August 3, 2007

What would you do if you were Lowe?

A lot of criticism has flowed since Lowe signed Penner last week. To the surprise of no one, Burke conceded that the contract Lowe signed was a complete ripoff and not worth matching. The real question though was Lowe being stupid based on his current predicament?

A lot of people forget that Edmonton is possibly the worst place to play hockey in the NHL:
1. Climate is horrible
2. City isn't that popular
3. Team sucks (no chance to win cup).

Nylander refused to sign in beautiful Edmonton. Souray probably required a premium to play in Edmonton. And we don't know all the other players that have refused to sign in Edmonton. Edmonton could start next season without a replacement for Smyth, but obviously that team is much worse than a team that finds a replacement for Smyth, even if it's not perfect. If you're an Edmonton fan you should know they're not spending to the cap anyway and that any signing is better than not signing someone. Who would you rather have than Penner (who'd be willing to sign in Edmonton). Of course it's Lupul all over again. You wonder who they'll choose from Anaheim next season to overpaid.

What a lot of people don't get is that bad teams have to spend a lot of money to make themselves competitive in order to make themselves attractive to free agents. (free agents will choose a good team over a bad team all things being equal). Penner is part of that, but an extremely small part, but it's better than nothing.

Of course hind-sight is 20-20, Edmonton should have signed Smyth for about $5.5 at the end of last season, but of course management wasn't smart enough to know a good deal when they're staring right at it.


hardyvan said...

Edmonton needs to solve their puckmoving problems from the defense to make their depth at forward work in their favor. they should have better Dmen this year who can play the transition game with Pitkanen and Souray leading the rush. Not a huge improvement but a move in the right direction. If Penner scores 30 goals a year it will be an okay move for Lowe, but more of a wash than anything else, a guy making 4 million a year shoulkd make a large contirbution to the team
Cheers Hardy

Kent W. said...

Bad teams also have to spend smart money to succeed. MacLean was running around in Columbus handing out big contracts to Foote, Marchant, a teenaged Rick Nash and over the hill Sergei Federov and it got him nowhere.

The scorn heaped upon Lowe this summer probably has more to do with the fact that the dollars are big AND the gambles are bad:

Souray was a nightmare at ES last year and his PP numbers are likely unrepeatable. Penner is as yet unproven, wasn't a big difference maker for the Ducks last season and it cost Lowe both longterm dollars and draft picks to lock him up.