Monday, July 30, 2007

Is Lowe Desperate?

1) In lieu of Brian Burke's assertion over the weekend that his counterpart Kevin Lowe (and supposed close friend) is a desperate man 'trying to save his job' by making the 2 RFA offer sheets. The first to Buffalo's Thomas Vanek, and most recently, to Burke's own Anaheim Ducks RFA forward Dustin Penner we decided it would be time for 2 more polls of our readers. First is Lowe desperate?

2) We have already come out on record stating that Lowe's moves are desperate. Edmonton fans have to wonder how he can come up with these wads of cash for these RFA when he was nickel and diming his own captain, Ryan Smyth to the point that he felt the need to unload him? IT seems all these problems would have been mute if the Oliers and Lowe had stepped up long before the trade deadline and locked up Smyth(as he stated he wanted) long term.

3) Both offer sheets are not going to change the fact that the Oliers are NOT a particularly good team right now. Even with Penner. Burke's only move in our opinion is to allow him to go. For one it will bring in a nice 1st round pick(we see Edmonton OUT of the playoffs next season) More importantly, Burke needs to think about NEXT summer when another of his young guns, Ryan Getzlaf will be a RFA. If Ryan has a break out year and Penner is making 4.2, what can Ryan expect? No way could the Ducks afford to have 2-3 guys in their early-mid 20's making 4-5+ million and still remain competitive.

4) Penner won the lottery thanks to a desperate Lowe, and its time to cut him loose. If he becomes the next John Leclair or Todd Bertuzzi, so be it Its worth that risk in our opinion. What do you think:


Shuck-A-Luck said...

I think Lowe underestimated the UFA market back at the deadline. He clearly did not believe the asking prices would be as high as they turned out to be.

We can all look back on the Smyth scenario from the deadline and think that he should have coughed up more dough, but I think at the time he probably thought that he could get a better player for $5.5-6 Million per year then Smyth. Clearly the market jumped and he could not.

The question I have is why wasn't he just offering crazy money to proven guys like Briere and Drury? Sure those guys got big deals but wouldn't $8 Million per year x 5 years landed one or both of those in Edmonton?

The big error was not made with Smyth (though that wasn't very smart either), it was underestimating the value of UFAs and not overpaying on proven players instead of players with 1-2 years of NHL experience.

Shmee said...

I think Lowe over played his hand with Smyth and I think the way he treated Smyth has to give others UFAs pause in wanting to join the Oilers.


1) Your points well taken Shuck. However, Lowe being the well paid GM had to/should have known that the salary cap was going to rise, at least moderately. Most of us bloggers knew it as early as last January, so Lowe HAD to know he would have cap space to spare.
2) As to how much he valued Smyth is another story. Certainly in retrospect he meant more than Lowe believed.(The Oilers dropped like a rock right after the trade)
3) The fiasco that resulted in his and before that Pronger's departure seems to have tarnished the organizations image making it less likely that a player like Briere or other UFA would go there. Recall Nylander took 2 million LESS than what the Oilers offered to play in DC
4) For all the reasons outlined above, and more, Lowe should be fired! The good will he bought with their trip to the Finals last year is probably running low. (No pun)

Jibblescribbits said...

I think Lowe over played his hand with Smyth and I think the way he treated Smyth has to give others UFAs pause in wanting to join the Oilers.

I said this right after the whole fiasco went down, and couldn't feel more right. I completely agree.

And I think the answer is YES Lowe is desperate, and doesn't understand the true value of draft picks.


1) Amazing how fast the doors can come off a franchise/GM's career.
2)Last spring Lowe was highly regarded(deserved or not). His team had just missed winning the Cup by 1 game, then
a) The Pronger fiasco,
b) The Smyth debacle
c) Draft day trade promise
d) Nylander-gate
e) RFA offer sheets


I am not going to defend Kevin, but you can't blame him for all the bad things that have happened up here the past year. Pronger leaving wasn't Lowe's fault. He had some personal issues. We can all argue that Lowe should have received more in return for Pronger. If Pronger were available this year when there were fewer top quality defensemen available he may have received more
As for the Smyth trade. No one will ever know for sure what really happened. I would have held on to Smyth and hope to sign him in the off season, but Lowe must have known something. Maybe his agent told him Ryan was pissed and wanted out? Who knows? I agree with Shmee the recent bad publicity has not helped our image for free agents to come here. I think its temporary though. This is a great place to live and raise a family. The Oil will be fine.

Sauce said...

1-Pronger... It was just simply a mess. Reports of infidelity and a dissatisfied spouse. What can you do?

2-Smyth... Everyone underestimated the UFA market. But Lowe looks particularly bad on this one. (Especially when Nilsson and O'Marra prove to be less than hoped for).

3-Draft day... THIS was an act of desperation. No way he makes big wave in advance of a deal unless he's trying to make up for perceived mistakes. This looked real bad.

4-Nylander... What? Show me a legit source for Nylander being offered SEVEN million by the Oil? I must've missed this one. If it's true, then Lowe actually dodged a bullet.

5-Offer sheets... Burke said it best - these things are a reality under the new CBA. They're a gift to the younger players to allow more money and mobility. Hardly any offer sheets in past years because of an "unwritten rule"? Hogwash. It was because the compensation in picks was too high. We'll continue to see offer sheets going forward. The Penner sheet was actually a good move by Lowe. Overpaying? Sure. But Penner has all the looks of the real deal. And it accomplishes the secondary purpose of derailing a potential dynasty in your own conference. Getting Penner inked for low bucks and a long term would put the Ducks in hugely advantageous position for years to come. Lowe broke that up with one move. Now, when it comes to the Vanek sheet - that was just plain stupid, and desperate.


1) Hey Sauce:
a) Can't put the Pronger mess at Lowe's feet. It can be argued he could have received more than he did and it would have been better if he dealt him away from his conference, but he wasn't dealing from strength so we give him a pass on that one
b) Agree that he screwed the whole Smyth deal up, though no one really knows the true story on that one
c)He looked like an idiot on draft day. Amateurish at best
d) Not sure where you ready 7 mil for Nylander unless it was a typo. He was reportedly offered at least full mil more per year to play in Oil country
e) We disagree with respect to Penner. Unless he does become' the real deal' Lowe's move back fires on him when he not only loses draft picks but has to pay a mediocre power forward 4.3 mil for 4 years. If he becomes John Leclair, Lowe looks like a genius. Guess time will tell

Sauce said...

"Recall Nylander took 2 million LESS than what the Oilers offered to play in DC"

That's from your July 30 7:56am comment. Nylander got 5 million per from DC. So Lowe offered 7? I suppose it was a typo, right?

With regard to Penner, I certainly do see your point. I mean, any decision has risk to it. But Penner has shown a breakout at BOTH the AHL and NHL levels in 2 consequtive years. And besides, a careful analysis of picks thru the years shows that they really are mostly a crap shoot. Lowe loses 3 picks, but he probably reasons that he gained those 3 picks (all 1st rounders, actually) from the Isles in the Smyth deal. So as you said, he COULD end up looking stupid on this one, but he can just as easily look like a genious. And if so, watch the offer sheet flood gates open up wide!!!


1) We believe Nylander got a 4 year 18 mil deal from DC and turned down a 4 year 22 mil deal from Edmonton. About a mil/year diff. If we wrote 2 mil then we erred. Still its a significant piece of change to turn down
2) Agree, if Penner pans out next summer we will see more RFA offers than ever/or GM's will nip that possibility in the bud with extensions given before they become available.
3) What appears to be happening is the highest paid players will no longer be the geriatric set, but the younger players with their best years in front of them

Jibblescribbits said...

I think Lowe's biggest mistake(s) (and this is saying a lot, cause there were many) wasn't so much letting Smyth go, but the handling of it. Not only did he let him go because of a disagreement of about $500K, but he trashed Smyth in the media.

Then he whined about "No one wants to play in Edmonton" when I just don't think that's true for anyone not named "Pronger". Then he played the "small-market" card and offered Vanek a completely bloated contract.

All this makes him come across as a whiney, spiteful, bitter person and who really would want to play for a guy like that. Who would want him as their boss? That's why no one wants to come to Edmonton

PowerPuff said...

Lowe's an idiot!

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