No Lowe big deal

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:43 PM ET

COLUMBUS -- The draft was No Deal for Kevin Lowe, but the Edmonton Oilers GM insists he hasn't written off making a big move.

Lowe arrived in Columbus looking to tuck a name NHL roster player or two into his suitcase, but left Ohio empty-handed in that regard.

'PENDING'

Still, he says that doesn't mean the future will be quiet.

"We worked on a bunch of deals. Some are possible, others are - I guess - pending," he said after the Oilers claimed another three junior-aged prospects. "We'll see what happens.

"They might work at some point."

The hot and heavy rumour was a three-way swap that would see Erik Cole come to Edmonton, with Raffi Torres moved to Philadelphia and Joni Pitkanen headed to Carolina.

Lowe wouldn't divulge what he had in the works, but said a three-way deal was "still a possibility."

He knows, naturally, fans are becoming impatient waiting for a move to be made, but insisted a swap isn't as easy as it seems.

"In some cases, the other side might be uncomfortable. You formulate the base of it and just to push it over the top is a little more difficult," he said.

"It seems you weren't doing a deal without two other teams being involved. It's pretty interesting. The goalies seemed to take the priority, but we'll see what happens this week.

"I know we're gonna try to do a couple (of trades). There seemed to be a lot of discussion.

"Hey, sometimes the best deals you make are the ones you don't make.

"But with the effort you put in, you get a sense of what the market is and get a sense of what the other teams are doing.

"If it doesn't result in that particular deal, it might result in something along the way. The art of the deal can be a long process."

On top of delivering qualifying offers for his pending restricted free agents in the coming days, Lowe now must get ready for the unrestricted free agency deadline of July 1.

Lowe shut down the rumour of a deal to obtain negotiation rights with Scott Gomez, the apparently soon-to-be UFA of the New Jersey Devils, prior to the deadline.

"The Gomez thing is pretty much off the charts," Lowe stated.

"I hadn't even talked to Lou Lamoriello since - we were trying to figure it out - January or February."

Lowe said he'll be just as busy chasing free agents as he's been chasing trades, knowing he has to add a few forwards and a couple of defencemen.

WILL PAY THE RIGHT GUY

And he's not scared off by the contracts that have been handed out of late.

"For the right guy, you're always willing to pay," he said. "Previously, it would have been, 'Forget it. It's not going to happen.'

"I think finding the guy, the right fit, the right desire to be part of what we hope to build is more the point.

"It's not you can get in there and start elbowing, that kind of aggressive. I think there's been stuff that's happened in the past, we had to move players in the past, and then there was the (Chris) Pronger thing and we didn't do a deal on Ryan (Smyth).

"I wanted people to know we're a player in the game, where we exist and where we hope to go in the upcoming years. Just for them to keep us in mind.

"We've got a full building and our fans deserve the best just as much as anybody else," he added.

"Sometimes, in order to get to the top, it can be a slower process.

"We have full intentions to do some trades between now and the start of the season and be active in free agency and be involved."


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