Kevin Lowe of the Edmonton Oilers is trying to pull a skate out of his mouth. He's issued an apology on the team's website after a firestorm erupted at his comments suggesting there were two tiers of Oilers fans: fans who pay to watch the games — and the rest of the fans who watch the games on TV. Team president Lowe was defending his "winning" record Monday at a press conference announcing GM Steve Tambellini was being turfed for his own losing record. A reporter suggested fans were tired of the team losing, as it heads to a record seventh-straight season seeing them miss the playoffs. Lowe laced up his old defenceman skates. “We have two types of fans," Lowe said. "We have paying customers and we have people that watch the game that we still care about, but certainly the people who go to the games and support, we spend a lot of time talking to them, delivering our message.” He went on: “And lastly, I’ll say that there’s one other guy in hockey today that is still working in the game that has won more Stanley Cups than me. So I think I know a little bit about winning, if there’s ever a concern.” Wednesday, the Oilers website posted a "message to Oilers fans" from Lowe, apparently recorded Tuesday. "Yesterday was a day full of excitement and passion and emotion, and I must admit my emotion ran a little high, and I have a few things to say to our fans in particular to clarify. First of all, we are appreciative and are grateful to every one of our fans who cheer for us through good times and bad. We understand that we see many of our fans at Rexall Place, but we have hundreds of thousands of fans that never get to Rexall Place, and we appreciate each and every fan. I did not make that clear yesterday and if I offended anyone, I apologize.” Twitter exploded with fury Monday after Lowe seemed to say that as long as the team was filling seats, it was obvious fans weren't really as frustrated as was being suggested: "I'd like to provide my opinion but according to Lowe if you're not a ticket holder your opinion doesn't matter," read one tweet.
Kevin Lowe sorry for suggesting opinions of paying fans more important than TV fans
Edmonton Sun | Apr 18