I'm not one of those guys who hates Kevin Lowe. I think he did a good job before the lockout when he kept a team with a tight budget competitive year after year. No playoff series wins so he might have done better but overall he did pretty well. His work on rebuilding the Oilers' player procurement department was terrific, I think, with a nice cluster of kids in the NHL now and plenty more on the way. And his work in 2005/2006 was outstanding, building a team that came within a break or two of winning it all.
Since June 19th 2006 though Mr. Lowe has been hit and miss, mostly miss. I certainly don't question his passion for the job (I don't want to get throttled) but the mistakes have come fast and furious over the last three summers and this year's slow start has everyone pointing fingers at MacTavish and the players but none at the man who built this team so that there are three goaltenders instead of two, three very good veteran right wingers (plus Gagner) but only one veteran centre and a fourth line that was a great strength a year ago but now a black hole where careers appear to be going to die.
The failure to procure enough veterans to make the team competitive while rebuilding, the botching of the Smyth situation (Lowe's apologists conveniently ignore Lowe's own admission of fault there), the Pronger trade that may work out longterm if the draft picks do but whose main return was a complete disaster, the loss of terrific low cost pickups in Hejda and Glencross, the investment in Penner, oh me oh my it continues on and on and all the dailies and fans can talk about is how the coach is losing the team and his mind and how the players just aren't good enough/tough enough/determined enough/make too much money.
But who put the team together and if the players aren't good enough for the third straight year in an era where the Oilers are one of the big boys financially then should not the fingers be pointed somewhere beyond the bench, the players there and the man behind it?
Yet I would guess when it comes to that, if it comes to that, the man who will come under fire will be Tambellini.
Because that just seems to be the way things work in E-town. Your man Kevin Lowe is above reproach.