The Edmonton Oilers? They have been through two of the worst off-seasons in recent NHL history due to the constant bungling of one Kevin Lowe. I've harped on this enough, so I won't reiterate the long list of bad moves Lowe has made.
Suffice it to say, I was quite shocked to see that Lowe was granted a CONTRACT EXTENSION, rather than the proverbial pink slip and a boot in the ass out the door.
"This franchise is measured upon the quality of the key management people and the quality of our hockey players. Therefore this is a very important announcement for our franchise," Cal Nichols, Chairman of the Edmonton Investors Group said in a statement. "The Edmonton Investors Group also acknowledges his stature as a pillar in the community, which brings even more value to this team, this city, and the greater Edmonton community. Edmonton should feel fortunate to have him as our General Manager, and we are thrilled to be able to make this announcement today."Pillar of the community? C'mon, this is just dumb. The Oilers have always been unfailingly loyal to certain employees, instead of just do the 'bad' thing and fire someone for poor performance.
Needless to say, many Oilers fans, such as Chris over at Covered in Oil, aren't exactly thrilled at the prospect of FOUR MORE YEARS!
Needless to say, I don't like it.
Yes, under Lowe, the club has made a huge leap forward in terms of scouting and the draft, and certainly the man has made some beauty trades. But Lowe has also iced a team with obvious, glaring holes in the roster for three straight seasons now, and, as the above quotes attest, seems to have serious issues when it comes to formulating a plan and sticking with it.
I mean, really: either the man is employing some seriously Columbo-esque misdirection here or he is exactly as bewildered as he sounds. I don't hate Sheldon Souray as much as some fans, but there was absolutely no reason for the Oilers to sign him - not for that price, not for that length - except to atone for the fact that Lowe had bombed out in free agency early on and to silence the escalating din surrounding Darryl Katz's attempts to buy the team.
In the end, it's a case of the Oilers protecting their 'old boys' to the detriment of their hockey operations.