Even more shocking are the other deals Kevin Lowe made. That's right folks, he did not make any other trades. Why is Sykora, Jussi, Shaggy, Peterson, etc on this team? They are free agents in July so why not get rid of them too? From trading Smitty to not making any other trades, you've basically told the fans: we're giving up and looking towards next year. Thanks.
Even better news: I got my season ticket renewal today. Shocking, the prices go up again next year. Not the 20 percent they did last year. It looks like 6-8%. Better than the shocking 20 from last year. I'll renew, but I'm not fucking happy about this team. What is the plan Kevin??? Apparently, he did not make this deal for financial reasons, or so he says.
Following today’s trade, Oilers General Manager, Kevin Lowe said “I want to be very clear that making this trade today is a hockey decision. It was not financial. The CBA we operate with in the NHL today means you need to have a sound hockey strategy and stick to it. Today we turned a page for sure – but this is not as much about the Oilers today, but what we continue to do as part of an overall plan. Our decision is about the direction we want to take and the opportunities we have today and tomorrow with the brilliant young players we have acquired and those we have in the organization. I want everyone to know that our decision was much more to do with a plan than a reaction. Ryan is taking a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our opportunity is to have a sound strategy for the future.I would also like to say that Ryan Smyth has contributed a great deal over 12 seasons here in Edmonton. He should be thanked for his contribution on the ice and in the community.”
So now what? What is the plan? Oh yes, we are in a rebuilding phase. Thanks. I'm so excited for the remaining 20 games of the season. Being 9 pts out of the playoffs, the season is practically over. I would be shocked if this team made the playoffs. The mediocre players this year will have to step up (hello Lupul, that means you. Also Pisani and Torres, oh Sykora as well).
Messier is getting his number retired tonight and this obviously overshadows his night. I'm going to try to enjoy the night, enjoy watching Messier and all the former Oilers in the house. I will try to make this night about Smitty.
Lowe, you are going to be boo'd tonight, so get ready for it. I do not believe this is entirely your fault. Smitty and his lack of participation needs to mentioned. Everytime he was asked about the contract negotiations, he stated, "I haven't heard anything from my agent." Smyth, get fucking involved. This trade lies on your shoulders more so than Lowe. I believe he offered plenty of money, more than you are worth, but you dug in and became like so many other Oilers, Weight comes to mind. Ryan, I am more angry with your greed than Lowe's inability to get this done earlier in the season.
I'll blog more about Messier at the winspear last night and of course tonight's celebration. Messier has been my favorite player, and I absolutely adore him. I loved his style of play, and yes he was a dirty player at times. I loved it. He was the Gordie Howe of our generation, but better. He was gritty, determined, physical and his love of hockey was so evident. It was be a great night with number 11 going to the rafters, but of course, the Oilers will lose. Don't they always lose ceremony games? Oh and they have the emotion of seeing Smitty walk out of the dressing room.
One question before I take off for Rexall: would Smitty return in the summer and sign as a free agent? I'm not sure. He would probably want even more money than what was offered today, so I would be shocked if that occured.