At a time when Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri and Grant Fuhr had been celebrated, it seemed that the doors to the Hall had closed on the former Edmonton Oilers, as Lowe had reached the beginning of the line.
“I never see myself as a hall of fame,” admitted Lowe Wednesday, just hours after responding to a call from Lanny McDonald, president of the HHOF, after 20 years of eligibility. “For me, the hall of fame was Bobby Orr, Jean Beliveau, Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier.
“Although I know that there are players of my ilk in the hall of fame… I understood that you had to accumulate more points, win prizes. My dream was always to win the Stanley cup – the hall of fame was something I had never dreamed of. Today, when I saw that it was Lanny McDonald, who called me, I said to myself: “He only calls me surely not for me to say that I am not entered.
“Everything is surreal for me. ”
Kevin Hugh Lowe, Lachute, Quebec, was the best defender of the old school. He played 1 254 games between 1979 and 1998, and will, no doubt, his fourth player to be retired to Edmonton, to which he has been the first choice of draft with the Oilers and the best scorer of the franchise in the NHL.
He has played hurt in a way that the player of today is actively discouraged to do so, through the fog of concussion and appendices bloody as the one that stopped a game in St. Louis one night when Bernie Federko has looked down and asked: “Who is bleeding? ”
It seems that the pad Lowe is blood-filled and overflowing now.
He once told me this, towards the end of a career when the vertigo invisible enemy was holding him back: “you said that You saw stars. Now it is a concussion “, he said. “I got a lot of. A lot. ”
This quote makes you cringe today. But inside these locker rooms, in the days before what we know now concussions, that is a player like Lowe’s that has forged the culture.
“The Edmonton Oilers are not what they have become without Kevin Lowe. He was the adult in the room, ” said on Wednesday Mr. Messier. “One of the players the most competitive with which I have played and I asked the players to give more thanks to his own determination.
“It is a great day for all fans of Oiler and the organization. What a team-mate. What a winner. What ambassador incredible for the organization. ”
Lowe was the measuring stick against which team members assessed their willingness to play despite the pain; the guy who was not always on the ice when the Oilers scored their five goals per night, but that was regularly deployed on a penalty kick late, or when the opponent had an empty net, in those last moments where the hockey of the 80’s has become particularly dangerous.
“The rules of Paul Bunyan “, that is what Lowe has called the last 45 seconds in a match, when a team in the back do not care to take a penalty and the referee had even swallowed his whistle. It was the time of Lowe, a window also important to seal the victory as she had been for boys glamour that had marked these two-at-a silky earlier in the night.
“Of course, there will be people out there who prefer to see Paul Coffey out there, the going back on the ice,” said Lowe, now aged 61, years ago. “But maybe not. Maybe when it will stay a minute in the game, they prefer to see me there. ”
He has not done a lot of reels of highlight, the man who married the skier canadian olympic Karen Percy. But the Oilers had enough of these players.
Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people in the world of hockey, then they tell the listeners what they have heard and what they think.
“One of the defenders of the most reliable as you can imagine,” said McDonald, a former member of the Flame of Calgary. “But more importantly, we all knew that he was the leader of the pack. Yes, they had Gretzky, they had Kurri, they were Messier, they had Anderson, they had Grant Fuhr. But every time something did happen… Kevin Lowe was in the heart of the matter. They were like a pack of wolves, and the wolf in front was a hell of a job. When something had to be said, or something had to be done on the ice, we knew it was going to start.
“This is why, in 19 years, he has missed only one playoff series and won six Stanley cups.”
The star of Lowe took a hit when he returned to the New York Rangers to guide the Oilers through their decade of darkness, and the fans for most of the young people who had no history with him, have called into question just as the whole routine of the ” Old Boys Club “. They rented road signs to ask for his ouster, and have channeled their passion to disparage the man, as much as the executive. This was a period of unfortunate.
Through all of this, of all those great Oilers, Lowe is the only one who remained. Including the main residence, after all these years, is always covered with snow in Edmonton.
It has assumed this role. Because Lowe has never been afraid of the dirty work.
“The goal was always to win,” he said. “As the pieces were in place, Gretz, Jari, Mess, and Andy has done the bulk of the score. But as players, we have done our part to try to win the victory. If the night does not go well for them and they scored no points, then someone like us had to step up. ”
Smart, relentless, and responsible, in regard to the Boys on the Bus, Lowe was the adult in the room.
“I quickly realized that I needed to find my place in this team”, he said. “I had a DNA offensive when I arrived in the pro… but all I wanted to do was find a place in the team – and win.
“We have quite well understood the formula. “