Lowe came in with an articulated 5 year plan built to sustain a competiive team until the new CBA, and compete for a championship thereafter. He executed against it and came within a game of the Stanley Cup.
The Pronger thing was such a huge blow that it required a new plan. Lowe lived in the past for a year, but then.... my theory... realized he'd put in too much energy to be able to commit himself to ANOTHER 5 year plan (cuz that's what it would take when your best return for Pronger is Smid, Lupul, Schremp and Eberle). And who can blame him? Wouldn't you refuse to admit your window was closed?
Once he realized that, he hired a guy who would have the energy (same he'd previously had) for a new 5 year plan.
There are some brutal trades that Lowe was responsible for, especially when trading for young pros (blame the pro scouts)... but there are some absolute steals when trading for more established guys (Pronger, Spacek, Roloson, Samsonov, Tarnstrom... and I liked the Cole trade at the time, too bad he pouted his way back to Carolina).
Anyway... he'll always get a passing grade from me. He built a good ship. He left the ship with some bad rowers that Tambo had to systematically throw overboard... but the hull was stronger than what Lowe inherited.
Credit where credit is due, I say.
Your points here have merit for sure. I never said that Lowe sucked as a GM(i said he did a decent job i think), but IMO he did leave it a **** show for Tambo to clean up. Lowe made some good and bad trades like all GM's. I also believe that he was severely hampered by EIG's financial constraints (I'm just about 40 BTW, so the "age" argument is moot - I remember things from back then just fine thank you).
My whole point was that Lowe left things in shambles and gave the challenge to Tambo to fix. Tambo tried Lowe's method for one year before realizing that they'd end up like Calgary (mired in mediocrity) unless a full blown rebuild was done from the ground works up (OKC etc). This is what he has been doing, and doing a decent job of it. He hasn't been awesome at it, but gets a passing grade IMO.
You do make a good point that the hull was stronger than what Lowe inherited however...there is that. It was still full of patches and barely afloat when Tambo was given the reigns though.
Cant agree with that. The team Lowe inherited had some good players on it.
Doug Weight, Ryan Smyth, Mike Grier, Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie, Shawn Horcoff, Todd Marchant, Ethan Moreau, Janne Niinima, Jason Smith, Tom Poti, Eric Brewer, and Tommy Salo. All were at least decent pieces that fit an NHL roster.
Starting with that lineup Lowe managed to take the team to the playoffs 3 times in 7 seasons as GM. Of course he's still part of the management team so he's at least partially responsible for what happened after and the replacement that he picked to take his place.
So what did Lowe leave for Tambellini to work with? I'd say much lesser pieces then he had in a lot of cases the older worn out shells of the players that had been left to him like Moreau.
Ales Hemsky would be the bright spot but he's no Doug Weight, probably not even a Bill Guerin or Ryan Smyth considering the amount of time and the scarce number of points he's put up while Tambellini has been here. The defence he was left was pretty bad. Sure they had some offensive upside and puck moving ability but they were bad in their own end. Souray's reputation in Montreal was deserved, he had a shot and could play phsyical but was lost in his own end. Vishnovsky was a puck mover who gave up as much as he created, Gilbert and Grebeshkov were young and inexperienced and Grebeshkov was ready to leave for Russia when nobody in the NHL would pay him like an elite talent that he clearly wasnt. Rollie in net was coming down from that big high of the 2006 playoffs.
Lowe left the team in worse shape then when he got it. The excuse that a lot of the blame lies with the EIG not being able to adequately fund an NHL team may apply to some of Lowe's mistakes but if they excuse what he did that brought the team down then it's holds the same for Tambellini.
Most of those players were gone by the end of the 2002/2003 season. If Lowe had the ownership group pre-lockout that Tambellini has had, I have no doubt we would have been a very strong contender every year and maybe won a cup or two.
Anyone who is arguing lowe only made playoffs 3 in 7 is not really making a good argument. Untill the lockout he had a severe disadvantage to large market teams. You can say you think he could have been better but as far as I see it being competitive on what we could spend was pretty incredible. Then after the 06 run (which he doesnt get enough credit for) he was caught between the rock and hard place of having to try and replace 5 pretty important pieces who left. At that point we still werent a cap team. I don't think any of the "awesome" gms put in that situation could do much better. I think he needed to be replaced because it looked to me like he didnt have a plan but when your best player demands a trade publicly it is really hard to rebound from that.
I think he needed to be replaced because it looked to me like he didnt have a plan but when your best player demands a trade publicly it is really hard to rebound from that.
Sure but why didnt we replace him instead of bump him upstairs? He's still running the organization, he chose his successor who everyone is complaining about, he was actively involved in the Heatley fiasco, was definitely part of the problem with Souray, is intricately involved in all things Oilers, yet nobody thinks he deserves any blame even though he dropped a cap team that hadnt made the playoffs in several years in Tambo's lap. If Tambellini has failed then that is further proof that Lowe has no idea how to run a hockey team. The "rebuild" is going about with his full approval and participation, how can Tambo take the fall and Lowe get away scott free?