The Kevin Lowe Era In Edmonton Is Over
BREAKING: Former POHO Kevin Lowe moves out of hockey dep't in EDM, retains role on business side of Oilers Entertainment Group.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) April 24, 2015
Well, sort of. He’ll be working under Nicholson on the business side of the Oilers. Speaking of that, Pat’s gone.
#Oilers changes involve business side as well. Sounds like President and COO of OEG Patrick Laforge will be moving on. Many changes coming.
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) April 24, 2015
At any rate, it’s the hockey ops aspect of the club that most people care about. Lowe is out as POHO, and Peter Chiarelli appears to be hours away from taking over the position. Thus, it’s going to be pretty tough to find people upset by this move. Fans have been calling for Lowe’s head since he dealt Ryan Smyth in 2007. Eight years later, he will no longer have a role in hockey operations. If that sounds very Oilers, it’s because it is. The good news is, fans have also been desperate to see the club move from the ‘old boys’ mentality. With the Chiarelli hiring on the horizon, that appears to be the case. Chiarelli knows what it takes to win (in this decade). He’s an outsider, who’s taking over a club desperate for proper leadership and guidance.
Lowe’s last nine years with the club will be what people remember of his legacy as GM/president. The anger, the futility and just appearing relatively insensitive to what was happening with the franchise. Whether it be dividing the fans up by tiers or his insistence on knowing what it takes to win, Lowe dug his own grave in a market that already wanted to see him buried. It seems strange that a guy – who probably would have been up for GM of the year in 2006 had an award like that existed – would be the key player in a franchise’s demise. Even if during his final years he wasn’t the one calling the shots (on paper, at least) his face and Führer’s were the only ones consistent during this debacle. Since nobody is relieving the owner, it was Kevin Lowe’s turn to go. Oh what could have been had Pronger not asked to be traded in June, 2006.
I won’t speak much on the Chiarelli hiring right now because I know there will be a plethora of blogs on here to do that. But these are moves that should, at the very least, make Oilers fans comfortable heading into the franchise’s most important era since Gretzky. Peter Chiarelli. Connor McDavid. Not a bad start to the summer for Oilers fans, indeed.