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Kevin Lowe: A 4 year review.

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Old
04-20-2004, 07:17 PM
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Lowetide
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Kevin Lowe: A 4 year review.

Lots of Kevin Lowe talk lately, and instead of looking at one side or another, I thought it might be an idea to actually count up some of the things done and review them. I will make an honest attempt to answer each question without bias, and reflect the overall opinion of the board.

In 4 full years, how many trades has Lowe made? 25, or 6 per year. I have no idea if that's high or low relative to other GMs.

How many deals involved draft picks? 20/25 or 80%.

How many were financial deals? We can't be absolutely certain, but the first three big ones (Hamrlik, Guerin, Weight) certainly had some dollar concerns, and many others to a lesser degree could be included here.

When does he deal?
11/25, or 44% before, during or shortly after the draft.
6/25, or 24% at the Deadline.
3/25 at training camp.
2/25 in December (guys who were struggling, Kilger, Josh Green)
1/25 in January (minor deal involving Rory Fitzpatrick)
1/25 in November (the Guerin/Carter blockbuster)


Has he made any flat out steals? Most mention the York/Poti deal as robbery, and some feel the Nedved deal was similar.

Was he schooled on any deals? Two trades get mentioned most often. The Weight for Hecht + trade, and the draft day trade involving the 17th pick that was eventually used to select Zach Parise. The Comrie for Woywitka deal may well end up in this basket as well.

How many trades of the 25 could be rated as beneficial? How many had a negative effect? First of all, most were neutral. Secondly, even though I'll put these deals in a category, its arbitrary. I may have it wrong, or the deal is so fresh one can't judge it.

Beneficial-6: Carter/Guerin; York/Poti; Hecht for picks; Grier for picks; Dvorak/Carter; Nedved/Helminen.

Negative-4: Weight/Hecht; Dopita/picks; Parise/Pouliot; Woywitka/Comrie.

Neutral-15: Patrick Cote/pick; Hamrlik/Brewer; Whitmore/picks; Brown/Allen; Zholtok/Kilger; Butenschon/Lacouture; Rory Fitzpatrick/futures; Zholtok/picks; Gilbert/Salo; Josh Green/conditional pick; Richter trade; Leetch trade; Moss/Sarno; Niinimaa/Torres; Niinimaki/Higgins.


How many big contracts? How many have blown up? Lowe has given really big money to several players, including Doug Weight (1yr/4.3), Tommy Salo (3yrs/mondo), Mike Comrie (3yrs/close to 9 million), Janne Niinimaa (3yrs/8.5), Eric Brewer (2 yrs/4), Ryan Smyth (2yrs/7), Mike York (3yr/5.6).

He's much better lately, although he has had to learn the hard way (not mentioned here are his contracts with the third liners that they were grabbing up like xmas presents early on). The York deal is a pretty damn good deal.

One thing I want to say here: Salo didn't earn his coin, and I don't know what everyone's opinion was at the time of the signing, but this board at the time thought it was a good signing. I'm not saying that everyone loved it, but I don't recall 1000 post threads that called it a terrible signing.


How many NHL free agents did he sign? Steve Staios, and he allowed Boyd Devereaux and Alexei Selivanov to walk. Adam Oates was signed this past season as well as Igor Ulanov (thankyou Oi'll say for the heads up) who came back as a ufa and played extremely well this season.

How many minor league free agents/college kids/undrafted juniors has he had luck with? We start now to get into areas that are not completely under the GM umbrella, but if we're going to roast him for the good stuff, then some credit can be given too.

Scott Ferguson, Dominec Pittis, Ty Conklin, MA Bergeron, Mike Bishai and Steven Valiquette were all brought in and at least played for the Oilers. Two of these players (Conklin, Bergeron) could be considered more valuable than some of the Oilers high picks in recent years.

How have things gone at the draft? From Guys tremendous interviews with the guys in the organization, we know that Lowe gives his people the freedom to make their own decisions. We won't know for certain how successful they've been, but a group that includes Hemsky, Lynch, Stoll, Deslauriers, Markkanen, Pouliot and others looks pretty good.

What are his strengths? Kevin Lowe has delivered on his promise to make it to the 2004 CBA with a young, inexpensive team that is ready to succeed. He stripped it down to the core, and dealt off most of his high skill guys, but no one on the roster makes close to 5 million, they scored enough and if their highest paid player had delivered they would have been a playoff team again.

What are his weaknesses? Contracts remain a concern, as does the lack of a young impact player (so far). Lowe's loyalty to former Oilers is also distressing, and the entire Mike Comrie fiasco has left a bad feeling for many fans.


Alright, that's that. i've tried to walk the line straight down the checkered white, and ask your opinion now.

EDITED to add Adam Oates.


Last edited by Lowetide: 04-20-2004 at 09:59 PM.
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04-20-2004, 07:28 PM
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I agree but I don't think Lowe was schooled on the Comrie deal. People will be wondering What If? for a while reguarding Perry and Anaheims 1st (I saw Perry score a wraparound beauty on the Score the other day) but still - I do like the Woywitka deal. I questioned Comrie's heart and toughness as early as 2002, so I like the deal.

His signing of Dopita wasn't his brightest moment either.

As bad as the Weight deal was there are still some positives for Lowe and the Oilers, namely Stoll, Reasoner and Deslauriers. I don't know if JDD will ever pan out to be our #1 goalie, but its been talked about here and thats what the main consensus is I guess.

And yes at the time (although I didn't post at these boards) but at my school people were ecstatic that Lowe was able to resign Salo. He was coming off a great season and playoff, and pre-Bel. he was without question one of the leagues top-10 at least. Too bad things didn't pan out as expected. I just hope he hasn't done so much damage that his career is ruined. Lowe - I feel - did a good job signing free-agent Conklin and getting back Markkanen, they are a solid combo, I don't care what the so-called 'experts' say.

York for Poti and the Nedved deal was absolutely robbery. NYRanger fans still talk about how much they miss York!

Good post Lowetide.

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04-20-2004, 09:22 PM
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aaaaaaaaacccckkkkkk

for the last time, lets look at the doug weight deal in reality, not some sort of NHL fantasy league point of view.

He traded one year of Doug Weight for 7 years of Hecht and and 7 years of Reasoner. The important aspect of that statement is the words "one year"


ONE YEAR

in that year, Doug was 15 goals, 34 assists, 49 points, 9 million dollars salary.

in that year, hecht was 16 goals, 24 assists, 40 points, 2 million dollars salary



9 points for 7 million dollars - how is that a loss for Lowe?Throw in the reality that there was zero possibility of the oilers signing weight beyond that year, Lowe got 7 million dollars, 6 additional years of hecht and 6 additional years of reasoner and one extra goal. What he paid was 10 assists.

Right now, if he offered any one of stoll, reasoner, OR DesLaurier for Doug Weight, Pleau would be all over that deal so quickly, we would be bad mouthing Lowe.

I can't remember the exact number , but this is pretty close. Assuming every game is sold out, Doug Weigt's contract adds 11$ to every seat in Rexall place for every game.

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04-20-2004, 09:31 PM
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This is a very good post LT, I think I'll copy it to my cpu for future reference. A wealth of info here.

Free Agents - Igor Ulanov should qualify here, that was a major coup for the Kevmeister.

Pouliot/Parise - I think it's still way too early to put this one into the bad books, and you're usually one of MAP's biggest fans here, what gives?

Mike Comrie (3yrs/close to 9 million) - The Van Ryn loophole was the only reason this ever happened, I guess that the value of Woywitka and the Philly first will determine whether or not it was money well spent.

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04-20-2004, 09:57 PM
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Couple of things. Oi'll Say, good points all, I should have included Ulanov. I kept thinking he had been acquired through trade, which is true, but that was the first time around. Lowe signed him this year and that certainly is a solid NHL ufa move.

Mr. Sakich, sorry didn't mean to get you going. These aren't my opinions, just what I've gathered from people here on HF. Many, many people feel the Weight trade was not a good one based on the fact that the Oilers haven't replaced him as a leader up front.

In reviewing and assessing Lowe's 4 seasons, I think its fair to have another look at it.

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04-20-2004, 09:58 PM
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I don't think that Lowe got hosed on the Weight deal. They ended up getting Stoll, Deslauriers, Horacek, and Reasoner. That is their number 1 goalie down the road, 2 solid 2 way centermen with offensive flair, and a throw in d-man for the farm. Not bad considering they had no other options. Yes Hecht had a good second half this year, but IMO Stoll and Deslauriers will have more important long term impacts.

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04-20-2004, 09:59 PM
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Great post LT. I feel inferior weighing in here but I have a point to make so here it goes...

I think that one of Lowe's best moves has been his coaching and managing staff.
Prendergast, Howson and Mactavish have gained valuable experience and could be ready to take another leap forward in the next couple years. Mac-t's 3 year deal may turn out to be one of those deals we look back and acknowledge as bieng a key to the Oilers post CBA success. Mac-t hasn't been Scotty Bowman by any means but I think he has a great hockey mind and the last 3 years have been a learning curve for him.

Predergast/Howson have proven that they have an eye for talent and IMO did a fantastic job with the RR's.

Another honorable mention goes out to Patrick Laforge. He has done a great job marketing our franchise and has brought dollars form every source available to keep the Oilers viable.

All in all Lowe has looked after the future of the franchise and the fans very well. That has to count for something!

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04-20-2004, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
In 4 full years, how many trades has Lowe made? 25, or 6 per year. I have no idea if that's high or low relative to other GMs.
Hmm... I can only think of 22 trades. Which ones am I probably missing?

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04-20-2004, 10:21 PM
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Excellent Post lowetide

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Lots of Kevin Lowe talk lately, and instead of looking at one side or another, I thought it might be an idea to actually count up some of the things done and review them. I will make an honest attempt to answer each question without bias, and reflect the overall opinion of the board.

In 4 full years, how many trades has Lowe made? 25, or 6 per year. I have no idea if that's high or low relative to other GMs.

How many deals involved draft picks? 20/25 or 80%.

How many were financial deals? We can't be absolutely certain, but the first three big ones (Hamrlik, Guerin, Weight) certainly had some dollar concerns, and many others to a lesser degree could be included here.

When does he deal?
11/25, or 44% before, during or shortly after the draft.
6/25, or 24% at the Deadline.
3/25 at training camp.
2/25 in December (guys who were struggling, Kilger, Josh Green)
1/25 in January (minor deal involving Rory Fitzpatrick)
1/25 in November (the Guerin/Carter blockbuster)
The Hamrlik, Brown & Salo trades were definitely financial in nature (money is the only thing that makes the Brown trade make sense and even then it does little to justify the trade as Brown was paid, comparatively, peanuts) while the Niinimaaa trade is harder to call given that the combined salaries of Isbister and Torres weren't that much less than what Niinimaa was/is making.

Great breakdown on the 'When' part of the post btw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Has he made any flat out steals? Most mention the York/Poti deal as robbery, and some feel the Nedved deal was similar.

Was he schooled on any deals? Two trades get mentioned most often. The Weight for Hecht + trade, and the draft day trade involving the 17th pick that was eventually used to select Zach Parise. The Comrie for Woywitka deal may well end up in this basket as well.
The Weight deal was more than just being schooled - that single trade set the team back by a good 3 or 4 years. Getting Horacek back in that trade was the single greatest player-talent evaluation screw-up Lowe and Prender has ever made - and hopefully they'll never have another one like it again. Hell, if all the trade had added was a 1st round draft pick in 2003 or 2004 (as St. Loo didn't have a 2002 1st rounder) it would have made more sense.

On a contrary note - I don't actually see the Pouliot/Parise trade as one of getting 'schooled'. Pouliot WILL be a good NHL player.

I am a little disappointed, however, in the trade because the best that Lowe could get out of Jersey was a very, very late 2nd round pick (#68) - Lowe had a prime setting with which to create a bidding war and the best he could do was a 68th pick - ouch.

Quick note - Lowe was also schooled in the Dopita trade. We probably could have gotten him for a song if we had waited Philly out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
How many trades of the 25 could be rated as beneficial? How many had a negative effect? First of all, most were neutral. Secondly, even though I'll put these deals in a category, its arbitrary. I may have it wrong, or the deal is so fresh one can't judge it.

Beneficial-6: Carter/Guerin; York/Poti; Hecht for picks; Grier for picks; Dvorak/Carter; Nedved/Helminen.

Negative-4: Weight/Hecht; Dopita/picks; Parise/Pouliot; Woywitka/Comrie.

Neutral-15: Patrick Cote/pick; Hamrlik/Brewer; Whitmore/picks; Brown/Allen; Zholtok/Kilger; Butenschon/Lacouture; Rory Fitzpatrick/futures; Zholtok/picks; Gilbert/Salo; Josh Green/conditional pick; Richter trade; Leetch trade; Moss/Sarno; Niinimaa/Torres; Niinimaki/Higgins.
The Cote trade was actually beneficial - we needed it for expansion purposes.

The Hamrlik/Brewer and Niinimaa/Torres trades are what get my shorts in a knot however. Both trades could have been HUGE success stories for us but Lowe insistence on something I'll never understand (can't just be the 'Alberta-boy' factor could it?) makes them sideways moves at best - and for a small market team like ours... sideways moves just take you closer to the snake and farther from the ladder. The Green and Isbister components of those trades ruins the real potential in each one.

The most maddening part about it is that we didn't particularly NEED either player. Depth on the wings was never a problem and we had other players more than capable of doing what they did/could do for us. Even IF you forget about about the other players we may or may not have been able to acquire (Pyatt, Mezei, Biron, etc.) the fact is that barring a major renaissance in the game of either player we would have been far better off with draft picks.

Niinimaa & 3rd FOR Torres & 1st ... looks a LOT better than Niinimaa & 2nd FOR Torres & Isbister

while

Hamrlik & 3rd FOR Brewer & 1st ... looks a LOT better than Hamrlik FOR Brewer, Green & 2nd

And when you consider that New York fell apart in 2001 and their 1st round pick went to Ottawa for Yashin (turned into Spezza) it is enough to make you cry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
How many big contracts? How many have blown up? Lowe has given really big money to several players, including Doug Weight (1yr/4.3), Tommy Salo (3yrs/mondo), Mike Comrie (3yrs/close to 9 million), Janne Niinimaa (3yrs/8.5), Eric Brewer (2 yrs/4), Ryan Smyth (2yrs/7), Mike York (3yr/5.6).

He's much better lately, although he has had to learn the hard way (not mentioned here are his contracts with the third liners that they were grabbing up like xmas presents early on). The York deal is a pretty damn good deal.

One thing I want to say here: Salo didn't earn his coin, and I don't know what everyone's opinion was at the time of the signing, but this board at the time thought it was a good signing. I'm not saying that everyone loved it, but I don't recall 1000 post threads that called it a terrible signing.
Lowe's only problem with Salo was in not dumping him earlier. The Brewer trade was panned because of the dramatic jump in wages in the 2nd year. The Moreau signing was brilliant while the Laraque deal was... not.

The pertinent point you make is that Lowe has learned his lessons the hard way when it comes to player salaries. I cannot help but think that he started off as a player's GM and as more and more of those player's burned him he finally learned that Lou's bareknuckled approach in Jersey was the better way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
How many NHL free agents did he sign? Steve Staios, and he allowed Boyd Devereaux and Alexei Selivanov to walk. Adam Oates was signed this past season as well.

How many minor league free agents/college kids/undrafted juniors has he had luck with? We start now to get into areas that are not completely under the GM umbrella, but if we're going to roast him for the good stuff, then some credit can be given too.

Scott Ferguson, Dominec Pittis, Ty Conklin, MA Bergeron, Mike Bishai and Steven Valiquette were all brought in and at least played for the Oilers. Two of these players (Conklin, Bergeron) could be considered more valuable than some of the Oilers high picks in recent years.
Lowe has done a fairly good job when it comes to signing UFA's. I have no problems with him in this regard and do not hold the Oates signing against him in any way.

I do, however, lament the fact that we didn't sign Klee early in the year. I stumped for this deal for quiet a while and instead it was Toronto who got him for a song.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
How have things gone at the draft? From Guys tremendous interviews with the guys in the organization, we know that Lowe gives his people the freedom to make their own decisions. We won't know for certain how successful they've been, but a group that includes Hemsky, Lynch, Stoll, Deslauriers, Markkanen, Pouliot and others looks pretty good.
I have few issues with the current draft regime - though I am still NOT a Mikhnov fan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
What are his strengths? Kevin Lowe has delivered on his promise to make it to the 2004 CBA with a young, inexpensive team that is ready to succeed. He stripped it down to the core, and dealt off most of his high skill guys, but no one on the roster makes close to 5 million, they scored enough and if their highest paid player had delivered they would have been a playoff team again.

What are his weaknesses? Contracts remain a concern, as does the lack of a young impact player (so far). Lowe's loyalty to former Oilers is also distressing, and the entire Mike Comrie fiasco has left a bad feeling for many fans.
Not a bad recap. Signing Smyth or Smith with be an acid test of sorts for Lowe given their importance to the team. The 'Alberta' boy thing is also of great concern.

Great post lowetide,


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04-20-2004, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Mr. Sakich, sorry didn't mean to get you going. These aren't my opinions, just what I've gathered from people here on HF. Many, many people feel the Weight trade was not a good one based on the fact that the Oilers haven't replaced him as a leader up front.

.
as you may have gathered, this is a pet peave of mine. In an ideal world, Doug gets 1 mill per year and that trade is a total disaster for Lowe. In the real world, Lowe has turned that into one of the best salary dumps in recent memory. Until last night, I thought the Bure for Jovo was the best salary dump deal...


Great post Lain. How do you remember all the deals?

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04-20-2004, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Sakich
as you may have gathered, this is a pet peave of mine. In an ideal world, Doug gets 1 mill per year and that trade is a total disaster for Lowe. In the real world, Lowe has turned that into one of the best salary dumps in recent memory. Until last night, I thought the Bure for Jovo was the best salary dump deal...


Great post Lain. How do you remember all the deals?
I agree with you, Sakich. Every other GM in the league realized they were trading for 1 year of Weight (followed by free agency), and bid accordingly. I think the trade was fine.

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04-20-2004, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seachd
Hmm... I can only think of 22 trades. Which ones am I probably missing?
Here's what I went with:

June 12, 2000: Oilers trade a 5th round pick in the 2000 draft to Nashville for LW Patrik Cote.

June 24, 2000: Oilers trade D Roman Hamrlik to the New York Islanders for D Eric Brewer, LW Josh Green and the 35th pickin the 2000 draft (F Brad WInchester).

July 20, 2000: Oilers trade G Kay Whitmore to Boston for future considerations.

November 10, 2000: Oilers trade RW Billy Guerin to Boston for RW Anson Carter, the Bruins 2nd round pick in the 2001 Draft (Doug Lynch), and the option to flip 1st round picks in 2001 or 2002 (Oilers flipped in '01, selected Ales Hemsky).

December 18, 2000: Oilers trade F Chad Kilger to Montreal for F Sergei Zholtok.

January 12, 2001: Oilers acquire D Rory Fitzpatrick from Nashville for future considerations.

March 13, 2001: Oilers trade LW Dan Lacouture to Pittsburgh for D Sven Butenschon.

June 29, 2001: Oilers trade F Sergei Zholtok to Minnesota for draft picks.

July 1, 2001: Oilers trade C Doug Weight and LW Michel Riesen to St. Louis for F Jochent Hecht, C Marty Reasoner and D Jan Horacek.

March 19, 2002: Oilers trade D Sean Brown to Boston for D Bobby Allen.

March 19, 2002: Oilers trade D Tom Poti and F Rem Murray to New York Rangers for C Mike York and a 4th round pick in the 2002 draft.

June 18, 2002: Oilers acquire C Jiri Dopita for Philadelphia for a 3rd round pick in the 2003 entry draft plus a conditional 2004 pick.

June 22, 2002: Oilers trade 14th overall pick (C Chris Higgins) to Montreal for 15th overall pick (C Jesse Niinimaki) and 245th overall pick (F Tomas Micka).

June 22, 2002: Oilers trade F Jochen Hecht to Buffalo for the 31st overall pick (G JDD) and the 36th overall pick (C Jarret Stoll) in the 2002 draft.

June 30, 2002: Oilers acquire the rights to G Mike Richter from NYR for future considerations.

October 7, 2002: Oilers trade RW Mike Grier to Washington for 2nd and 3rd round picks in the 2003 entry draft.

December 12, 2002: Oilers trade LW Josh Green to NYR for a conditional 2004 draft pick.

March 11, 2003: Oilers trade RW Anson Carter and D Ales Pisa to NYR for RW Radek Dvorak and D Cory Cross.

March 11, 2003: Oilers trade D Janne Niinimaa and a 2003 2nd round pick to NYI for LW Raffi Torres and F Brad Isbister.

June 21, 2003: Oilers trade the 17th overall pick (C Zach Parise) to New Jersey for the 22nd overall pick (C MA Pouliot) and and 68th overall pick (LW JF Jacques).

June 30, 2003: Oilers trade G Jussi Markkanen and a conditional draft pick to the NYR for D Brian Leetch.

December 16, 2003: Oilers trade C Mike Comrie to Philadelphia for D Jeff Woywitka and the Flyers 1st round pick in 2004 draft.

February 15, 2004: Oilers trade C Peter Sarno to Vancouver for G Tyler Moss.

March 3, 2004: Oilers trade C Dwight Helminen, G Steve Valiquette and a 3rd round pick to NYR for C Petr Nedved and G Jussi Markkanen.

March 9, 2004: Oilers trade G Tommy Salo and a 2005 6th round pick to Colorado for D Tom Gilbert.

25 trades, but I may have missed some, and I used everything including picks for picks.

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04-20-2004, 10:38 PM
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i'd say strictly hockey-wise, carter/guerin was detrimental for the club, but i suppose it's all argumentative once you factor in hemsky.

i'd like to point out a few things that might very well be just as important in reviewing lowe's tenure as the GM.

revamping the scouting team this area is the most commendable in my opinion, and may even be reinforced by the fact that HF ranks the oilers #3 in organizational prospect rankings. sure, the draft is all a big crapshoot, and it's still too early to tell how this will affect whatever future team edmonton will ice, but it's certainly promising.

keeping interest in the team the marketing team and community relations for the oilers has done an admirable job, in my opinion. they have managed to cull interest in the team from fans within the city, and in the surrounding communities (leduc, fort mcmurray, etc.), which isn't easy for fans who want nothing less than a cup

whipping up the heritage classic sure it seems like just another feel good story, but man was this ever a coupe for the bottom line this year. the team cashed in on $1M+ in easy money. with dvd sales and so forth, who knows how much this has benefitted the team financially?

holding discussion forums these go a long way to making the team feel like an integral part of the community and making fans feel more comfortable about supporting "their" team

handling of the media i think lowe still has a ways to go before he finally gets a handle on how to use the media to his advantage. sometimes he's good, sometimes he's not. for the most part, he's tight-lipped, which i like personally.

using his connections there's a lot to be said about having connections. (alot of people have a hard time finding work because of it!) lowe made the most of his connections in hockey, spouting a topic on here if i recall correctly about croneyism (sp?)

the nedved trade that trade would have never gone down if lowe and sather weren't good buddies. the remainder of nedved's current season salary paid for? that's unreal!

the olympics coincidence that brewer and smyth play for the oilers and lowe was the GM of the olympic team? i don't think so. i don't wanna get into an arguement here over whether or not their selections were justified, but certainly this helped the oilers in that it provided these two with valuable experience they could take back with them to their NHL club and grow on.

getting the right personnel people might argue that these things weren't entirely lowe's doing, and they may be right. but a lot can be said about getting the right people to work for you. the oilers staff and personnel all appear to be top notch people, and in turn make it a classy organization in my opinion.


as fans, i think it's easy to focus on the GM's performance with the hockey related issues. but i think it's just as important, if not more, to look at the business and strategic side of things. (maybe it's because that's my job, but.........!!)

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04-20-2004, 10:40 PM
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Ah, okay. I missed a couple older ones (Whitmore, Cote, Fitzpatrick).

Extra information:

Zholtok was traded for a 7th in 2002 (Jean-Francois Dufort)
Oilers gave up a 4th in 2003 for Richter

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04-20-2004, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seachd
Ah, okay. I missed a couple older ones (Whitmore, Cote, Fitzpatrick).

Extra information:

Zholtok was traded for a 7th in 2002 (Jean-Francois Dufort)
Oilers gave up a 4th in 2003 for Richter

One of the things I was going to mention and then forgot was that while Lowe seems to be able to pull Dmen out of the woodwork, he's run through centerman like a man possessed. I think it probably has to do with the Oilers style under MacT, but alot of players have been found wanting at center since the fall of 2000.

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04-20-2004, 10:52 PM
  #16
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Originally Posted by Mr Sakich
as you may have gathered, this is a pet peave of mine. In an ideal world, Doug gets 1 mill per year and that trade is a total disaster for Lowe. In the real world, Lowe has turned that into one of the best salary dumps in recent memory. Until last night, I thought the Bure for Jovo was the best salary dump deal...


Great post Lain. How do you remember all the deals?

Yeah, I liked the Weight trade the day they made it and was choked when Hecht only lasted a year here. He is a very fine player imo, and I kept thinking this season that MacT hadn't used his patented Hecht quote ("he's a first shot scorer") on anyone, but they dealt for Nedved and out came the quote again.

Anyway, they got a lot for Hecht so all is well. As for the deals, I don't remember them. Steve's Oilers Page is terrific for all kinds of things, including archive info:

http://members.shaw.ca/stevesoilerssite/

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04-20-2004, 10:59 PM
  #17
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LT, you are a master poster. I am always impressed by your work as a thread starter with thoughtful analysis and 'meat' for us to chew upon and spit out our opinions. You deserve the

My two cents on some of your post...

Despite my strong belief the Oil should have taken Parise or even Getzlaf over Pouliot, I render this move as neutral at this time. Parise's stats and awards at his age (WJ Tournament MVP, Hoby Baker Finalist, College All Star) suggest this kid is the real deal but until it is decided at the NHL level (or not), we can't render a verdict.

The Dopita trade is in hindsight a clear mistake. However one I forgive based on circumstances when this deal was made. K-Lowe as we've seen rolled the dice on this established pro and risked only a third round pick and money. Had this worked out it would have been a steal as it turned out I view it as a marginal risk. A third round pick only has value if the drafted player makes it to the Show.

Sure the money could have helped for other purposes. But given an opportunity to address a key need with a potential impact player, I give Lowe the benefit of the doubt.

I would however move the Brown - Allen trade into the negative category. This was discussed in a recent post and someone suggested money (and icetime) might have factored into dumping Brown. Regardless, I didn't like giving up a decent proven and somewhat young NHL d-man for a middling prospect. Brown was a helpful tough, mean physical player who added snarl to the Oil blueline. Replaceable? Absolutely. But we should have sought more in return.

On the contract front, I am also somewhat forgiving about the big money Comrie deal. This was a no win situation with the then recent Van Ryn ruling. Don't sign Comrie and release him to the highest bidder. Or sign him to the huge contract to secure a valuable asset and prominent local boy to boot. No Comrie - no Woywita and truly no 1/2 centreman during his tenure here. Lowe bit the bullet, signed the kid, and hoped the upfront investment would pay off with longterm loyalty. Psych!!

He also played chicken with Ryan Smyth and communicated openly and honestly about the salary they could offer to keep him in Edmonton. The result was Smyth compromising on salary to stay on this team. (Frankly, I can't imagine Smyth being worth anymore than he was paid this year).

Another contract positive was seeing Moreau's value to this team and locking his up to a reasonable longterm deal. Ethan rewarded with a breathrough season.

I'm withholding judgement on the drafting success of this team for another season or possibly two. We've seen some solid successes but not a breakthrough 'steal' in terms of elite talent along the lines of Detroit (Zetterberg) or Ottawa (Havlat) - whether later first round or later in the draft.

Great drafting success with bottom six talent. Important to have these support, character guys. But elite talent and skill is necessary to build a legitimate Cup Contender.

K-Lowe gets a positive performance review from me. His first goal is complete - franchise survival and stability going into the CBA wars. However several key areas are at this time incomplete with the results to come post CBA.

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04-20-2004, 11:12 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
One of the things I was going to mention and then forgot was that while Lowe seems to be able to pull Dmen out of the woodwork, he's run through centerman like a man possessed. I think it probably has to do with the Oilers style under MacT, but alot of players have been found wanting at center since the fall of 2000.
seems to me that playing center for the oilers is a real risk to your career. Two years in a row, we have been decimated at that position.

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04-20-2004, 11:40 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Sakich
seems to me that playing center for the oilers is a real risk to your career. Two years in a row, we have been decimated at that position.
Until Nedved showed up. Let's hope Lowe can re-sign this guy. He was outstanding for the Oilers down the stretch.

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04-20-2004, 11:57 PM
  #20
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Has he made any flat out steals?
York/Poti I would consider a steal for a guy that was being booed out of town. Solid deal all the way. I wouldn't exactly call the Nedved deal a steal, more like charity from Slats.

Was he schooled on any deals?
I don't figure that he was robbed in any way. I think that when you look at any deal, there seem to be mitigating factors. If you are the Blues and you know Edmonton has to bite the bullet and move Weight, you aren't about to give them the moon because the Oilers and Lowe are dealing from a position of weakness. The Parise/Pouliot deal realistically won't be reviewed accurately for several years so there is no way to call him schooled on this one.

How many trades of the 25 could be rated as beneficial? How many had a negative effect? I would agree with your assessment Lain...except the Parise/Pouliot is too early to tell and not negative. I would agree that the disappointing part of the Woywitka/Comrie deal is what irks Mizral the worst is that Lowe didn't really accomplish anything he set out to do when he was painted into the Comrie has to be traded corner. I would like to see Lowe be more bold in some deals and get that high skilled player.

How many big contracts? How many have blown up? I think that Lowe still has managed to keep a decent budget and ice a decent team. I always liked the fact that he got players under contract usually quickly without dissent.(Generally)


How many NHL free agents did he sign? Staios, Ulanov, Dopita, Oates...they all served some purpose at the time of signing, and of course you don't know how they are going to perform when they hit the ice. Decent enough.

How many minor league free agents/college kids/undrafted juniors has he had luck with? Conks and MAB are good signings, although Edmonton never seems in the running for the Pocks, Sejnas, Preissings and Lessards of the world....

How have things gone at the draft? I don't know, I don't want to neg out on the Oilers here, but we have one very strong goalie prospect (And Morrison if you want to include him is secondary, and Glenn Fisher is tertiary). We are solid on the blueline(Lowe's position) and very strong with solid two way players(MacT's position), but we don't have any Kurris or Gretzkys or Messiers coming down the pipe as far as I can tell. And even if we did, my concern that unless they could be MacTs, they won't develop here. I want an enigmatic scoring machine. I want a guy with such blazing speed and puck skill that it makes you sick. But even if we drafted one, there isn't any indication that this organization can allow for that creative player to be creative.

What are his strengths?He is an Oiler. He knows what he wants, and he knows what we want. He knows the organizations limitations and he cares. And it is unrelenting care for this franchise that will make most believe that good or bad move, he is doing the best he can, because no matter how much emotional attachment I have for this franchise, he has 1000 times more. As a former player he can relate to players. He has respect amongst his peers(Well, besides Bryan Murray ) and within a short time he has developed into a decent GM.

What are his weaknesses?I agree that the Oilers are an old boys club. I don't know if this coach is the best coach for the team, and regardless of that, I am sure that Lowe would stand by someone he would go to war with, right or wrong. I think that he has made too few hockey only deals to better his club but rather had his hand forced by circumstance. I think he is tentative when it comes to making trades, not wanting to make a mistake. I think he has developed the drafting style more away from the most skilled player to a design of what he believes the team needs overlooking those skilled players for size or grit or leadership. He has made comments now that the organization has a need for these skilled players and I hope he addresses that over the coming couple of seasons.

I like Lowe, I think he will continue to improve. I think in another thread I gave him a B-, and for now, that is good enough for me.

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04-21-2004, 03:05 AM
  #21
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I'll join the crowd and argue a similar 2 points: Lowe wasn't schooled on the Weight trade and the Pouliot trade might end up being a lot better than was originally thought. I still have a lot of hope for MAP and I think he could be a solid #2 centerman for our club for a number of years..

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04-21-2004, 03:37 AM
  #22
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Originally Posted by Cerebral
I'll join the crowd and argue a similar 2 points: Lowe wasn't schooled on the Weight trade and the Pouliot trade might end up being a lot better than was originally thought. I still have a lot of hope for MAP and I think he could be a solid #2 centerman for our club for a number of years..
Another point regarding the Pouliot/Parise trade - It shoud read Pouliot and Jacques/Parise trade.

If I remember correctly, the Oilers scouting staff was very happy getting this guy (even though he's a project)

Just reminding everyone that we have 2 players to lament over regarding this trade.

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04-21-2004, 03:48 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by Fender
Another point regarding the Pouliot/Parise trade - It shoud read Pouliot and Jacques/Parise trade.

If I remember correctly, the Oilers scouting staff was very happy getting this guy (even though he's a project)

Just reminding everyone that we have 2 players to lament over regarding this trade.
Yep, the trade worked out to Parise for Pouliot and Jacques. I've read that Jacques could end up being an NHL player (though he has some serious shoulder problems). He sounds like he could be a good banging Mike Grier type guy. In any event, I still believe that Pouliot will end up matching up to Parise as an NHL player. He has put up great junior stats and just needs to avoid the injury bug to become a great player.

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04-21-2004, 05:10 AM
  #24
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Good stuff LT...lots of things to sink our teeth into here.

Here's my musings/random points to add regarding Lowe's 4 year tenure thus far:
  • YKOil made a good point...I think Lowe was a bit too player-friendly when he first started on the job, but found experience to be a bitter teacher as time went on. He's at least trying not to be taken advantage of like a drunken prom date by player agents anymore.

  • The Weight deal was a major mess all around. Hecht played like he was going through the motions for 1 year and was gone...we got good assets for him, but IMO that should be considered a separate transaction from the Weight trade. Reasoner was supposed to become a top 2 C (I recall Lowe comparing Reasoner to a young Weight at the time of the deal), yet the Oilers were a hair's breadth from losing him for nothing after putting him on waivers. How different would this trade look if THAT had happened? It worked out and Reasoner has rebounded to make something of himself, but I'm worried about that knee. The less said about Horacek the better...he will never play here.

  • In the first 2 years of Lowe's tenure, the Hamrlik/Brewer deal was considered his 'steal', the one transaction every GM needs to manufacture (or luck into) in order to get his team from pretender to contender. The last 2 years, IMO the shine on this deal has tarnished somewhat. Brewer's growth seems to have stagnated the last couple of seasons, and his offensive potential seems to have been overestimated by Lowe. He's still a good to very good dman who can log big minutes, but I don't look at this deal as a steal anymore...especially with Green's career falling off the rails.

  • I Love Torres, but Isbister drives me crazy and makes far too much money. In his first 7 NHL seasons he's had ONE year that he managed to play more than 66 games. He'll be 27 next month. Lowe must lie awake at night praying like heck that Isbister doesn't turn into Josh Green Part II.

  • Lowe did the best he could with the Comrie deal, and I think he did well on it. If there's one thing that's come out of this whole mess, it's that we maybe overvalued Comrie's ability around here. Maybe the Steve Sullivan comparisons weren't as out to lunch as we thought? Hell, Steve Sullivan kicks Comrie's ASS at this point.

  • One thing I'm surprised nobody's mentioned yet is the loss of Marchant. While I'm not blaming Lowe for this, he still remains one of the few (other than Comrie) players that left the Oilers with less than complimentary words for Lowe...I wish I'd been a fly on the wall and found out what REALLY went on there. We missed him huge on the PK, but that ridiculous salary he made last year makes the loss a bit easier to swallow. Nice one MacLean!

One the whole, I'd say Lowe's done a decent to good job with the assets at his disposal, but after 4 years I think it's fair to demand better results on the ice and not have him pull out the Small Market Canada card so much. We've missed the playoffs 2 out of the last 3 years, and I can tell you it's damn hard to take seeing Calgary move on the the 2nd round while the players on my team play for Team Canada yet again. His Stauffer interview didn't exactly leave me all optimistic about next year either.

You want to see the difference a steal of a deal makes on a team? Look no further than Kiprusoff and the Flames. Never mind Iginla, he scored 52 goals for them and carried that team every which way in '02 and they still missed the playoffs by a lot that year...without Kipper that team isn't even in the playoffs this year.

Lowe needs to make a deal like this. Lucky or not, it makes all the difference.

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04-21-2004, 11:30 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Alright, that's that. i've tried to walk the line straight down the checkered white, and ask your opinion now.
Very thorough analysis as usual, Lowetide. Aside from adding to the Weight Handcuffed Lowe's Ability To Make A Fair Trade chorus, I have two thoughts:

-when one is dealing current roster players for future roster players (Hecht for picks, Comrie for Woywitka), it's difficult to judge if the trade was worth it. Only time will tell in these cases, and with someone like JDD, it may not be evident how valuable he's going to be for another eight years. But given Lowe's priority for building a team that can compete into the new CBA framework, youth is the right direction for this franchise.
-often the best trades are the ones that aren't made, and in this case we are only seeing half of the ledger-we will likely never know how many offers Lowe has turned down to the team's benefit. Example: remember when everyone wanted to tie a can to Ethan Moreau? I'm sure glad that didn't happen.

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