comes to the truth.

      Bottom line is that Lowe had one awesome season, if we’re judging nothing but post lockout, and since then he’s authored, thus far, 122 straight games of, well, you fill in the blanks.

      And as much as it’s a pat on the back for Lowe when he was able to take on salary in the dump that was York for Peca and then the Pronger deal, that netted him just the one great season.

      What has he done since?

      Anyway, my point was that Lowe can’t pull of qual for quan and he certainly can’t pull one off right now given the salary he’s tied up in 27 and 44. Or if he’s trying to do something like that, it will require a lot more smarts then he’s shown thus far.

      I mean, yes, right now we could improve at EV by sitting down Gagner and bringing in a vet but that’s not the kind of move I thought LT was referring to.

      Anyway, we’ll see if Lowe moves or not. Last year he had the space and he had some parts but he still didn’t move. Now maybe that was because we had a hard budget and if that was the case, then good on Lowe because he had an excuse. And by good on him, I mean this year he’ll have an excuse because he no longer has the space to pick up some salary.

      As long as Lowe has excuses, all is well.

      Except for the on-ice product, of course.

    9. slipper
      November 20, 2007 at

      If I remember correctly, at near to the end of last season Laforge and company were suggesting a 42 or 43 million dollar budget. I’m positive I saw those numbers and “10% below the cap”, well before the Katz offer. Only because so many people were trying to scratch together possible rosters under the proposed budget.

      39 million just makes the EIG sound like they’re completely fucking retarded, and even I don’t beleive that to be the case.

    10. slipper
      November 20, 2007 at

      And yeah, then Katz released his statement through the media with the promise of always icing a “cap spending team”. I remember turning to the other inmates and saying, “holy shit, something stupid is going to happen in the next few days”.

      Not surprsingly, all of them thought the Souray signing was awesome.

    11. dwillms
      November 20, 2007 at

      1) Move Roloson, and it doesn’t matter if we get nothing for him. At this point Garon gives us little (if any) drop-off in play, bring in JDD to backup, and create $3.1 mil in cap room.

      2) Deal Stoll in a package to get a legit 1st-line player. If we have ~$1.4 in cap room, add Stoll’s $2.2 and the $3.1 savings from Roli, that’s ~$6.7 in cap room. As you said, if we need more cap space then deal Tarnstrom (I’d like to see Staios moved, but I don’t see any takers with his contract).

      The player I’d make a big push for would be Olli Jokinen. I don’t see him being dealt, there was a rumour last week he was being shopped but it was quickly shot down. Florida is going to struggle again this year, though. He makes a very reasonable $5.25 mil for three more seasons. I’d try the same thing with SJ for Patrick Marleau, but also doubtful he would be moved.

      Try for Hossa, but I would be hesitant if we wouldn’t have a new contract in place when we dealt for him. A couple other names: Elias, Gionta, Marc Savard.

      One player I haven’t heard anywhere else that I’d love to have would be David Legwand. 2nd-overall pick in ’98 behind Lecavalier, he made a jump last year and looks to be making another jump this year. Only 27, and yet he’s a UFA after this season. In the same vein, Jeff Carter would be another great pickup.

    12. November 20, 2007 at

      Dennis, I don’t know that it’s fair to say that Lowe *thought* he was building for this year. Rather, I’d suggest he thought high risk / high reward, crossed his fingers, and hoped.

      He probably could have done things differently this summer and fall to mitigate the risk, but I suspect that would also have meant definitely accepting no playoffs – a mini-rebuild. No argument that his gamble doesn’t look to pay off though.

      What can he do now? Well, teams can trade their way out of trouble, and sending off middlin packages for good players is possible. Lowe’s done it himself – Rolo, Samsonov (say what you want about the guy now, but he was good in the Cup run), Pronger in. It’s been done around the league – the B’s trading Thornton for nothing, for instance, Pronger to Anaheim, Kipper to Calgary, Comrie to Ottawa, etc.

      Is it likely that Lowe will be able to pull a Pronger or Thornton type trade out of his nether regions? History argues against him. Presumably the GMs that got the wrong end of the stick in the trades I mentioned really did think the moves weren’t terrible.

    13. Mr DeBakey
      November 20, 2007 at

      We’ve been through all this shit over & over
      The 90% Solution cost Smyth and probably a decent return on Pronger.
      The 100% Solution resulted in Souray & Penner

      As the hospital ward empties:
      Replace Smid & Gagner on the roster with Rourke & Thoreson, $1.5 mm in cap relief.
      Can they send Greene to Springfield without waiving him? If so they should, he won’t be worth a damn when he comes back from this knee. Saves $1.2 mm.
      [both savings annual]

      Keepables – Horcoff, Cogliano, Hemsky, Pisani, Gilbert, and probably Tarnstrom.

      Getables

      Uhhh..

      Samsonov is available

      Players coming from Europe have to go through waivers don’t they?

      If it helps, the 10 teams closest to the Cap are:
      ANA $51,475,418, NYR $51,206,834, TOR $50,080,547, STL $49,899,861, PHI $49,857,710, EDM $49,418,449, VAN $49,182,424, CHI $48,469,735, MIN $48,455,553, DAL $48,424,088

      Would Souray waive his NTC to play in New York while Jagr simultaneously waives his to play with Hemsky?

    14. voxel
      November 20, 2007 at

      This teams needs a Peca badly not a Mike Johnson (I’m wary of any Hab player from last year)…

      Columbus with Peca in the lineup: 7-4-2
      Columbus without Peca in the lineup: 2-3-2

      Signing Peca + Hedja would have been great/cheap moves… but Lowe is obsessed with youth.

    15. November 20, 2007 at

      MikeP, if that was indeed Lowe’s plan, then Lowe’s a bigger idiot than even I’ve given him credit for.

      I think the guy honest to gawd thought he had built a playoff team and I think that’s reflected in his comments on Oilers live when he says he wants to see what this team looks like when everyone gets off IR. Personally, I think this team is no better than 10th place even with everyone else back but I believe Lowe believes otherwise.

      In any case, he’s gotten enough money tied up that he can’t take on salary without letting go of salary and some of the big pacts are literally untradeable.

      It’s a fine mess we’re in.

      And when you cite the Pronger trade to Ana, well Lowe’s even up in that regard. He drilled Pleau and then Burke drilled him. Some of those trades don’t fit in the same pile, though. Sutter had inside info on Kipper and made it work to his advantage. And when Lowe shows that type of foresight for something other than rentals, Spacek and Sammy and Roli, or guys with big money on their pacts being dealt by teams that can’t or don’t want to afford him, Pronger and Peca, then it will be the first time.

      Lowe once had the hammer in terms of being able to take on salary and that “lead” to his greatest moves. He doesn’t have that luxary anymore so now he needs to unearth some cheap gems.

    16. November 20, 2007 at

      Dennis, then you and I differ with regards to our perception of Lowe’s thinking. (And I should have read LT’s comments first.) I think that Lowe’s only saying what he needs to say with the expecting the playoffs thing – I suspect a boss’s influence there, Laforge has already shown he doesn’t mind chastising his GM in public. The next GM I see that always says exactly what’s on his mind will be the first.

      You’re right though, he can’t take on salary without dumping it, and if the highly paid guys were any good to begin with, the Oilers wouldn’t be in their current mess. Roloson may be moveable; that would free up a few mil, and he fits in on this team about as well as Ranford did in the mid-90s.

      Still, Souray’s a high risk high reward: that Montreal PP was killer. Too bad it didn’t seem to be Souray as the straw stirring the drink there, since they’re getting along just fine. Ditto Penner.

      I mentioned the Pronger trade twice for a reason though, thank you very much, and if Roli’s a rental, then what length contract does a guy need to sign to not be one? I’ll give you Spacek and Sammy, although I think it came as a surprise to many that Spacek wound up signing in BUF. I’d have thought he’d enjoy it in EDM, virtually guaranteed the right point on the #1PP and top 3 icetime with Prongs gone.

    17. November 20, 2007 at

      Yes, I am right, at least in one regard;) he’s picked up enough salary that he has fuckall room to move.

      Also, you don’t fill up to your cap unless you totally expect to make the playoffs. Unless, of course, you have two big salaries that have come because of offersheets and are guys you picked up for tomorrow.

      Which of course is impossible.

      In regards to Roli being a rental, I’m talking in terms of Lowe’s trading record and the guys he picked up in said moves. Roli was a rental and the whole theme was if Lowe can trade his way out of this and when I looked at his record, the best trade’s he’s made is when he had all the leverage. Basically, Lowe hasn’t proven that he can make a trade straight up, or even steal a deal for that matter.

      That’s not to give him credit for getting the jump in the Pronger sweepstakes, which I always have, but unless Lowe holds the hammer, he can’t trade his way out of a paper bag.

      And his signing record isn’t great either.

      So it’s basically this: the Oilers can draft, which is ultra important, they can feed on teams that need to dump salary and in the rarest occasion of when we decide to rent players, we’re gold.

      Anything else, and we’re fucked.

      Note: it’s interesting that you brought up Spacek’s defection because that’s something that hasn’t been discussed in quite awhile. I believe that all sides agree that Edm offered him comparable money but he went to Buf because of the better travel sked and also because he felt the Sabres had a better chance to win. I really can’t fault him on either piece of reasoning. I would’ve liked to have seen what we could’ve done in ’07 with Spacek taking Smid’s mintues, and us actually receiving value in the Pronger trade to boot, but that’s too painful to discuss right now;) I’ve always entertained the thought that Spacek saw what the Oilers received in return for Pronger and also is one of those guys who follows the league and knew that if the Sabres D hadn’t been hit with a plauge of nearly biblicial porportions in the ’06 EC Finals, they’d have been the Oilers comp in the final. And, so, given the collective ages of their corps, Spacek was closer to getting back to the Finals with Buf than Edm.

      Once again, hard to fault him.

    18. jadeddog
      November 21, 2007 at

      *Signing Peca + Hedja would have been great/cheap moves… but Lowe is obsessed with youth.*

      that is a very accurate comment…. lowe always wants to go for youth and the pronger trade is a great example of it… pronger should have got us hossa or luongo or somebody similar, but instead it got us 20 cents on the dollar…. lupul, who turned into half a player in pitkanen, who is half the player that pronger is… smid, who wont ever be anything more than a 3-4 dman, and that wont even be for a few more years…. and draft picks in the overall high 20s…. absolutely ridiculous… in fact 20 cents on the dollar might be a kind comment

    19. PunjabiOil
      November 21, 2007 at

      Dennis, stop complaining. You’re not a season ticket holder!

      http://communities.canada.com/edmontonjournal/blogs/hockey/default.aspx

      Oilers chairman Cal Nichols has said when he gets a complaint from a fan, he first checks to see if th fan is a season ticket holder to gauge how seriously he should take the rebuke.

    20. dwillms
      November 21, 2007 at

      Basically, Lowe hasn’t proven that he can make a trade straight up, or even steal a deal for that matter.

      Hmmmm, this one’s looking like a bit of a steal right now…

      Mar 8 2004: Edmonton trades Tommy Salo & 2005 6th round pick (Jason Lynch, 166th overall?) to Colorado for Tom Gilbert

    21. November 21, 2007 at

      Dennis, I don’t fault Spacek, but I don’t think Lowe intended him for a rental. Samsonov was clearly always going to be one (and given his spiral downwards, Lowe was smart to not re-sign *him*). I still don’t get why you call Roli a rental, though. Just to be clear, a rental to me is a player traded for who is not re-signed. Roloson was re-signed. (I suspect if he’d fizzled, he may not have been, but that was a first round pick going the other way…)

      dwillms, I think what Dennis means is that Lowe can’t consistently come out at least even in trades. I think that’s fair to say, although I’d not fault him for it until I took an exhaustive look at every GM’s deals over the same time period that Lowe’s been around. Dennis, that puts you on the hot-seat :) , although if you don’t have time I may try to take a look.

    22. November 21, 2007 at

      Yeah, MikeP, it might be something for you to look at;) Though, don’t forget to check how many of those GM’s then had four year contract extentions:)

      When I talk rentals, I’m talking just how hard was it to make that trade? Obviously, it’s much easier to rip a GM off in a rental, at least in terms of right-now-value-wise, then it is when you’re picking up a guy that’s signed for the next couple of years. So, praise Lowe for dealing for Spacek and then damn him for not signing him. Seems like an easy enough seperation for me.

      That’s also how I’d spilt Roli’s tenure with the Oilers as well; you judge Lowe on what he gave to get him as a rental, which was well worth it of course, then we judge just how astute Lowe is on the FA market by how Roli plays throughout the life of the contract.

      Anyway, I know some good deals that you’ll unearth if you look at some of his moves and of course I know the bad ones as well. My point is that I don’t think anyone with his record should’ve gotten a four year extentsion. Anyway want to argue that the guy or guys doing the best job with the Oilers are the ones who’s making some of the draft decisions? Because when it comes to recent trades and money spent on FA’s, who in their right mind will argue that Lowe’s doing a good job in that regard?

      Then again, you might considering you believe Souray to be a high risk/reward signing;)

    23. November 21, 2007 at

      How could SS be anything but a high risk/reward signing? (Unless you believe he’s utter crap, of course, but that’s a different argument.) Risk: injury or a return to his 10-15 point seasons. 1/2 so far. Reward: maybe he won’t get hurt and will again pot in the neighbourhood of 15-30-45. Jury’s still out on the latter – not looking good so far. Players who swing for homers a lot also strike out a lot.

      4 year extensions? What about Harry Sinden and Bill Wirtz? Life could be worse, we could be Bruins or Hawks fans. :) For that matter, Bobby Clarke and Mike Milbury didn’t do their teams great favours either. Not saying I’ve enjoyed every aspect of the last couple of years under Lowe – you’re absolutely correct, the scouts have been great and the acquisitions otherwise pretty poor, particularly FAs.

      In my books, Lowe’s a middlin’ GM with a couple of home runs, a bunch of singles, and a lot of strikeouts. Lou Lamoriello and Brian Burke have pretty much cleaned his clock, but he’s no Sinden/Wirtz/Milbury either.

    24. November 21, 2007 at

      Mike, I take no solace in the argument that, “hey, at least we’re not as bad as such and such.”

      And, as far as Souray, I wouldn’t be super against if we were way under cap and it was for two years and it was a way to spend some of the leftover money. But for 5 years at that price>

      Simply retardulous.

      No one should ever pay that kind of money for a guy that’s such a piece of EV garbage. I mean, fuck, he was -28 while playing on the third bloody pairing. That’s a pretty damning set of statistics.

      I still believe he can help our PP but, considering the price and what he can’t do at EV, it’s one of the dumbest moves Lowe has ever made.

      It might sound dumb but I’m enjoying Souray being out of the lineup. If say the ’06 Pitkanen shows up from his latest injury, I’ll be fine if Souray never comes back. The Oilers won’t limit his min like they should, ie 10 or less at EV and then play the shag out of him on ST, so once he gets back, we’re looking at 20 min a night from Souray and that just won’t end well.

      I’d rather have Rourke or Grebs playing 10 min and Pitkanen The Good picking up some slack.

    25. November 21, 2007 at

      Considering Souray was a defensive dman before he was a PP specialist, I don’t think it’s entirely unreasonable to at least *hope* he’d get that game back. I was cautiously optimistic at the time of his signing, but he should have either gotten the length or the numbers, not both.

      Considering the Oilers are right now no worse with Souray out, it doesn’t sound dumb. I was thinking the same thing myself.

      I don’t know if I’d say that this year’s Oilers are as maddening as the 1982 ones were, but they’re close. They’ve got some young established talent: Hemsky, Horcoff. They’ve got some wily veterans: Sanderson, Moreau, Reasoner. Finally, some kids who quite likely will be top-flight players in 3-5 years: Cogliano, Gagner. And some players that produce results for both teams and are consistently inconsistent: Torres, Souray. And to top it all off, an older-than-dirt goalie who once was damn good but is now looking mortal.

      As for a GM comparison, I’ve a paper due for school in about 3 weeks and lots of work to do on it between now and then. Maybe mid-December. We’ll know better by then if Penner will even come close to covering his bet this year.

    26. PDO
      November 21, 2007 at

      Great commentary here.. but just a thought on Roli…

      What if we dealt him to Colorado for Theodore and a pick? It gives Colorado some cap relief and a proven playoff goaltender.

      Obviously it gives the Oilers a pick (a 2nd? MAYBE a 1st?), and some cap space for next year.

    27. dwillms
      November 22, 2007 at

      First, Colorado has more cap space than we do (about $4.6 mil). If anything, we are the ones who need cap relief, both this year AND next.

      Second, if anything we should be the ones giving COL a pick b/c Roli has another year left on his deal.

      Look at something like the Jalen Rose trade in the NBA, probably the closest example I could come up with.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *