Home > Uncategorized > Firing squad missing mark in targeting Oilers’ Lowe

Firing squad missing mark in targeting Oilers’ Lowe

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Kevin Lowe has to go? Does he really? Says who? . . . Not the boss, apparently.

There’s an ongoing Facebook and billboard signage campaign to oust the Edmonton Oilers’ president of hockey operations. The social media page ‘Kevin Lowe has to go’ has racked up more than 14,000 Likes from the NHL team’s loyal-turned-loathing fan base, and sports radio shows have been fueling that fire for weeks as well. Its momentum — or perhaps Lowe’s own conscience — prompted the five-time Stanley Cup winner to approach Oilers owner Daryl Katz offering to take a sabbatical, which was promptly rejected. And rightfully so.

Sure, Lowe has had a big hand in the Oilers’ eight-year-and-counting playoff drought, but the pitch-fork-carrying headhunters should probably find a better target. Preferably somebody responsible for the franchise’s day-to-day results.

Realistically, Lowe could take the fall here — willingly or otherwise — but I fail to see how his departure would change the culture of the dressing room or right the on-ice ship.

Don’t get me wrong, Lowe made his share of unsettling moves during his prior stint as general manager that steered this once-flagship organization towards the iceberg it has been repeatedly ramming into in recent years. But at this point, the best course of action is likely to stay the course with this old-boys club in hopes that Lowe, rookie GM Craig MacTavish and new-kid-on-the-block coach Dallas Eakins can restore the Oilers to their past glory from the dynasty days.

Patience is key in this case, and the wheels do appear to be in motion to right those wrongs — even if they are moving painfully slow by the supporters’ (and season-ticket-holders’) standards.

The core group of young players — specifically first overall picks Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov, fellow forward Jordan Eberle and sophomore blue-liner Justin Schultz — are making strides.

There’s forward progress on the prospect front as well, with the defensive pipeline shaping up quite promisingly with Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse enjoying strong seasons.

Add in another top 5 — in all probability, top 3 — pick in this June’s entry draft and the Oilers should start trending upwards next fall. Keyword, of course, being ‘should’ — and that ‘should’ also have happened this winter, so time will tell.

If we are still in the same boat when the calendar flips to 2015, then I wouldn’t want to be Lowe — or Katz, for that matter. Until then, I’ll keep clinging to the bandwagon.

Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. December 9, 2014 at 3:03 am

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