Kevin Lowe’s comments about the Vancouver Canucks hiring of former agent Mike Gillis last week made for good copy, but they also provided critics an opportunity to call him a hypocrite.
Gillis, of course, was the agent for Michael Nylander, who backed out of a contract with the Oilers last summer after his wife made it clear she had no intention of packing for the City of Champions. Lowe had every right to be steamed.
Suffice to say, Lowe didn’t phone Gillis to congratulate him on getting the job and he made it clear he and Gillis won’t be talking, trade or otherwise, anytime soon.
“We haven’t done many deals with Vancouver, although Dave Nonis and I had many conversations,” Lowe said in an interview with Darren Dreger of TSN. “I suspect we won’t be doing any in the future.
“A lot of deals are done based on honesty and trust. He (Gillis) is going to be in tough earning trust. To orchestrate a trade, you have to have that trust going in.”
That prompted agent Ritch Winter to draw ethical parallels to the Mike Comrie saga of 2003, when Lowe’s request for $2.5 million US from Comrie undid a deal Anaheim GM Bryan Murray thought was done.
While Winter seldom passes up a chance to take a poke at Lowe, that doesn’t make the comparison less valid — even if many Oiler fans whole-heartedly supported Lowe’s attempted cash grab.
>> Lowe won’t be waiting by the phone for calls from Darcy Regier in Buffalo or Brian Burke in Anaheim, but that’s a case of sour grapes after the offer sheets Lowe made to Thomas Vanek and Dustin Penner.
Lowe’s bid for Vanek and successful $21.25 million pitch to Penner last summer was straight goods under the CBA. Inflationary and inflammatory? Yes. Against the rules? No.
So, if Lowe is on the outs with Gillis, Regier, Burke and Murray (now with Ottawa), does it matter?
— In terms of all-time trading partners, Buffalo rates the highest in the group. The Sabres and Oilers have made eight trades. The most significant during Lowe’s tenure came June 22, 2002 when Jochen Hecht went to the Sabres for draft picks that turned into Jarret Stoll and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers.
-- Vancouver rates ninth on the list with seven trades. None rates as significant and the only one with Lowe at the helm was a swap of Peter Sarno for stopper Tyler Moss.
-- The Oilers have made just two trades with Anaheim, with the obvious one being Lowe dealing Chris Pronger for Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid and picks in the summer of 2006.
-- Ottawa? Two trades all-time, neither during Lowe’s tenure.
AND ANOTHER THING
>> Lowe still has old pal Glen Sather as GM in New York and the Rangers top Edmonton’s trading partner list with 18 swaps, five of those coming since 2002.
In a decade covering the Edmonton Oilers, Robin Brownlee has been the news-breaker and insightful voice for hockey fans in Oil Country.
Lowe shouldn’t cast any stones
Kevin Lowe’s comments about the Vancouver Canucks hiring of formeragent Mike Gillis last week made for good copy, but they also providedcritics an opportunity to call him a hypocrite.