Personally, I agree with everything you've said on the subject until now. but the Oilers PP needed help, and they were desparately thin at centre.
Oates should have helped the Oilers PP, Larionov should have helped the NJ powerplay ... neither did. Probably something to do with coaching (If you think MacT's PP personnel decisions defy logic ... watch a Burns team ). But most of it is probably that these guys are old, and old players fall off the map in a hurry at the end of their careers. Its a gamble.
One thing you cannot deny ... is that Adam "cancer" Oates, who has been a defensive liability his entire career, and just terrible in that regard here. ... somehow Lowe and MacT turned him into "a great leader and a terrific defensive player". Bloody hilarious! But talk to fans ... you'd here them echo Lowe's and MacT's words in this town, the media were even worse. For Christmas sakes ... was no one actually watching the games?
It would be funny if it wasn't so damn sad.
someone besides me nailed the Edm media
When it comes to arguing for/against veteran leadership and what a difference it can make, you'll never lose the argument.
I laugh of all the people that are NOW saying that Lowe shouldn't have signed him but many of you were the same people that thought the move would help.
Man is is so easy to be a critic after the fact.
We all knew it was a "gamble" when it happened. Lowe rolled the dice and I know if he doesn't do anything he is accused of sitting on his hands (Matts that is for you).
Not every gamble pays off for any team. Colorado paid how much for Selanne? How much is Jagr costing per year? Signing Jagr to a long term contract was a gamble and it is obviously a failure.
Lowes gamble was that Oates would help them make the playoffs, he really didn't help but IMO it really didn't hurt either. So it was IMO a lowe risk gamble, and I have no problem with those kind of gambles.
The signing of Igor Ulanov was a gamble too and that one IMO paid off.
As a GM you take those gambles and not every one is going to work but it is far too easy to criticize after the fact when most people supported the gamble at the time.
So we signed Oates to get to the summer? What were we endanger of losing summer this year? That's my whole point, if your just building up prospect depth and trying to stay finacially afloat until 2004, why sign an over the hill forward. Why not pocket the money and let your kids play?
With all the hubbub about the draft, I forgot about this thread.
Anyhow, I think you were missing my point here.
The Oilers were not in danger of losing anyone.
The Oilers also didn't have the team to do any damage last year either (barring a Calgary style miracle run).
What the Oilers had, as far as the center spot goes, was good 2 through 4 depth and a couple underage guys that were a year or two away from making the club.
The point I am trying to make is, with the discounted UFA's coming up this summer, with some depth in the system that needs to mature a little what sense does it make for Lowe to go out and take on a contract that extends past this year, may cost a roster player to get and may prove to be an inflated value after this summer?
It doesn't, in my mind, so irregardless of Oates' lack of out put, irregardless of the debatable leadership issue, irregardless of the debatable face off issue - Lowe took the right approach in this case. He signed a veteran at a reasonable price for the remainder of the season to try and fill the hole. The season is over and the Oilers are none the worse for wear because of it. They aren't on the hook for any contract, they still have all their roster guys and have more options because of it.
As far as pocketing the money and playing the kids, look at the scrutiny that occurs on this board and tell me if you honestly think that Lowe holding firm and playing Bishai all year would have gone over well. Try and tell me that if Lowe went out and got a 3.5 million dollar player that had two more years on his contract or his RFA status that no one would have called him out on it.
I think it is safe to say that if Lowe did nothing and brought up a borderline NHLer from T.O. and the team continued to struggle then he would have been underfire for standing pat.
I think it is safe to say that if Lowe brought in say a Radek Bonk and his 3.5 mil contract and impending RFA status he would have been roasted because come this summer he could have signed a Center for perhaps 2.5 or 3.0 mil instead.
And that says nothing of the idea that maybe the upcoming lockout drags for a year and a kid like Pouliot knocks some socks off when the league starts up again.
Actually I think it is safe to say that for every unabashed Lowe lover, there are some here that will call him out irregardless of what he does.
Let me end with a question, instead of saying Lowe was wrong, why don't you tell us what he should have done.
What would have been the better approach to take (and don't say play the kids because that idea would wear thin very quickly as soon as the annual January slump came along)?