Naming Kevin Lowe is a breath of fresh air to Edmonton, even though it came down to the last minute the best man for the job was ready and willing to take the franchise to the level of success they are accustomed to. Several attributes of the new General Manager will hopefully spill over onto the team. With his fiery temperament, competitiveness and unwillingness to say die he may mentally be the shot in the arm the players need to give them a gritty edge.
Winning six Stanley Cups, 5 from Edmonton and one in New York, and a couple years of coaching was enough of a criteria to the ownership group to name him the second General Manager in franchise history and it didn’t hurt that he was the pupil of Glen Sather for the better part of twenty years. Players were ecstatic and relieved when the announcement came in and ther was a resounding sigh in the locker room knowing that a big shakeup won’t happen. The Oilers respect and are confident in his abilities to guide the team.
Former teammate and CTV sports analyst Craig Simpson felt that this was the opportunity he has been waiting for and Kevin had his heart strings pulled by his ties to the city of Edmonton and the team. Since being the first draft pick in team history back in 1979, and being the player to score the first goal, Kevin has come full circle from prospect defenseman, to assistant coach, to head coach, and finally general manager.
Even though he has little experience in contract negotiations that does not deter his confidence and Agents have said openly that he will be no push over as he has been properly advised by his mentor Sather. He should be a commanding figure in the continuing saga that is the Edmonton Oilers. The long term effects of this hiring are yet to be seen, but his commitment to not change the Oilers style of play and to also keep the personnel changes within the organization to a minimum helps keep harmony and familiarity in the city of champions.
Choosing the coaches for next season will be an afterthought by keeping Teddy Green as an assistant and naming Craig McTavish the head coach. The second assistant may take a little more time to find, with a few good candidates around. The primary name being thrown around is Craig Simpson, currently an analyst for CTV. He may prefer a less traveled schedule and become the second assistant coach who would provide an offensive flair to the staff.
Admiral Lowe will guide the spaceship Oil into the next millennium kicking and screaming into the Stanley Cup finals once again so look out enemies of the state this is a different glare staring down through your scull from the press box and it won’t be friendly.