Kevin Lowe’s had a busy summer. He’s usually busy in the offseason, as a matter of fact at his first draft (2000) he made a deal on Draft Day and he’s been on the phone since.
Here’s a record of Lowe’s deals going back to his first days on the job.
- June 12-2000: Oilers trade 5th round pick to Nashville for LW Patrick Cote. The pick ended up being Matt Koalska. Cote was acquired because the 2000 expansion draft rules stated each team needed to expose a certain number of players with NHL experience and the Oilers were short (I think this deal was made so they could protect Rem Murray but don’t quote me on it). Koalska has played in 3 NHL games and was employed by three different AHL teams this past season. Deal was neutral.
- June 24, 2000: Oilers trade D Roman Hamrlik to NYI for D Eric Brewer, LW Josh Green and the 35th overall pick in the 2000 Entry Draft. Pick ended up being Brad Winchester. Hamrlik has rolled along as a top 4D with offensive ability and a mean streak since the deal and he’s a guy who the Oilers missed a lot I think. Hamrlik had paired with Tom Poti in Lowe’s season as coach and is was an effective tandem. Since the deal, Hamrlik’s stats are 426gp, 57-160-217, and last season he was +22 on the Flames (second among Flames D) and played the 4th toughest minutes among Calgary’s D (Desjardins). The Islanders benefited from the trade because Hamrlik was a big part of a club that made the playoffs in ’02, ’03 and ’04 and that’s saying something. Brewer is maturing and still has a wide range of skills, but he still makes some bonehead plays. He played the second toughest minutes among Blues defenders this past season and his -10 was the poorest mark on the club among defenders (Jackman was +20). Brewer’s stats since the trade are 429gp, 41-97-138 and his team’s have made the playoffs 2/6 times (Hamrlik’s teams have missed once since the trade). He’s had one major injury (shoulder) that cost him 40 games in 05-06. Josh Green has had some inury troubles along the way and bounced around a lot. His stats since the deal are 246gp, 22-22-44. He has size, a plus shot and good speed but has never been able to establish himself. Brad Winchester took his own sweet time getting to the NHL and since arriving has been a bit of a tease. He can be a physical player but didn’t show enough to get a contract from the Oilers this summer. His career NHL stats are 78gp, 4-6-10 and he was signed by Dallas as a ufa this summer. He’s been a disappointment so far as a pro player.
- Hamrlik will earn $5.5M over each of the next 4 seasons, Brewer is at 4.25M cap hit over the next 4 seasons. Josh Green made $450k last season, Winchester’s deal in Dallas is for $475k per year.
- Who got the better of the deal? I’d give the edge to NYI. Hamrlik was a quality, veteran NHL defender who helped the team turn it around and make the playoffs in the second year he was there and each year after that. From spring 1995 through spring 2001, the Islanders missed the playoffs each season (7 years) and Hamrlik was part of the group that helped straighten things around a little. The Oilers suffered through growing pains with Brewer (although he has terrific talent) and I don’t think we can give credit for the Pronger trade in this deal. Green and Winchester are/have been replacement level players at the NHL level. It wasn’t an awful trade and there were some dollar considerations but I think the EDGE: NEW YORK ISLANDERS.
- July 20, 2000: Oilers send G Kay Whitmore to Boston for future considerations. Probably cash, I haven’t been able to find the actual payoff.
- November 15, 2000: Oilers trade RW Bill Guerin to St. Louis for RW Anson Carter and the Bruins 2001 2nd round pick. Oilers also acquire the right to flip first round picks in either the 2001 or 2002 Entry Drafts. There was also I believe a conditional 2003 pick but I can’t seem to track it down. Picks ended up being Doug Lynch (2nd rounder) and the Oilers flipped picks in 2001 and moved up to select Ales Hemsky. Boston picked Shaone Morrissonn. Guerin was the best player in the trade at the time of the deal and for some time afterward. A big PF who could score goals, he went on a tear after arriving in Boston and ended that season with 40 goals. He scored 41 the following year and after a poor season in Dallas he made a nice comeback this season and popped 36 goals for St. Louis and then San Jose. Guerin’s teams have made the post season in 5/6 seasons since the deal. Since Nov 15, 2000 Guerin’s career counting numbers are 435gp, 177-167-344. Morrisonn has played in 202gp, 5-30-35 since arriving in the NHL in 2002. He was dealt to Washington along with a 1st rounder and some other things in the Sergei Gonchar rental. Morrison played the 2nd toughest minutes among Caps defenders this past season, and his +3 was the best of Washington’s defenseman. He’s a big mobile player who at 24 is building a very nice NHL resume. Carter had a couple of nice seasons with Edmonton before touring the NHL over the last few seasons (he had a notable stop in Vancouver where he scored 33 goals) as a perimeter player who could shoot the puck. Since the deal, Carter’s NHL numbers are 444gp, 129-144-273 for 7 (SEVEN!) NHL teams. He’s a complimentary player as opposed to Guerin who can make things happen, and the last time he was in a playoff game was spring 2001. Lynch had a very nice pro debut in the AHL but a wrist injury has sidelined his career and he would have to be considered a long shot to make it back to the NHL. Hemsky is the single most valuable player the Oilers have acquired in over a decade and is the cornerstone of the franchise. He’s more than enough to make up for the Guerin-Carter portion of this deal and then some. Hemsky’s career stats since the trade are 275gp, 50-144-194 and the Oilers have been in the playoffs in 2/4 of his seasons (including the Cup run).
- Guerin will earn 4.5M over the next two seasons as the captain of the NYI, Morrisonn will make $900k this season. Hemsky’s cap hit is $4.1M through 2012 and Doug Lynch is currently at UFA. Carter made $2.5M last season and will no doubt grab a contract at some point this summer (at a much reduced rate).
- Who Got the Better of the Deal? Edmonton. The option to flip and the Hemsky payoff swayed the trade in Edmonton’s direction even though (as often happened with Lowe before the new CBA) the Oilers took the immediate talent hit. Guerin has had a wonderful career and Edmonton was a lesser team the moment he left town. Carter was below NHL average for a 1line RW when he arrived and remained so (save the Sedin year which was the ideal situation for him). That gap is made up for imo by Hemsky and will continue to pay dividends into the future, so even with Morrison emerging as a very nice defender its EDGE: EDMONTON.
- December 18, 2000: Oilers trade C Chad Kilger to Montreal for C Sergei Zholtok. Kilger’s numbers since the trade: 382gp, 61-66-127 and Zholtok was 258gp, 53-79-132 up until the time of his death. A tough deal to assess obviously, Kilger has turned himself into a pretty good role player and Zholtok had a couple of fair seasons with the Wild (and an effective playoff) before his unfortunate demise. I’m going to say the deal was neutral.
- March 13, 2001: Oilers trade LW Dan Lacouture to Pittsburgh for D Sven Butenschon. They were not similar players. Lacouture is an energy style LW who won’t back down from the rough stuff and Butenschon (despite his size) was a finesse style defender who used positioning more than the body. Both are marginal NHL talents. Lacouture has been 281gp, 16-21-37 and Butenschon was 107gp, 2-11-13. Since both have played a significant amount in the minors since the deal and neither was a difference maker I’m going to call this deal neutral although Lacouture has clearly had the better career.