You Never Know


- “There is one word in America that says it all, and that one word is, ‘You never know.’” -Joaquin Andujar

Joaquin Andujar was among the most unique personalities to ever play organized sports. He’s also a bit player in a piece of MLB history that might offer up a plan for Kevin Lowe this summer.

Earlier this week I suggested the Oilers were doing some “spin” in regard to what they could get via trade at the draft: I think this is probably spin from the Oilers. When you don’t have much going on, there’s nothing like a fantastic “12 deals at the ready” rumor. It was followed by “Redden may be coming here” and “Richards likely” throughout the day.

The fact is the Oilers don’t have the horses, they just don’t. If another NHL team is shopping someone, they aren’t going to take three unproven forwards when they’re looking to improve the top end of the roster (which is what all the teams are doing right now, including Edmonton). So if we’re talking Redden then we must be talking Horcoff and or Smith and if we’re talking Pitkanen we must be talking Staios, et cetera.

Rock, meet hard place.

In 1986 the Montreal Expos went 78-83 in what was then known as the ‘post-Gary-Carter-era’ with Hubie Brooks playing shortstop and Mitch Webster replacing Andre Dawson in centerfield. It was a transitional team that had one outstanding player (Tim Raines), one outstanding veteran who was slowing down (Andre Dawson) and some nice pieces to the puzzle (Tim Wallach, Vance Law). Nothing outstanding, but division titles have been won with less.

The Expos had some holes in the pitching staff, especially among the starters. 10 different men started at least one game that season, including several very young starters (Youmans, Tibbs, Sebra).

The following season should have been a disaster. Andre Dawson left, and I believe this was the year Tim Raines held out (only to come back on NBC’s Game of the week and crush an extra inning homer his first game back. What a beauty player).

But the Expos improved their pitching in a big way. How did they do it? Well they picked up Neal Heaton in a trade, but the biggest impact came from the training camp invite list. They had picked up an ailing Dennis Martinez and had thoughts of letting him go but invited him anyway. They asked flake Pascual Perez to see if he could recover his career, and they also invited veterans from everywhere. Larry Sorenson, Ubaldo Heredia, Bill Campbell, Joacquin Andujar and a few I’ve forgotten.

Martinez was brilliant that summer, as was Perez. PLUS the innings they gave the club (along with Bryn Smith, one of my favorites) allowed the team to get deeper into the game and use the bullpen more effectively.

The Expos won 91 games and were in the pennant race all down the line.

The Edmonton Oilers have some nice things, they just don’t have enough of them. Goalie Dwayne Roloson, defensemen Jason Smith and Steve Staios, forwards Shawn Horcoff, Jarret Stoll, Raffi Torres, Ethan Moreau, Ales Hemsky and Fernando Pisani are guys who can play in the NHL in one role or another. Add to them some young players who could play at the bottom of the roster, let’s pick Smid and Greene on the blueline and Pouliot, Thoresen and Lupul up front.

What they need is obvious: a left winger on the top line (the Ryan Smyth replacement), two veterans up front who can play the game and two veterans on the blueline who can push back the kids to the 5-6 slot.

It can be done. I don’t think Kevin Lowe is going to be able to pick up a home run via trade, so they’re going to have to go on the cheap. Signing Radek Dvorak, Mike Johnson, and even Petr Sykora up front isn’t going to kill the cap, and signing Jan Hejda and Dick Tarnstrom won’t kill them either.

THEN they should invite about 10 of those AHL veteran defensemen (let’s call them the Dan McGillis generation) to training camp and if one of them plays better then deal Greene away or send Smid down.

The Edmonton Oilers roster decisions last year were beyond curious. Trading Chris Pronger, watching Spacek and Tarnstrom leave and then replacing them with Tjarnqvist, Hejda and Smid looked as bad on the ice as it did on paper. There WERE other options, and there ARE other options now.

Just ask the 1987 Montreal Expos.

Two things we should probably begin to accept: the Oilers are extremely likely to get a lottery pick next summer, and Kevin Lowe should be fired based on his performance since G7 of the SCF.

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35 Responses to "You Never Know"

  1. Gret99zky says:

    KLowe has been raked over the coals quite heavily as of late. Mac T has and will continue to get his fair share of flake. I am wondering, however, are the players going shoulder some of the responsibilty when it comes to performance?

    How are the players going to respond to last season’s disaster? The only player that had a decent year is on the Island now. You’d think every player on this team would set himself on fire to prove last year was just a fluke.

  2. jerk clown says:

    I really like this blog…but the “Lowe should be fired” routine is getting old. I get it – you think the Oilers won’t make the playoffs for another 3 years. I think the pessimism hit critical mass when you insisted that someone should be FIRED for trading #30 & #36 for #21. This might be the pinnacle of draft/prospect geekism. Because the average fan is gonna storm the streets in Maurice Richard riot-like fashion over trading up to take a player that 99 people out of a 100 have never seen play and know nothing about except what they’ve red in a scouting report – some of which was very positive.

    Why don’t you wait and what the finished product is on Oct. 4 before you judge what kind of job Lowe has done.

  3. momentai says:

    jerk clown:

    Isn’t that always the case, though? Let’s wait until training camp, the start of the regular season, the trade deadline, the draft… it’s a never-ending cycle. How long can the organization wait? If Lowe comes into camp with a make-shift defense again this season and simply signing Sykora in the forward group, we’re going to suck. And suck hard. And that’s all on Lowe for not getting better immediate return on his assets.

    Sure the players deserve some of the blame. But it’s really difficult to hit them hard because of all the holes in the lineup and youth on the backline. MacT and the players were all playing catchup from the get-go last season. Honestly, how much more could we have possibly expected?

  4. Loxy says:

    Jerk clown:

    Why get one player that 99 people out of 100 people have never seen, when you could get two?

    I think Lowetide, among many of us fans, have been waiting for the straw to break the GM’s back. And you advocate waiting. When do we say, enough is enough? After the next BIG mistake?

  5. Vic Ferrari says:

    Another good post LT. A refreshing alternative to the mindless
    root, root, root for the home team! drivel found on Oiler messageboards.

    Lowe is clearly rebuilding here, common sense says that was the plan right from the Pronger trade.

    I notice that almost all of the commentors on the blogs have Smid in the bottom pairing and Greene as a 6/7 guy, or even traded. Don’t you think it is more likely that Smid we be paired with Smith or Staios and play a lot against the other team’s good players? And the same for Greene, maybe not quite to the same extent, but a lot more than last season? Am I wrong LT?

    Lowe could have three Don Awrys come out of the woodwork at training camp … wouldn’t matter, because Greene and Smid will get that icetime. And Grebeshkov is going to be inched in as well. It’s a defenceman puppy mill, and a good way to ensure a high draft pick as well. They will need a shitload of good fortune in order to make the playoffs methinks.

    And up front, if you haven’t got a few really high end forwards … you’d better have damn few guys that create more offense for the opposition than for their own side. I think that’s what you’re suggesting here, and only a fool would argue that adding this type of player wouldn’t result in more wins for the team. But where does that put Nilsson, Schremp, Pouliot, Jacques, Thoresen? In Springfield I suspect.

    And the Oilers are a budget team in a division with four cap teams. Plus they may or may not be up for sale … in short, high end UFAs just aren’t on the cards here, even if they want to play for a team that looks to be poor, not unless they are willing to sign on for a very short term (one year?).

    But hell, a lot of Oiler fans have been clamouring for a full blown rebuild for ages. They have their wish, whether the Oilers are coming out and saying it or not.

    And the Oilers will still sell out the rink. They will still have some of the highest television and advertising revenues in the league. They will continue to spend less or equal on NHL payroll than their gate revenues. And they will have a WHL team now as well. Bully for them.

  6. jerk clown says:

    Momentai: I would agree with you except for the fact that it was one bad season! It’s not like we’re the Columbus Blue Jackets. This weekend was the first opportunity to do something to correct that bad season, and by all accounts he may have actually done something, it’s just that we don’t know what it is yet, so we rush to judgement. Yeah, maybe it’s Lowe’s fault for constantly talking about it and thus raising hope and expectations, but it still takes a partner willing to dance.

    I’ll even take it a step further…if Moreau, Stoll, and Staois were healthy, we would have been in thick of it (what were we 8 points back at the deadline?)we’re buyers at the deadline, Smyth is still here, and then people would be bitching about an overpay!

    It only takes a small bit of fortune or misfortune to turn things 180 degrees…

  7. Vic Ferrari says:

    One more thing, on the issue of trading up to take Riley Nash:

    The real bone of contention here does not seem to be the price. Though 31 and 36 overall are probably a touch high … 31 and 60 (or whatever the next Oiler pick position was) would have been too low to get a deal done (with anyone but Sutter, apparently ;)

    The real question is whether or not Nash would still have been available at 31. The aggregate position from the scouting services says he would have been, or at least should have been.

    It strikes me as extremely likely that a weighted average of the scouting services would have cleanly outperformed the Oilers over the past decade, so there is little reason to have faith in the Oilers scouting staff when they go off the board this season.

    Hell, Garth Snow says that they tried to move well up in the draft, into the early 2nd round, to take Katic. And they were fortunate to have failed, because he ended up available to them at the 62(ish) pick anyways.

  8. Lowetide says:

    jerk clown: I’ll admit that it’s over in terms of patience from my end. Kevin Lowe has created one of those ‘Ranchero half car-half truck’ rosters with a near-40 Roloson being protected by guys who don’t shave.

    Vic: If it’s a rebuild then they need to deal Roloson for certain. Also, full blown rebuilds are things people like the Texas Rangers do. Many times kids who’ve been thrown to the wolves like Smid was don’t ever recover, and imo there were enough holes in his game to wonder openly about his long term future.

    This is muck. Pure muck.

  9. jerk clown says:

    Loxy: Nice over at Hot Oil, keep it up…now that you’re buttered up, I must break you.

    Re: Your 2 instead of 1 theory.

    Because quite simply this draft was by EVERYONE’S account a bigger crapshoot than the draft already is. As an example there was a player taken by the Rangers (David Skokan) in the 7th round that some had rated in the top 40. Don Waddell said the same thing about a player they selected in round 6 or 7. I find it a little odd that so many people wanted to gamble on Cherapanov or Esposito but aren’t willing to gamble on Nash. I’m not prepared to believe that any of said people have seen him play or in fact have any experience in evaluating talent at any level above Chief Youtube Scout.

    Re: Lowe…After the next big mistake? Well, quite frankly, yes. He’s made more good moves than bad in his tenure and this season is probably a make or break one. I think most agree…even crabby LT.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Vic: I subscribe to ISS. It’s an outstanding read and over the years I’ve gotten it they do as good a job as any of the services. They had a kid named Maxim Mayorov (a 6-2, 190 LW) ranked 8th overall and the Oilers could have taken him at 36. There was a kid named Oscar Moller who scored 32 goals in the WHL available at 36, Michal Repik (a very good prospect) was available at 36, Bill Sweatt was available at 36, Joakim Andersson was available at 36.

    The Oilers clearly liked Nash better than all of those guys, but was he SO good that he was worth two lottery tickets?

    It’s not like it was obvious he was the next to go.

  11. PDO says:


    Vic: If it’s a rebuild then they need to deal Roloson for certain. Also, full blown rebuilds are things people like the Texas Rangers do. Many times kids who’ve been thrown to the wolves like Smid was don’t ever recover, and imo there were enough holes in his game to wonder openly about his long term future.

    I agree with basically everything you’ve said LT – except why on earth would we trade Roloson? I think having a spectacular goalie behind us is one of the only ways we can hope to shelter those young D from being completely shattered. By all of this and will let us stay semi-competitive.

    I think it’s absolutely necessary to start breaking in a young goalie, but at least Roloson can prevent us from setting this team up to completely fail.

  12. Lowetide says:

    pdo: Roloson has value. At the very least I Lowe (or the GM at that time) should look at dealing Roloson at the deadline.

  13. Shawn says:

    Summer isn’t over LT. I was dissapointed this weekend, but ultimatel how do we judge Lowe’s success until we see the roster we have for the opening game of the regular season? Anything can happen between now and then, it just hasn’t happened yet.

    If after all the talk of making major moves to make this team competative again… he doesn’t… well at that point I’m willing to talk about Lowe leaving.

    This summer is the last hurrah. He’s spending with most of the capital and faith he earned from his career and the team’s cup run.

    We’ll see what happens… but wouldn’t you say he’s earned at least this summer? A bad 365 days isn’t enough for me to say “can him” but this summer is it.

  14. momentai says:

    jerk clown: I would agree with you except for the fact that it was one bad season! It’s not like we’re the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    I don’t know. How far off we from them? In the span of a year, we’ve lost 2 stellar veterans and replaced them with youth. That’s never a good proposition for a team especially for one that can’t handle the loss. And personally, we were in tough sledding to make the playoffs last season with or without the injuries. It was only a matter of time before the defense let us down. As I recall, we were pretty fortunate to be leading the division in the winter.

    We’re left with the following guys who can play at ES at forward:

    Horcoff
    Pisani
    Torres
    Hemsky
    Pouliot
    Moreau
    Stoll

    And there are question marks on all of them except for Horcoff/Pisani/Moreau. That leaves a lot of room for failure.

    We probably don’t want to go into defense as well.

    It may have only taken 1 year to dismantle but I fear that it takes more than that to rebuild.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Shawn: I can’t see a way to get past ANY team in the NW from here. I know that sounds over the top but sweet Christ this team is a mess.

  16. jerk clown says:

    momentai:

    I meant we aren’t Columbus in that we haven’t made the playoffs on 5 or 6 years…

  17. PDO says:

    LT: he certainly has value, but what teams are there right now in a “win-now” mode that would want him anyway? And don’t think he holds more value to the Oilers than he does as a first round draft pick simply because he’ll allow us to shelter that D or those forwards a bit more?

  18. namflashback says:

    It strikes me as totally odd that Lowe/LaForge (in his full page apology ad) took this highly public approach to their off season. Like LT, the things the Oilers have of value in a trade are precisely the things that they can’t give up.

    The one potential upside they could have gained through the sewered season would have been a rookie/prospect having a real breakout. However, the rookies played like the rest of the Oilers.

    I can’t fathom why they made this plan public. If they felt they needed to sell false hope to the fans, well that’s just wrong. Fans have bought tickets as long as they remain the Bipoilers they are. Look like giant killers one night. Get squashed by a mouse the next.

    The deals aren’t being finalized because they aren’t good enough from the other teams’ perspective. That should be a surprise to nobody; and probably a good sign since that means Lowe isn’t giving somebody up who can’t easily be replaced.

    To make it all public just seems ridiculous. And I don’t think he was being disingenuous, he honestly probably thought it would all happen.

    Anyway, it has become clear that Cal Nichols observes all this stuff and has his own opinion. We’ll hear it come April next year.

    In the meantime, Lowe had better play it like the Expos this year.

  19. Iffy says:

    Vic,

    I would like to refer you to ColbyCosh.com, where he discusses the Oiler’s round 1 draft day performance over the past decade. The first half of the decade, the Oilers were pure suck, but in the last half, following the concensus may not have been so great.

    Also, you’ll find an entertaining little tale about this year #3 overall.

  20. jerk clown says:

    One of the things that is worth noting – and I don’t think it’s been mentioned – is that Lowe said that the deals he had/has in place involve picks for next year. Which says two things:

    1) As has been mentioned on here many times, nobody wants our kids – at least not the ones he’s probably trying to shift.

    2) Lowe was trying to make a deal that didn’t include NHL-calibre roster players, and thus had to give up picks in a richer draft ‘cos nobody wanted this years’ picks.

    Time will tell, I just hope it’s the ’08 Anahiem picks that are in-play and not ours.

  21. oilswell says:

    Assuming Lowe knows what Lowe is up to, do the EIG? When talking about firing, this is surely the most pressing question.

    And Vic, if Lowe’s aim is to look good ($$$) while failing spectacularly, which you’ve suggested before, then he’s a genius. And then see above.

    As far as patience, I didn’t call for Lowe’s firing after Pronger. Apparently I should have. So now I’m not sure what to do anymore LOL.

  22. Shawn says:

    I just don’t buy that, LT.

    I know it’s the organizational line, but this is a team that in the fall of this year was near the top of the NW Division and absolutely slated to earn a playoff spot. However, the D was too weak and never got upgraded, and things fell appart.

    So here we are and it’s June of that same year. Yes, the wheels fell off after Smyth got dealt. However, outside a couple of small pieces, this is exactly the same team minus one superstar.

    So the theory should hold that if Lowe can add a superstar at the level or higher than Smyth _AND_ upgrade the D _AND_ young guys like Stoll, Smid, Lupul and company take a step up in their development this year… how are we not a better team than we were last fall?

    Of course that’s a big if. Lowe has all summer to replace Smyth, sure up our forwards and upgrade the D.

    Will he? Good question. So far he hasn’t shown that he will, but he hasn’t shown that he absolutely won’t either. How can we leap to judgement on this summer yet when all that’s happened is that he didn’t get a deal done during the draft weekend?

    That was one of the options. It’s dissapointing, but nothing is set in stone yet.

    Jarrett Stoll, Shawn Horcoff, Fernando Pisani, Ethan Moreau, Ales Hemsky, Jason Smith, Steve Staios and Dwayne Roloson were all KEY cogs in the best Edmonton Oilers team since the very early 90s. In my view that team (with Roloson) would’ve won the division, and they certainly proved their worth in the playoffs. They also learned what it takes to make it through the playoff wars. They got a taste of it and teams who got a taste and fell short often end up coming back for more. The mid-90s Red Wings and recent Ducks/Hurricanes teams are prime examples.

    Since that time Chris Pronger, Ryan Smyth, Sergei Samsonov, Mike Peca and Jaroslav Spacek are the key players from that team who are no longer with us.

    You can argue about Dvorak, MAB, Tanstrom, etc. To me those guys were relatively bit players who absolutely can be replaced.

    So we have to replace Chris Pronger, Ryan Smyth, Jaroslav Spacek and Mike Peca.

    Massive task.

    To me what that means is to have a team that at least should compete close to the level the last one did, you need to aquire two star players. A forward (hopefully LW) and a D.

    It also means you need to further upgrade the D (likely) with another top tier player, but not necessarily a supersar.

    Those are the two moves that Kevin Lowe is having the hardest time making. He has had a full year to replace Pronger and has yet to even get it half done. However, that’s what has to be done by October.

    I think filling the Spacek/Samsonov/Peca holes is a much easier task. Certainly one he’s capeable of doing. Sykora replaced Samsonov easily last year. Reasoner was meant to try to replace Peca but was sub par… perhaps he’ll step up, or a rookie like Pouliot can take a greater role. Spacek’s worth to the team is simply equal to a veteran D that will provide some stability that hopefully should be easy enough to get…

    But it’s replacing Pronger and Smyth. That’s the mountain he’s climbing this off season.

    If he can do it relatively well (even say Redden and Gomez… or Smyth himself or whomever) I think this team is absolutely right back in the mix.

    If he can’t replace those veterans with stars, we’re fucked and he’s likely out of time.

    But I’d still rather have our core guys than many of the teams in the NHL. They’ve proven they can go that extra mile. They just need some big help.

  23. mc79hockey says:

    It’s a defenceman puppy mill, and a good way to ensure a high draft pick as well.

    Puppy mills are, of course, notoriously cruel and prone to turning out puppies with serious defects. So I completely agree with the analogy.;)

    So the theory should hold that if Lowe can add a superstar at the level or higher than Smyth _AND_ upgrade the D _AND_ young guys like Stoll, Smid, Lupul and company take a step up in their development this year… how are we not a better team than we were last fall?

    Jesus, is that all? Fuck, let me pat the man on the back for a job well done then. As far as replacing Smyth goes, there’s nobody on the market even close to him for the dollars involved. Nobody. You can roll the dice on a Briere or a Gomez if you want, but you’ll pay through the nose and they have their owen question marks. The only way to match Smyth through UFA probably involves spending at least $35MM over the next five years. You tell me if that sounds wise.

    What about trading for an RFA? That is, as far as I can see, the only way to pull this off – you trade some roster player like Torres, who’s got a cheap contract, plus some of the crap that Lowe has piled up for someone who a team can no longer afford or no longer wants to afford. Then you go out and replace Torres on the UFA market. Only problem – that’s going to be a pricy strategy as well AND you’re going to need to find someone to dance with. With the salary cap being driven up by a bunch of teams with high revenues and pretty much all teams having shown that they’re willing to pay their RFA players, I think Lowe might find this less than fruitful. In any event, this will likely also be more expensive than retaining Smyth.

    Upgrading the D…I don’t see how they’re going to do it. Staios is here for the long haul. I would assume that Smith is staying around – trading him now would be stupid, because he’s so cheap. Smid is the next Bobby Orr, only with good knees. He’s not going anywhere. Grebeshkov has been promised a spot by the sound of things. Matt Greene was actually one of the few bright spots of the last 20, based on what I heard from knowledgeable observers. He probably isn’t going anywhere. Gilbert has probably legitimately earned a shot. There’s six already. That assumes that they’ll walk away from Hejda, who was at worst the third best Oilers defenceman last year (maybe fourth, if you prefer MAB). Kevin’s got a plethora of 3/4 and down guys here, many of whom I can’t see him moving. You can say he’ll upgrade the D; I’m mystified as to how he’ll open up a spot for it, other than possibly moving Greene, in whom the Oilers have invested an awful lot of big league minutes as well a Stanley Cup opportunity lost when he let Andrew Ladd get past him.

    As to everyone else improving – I’m generally on board with that. I figured last year would be the Oilers worst in the next couple at the start of the year. Of course, that assumed that they’d re-sign Smyth, which they didn’t do. I doubt that the improvement from other players will matter.

  24. Shawn says:

    In terms of “is that all” I never said it’d be easy.

    Frankly I’m of the mindset that they should open up the bank for Smyth. I think he’s got a unique skill set and they should just admit that he belongs here even at a large financial overpayment. We’ll overpay anyone we get anyway.

    But I think a guy like Gomez is a good long term investment if you could make it happen. I think a guy like Nagy is a good short term risk if he could develop chemistry with Hemsky. There’s interesting players out there.

    For the most part I think free agency will give us a chance to sure up some veteran positions. Some solid guys to mesh with the youngsters. The stars I imagine would have to come through trades.

    It’s a huge challenge to replace two stars. We’ll see if he can do it. All I’m saying is that Lowe has stated that’s his off season plan and IF he accomplishes it, I don’t think the team is still a mess. I think the depth we have here is pretty good. It’s the top end we lack.

  25. Shawn says:

    Incidently, on D I agree we’re loaded with young 5/6 guys. Gilbert, Greb, Smid, Greene, Chorney (in college obviously) and even some guys like Syvret and Young might get a shot elsewhere.

    That’s why they’re trade bait.

  26. Moné Peterson says:

    Here’s a question for you guys — what should have Lowe done following the 2006 playoffs?

  27. Lowetide says:

    mone: I think Lowe needed to make absolutely certain he had the blueline covered before dealing Pronger. I was pretty confident they’d replace Pronger, Spacek and Tarnstrom with someone of note (I believe we discussed Markov, etc).

    I thought the return was good (and have been proven terribly wrong), but they needed to improve the blueline no matter the outcome of that trade.

    Smid w/Staios meant that the 2pairing could at best break even and if anyone got injured it would be ‘assclown central.’

    And then when he dealt Ryan Smyth at the deadline he needed to have someone better in mind to replace him.

    That will be extremely difficult based on how this is all rolling out.

  28. MikeP says:

    Keeping Lowe right now, we may wind up watching another season like last, or worse.

    Firing Lowe right now practically guarantees the latter outcome. It smacks of desperation, and guarantees no UFAs will be coming to Edmonton.

    The time to ditch Lowe was immediately after the season, then move Howson up (or hire somebody else, whatever). Fire him mid-summer, maybe, but not now, not with a week to go before UFA season.

  29. Marc says:

    Sorry to change the subject in the comments…

    LT, I too followed the Expos and remember that May 1 game when Raines went 3 for 4 (or 4 for 4) on the NBC game of the week, after sitting out the first month with a contract squabble.

    Nice analogies…

  30. Jesse says:

    I agree that Lowe has had a very bad 12 months, but I still hold that his time as Oilers GM has seen him make more good moves than bad ones. People on the internet seem to generally agree that Lowe’s troubles began with the Pronger trade. Obviously, best case scenario would have seen a top d-man coming back our way, but I blame that on Pronger and his agent more than on Lowe. And as bad as that trade was (is?), St. Louis traded him for probably less just 10 months earlier.

    In my opinion, Lowe’s biggest mistake was thinking that he could use the same strategy on the 06-07 defense that he used on the 05-07 goalies. Given how well it ended up working out in 05-06, I’m willing to forgive him this mistake.

    His other big mistake, obviously, was how he completely screwed up the Smyth negotiations. That one still stings, but I’d say that he got more than fair value for a UFA like Smyth in his trade with Snow, and I think it’s unfair to judge the results until the off-season plays out a little bit more.

    Yes, Kevin Lowe is burning up his goodwill very fast in this town, but I’d say he did a good enough job up until last summer to justify a bit more leeway than he’s gotten the last few weeks. Besides, as long as the EIG refuses to spend, I can’t see anyone else doing a better job.

  31. godot10 says:

    Daryl Sutter gave up on Chris Drury, Mike Commodore, and Tony Lydman, getting next to nothing in return.

    Daryl Sutter signed relatively useless players like Tony Amonte and Darren McCarty as free agents, while letting Dean McAmmond and Martin Gelinas go.

    He made the panic move of hiring MIke Keenan. Three coaches in three years.

    The Tanguay trade doesn’t look like its was a good one.

  32. mc79hockey says:

    As to Sutter – I’m not convinced that he’s a genius either but he hit on Kiprusoff and that will paper over a lot of sins.

    The Tanguay trade doesn’t look great? Fucker had 56 points at ES this year and was EV+ 64 EV- 49, which is good, although less impressive considering who he had behind him. Still, them’s respectable numbers.

  33. Shawn says:

    Guys why are you even commenting on this. Do you even think for a second that Lowe’s job was in danger a year removed from the Cup final?

    He got a free pass for a year, everyone knows it and to talk about “well he should’ve been fired right after the year” is non-sense. It wasn’t going to happen and this is his make or break.

  34. MikeP says:

    Shawn, please re-read what I said, for content this time.

    What I said was *if* he was going to be fired, it *should have been* right after the season. Firing him now would virtually guarantee a next season as bad as the last, or worse.

  35. Shawn says:

    I’m not suggesting you’re saying he should be fired… lots of people mentioned it in one way or another, and I’m just saying it’s pointless to discuss because it was never ever an option.

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