Lowe's strength as a GM
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10-07-2003, 09:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Wow, I missed a day and you guys added another chapter to War & Peace. I can hardly keep up!!! Anyway, some comments:
**) Someone posted the Oil's, Nucks', and Sens' payrolls for last year. I think it's bit misleading since it excluded the bonuses. Including the bonuses, I've read that the Nucks' payroll came out to 36 mil. I don't have the exact figures for the Oil but my guess is around 33 mil (correct me if I'm wrong) since Comrie was probably the only one with significant bonsues. That several mil would have been quite useful for a small budget team like the Oilers.
Don't know the figures for the Sens but I would think they might have had to pay out some serious bonuses given the year they had. But however you slice it, there's no doubt they've got a big bang for their bucks.
**) There's been a lot of bashing about how the Oilers overpaid Salo. But people forgot that, prior to last year which was less than stellar, he gave the team several exceptional (team MVP) years. He was widely regarded as one of the best and most underpaid goalies in the league. I think one can argue that his signing by Lowe was as good as and also very similar to Burke's signing of Naslund in that both GMs signed their most important players for under market value. Both Lowe and Burke benefited from the fact that the 2 Swedes were somewhat mistreated earlier in their careers and therefore were seeking security more so than money. They (not unlike a lot of the other Swedes) also took a liking to the small/medium sized city environment similar to their home towns. So in that regard, Lowe and Burke both got *lucky* (for a lack of a better term). Of course you can argue that Salo has so far failed to deliver in the playoffs. But then you could have said the same regarding Naz and Bert.
**) I also don't agree with some of the criticisms of the fact the Lowe let Marchant walked for nothing. First of all, Marchant was about to make or demand a salary that was more than the Oilers have room for as a 3rd line checker. The thing that made the situation looked worse from the Oiler's perspective was that Marchant benefitted greatly from Comrie's injury and got enormous amount of ice time in a scoring role. One also cannot underestimate the monetary motivation and wonder if his production was just a nice career year blip. The fact is, it was a strategic move by Lowe to let him go from the outset. Lowe was probably looking at his forward depth and decided to wager that one of the kids (i.e. Horcoff) was ready to fill Marchant's shoes. As it turned out it's now Reasoner who's filling that spot nicely. I would say this situation is somewhat similar to Burke's decision to let go of Andrew Cassels. He was gambling that the Sedins were ready to take over the 2nd line duties. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case so far. So before Burke's fans criticize Lowe for losing Marchant, you should ponder how Burke *lost* Cassels, who could have been a nice component to a 2nd line that the Nucks are still searching for to this day. At least Lowe has already have found his Marchant replacement in Reasoner.
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