(Guest Writer-Dennis) An Ass Perfectly Countoured for the Whoopie Cushion

Say, have you heard this one?

A general manager walks into a hockey rink only to find a local reporter waiting for him. This general manager crowed about picking up five assets for Chris Pronger and is two years into the fruits of that labour with a accompanying pie that tastes as good as your great aunt’s, well, we won’t go there. Now this is also the same guy who lost his cool and let Ryan Smyth go over a paltry $100 K a year, only to wind up dealing him for 50 cents on the dollar. Later on he attempted tospend what we’ll call “Smyth money” on anyone who’d talk to him and finallysucceeded when Sheldon Souray finally picked up the phone.

Did I mention the courting of Michael Nylander?

Anyway, this guy walks into a hockey rink and he’s overlooking his team pitching one of their worst performances of the season. So, a reporter sidles up to the GM and mentions how the he just might want to make a deal or two and try and shake the doldrums and in the process keep Brian Burke from having an even better chance of hitting a home-run; considering that he has the Oilers first round pick this season.

So, according to the Edmonton Journal, the GM says, “It would (cause) agreat deal of angst to see Burke pick in the top five, because of our season. But I’m not about to make a couple of stupid deals just to prevent that from happening.”

Cue uproarious laughter from learned readers. Unfortunately, that’s wherethe levity stops.

The writer of this piece was John MacKinnon and while he’s not the Oilersbeat guy, I don’t think that precludes him from taking a shot when Kevin Lowe leaves his guard down. I’m a new guy to the Edm media and I’ve only been able to read the dailies since I’ve seen them online in the ’97 season but I wonder if it’s always been this way. Lowe is throwing out a line here that’s ripe for the needle and no one bothers to take a jab? Is this what it’s come to?

Or is this what’s it’s always been?

One thing I’ve always given Lowe credit for is knowing his audience. In fact, I’m not sure if he has an applicable meter lying around somewhere but the guy seems to have a handle on just how much he can get away with. The man’s on a quite a roll when it comes to making moves that backfire like -insert old car joke here- but it’s one thing to be a bad GM, it’s quite another to either flaunt or be oblivious to your reality by making statements about “stupid deals” when your team’s trailing the pack like the fat kid in a marathon.

Somewhere along the way the Oilers became a laughing stock and Lowe became The Unaccountable One and the former highlights the latter. With the way this team falls further and further off the competitive map, it’s easy to think of the Lowe supporter as lemming but that’s a classifcation broad enough to encapuslate any fan of any franchise that’s suffered from periods ranging from moderate-to-long. Everyone’s got their soft spots and there’s something to be said for loyality and how the payoff when you finally get your moment in the sun. In Lowe’s rule, however, that’s never come to pass.

Things were supposed to change in the new era and they did for one spring. But Lowe’s been o-for-2 since then and there’s no reason to believe this team gets into the playoffs in ’09 either. For that to happen kids like Cogliano, Gagner and Nilsson will all have to take the big step from even-strength sinkholes to outscorers and as much as I like these guys, I don’t see any such transformations taking place over summer.

So, where does Lowe find the strength in his convictions and the flat-outballs to throw out lines about stupid deals? And what’s in the city’s make-up that makes this acceptable?

Maybe it’s the latest manifestation of an inferority complex but currentlythe Oilers fan has become the matronly doormat who smells perfume on the husband but chooses to believe that the fragance was passed from a platonic hug at work. Oh sure, they can check the stats for themselves and watch the games to see the performances of the guys in with the ones out and if they’re so intrepid, they can look at the corresponding salaries. Best not to have to think for yourself, though. Whatever Kevin does is best.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that outside of rallying everyone to cancel season tickets and stop watching the games, it’s hard for any fans to really affect change. And if the people stay away in droves, they run the risk that today’s payroll drops to the floor and most likely the team’s point totals with it. Still in all, though, it’s hard to believe that fans will keep buying bags marked “Sugar” that ultimately house shit.

Comments like the one highlighted above prove that Lowe’s either deluded or calculates his leeway to be at unforetold levels.

Either way the joke’s on Joe Stupid Fan.

To the “true believers” I say keep the covers over your head and look forward to 2010. That seems promising right now and just might be until itcomes to the time where it’s September ’09 and, repeat after me, once againwe’re left with excuses in lieu of talent.

Did I mention Shawn Horcoff’s contract is up at the end of the ’09 season?Don’t bother with it. I’m sure Lowe will see that situation to anadvantageous end.

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21 Responses to "(Guest Writer-Dennis) An Ass Perfectly Countoured for the Whoopie Cushion"

  1. Dennis says:

    Before anyone else says it, I know I missed out by not starting off with “This is Kevin Lowe.”:)

  2. Psyche says:

    Excellent write-up!

    Dennis and Lowetide: Where do you see today’s trade fitting into the grand scheme? “Tricky” Dicky Tarnstrom for Kindersley’s Curtis Glencross?

  3. Dennis says:

    LT’s game thread has a lot of thoughts on that deal. Though he himself has yet to chime in.

  4. Lowetide says:

    psyche: I’m meh about the trade. We traded a “10 of spades” for a “7 of clubs” and we already have several 6′s and 7′s and 9′s.

    Is Glengarry Glen Cross better than JF Jacques? IS he?

    You know, maybe he is. And Tarnstrom has played less than sea level this season but jiminy cricket we’re young and getting younger.

    Doesn’t anyone see the difference between our D and say Calgary’s? Lordy, lordy, lordy.

    We do not shave at defense.

  5. Lowetide says:

    TSN Darren Millard just mentioned the Oilers made the deal for cap issues and that makes sense.

    So I like it from that end. Room for Jagr.

    :-)

  6. Bank Shot says:

    I’m not really upset that the Oilers aren’t competitive today. I can handle suck today for silver tommorow.

    Trading away Smyth was fine if the GM had a plan. The plan could have involved taking some lumps this season, aquiring some rental UFAs to trade come deadline, and rise from the ashes like St.Louis, and Philadelphia before them.

    No plan is the problem. Who gives a shit about Hejdas and Tjarnqvists. They win a team cups like Jessica Simpsons wins spelling bees.

    Elite players win cups and there are only a couple surefire ways to aquire them. Suck bad and draft one,(requires draftpicks) and trade/sign one,(requires cap space).

    Lowe has effectively fucked both options and left the Oilers having to rely on some lottery winning in the second/ third round, or some kind of ultimate steal of a trade where the guy breaks out after being aquired. Both longshots to the extreme.

    What is upsetting is that the Oilers are just sucking for no reason, without being on the path towards building a championship calibre team.

  7. Dennis says:

    Really? They’re making room to spend or just saving money for the fuck of it?

  8. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: They’ll need cap space this summer, suspect they’ll use it on that scoring winger (Ryder?)

  9. Pat H says:

    Great post Dennis.

  10. Dennis says:

    Yep, I think you can see that happening. Frankly, I’m surprised Ryder hasn’t been dealt for Stoll. Mtl’s dying for a guy that can win a faceoff and Lowe’s dumb enough that he doesn’t know that with Ryder’s 25 goals comes also comes a -15.

    I can see it all shaking out like this:

    - Ryder comes in on a one year deal
    - He replaces Horc on the PP
    - Because Horc isn’t on the PP, his counting stats decrease.
    - Lowe cites the counting stats when he decides not to play Horc.
    - Ryder signs here because not a whole lot of other teams will have him
    - Lowe talks about the Gagner-Ryder tandem and Hemsky-Penner
    - I have to play softball every summer against Ryder and one day I get drunk and ask him why he’s so fucking shitty at evens.

    Should I go on?

  11. Andy Grabia says:

    That’s three different blogs you’ve now guested on, Dennis. Congrats! You’re the Nathan Lane of the Oilogosphere! :)

  12. Andy Grabia says:

    Hmm. Howson picks up Tarnstrom and Hejda. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

    Dennis: They’ll need cap space this summer, suspect they’ll use it on that scoring winger (Ryder?)

    A) They have lots of money for next year; b) Tarnstrom is a UFA at season’s end. So if the excuse is to free up cap room, the excuse has to be it was to free up cap room for right now.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Andy: Good point. My next answer is they just don’t like Jacques.

    At all.

  14. Andy Grabia says:

    Andy: Good point. My next answer is they just don’t like Jacques.

    At all.

    That list of their own kids they don’t like is growing, then (Jacques and Schremp). Just weird. There has to be a disconnect between coach and management on this stuff. How many guys have they drafted or brought in, only to get buried?

  15. honkey says:

    Why don’t Oilers start like this all home games?
    Great pressure, checking and jumping on lose pucks.
    What a wonderful hockey goal by pure hard work.

  16. Lord Bob says:

    Unlike Hejda, though, Tarnstrom has pretty obviously looked like roadkill to just about everybody, whereas Glencross might be a third-liner but hey, he’s an NHL third-liner.

    By the way, I was having a pretty good day and thinking life was pretty good. Perfect timing for a trademark pessimistic Dennis article. :P

  17. Black Dog says:

    Well I think Dick wasn’t used correctly either of this times here but then again what the hell do I know?

    I don’t mind the trade though. Dumping a UFA who sits in the PB for a kid forward with some jam who has more goals then Reasoner, Sanderson, Thoresen (and yeah I love Thor), Stortini etc etc you get the point, isn’t such a bad move.

    But yeah I’d say Jacques is going to be an “and” pretty soon.

    As in the Oilers traded Steve Staios and Jean Francois Jacques …

  18. Ribs says:

    Well, there’s the wine…Who brought the cheese?

  19. Dennis says:

    Not sure if anyone’s gonna check this thread again but if you do, check out the link that I’ll post in a few short lines.

    I didn’t get to reading about the reaction from the Minny scribes about the Santana deal, though it shouldn’t be glowing by any stretch. Anyway, another big move was made yesterday when the Lakers picked up Pau Gasol from the Grizz for an expiring contract and a couple of those first round picks that our own Lowe loves so much.

    One of the things that galled me about the Pronger move was how picks from an Ana team that was almost assuredly gonna be upper echelon with the addition of Pronger: those wouldn’t be worth fuckall.

    So, reading a Memphis paper about their reaction to the Gasol move and some paras in, we get this:

    ///The Lakers’ first-round picks in 2008 and 2010. Which will be so low in the first round as to be essentially worthless. The Phoenix Suns routinely sell their low first-round picks for cash. Other good teams spend them on players who will stay in Europe a few years and not clutter up their roster////

    Well, yes, exactly. But how come no one throws that in Lowe’s face when he hauls himself over his beloved five assets?

    Well, because there’s no real objective reporting in Edm.

    Here’s the rest of the piece for those that are either interested in basketball or reporting that takes place on even levels.

    http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/feb/02/gasol-for-what/

  20. Black Dog says:

    Nice Dennis.

  21. Master Lok says:

    1) LT I think that Glencross is Definitely better than JFJ – if only because he knows his role and apparently JFJ looks as lost as Homer Simpson in a library.

    2) Dennis – you really think that the Smyth trade was 50 cents on the dollar? Are you implying that Lowe could have gotten more for Smyth than a 1st round pick and two prospects (1st rounders) or that Lowe could have gotten more for Smyth if he traded him earlier in the season?

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