Yes I actually am pitying Kevin Lowe now following this. However, the rest of the Oilogosphere is hitting him hard. Is it his fault this team can't attract free agents? Maybe but lately it seems to be the reputation of Edmonton that is distracting players (thanks Pronger). Oh the travel sucks, oooh the winter sucks. Not really. I chose to live here over anywhere in Canada. Hell, I wouldn't step foot in the United States. No offence to Americans, but that is not exactly the ideal place to live. Kevin Lowe can't be blamed for all this, not entirely.
Lowe needs to dangle Ales Hemsky in front of these elite free agents. He has to say, hey look how good this kid was when playing with B+ players (sorry, Smyth is not an elite player. In addition, he's not the ideal linemate for a player with Hemmer's skill. Smitty stands in front of the net....that's all. He's not a strong skater, doesn't have a big shot and I don't care what kind of intangibles he brings). Hemmer has the potential to be a superstar, he needs to find better linemates (and of course shoot more often). Hemmer is the team now. There must be someone out there licking their chops to play on a line with him. Come on!!!
However, even though I pity Lowe and don't blame this entire fiasco on him (hello EIG, we know you play a part in all of this, people forget they hold the purse), I think it's time he moved on and took the entire coaching staff with him. Aside from a three month period, Lowe's tenure has not been successful in years. April to June 2006 notwithstanding, this team has struggled endlessly. I think Lowe is a great GM but he's hit the wall. It's time to bring in new blood....no more former Oilers. I adore the fact this team is linked to the past, but it's time to try something new.