Offseason Quotes

  1. Kevin Lowe (right after the season, on regrets): “Probably what stands out most for more me (was) the inability to make a deal to help the hockey club, like we were able to last year,”
  2. Kevin Lowe: “We have no excuses as an organization, as a management staff to be able to do what we need to do (to improve the club),”
  3. Kevin Lowe: “You do want to be careful of changing over your whole team. There’s a risk with that. But we have needs at practically every position.”
  4. Kevin Lowe: “We’re going to be very bold and aggressive. We’d like to think we can do what we need to do to get the team to the playoffs right away. We have the resources and that part is exciting.”
  5. Kevin Lowe: “It’s the summer. We’re going to do something.” (from yesterday)
  6. Kevin Lowe: “We’re going to add someone to pick up Ryan Smyths goals, add another player on offence and another on defence.” (also yesterday)

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34 Responses to "Offseason Quotes"

  1. jon says:

    For what it’s worth, this is what I think/hope will happen: We trade for Glen Murray from Boston and sign Gomez to a 4 year deal averaging 6.75 million per season. We hear a lot of noise about the Oilers trying to get a defensemen such as Redden but it never amounts to anything and Lowe decides to “let the kids play” on defense. We go through the season with pairings akin to Smith-Grebeshkov, Staios-Smid, and Gilbert-Greene. We finish above our expectations at 10th in the west. Redden is not extended in Ottawa and eventually signs as an UFA in Edmonton the following year. Lowe is not extended as GM and stays with the organization in some capacity. 4 years from now we have a decent offensive team but are plagued by goaltending issues, perpetually finishing between 8th and 10th in the west.

    Call me a dreamer or whatever but in all honesty though, I don’t think I’m far off from what will actually happen.

  2. mc79hockey says:

    Lowe is not extended as GM and stays with the organization in some capacity.

    I actually think that this is true, necessary but still kind of sad. I read something somewhere (I’m terrible for remembering where I read things) making the case that Lowe is the Oilers Jean Beliveau. He’s got a pretty unreal resume: first draft pick, five Cups, worn an “A”, worn the “C”, comes back for the start of the second era of (moderate) Oilers success, serves as assistant coach, head coach and GM, takes the team to the Cup finals as GM. As much as I think that the right decision may well be to ease him out, he really is this franchise’s Beliveau and, on some level, it’s sad that he probably shouldn’t be running the team.

  3. godot10 says:

    Lowe is a better than average GM. He’s better than the guy in Calgary, who’s still living off the good fortune of San Jose having goalies coming out of the wazoo.

    Lowe is way better than the guy in Toronto.

    Nobody is calling for Doug Wilson’s head, and he threw away a Stanley Cup by not trading for Pronger.

    David Poile’s teams choked in the playoffs in Washington, and they are choking in the playoffs in Nashville.

    The new guy in Dallas can’t win a playoff round.

    Is there a team whose drafted higher for several years with no young prospects than Atlanta?

    Wayne has been running the show in Phoenix for quite awhile now, and its pretty damn ugly.

    Sather had lost his marbles with an unlimited budget prior to the new CBA, but seemed to regain his senses in a capped world…go figure.

    Lowe had a bad year. He is a damn good GM.

  4. RiversQ says:

    Couple of comments:

    Jon: I can’t imagine Gomez getting anything less than about $7.25MM. I don’t want to piss on your parade, but I think it’s safe to say that everybody can pretty much add at least $500K to whatever they think fair value might be.

    I think Lowe was the first Oilers NHL entry draft pick and had the Oilers’ first NHL goal too didn’t he? Anyway, it is absolutely disappointing that things are going this way.

    To be perfectly honest, I do like Lowe. I don’t think you can be an Oiler fan and not like the guy. However, I don’t think he’s the right man for the job.

  5. Muller says:

    I like Lowe and think he’s doing a fine job. He doesn’t pay guys over their value, like Hartnell and Timonen. He won’t make a trade just because the fans and media say so. There is lots of time for Lowe to do whats right for the organization.

  6. jon says:

    I mirror the sentiments of most people here, I like Lowe and he does indeed have some amazing history with the team, but the EIG is ultimately running the show in Edmonton and if we don’t make the playoffs again they will do what Lowe won’t, succumb to fan pressure.

    Riv: You’re probably right, 6.75 feels like an overpay so adding another 10% is probably on the mark. Personally I think Gomez wants to play here though, so I sort of built a discount in I suppose. Probably a bit naive of me.

  7. PunjabiOil says:

    Is there even interest from Lowe to acquire Gomez?

    I knew about 4-5 years ago, there were heavy rumors of Gomez coming here…

    ..but yesterday’s CP article doesn’t really suggest Lowe will be after him. As Lowe put it, ”it’s coming out of nowhere. I haven’t talked to Lou since January”

    He’s injury prone, but I’d like to take a shot at Peter Forsberg. Brian Rafalski on defence.

  8. Asiaoil says:

    To be perfectly honest – if no elite LW or dmen are available – I overpay substantially on one year deals to get some decent 2nd and 3rd tier vets in the lineup. You have to get the kids some ABs – but we desperately need guys who can play the game when necessary. Sykora, Johnson, Bonk, Dvorak, Sydor – come on down to the one year feed bucket at Rexall. Get the kids their ABs – play a respectable game – keep hammering away at getting an elite guy – any elite guy – in any position – and go from there.

  9. Colby Cosh says:

    Is there some reason other than geography to assume that Gomez (for whom $6.2M should be more than enough) would like to play here? Redden came out with a quote on Draft Day basically saying he had no idea why everyone assumed he was so horny for Edmonton, and in that case (i.e., the case of a widowed father being three hours’ drive away) the geographic presumption is a LOT more compelling.

  10. Bendelson says:

    Gomez is not worth anything remotely close to $7.25 million/year… and for how long?? 4-5 years? That’s pure insanity!

    If it happens it’s total desparation that will not only keep the Oilers out of the playoffs, but would surely seal KLowe’s fate in Edm.

    Gomez… give me a break.

    Not to mention the fact that he would have to be a complete moron to come to Edm – a shitbag of a team with little or no hope in the near future… yeah, that hurts to say, but we all KNOW it’s true.

    You don’t lose 18(?) straight games by getting a couple of injuries and few bad bounces… you do it by having a team with below average talent, who underachieve, quit on their coach, and don’t give a shit. (Hi Joffrey).

    It’s fun to pretend people, but it would be nice to see pretend trades and signings that would get the team into the playoffs…

    Gomez… come on!

    At least pretending Richards is coming to Edm might actually HELP the team.

    Anyone that thinks Gomez is a front line star is right out of it.
    Seek help immediately – you are likely having a bad reaction to your meds.

    (Yeah, this is extremely negative, but what the hell, the Oil suck and we all know it. I think it’s time to face reality).

    OK all you Gomez freaks – let me hear about how great he is!

    And the Redden fans can bring it too – anyone watch the playoffs??
    He makes Staios look consistent.

    We are very likely re-building slowly with youth (once again) – whether we like it or not.

    Break out the smelling salt.

  11. Iffy says:

    I like Lowe and think he’s doing a fine job. He doesn’t pay guys over their value, like Hartnell and Timonen.

    In my opinion “their value” is more than a bit tough to define. With the league revenues increasing say 10% per year for the past two (number totally made up), players salaries are being inflated as well. Inflation is happening. Lowe and the EIG have to realize that if they want to be competitive.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think the EIG is stupid. They know that the sheep will still fill the seats (and the EIG’s pockets)whether they spend to the cap or not. They can spend $40M and guarantee 41 sell-outs or they can spend $48M and guarantee 41 sell-outs. Playoffs are no guarantee either way!

    It may be true that Lowe is not overpaying, but it’s pretty difficult to overpay when you don’t buy anything.

  12. mike w says:

    “Gomez freaks”?

  13. Barry says:

    I think Lowe has done a good job, frankly. He seems to be dedicated to winning a cup. Some people in Blog land seem to feel that slotting in a bunch of so so vetrans via trade and freeagency is going to solve Edmonton’s problems. Sure the team will be better next year, but isn’t the goal to build a powerhouse for years to come?

    Some criticize the draft. Well look at the other teams results historically. The Oil have the same amount of busts as other teams because it is a crap shoot. I was amused this weekend that so many people were upset the Oil did not take a couple of higher ranked guys who dropped, when the Bloggers had likely never even seen them play before or sat across from them at an interview.

    It is clear to me that Lowe is not going to make move just to satisfy the media or the likes of us. Hire JFJ of you want that – and throw away any hope at ever winning a cup.

  14. MetroGnome says:

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think the EIG is stupid. They know that the sheep will still fill the seats (and the EIG’s pockets)whether they spend to the cap or not.

    And now witness the kind of handwaves and double think that allows “sheep” to perpetuate their blind devotion ad infinitum:

    Lowe is a better than average GM. He’s better than the guy in Calgary, who’s still living off the good fortune of San Jose having goalies coming out of the wazoo.

    Lowe is way better than the guy in Toronto.

    Nobody is calling for Doug Wilson’s head, and he threw away a Stanley Cup by not trading for Pronger.

    David Poile’s teams choked in the playoffs in Washington, and they are choking in the playoffs in Nashville.

    The new guy in Dallas can’t win a playoff round.

    Is there a team whose drafted higher for several years with no young prospects than Atlanta?

    Wayne has been running the show in Phoenix for quite awhile now, and its pretty damn ugly.

    Sather had lost his marbles with an unlimited budget prior to the new CBA, but seemed to regain his senses in a capped world…go figure.

    Lowe had a bad year. He is a damn good GM.

    Anyone other GM’s failure or hardship is proof of incompetence (except for Lowe). Any other GM’s success, well…that was luck (except for Lowe).

    Laughable.

  15. jon says:

    MG: How are Amonte and McCarthy working out in cownton by the way?

    bendelson: Richards nor any of the big three will be leaving Tampa until Vinny’s contract is up in two years, bank on it.

    Redden had a very bad playoffs this year, I agree. That’s why he’s a reasonable value for acquisition. Also, let’s ignore the fact that he’s been playing hurt all season because it’s convenient. Even in his poor state at season end he’s twice the defensemen Staios is.

    For what it’s worth, I disagree on Gomez. I think he would be an incredible help to the powerplay and give coaching another weapon to try and expose the other team’s weaker lines. As for value, the silly season will see him net over 6.5 million, as I believe Briere and Drury will sign first and increase the desperation for a “number 1 centre.” This year already Timonen got 6.3 from Philly and he’s an undersized finesse defender who will get pushed around in both zones and is showing signs of aging already.

  16. Nelson88 says:

    A common theme of LT’s blog’s is that Lowe will feel the pressure and do something rash. I have the same fear as personally would rather have a stanley cup then years of mediocrity. Seems many Oiler fans don’t agree but to each their own.

    In hindsight that is one of the positives of this draft. It would have been very easy for Lowe to take the path of least resistance and D-day + 1 kudo’s from TSN, fans, etc. by taking gagner, cherry and espo (or something along those lines). From an oiler fan perspective I’d rather have a GM who has the guts to make choices he believes will lead to kudos in D day + 3 years !

    I didn’t like the cost of the 2nd round pick as i would have used it on Alui. However; there are too many unkown variables for the casual observer to question which team was going to take the oiler’s target player etc. so hard to 2nd guess.

    Lowe has guts and the best interests of the oilers in mind even when there is intense personal pressure. People can question the wisdom of some moves but much of the crap that is flung about him on these boards is way off base. Some Oiler fans would be do well to remember the old adage “be careful what you wish for”

  17. RiversQ says:

    Cosh: I disagree. Gomez is going to get paid. Let’s not confuse a player’s worth with what he ends up getting paid as a UFA. That’s Hockey 101 material at this point.

    Bendelson: See above.

    Would Gomez be worth $7MM+/yr to the Oilers at this point? Probably not. They need a miracle trade to go through before being something to talk about, let alone becoming a real UFA player.

    Gomez’s utility to the Oilers would be that he’s a guy that can thrash soft opposition at ES and can skate with Hemsky. If he was a good bet to help the PP, then that would make the case IMO. However, his track record is not great even when one factors in NJ’s historically poor PP unit and coaching. Of course Gomez should feel right at home in Edmonton then.

  18. Oil_4_Ever says:

    I guess I don’t understand the whole willingness to throw a “bunch” of money at a UFA such as Drury, Briere and Gomez. Yeah sure, they are good players – but are they great players worthy of $7 million per season? It was only a couple of months ago that the Oil weren’t willing to put $5.5 million forward for Smyth – whom in my opinion is more valuable than any of the three mentioned above. Is this a reaction? I Lowe trying to save his job? I say make a few smart trades and a few smart UFA signings and let her ride.

  19. Bendelson says:

    mike w – Gomez freaks – Anyone that believes he is the answer to our problems just b/c he is one of only a few UFA’s that might think about playing in Edm. He is a good player when healthy – just not a star and for $7m+ you’d better be a freakin’ star.

    I may be stretching a little, but a good year from Horcoff would look a lot like a good year from Gomez wouldn’t you say? (I would think Gomez’s numbers would drop playing with Hemsky and a steamin’ bag of poo on the left side).

    rivers – yes, i agree there is a major difference between a players worth and what they will recieve via UFA. Timonen is a great example and Gomez at anything over $5m will soon become another great example.

    jon – thanks for the insight into Tampa Bay. I’m aware of their situation and the likelihood of Richards coming to Edm. Thats why I called it a ‘pretend’ trade. My point was simply that he is a far better player than Gomez and IMO is a REAL first line star.

    If the Oil are finally going to bite the big bullet and overpay someone long-term – make damn sure he is a franchise type player – and is Gomez that player?? You know what I think…

    And yes, Redden is better than Staios. Way better – which is not saying much as Staios is not and never has been better than a #4 defencemen on a good team. Great heart and doggedness – it’s just a talent problem. Hmmm, is he our #1?!? Based on his contract he sure is…

    This doesn’t change the fact that Redden is over-priced, over-valued and… well, a ‘risky’ choice to anchor our defence.

    Props to the F-bear.

  20. Dennis says:

    The EIG and Lowe really have the fans by the shorthairs and they know it. The only way the fans can make their displeasure known is by staying away in droves and as soon as they do, Nichols will probably be the first guy looking for his own personal Hamilton.

    The media can also drive the bus a little too but when you have Fatty McButterpants still praising Lowe for not signing Smyth, and this in light of what the lesser Hartnell would sign for, then where’s the pressure, really?

    Because of the wonderful year he’s had since last July, Lowe’s up to plate now trying to hit a 10-run homer.

    That hardly winds up well

  21. Bendelson says:

    Fatty McButterpants??

    No longer being an Edmontonian, I’m not sure who your talking about (Dick?) but it doesn’t really matter – that’s a real gag bag…

    Good stuff dennis. Without a sense of humour we’d be in real trouble.

  22. Aaron Paquette says:

    I have no problem with another losing season, personally. It could be I’ve swallowed the Kool-Aid without noticing but I look at the talented young group we have and I see the core of a solid hockey team in another year.

    We don’t sit in on the interviews the drafts have with the team, so we don’t really know what’s coming across. Maybe after Schremp they’re a little more cautious.

    At any rate, I’m happy with what we’ve got right now and I see a lot of these guys developing grit. I mean, Lupul is kind of a barometer for me. He didn’t seem like such a soft player before he came over, so wouldn’t that suggest our team is willing to be a little more tough than the average?

    Then again, we did have that last run at the end of the season…

  23. RiversQ says:

    At any rate, I’m happy with what we’ve got right now and I see a lot of these guys developing grit. I mean, Lupul is kind of a barometer for me. He didn’t seem like such a soft player before he came over, so wouldn’t that suggest our team is willing to be a little more tough than the average?

    No offense Aaron, but that makes no sense to me.

    First off Lupul was as soft as a full diaper for Anaheim in the playoffs and secondly, I really, really don’t think grit is the problem.

    There are two things people inevitably point to when your team is bad – grit and “goalscoring” when referred to as though it is a trait. They’re both nebulous qualities that are rarely if ever defined. I’m not sure why those things are chosen when the answers are invariably right in front of you.

    Fact of the matter is that the Oilers didn’t have enough skill or experience throughout the lineup. They couldn’t clear their zone effectively, they couldn’t break out with authority and they struggled on the forecheck. I don’t even want to talk about the powerplay.

  24. Whippy says:

    For the record, the best player on our roster come October will be Ales Hemsky.

  25. Aaron Paquette says:

    Fact of the matter is that the Oilers didn’t have enough skill or experience throughout the lineup. They couldn’t clear their zone effectively, they couldn’t break out with authority and they struggled on the forecheck. I don’t even want to talk about the powerplay.

    I couldn’t agree more. In fact, it sounds like a recording of my pre/during/post rantings for most of last season.

    I just don’t think it’s as dire as people seem to be telling me.

    Remember the excitement of The Vaunt? Well, that came to naunt pretty quickly.

    When I’m talking about grit, of course that’s statistically impossible to prove and makes as much sense for an argument as “I’ve got a good feeling about this kid.”

    But there it is anyway. We may not be going into this season with a playoff team, but by the end of it we might be pretty darned close. There’s not a lot for Lowe to choose from right now that makes sense budgetwise, and the EIG will keep him around simply for that reason alone: he sticks to budget.

    Look, he dropped the ball on the Pronger Trade, dealing Smyth instead of paying him, and some may argue we should be looking forward to Cherepanov or Esposito in our line-up, and I can’t argue that.

    But we went to the last game of the Stanley Cup Finals just over a year ago and everyone thought he was a genius. This year we tanked and tanked hard and now he’s a bumbling fool, apparently.

    All that tells me is nothing is static. Things can change for the worse almost instantly with a dislocation of a shoulder or one too many concussions, or a bad season for three or four young players.

    And it can go the other way just as fast when slumps end, pressure is off and playing for the sheer joy of it returns (not to mention a good acquisition or two), which is where I think we’ll be this year.

  26. Barry says:

    The thing that will sink Lowe is if Smyth signs with Calgary. If it is for a number close to what the Oilers offered, it is going to be a real sore point for Fatty McButterpants (AND Dennis (assuming they are not the same person)) :-)

  27. jon says:

    Judging from the degree of debate going on here and elsewhere, I have a feeling that this season will be a heck of a lot more enjoyable than last. Maybe it’s just because expectations are all over the place, but I think that we’ll be able to find a bit more to look forward to in this season. On the brightside, this draft will inevitably be looked upon as a good one because we’re likely to still get 3 NHL players out of it and that’s a pretty decent draft by most standards.

  28. McLea says:

    Remember the excitement of The Vaunt? Well, that came to naunt pretty quickly.

    Ladies and gentlemen….Aaron Paquette. He’ll be here all night. Don’t forget to tip your server.

  29. Big T says:

    I’m all for canning Prendergrast. Much better than Fraser over the last five years but not nearly good enough. I have to believe he’s the brains behind trading up for Nash as he’s the chief scout. That trade is the only serious mistake made this draft.

    Other mistakes include the minor one of choosing Gagner over Voracek and the more major one of drafting for need by taking Plante over Cherepanov or Esposito. That said, I do like Plante, though not more than the other two mentioned.

    A case can be made that he has carried the mail along with Alzner for the Hitmen the past two years. I had him on my wish list for the 30th pick as well. I wish I could have interviewed Esposito and Cherepanov to understand the make-up issues there. Avoiding these two could end up being just as smart as taking one of them so I’m less inclined to be upset about the non-pick.

    ———————————————-

    As we are in such a tough division right now and have lost two extremely key players over the last year I’m all for developing some players for ’08/’09 and ’09/’10. As many have already said, this team is not contending until at least then anyways.

    Perhaps by then one of Nillson, O’Marra, Schremp, Cogliano or Gagner will actually be carrying his own weight while another may be playing somewhat of a bit part akin to Hemsky the past three seasons.

    We will be needing a goaltender by that time but I’m all for trading for one as opposed to developing one. Of course I’m all for trading for defenseman too, and it doesn’t appear that that seems to be too terribly likely going forward given the price of getting quality. Looks like the slow rebuild is the only way to have a quality blue line in the post CBA world.

    Many will look to Anaheim and say it ain’t so, but there are very few quality teams out there that haven’t developed the bulk of their own blueline themselves. Hockey Jesus’s and CFP’s don’t fall out of the sky every day.

    Teams that are perpetual contenders are ones that develop their own talent and then add to that through UFA’s and minor trades. Edmonton will have to be the same.

    As for Lowe, he didn’t go from genius to dumb-ass in one year’s time. He was never that smart to begin with and he’s just not that dumb now.

    Lowe got lucky after the lock-out in that everyone thought the cap would be going down. That’s what let him make that trade for CFP and sign him to the terrific contract. The market for defensman was completely different that year too. As was the market for rentals. Look at the ridiculous price paid for Tkachuk, Smyth and Forsberg. I’d have paid Smytty his money to stay but if I had to trade him one couldn’t ask for much more than what Lowe got out of the Islanders. The market was just different then.

    Now he’s made two major mistakes in the last year but unfortunately nothing can be done of that now. Lowe operated the entire year last year under the assumption that the market had stayed the same. And paid a big price for doing so. I think he’s getting a lesson in the market now as he desparately searches for a dance partner to no avail. Let’s hope he learns that lesson well this year.

    T

  30. Bendelson says:

    Hard to disagree with your thoughts Big T – outside of your goaltending comments that is…

    Dubnyk is for real. He WILL be a solid, long-term starter in the NHL. True, it’s very hard to say he will be the consimate all-star the Oilers will need to regain past glory, but he’s going to be a starter somewhere.

    Hopefully the Oilers quickly identify him as the goalie of THEIR future and develop him as such.

    This is his year to convince management on the farm. He is a young man of strong character – not a bizarro Belfour type, but rather an intelligent, community oriented, positive influence type.
    These types are hard to find, especially between the pipes…

    Time to step up and convince the non-believers Devon.

  31. Big T says:

    I hope you’re right Bendelson.

    I didn’t mean to discount either of our goaltending prospects but I’d hardly characterize either of them – or any goaltending prospect for that matter – as can’t miss.

    Goaltenders are like pitchers in that you don’t ever really know what you have until you have it. (Do I sound like Yogi Berra or what?)

    Minnesota last season is a perfect example. Who saw that coming. Or Kiprusoff in Calgary. How many goaltenders were drafted before Brodeur? I know of one for sure (Trevor Kidd) and I’m pretty sure I remember it being three.

    My thoughts would be if you must draft them, draft them in bulk – so long as they have a place to play – and wait and see.

    T

  32. YKOil says:

    The draft pick analysis runs pretty concurrent with mine.

    – I liked Voracek a little better than Gagner but I am okay with it
    – Cherepanov over Plante was the way to go
    – overpaid on the reach for Nash

    Odd then that I loved the Kytnar and Quist picks. Very nice flyer picks imo.

    Mr. debackey made a great comment on my site about how small many of our prospects are now. Let’s hope Gagner plays big.

    As far as the Lowe analysis goes… if I had to get ONE name put on the back of an Oilers jersey it would be Lowe or Huddy… but damn… did he EVER f&*k up last year.

    And the Smyth f&*k-up goes past last year. It goes all the way back to NOT signing him long-term at the end of the lock-out.

    Depressing really. That the entire Oiler management could have their heads stuck so far up their own asses that they don’t understand anything about the inflation spiral in the NHL and that 5% below budget is MORE than enough.

    Depressing.

  33. Dennis says:

    The season will be interesting for me then for no other reason then how much I’ll get to taunt the Pro-Lowe and/or HF crowd with “I told you so’s”.

    YK nailed a pretty good point too. Lowe thinks he doesn’t have to pay money like everyone else. That’s why he let smyth go and that’s why no one else besides Pronger is “allowed” to make at least five million.

    We’ll see how that works out for him and my prediction is that it will wind up badly.

    Unless of course you want Kevin Lowe fired or not re-upped at the end of ’08.

  34. oilswell says:

    Lowe’s definitely in a tough position when he has to make Creme Brulee with skim milk and a BIC. Not saying he didn’t put himself in that position, just saying its a tough one to be in.

    I agree with RiversQ: the numbers will be jaw dropping. Its looking like Feaster will escape with the big three contracts but at some point the cap increases will not forgive some signings and the cows will come home to roost.

    I have no idea what deals Lowe has been offered. Would be nice to have some secret emails from people in the know. Because I really do not know how good a job he’s doing. The other GMs are surely pitching some crazy assed stuff hoping for the desperate jock to bite.

    BTW, I’m sad he couldn’t pawn some of the crappy 1st rounders this year off at the draft. Still, after UFA season looks like the right time to deal for an RFA to me, so I’m not too surprised.

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