Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"Until then I think that we give him the benefit of the doubt and see how this year plays out."

I copied the title verbatim from one of the comments to the latest post on

I assume "we" refers to fans/Oilogosphere and "him" is Kevin Lowe of course. I don't mean to pick on the original commenter because he's one of a cast of thousands, but this shit drives me bonkers.

It drives me nuts because I've heard this one before.

In May, "then" referred to training camp. Fast forward through the offseason and all of a sudden we discover that "then" refers to May 2008 and we're supposed to forget about a whole summer's worth of schizophrenic asset management and just set another deadline with no expectations.

Why mess around? Let's just say it like it is.

Oiler fans are just killing time until The Rapture and only then, when Kevin is high in the sky floating up to heaven like a stray helium balloon, will we decide whether or not Lowe spits or swallows as a GM.


Blogger Lowetide said...

Great photo, RQ. Two posts in one day from you bunch is like Christmas.

10/03/2007 10:03 pm  
Blogger Tyler said...

This isn't the first time I've posted about this, there's no doubt this mess is going to be Lowe's cross to bear, but I can't help but wonder if the Penner offer sheet was driven by the Katz offer, and EIG's desire to have a headline about spending money. The Souray signing smells that way as well.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make excuses for Lowe (the Pronger trade alone should cost him his job), but my spidey senses tell me there's more than one cook in the kitchen.

10/04/2007 4:14 am  
Blogger Black Dog said...

I'd agree with that and if we want to see how ownership meddling helps win Cups look no further then The Passion That Unites Us All.

10/04/2007 10:20 am  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

I've just never seen any type of evidence of long range planning on Lowe's part.

Here's a whopper.


They are all RFAs in the next three years. 19. That's likely a league high.

At a time when Lowe is gambling so heavily on his youth panning out, he takes the risk of potentially opening the pandora's box on offer sheets.

If his rebuild plan actually meets or exceeds expectations, then he is going to be one of the GMs most vulnerable to RFA raids.

Obviously the chance of more then 2-3 of these guys turning into bonafide blue-chippers is low, but if it somehow comes to pass that an unusual amount of thee guys run with the ball then Lowe ends up actively sabatoging his own plan.

An offer sheet would make a hell of a lot of sense for a team like Dallas that has a number of aging veterans and no real impact youngsters on the horizon. In that case a young stud could potentially put them back into contender status for a couple of years.

But for a team planning on running with the youngest squad in the league? Seems so blatantly counter productive.

10/04/2007 1:14 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Terrific point, Bank Shot. Now most of those guys don't have a hope of being good enough to attract an RFA offer. And some of them could be preotected from that if the Oilers file for arbitration, though I think they would be limited to a couple arbs per year or some such.

The guys on their first contracts, like Smid, Cogliano, Gagner, Trukhno, how does it work with them? I'll have to root through the CBA at some point and figure out how this situation works. I'm sure there are some players that are completely vulnerable (they qualify for RFA offer sheets, and can't be taken to arbs by the team).

The seal is broken on the whole RFA offer sheet thing now (thankfully imo, and props to Lowe on that issue I think). Summers are going to b even more interesting.

10/04/2007 2:13 pm  
Blogger Lord Bob said...

They are all RFAs in the next three years. 19. That's likely a league high.

How many young guys do you know in this league who regularly sign four- and five-year contracts? There aren't that many of them, aside from the real blue-chip players with a good relationship with their city like Hemsky.

I suspect most equally young teams will have about as many RFAs. More importantly, we're making the assumption that the NHL is full of drooling imbeciles for general managers who think of nothing more than selfishly getting revenge on a man who injured the beloved and popular Brian Burke by doing something Bob Clarke did last year.

It's not that the Penner signing hasn't got enough to criticise already. We don't need to start making rather grotesque logical leaps to heap on more.

10/05/2007 10:28 am  
Blogger macndub said...

RFAs: If Lowe's got RFAs worth raiding, that's a problem of wealth, and I'm sure that he'll take it compared to the alternative of shitty players.

Until then I think that we give him the benefit of the doubt... This is called the Thomas Friedman rule, after that NYTimes columnist proclaimed that the next six months would make the difference in Iraq, for 3 frickin' years.

10/07/2007 6:39 pm  
Blogger Black Dog said...

I'd agree with lord bob there bank shot - I would say most teams (maybe not the Wings) have that problem - if I had any ambition at all I'd do some sort of check on this, but I don't. :)

10/07/2007 6:55 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

I suspect most equally young teams will have about as many RFAs. Except most teams aren't equally young. Edmonton is the youngest team in the Western Conference according to the NHLnumbers website at an average age of 26.4 years. No other team is under 27.

Lowe has a team that is basically capped out, and has a high number of RFAs. That's just a bad combination. He's betting on his youth being able to carry this team, but he won't have the money to pay them if his bet pays off.

Sure, there are some teams with some great young talent. Pittsburgh, Colorado, LAK, San Jose, Chicago, Washington. They all have some cap space set aside to pay their younger guys. The Oilers don't.

The Oilers have $4.5 million coming off the cap next year. Stoll and Pitkanen's raises alone chew up 90% of that. Then there are possible raises for guys like Nilsson, Pouliot, Gilbert, and filling the three roster spots left by the departures of Sanderson, Reasoner, and Tarnstrom.

Being tight to the cap will be tolerable if the Oilers are a playoff team, but if they finish 5th in the division then there is no room left to make changes. You could make salary dumps, but the team doing the dumping always takes a bath on the deal.

In my opinion Lowe is actively making the decisions harder down the road by shelling out big bucks to contend now, while trying to develop half a team of youth at the same time.

Why go through the trouble of aquiring a million younsters and breaking them into the NHL and then go out and tie up a big chunk of your money in Penner and Souray for the next five years?

Then to make things trickier just undermine the salary structure to try to make all these potentially cheap young players you just aquired get bigger paydays, earlier.

You'd think a team with no cap space, lots of money tied up long term, and tons of youth to fill in the gaps would like to try and keep their youth cheap.

Add it all up and it looks like a GM trying to go in too many directions at once.

10/07/2007 9:50 pm  

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