However, the Torres trade (imo) points out a flaw in the team's direction and Lowe's vision for the team. By trading Niinimaa (no matter the return), Lowe exposed the team in an important area..
I have to agree a bit here. It's looking like a great return in Torres, but this put all the pressure on Brewer who struggled to live up to it early on. But maybe the writing was on the wall a lot earlier when they were willing to let Niinimaa play hurt, and maybe that trade had more to do with Janne's chronic back problems...
And all of that is fine, though, as long as he takes care of the long term health of the organization. imo, he has done well in that area.
Another nod, the revamping of the scouting staff and the scouting methodology is one thing I'll give him an early thumbs up on. It's going to take 3 or 4 years to see if the changes really made a difference or if it was blind luck, though.
But he needs to be honest with the fanbase. "I didn't make a trade when York got hurt and Marty's injury became more serious because the asking price was to high, and frankly, we didn't see the value of taking on a high priced rental. What we need to do now is find out what we have here, and that may mean some veteran players leaving. I promised the fans a competitive team and that we'd make it to 2004. Well, we've been competitive, but this season we came up a little short."
Here is where I'll have to disagree, unless your saying he should say this at the end of the season, or in another dozen games or so when the math is to ugly to refute. I have no doubt that the management and the team (as well as the fans) are still hoping for that miracle run down the end to turn the story of this season around. Pretty much a snowballs chance in hell now, but stuff like that can happen and that's what make a sport like hockey both fun and fustrating to follow.