Kevin Lowe statement: Oilers president clarifies comments about fans

Bruce Bennett

Edmonton Oilers president Kevin Lowe addressed his comments about fans in a video on the team's website on Wednesday.

The Edmonton Oilers faced a fair amount of scrutiny following their dismissal of general manager Steve Tambellini on Monday afternoon.

Some questioned the logic behind replacing Tambellini with a familiar face in Craig MacTavish. Others wondered about the promotion of former Columbus manager Scott Howson to vice president of hockey operations.

However, the true jaw-dropping moment came when president Kevin Lowe separated Oilers' fans into two categories: people who buy tickets and people who only watch games on TV.

It seems word has gotten back to Lowe and the Oilers that this type of comment might have angered some people.

On Wednesday, they released a video on the team's website where Lowe explained his comments:

While teams obviously want a sold-out building at least 41 nights per year, fans who watch games on television are just as important. Television contracts are lucrative ventures, ones which are not possible without a healthy market of fans to broadcast to.

Businesses only run if people are willing to invest in them, and the Oilers certainly don't want to upset their fan base with a comment as poorly conceived as Lowe's.

Considering the Oilers haven't qualified for the playoffs since 2006 and have finished as the last place team in the Northwest Division in three consecutive seasons, it's not outlandish to say that management might want to ice a more competitive team before isolating the fan base's desire to go to games.

Beside an individual's desire to attend a game, the biggest oversight of the statement is that not every fan can afford to go to a game. Questioning their loyalty isn't a great way to motivate them to save up money to attempt buying a couple games per season.

Of course, the Oilers realize this and are attempting to fix it with this video.

More in the NHL:

Six (!) outdoor games in 2014

Welcoming Craig MacTavish as Oilers GM

Jimmy Howard’s case for the Vezina

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