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10-28-2003, 05:42 PM
  #1
Lowetide
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The Courage of his Convictions.

Kevin Lowe has had better weeks, but this past 7 days has to rank up there somewhere. Too often in sports at every level, managers, agents, coaches and players say one thing and do another. How many times have we seen a team buckle to outrageous demands, only to watch the newly signed player screw the pooch?

Rich Winter has attempted repeatedly to frame this issue in terms of Comrie's status as a top line player along the lines of Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.

Rich Winter has played the media very well, creating a mock tragedy about a rich kid made good who can't buy a litre of milk without getting noticed.

Kevin Lowe has responded as needed, with clarity and reason. It continues a fairly long run of solid free agent moves (tough line with Smyth, Staios signing, on it goes) and is actually an area of strength for him imo. He has a more impressive record with contracts than with trades, for instance.

In a way, Lowe and his opposite number in Minnesota represent what is right about NHL GM's right now: they've discovered the courage of their convictions.

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10-28-2003, 05:50 PM
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Thank you for the excellent post, Lowetide.

I just wanted to add that I am very glad that Lowe has managed to make his point clear without getting drawn into Winter's juvenile public argument.

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10-28-2003, 06:30 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Kevin Lowe has responded as needed, with clarity and reason. It continues a fairly long run of solid free agent moves (tough line with Smyth, Staios signing, on it goes) and is actually an area of strength for him imo. He has a more impressive record with contracts than with trades, for instance.
I agree with most of your statement but I disagree with you Lowetide when it comes to Lowe and contracts.

I think contracts are Lowe's biggest weakness. He keeps signing all these players to long term, bigger money deals that end up hurting the team.

He gave Cleary that horrible deal, Brewer will be getting 2.5 this year, Laraque received a deal a young age that turned him into a millionaire. I also think the Cross at 3 years averaging over 1 million per year will bite the team as well. My guess is that Cross would have had trouble getting an offer from any other team at over 1 million. Not to mention the Salo deal, that has him making 3.9 Million this year.

The Staois signing was a coup for Lowe. However I would argue, that it was Lowe and his team's talent evaluation that allowed it to happen. Staois got a contract that was arguably above market value for a defensemen that was not wanted for the top six of a porous Atlanta Thrashers defense.

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10-28-2003, 07:13 PM
  #4
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no doubt some contracts are absolutely brutal, cmon is isbister really worth the money as well as salo or brewer for that matter. anyhou excellent post lowetide, good to see lowe stick to his convictions, winter is a piece of work cant blame him for trying, what an azz. winter heres what i think of your opinion :moon: :moon: :moon: .

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10-28-2003, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elphy101
I agree with most of your statement but I disagree with you Lowetide when it comes to Lowe and contracts.

I think contracts are Lowe's biggest weakness. He keeps signing all these players to long term, bigger money deals that end up hurting the team.

He gave Cleary that horrible deal, Brewer will be getting 2.5 this year, Laraque received a deal a young age that turned him into a millionaire. I also think the Cross at 3 years averaging over 1 million per year will bite the team as well. My guess is that Cross would have had trouble getting an offer from any other team at over 1 million. Not to mention the Salo deal, that has him making 3.9 Million this year.

The Staois signing was a coup for Lowe. However I would argue, that it was Lowe and his team's talent evaluation that allowed it to happen. Staois got a contract that was arguably above market value for a defensemen that was not wanted for the top six of a porous Atlanta Thrashers defense.
You can't take one or two examples and say "because of these he is bad at contract nagotiations."

Look at the total picture - which is the only thing I'm concerned about. We have a perrenial 90+ point team year in and year out and that is with one of THE lowest payrolls in the NHL. Sure there are some contracts that aren't great - but by god we could find about 20 teams that wish they had the Oilers contracts and not theirs!

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10-28-2003, 07:18 PM
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OH YA, and great post lowetide. I agree with you 110%

It's great to FINALY see some fiscal responsibility in the league. I mean heck, if GMs would keep this up then the problems of the CBA would pretty much be 50% taken care of. The sh!tty thing is that 5-6 teams completely ruin it for the rest of the league.

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10-29-2003, 02:37 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thome_26
OH YA, and great post lowetide. I agree with you 110%

It's great to FINALY see some fiscal responsibility in the league. I mean heck, if GMs would keep this up then the problems of the CBA would pretty much be 50% taken care of. The sh!tty thing is that 5-6 teams completely ruin it for the rest of the league.
It is great to see fiscal responsibility in the league but I think what Lowe and Risebrough are doing may be all for not. It pisses me off that the Oil and the Wild are playing hardball with there 2 star players and at the same time time, the Nux open the vault and sing Bert to a ridiculous contract. I don't blame the canucks at all because if they don't do it, someone else will. I'd rather have Bertuzzi stay with a Canadian team than him go play for Dallas or New York or Philly.

This is why Bettman and the owners will get fleeced next CBA negotiations. At this point, no salary cap can be justified.

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10-29-2003, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Kevin Lowe has had better weeks, but this past 7 days has to rank up there somewhere. Too often in sports at every level, managers, agents, coaches and players say one thing and do another. How many times have we seen a team buckle to outrageous demands, only to watch the newly signed player screw the pooch?

Rich Winter has attempted repeatedly to frame this issue in terms of Comrie's status as a top line player along the lines of Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.

Rich Winter has played the media very well, creating a mock tragedy about a rich kid made good who can't buy a litre of milk without getting noticed.

Kevin Lowe has responded as needed, with clarity and reason. It continues a fairly long run of solid free agent moves (tough line with Smyth, Staios signing, on it goes) and is actually an area of strength for him imo. He has a more impressive record with contracts than with trades, for instance.

In a way, Lowe and his opposite number in Minnesota represent what is right about NHL GM's right now: they've discovered the courage of their convictions.
Firstly, I think mentioning the Moreau resigning has already proven to be a positve. I was critical of Ethan's play very early on this year but he has really settled in and is responding well to the long term confidence building contract Lowe structured for Moreau. Ethan is plus 3 with 2 goals an 1 assist.

Secondly, it is worth mentioning Muckler's shotgun handling of Havalat's holdout, the sign by midnight or we won't talk till next year ultimatum, when speaking about 'the courage of their convictions,' and GMs.

Finally, you pointing of how well "Rich Winter has played the media" using the "rich kid made good who can't buy a litre of milk without getting noticed" seems to have played better outside of the Edmonton fan base than with Oilers' fan. Was a good sound bite for the hotshove burnouts. Sorry just couldn't resist that cheap shot at eastern reporting. It may even help Lowe trade Comrie and get more in return which is all I really care about. Comrie has a reason besides money for his holdout, something for the new potentional team traded to, to talk about.

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10-29-2003, 06:22 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OYLer
Firstly, I think mentioning the Moreau resigning has already proven to be a positve. I was critical of Ethan's play very early on this year but he has really settled in and is responding well to the long term confidence building contract Lowe structured for Moreau. Ethan is plus 3 with 2 goals an 1 assist.
Keep in mind that Ethan had a relatively quick start last year as well. Speeds was hoping he'd show signs of becoming a power forward. :p That didn't last long, though. That being said, Ethan is one of the few forwards on this team who gives it his all every night, though his penalties come at the most inopportune times.

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10-29-2003, 06:26 AM
  #10
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Originally Posted by thome_26
You can't take one or two examples and say "because of these he is bad at contract nagotiations."

Look at the total picture - which is the only thing I'm concerned about. We have a perrenial 90+ point team year in and year out and that is with one of THE lowest payrolls in the NHL. Sure there are some contracts that aren't great - but by god we could find about 20 teams that wish they had the Oilers contracts and not theirs!
I think you're confusing bad GM with bad contract negotiator. Lowe has never really been all that good with contracts during his time here. I'd much rather he take a harder stance at times like this Comrie situation here. He's getting better at dealing with negotiations but his first few contracts weren't all that spectacular.

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10-29-2003, 06:47 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momentai
I think you're confusing bad GM with bad contract negotiator. Lowe has never really been all that good with contracts during his time here. I'd much rather he take a harder stance at times like this Comrie situation here. He's getting better at dealing with negotiations but his first few contracts weren't all that spectacular.
You simply can't do it with EVERY young player when you are Edmonton, as that is what your team is made up of! We couldnt' afford to have Brewer and Semenov and Hemsky and any of our other young kids sit out as that would kill the team.

I'm simply saying that people are calling Lowe a bad contract nagotiator, when he is one of the most responsible and hard contract nagotiators. Everything he did this year he handled perfect. Smyth, Moreau, Laraque, and yes, even Comrie were all handled with my aproval and satisfaction. Sure maybe in his first year or second offseason he might have made a rookie mistake or two, but he has been great with contracts as of late. Cross is playing like a $1 million defensmen so I can't complain about that.

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10-29-2003, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elphy101
I also think the Cross at 3 years averaging over 1 million per year will bite the team as well. My guess is that Cross would have had trouble getting an offer from any other team at over 1 million. Not to mention the Salo deal, that has him making 3.9 Million this year.
Where to start...

If you don't think that Cross is playing like a guy that deserves $1 million, then no one on defense is earning their money. As much as everyone hated Cross (which, IMO, had more to do with listening to Leaf fans whine about him than his actual play), he has been one of the Oilers better defensemen.

As for the Salo deal... how can you bash that? Salo was given his deal when the goaltender market was sky-rocketing. Goalies (especially UFA's) were making $6mil+. The Oilers locked up Salo, who at the time was easily a top 10 guy, for 6 years, 2 of which were a club option. Yeah, hindsight is 20/20, but that was a deal that made a lot of hockey insiders commend Lowe.

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10-29-2003, 08:10 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momentai
Keep in mind that Ethan had a relatively quick start last year as well. Speeds was hoping he'd show signs of becoming a power forward. :p That didn't last long, though. That being said, Ethan is one of the few forwards on this team who gives it his all every night, though his penalties come at the most inopportune times.

That's what I said all along. I just wish I had the money to buy jersey right now instead of waiting till Christmas.

I agree about the Salo point. He was a great deal at the time. Signed for less to stay here or have we forgotten?

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10-29-2003, 08:14 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
Where to start...

If you don't think that Cross is playing like a guy that deserves $1 million, then no one on defense is earning their money. As much as everyone hated Cross (which, IMO, had more to do with listening to Leaf fans whine about him than his actual play), he has been one of the Oilers better defensemen.

As for the Salo deal... how can you bash that? Salo was given his deal when the goaltender market was sky-rocketing. Goalies (especially UFA's) were making $6mil+. The Oilers locked up Salo, who at the time was easily a top 10 guy, for 6 years, 2 of which were a club option. Yeah, hindsight is 20/20, but that was a deal that made a lot of hockey insiders commend Lowe.

Two good arguments. Your right about the Salo deal. It was great at the time. Doesn't look nearly as good now though.

Cross is definitely earning his 1 Million right now and is playing solid. My only counter argument is that, I don't think any other team in the NHL was going to pay Cross over 1 Million per year. I bet we could have had him cheaper. But that is just speculation on my part. So who knows.

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10-29-2003, 08:59 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elphy101
I agree with most of your statement but I disagree with you Lowetide when it comes to Lowe and contracts.

I think contracts are Lowe's biggest weakness. He keeps signing all these players to long term, bigger money deals that end up hurting the team.

He gave Cleary that horrible deal, Brewer will be getting 2.5 this year, Laraque received a deal a young age that turned him into a millionaire. I also think the Cross at 3 years averaging over 1 million per year will bite the team as well. My guess is that Cross would have had trouble getting an offer from any other team at over 1 million. Not to mention the Salo deal, that has him making 3.9 Million this year.

The Staois signing was a coup for Lowe. However I would argue, that it was Lowe and his team's talent evaluation that allowed it to happen. Staois got a contract that was arguably above market value for a defensemen that was not wanted for the top six of a porous Atlanta Thrashers defense.
I agree with everything you've said. I think Lowe's contract handling is suspect at best. The only good thing is usually he has players signed before the season/training camp starts, but in a lot of cases at an inflated price.

I would also add Pisani to the list above. I think he got a 3 year 1-way signing for being a career AHLer and having a fairly good (13pts in 35 games) streatch run last year. I know he's not making much, in relation to other players, but to me it seemed like a pretty good reward for really not that much delivered.

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10-29-2003, 09:06 AM
  #16
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Originally Posted by thome_26
You simply can't do it with EVERY young player when you are Edmonton, as that is what your team is made up of! We couldnt' afford to have Brewer and Semenov and Hemsky and any of our other young kids sit out as that would kill the team.

I'm simply saying that people are calling Lowe a bad contract nagotiator, when he is one of the most responsible and hard contract nagotiators. Everything he did this year he handled perfect. Smyth, Moreau, Laraque, and yes, even Comrie were all handled with my aproval and satisfaction. Sure maybe in his first year or second offseason he might have made a rookie mistake or two, but he has been great with contracts as of late. Cross is playing like a $1 million defensmen so I can't complain about that.
Hemsky is in the middle of his 3 year entry-level contract so Lowe really hasn't had to worry about that for the first 3 years of Hemsky's career. Hemsky was asking for first round money and he got it. Semenov is also on a contract with second round money... Those situations aren't nearly as difficult as star players that are currently playing on an NHL team.

I think I did mention that he is getting better. It was merely his first few years that I was commenting on. I didn't say that he was a bad contract negotiator now but in the past some of his contracts were a little more than questionable. He's doing much better now and I was glad for Lowe lowballing Comrie over the offseason... I was harping on that like 5 months ago.

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10-29-2003, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momentai
Keep in mind that Ethan had a relatively quick start last year as well. Speeds was hoping he'd show signs of becoming a power forward. :p That didn't last long, though. That being said, Ethan is one of the few forwards on this team who gives it his all every night, though his penalties come at the most inopportune times.
I personally don't care if Moreau doesn't score another goal all year - he's not paid to be a goal scorer, he's paid to be a leader, and he's led by example in... pretty much every single game he's had since he started. His first game as an Oiler, he dropped the gloves (don't remember against who, but I do remember the fact) - and he's been dropping the gloves both literally and figuratively ever since.

Any goals he puts in are a bonus.

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10-29-2003, 02:48 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigus
I personally don't care if Moreau doesn't score another goal all year - he's not paid to be a goal scorer, he's paid to be a leader, and he's led by example in... pretty much every single game he's had since he started. His first game as an Oiler, he dropped the gloves (don't remember against who, but I do remember the fact) - and he's been dropping the gloves both literally and figuratively ever since.

Any goals he puts in are a bonus.
EXACTLY! If we had an entire third line of Moreau's we wouldn't lose many games, as the other teams top line would never get anything! I think in a few years Moreau will be one of the premier (if he isn't already) checkers in the league such as Draper and Maltby but with better offensive numbers.

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10-30-2003, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by thome_26
EXACTLY! If we had an entire third line of Moreau's we wouldn't lose many games, as the other teams top line would never get anything! I think in a few years Moreau will be one of the premier (if he isn't already) checkers in the league such as Draper and Maltby but with better offensive numbers.


We did have a third line of Moreau's, Grier,Marchant and Toddy. But we traded them away and decided to go with a team of Cleary's-Dopita's and Isbisters

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10-30-2003, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by HotToddy
We did have a third line of Moreau's, Grier,Marchant and Toddy. But we traded them away and decided to go with a team of Cleary's-Dopita's and Isbisters
Marchant wasn't/isn't as tough, and Grier is/was incosistent and getting injury prone.

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10-30-2003, 07:23 AM
  #21
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Originally Posted by dawgbone
.

As for the Salo deal... how can you bash that? Salo was given his deal when the goaltender market was sky-rocketing. Goalies (especially UFA's) were making $6mil+. The Oilers locked up Salo, who at the time was easily a top 10 guy, for 6 years, 2 of which were a club option. Yeah, hindsight is 20/20, but that was a deal that made a lot of hockey insiders commend Lowe.
I'm right there with you Dawgbone. The deal was a steal at the time. Elphy... who cares if it looks bad now. Nobody signing goalies in the past few years has looked all that bright (Turek, Cujo, Theodore) etc, and none of them have the opportunity to go back in time.

Yes Salo's contract diminishes his value now, but only because he is in the midst of a 1.5 season long slump.

I'd also make a strong push to say that York and Brewer's deals were EXCELLENT given the relative negotiating strength of both sides. Brewer was coming off his Olympic selection and was one of the most hyped young players in the game. How much will Boumeister make in his second contract? Lowe game him step wise raises over his rookie max 1M contract.

York is the same... Lowe could have been signing him to heavy incentive based contracts, but instead he locks him down for 3 years at a reasonable incremental salary averaging to 2M per season. He also structured the contract so that he'll have a chance to lock York in again before he has arbitration rights (CBA willing). This is a HUGE bonus for the team. Furthermore, York was the same age, contract situation and relatively the same production as Comrie. If Lowe locked Comrie down to 2M per for the next three years, wouldn't we all be thrilled?

I just don't get some of these crazy assertions people make the moment a player struggles. That is all part of the game. Obviously when trying to compensate based on future events, you will win some and lose some.

If we are arguing whether we're getting bang for buck from certain players in the present tense, fair enough.... but that is an ENTIRELY different argument than whether the signing was a good one at the time it was made.

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10-30-2003, 01:51 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotToddy
We did have a third line of Moreau's, Grier,Marchant and Toddy. But we traded them away and decided to go with a team of Cleary's-Dopita's and Isbisters
Cleary and Dopita are gone. Dopita left before Marchant, in fact. The latter proved that yes, it is about the money (not that I blame him, he bled copper and blue for a decade and , taking what was very likely the highest offer (not that I blame him, he bled copper and blue for a decade and accepted probably less than what he could have gotten had he held out between contracts).

For that matter, Cleary arrived at the exact same time as Moreau did.

Next?

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10-30-2003, 01:58 PM
  #23
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Originally Posted by bucksoil
Yes Salo's contract diminishes his value now, but only because he is in the midst of a 1.5 season long slump.

I'd also make a strong push to say that York and Brewer's deals were EXCELLENT given the relative negotiating strength of both sides. .

In my next post, I do comment that the Salo deal was solid. I should not have included it in my initial post.

I never mentioned the York contract in my post. I thought it was solid.

The Brewer contract was decent by Lowe at the time. But it like the Salo deal don't look nearly as good now.

You have to base value of the contract over the entire life of it. Hell, the Cleary deal looked great when he signed it 2 summers ago.

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10-30-2003, 01:59 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momentai
Keep in mind that Ethan had a relatively quick start last year as well. Speeds was hoping he'd show signs of becoming a power forward. :p That didn't last long, though. That being said, Ethan is one of the few forwards on this team who gives it his all every night, though his penalties come at the most inopportune times.
We agree to agree!

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