SUN Hockey Pool

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TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

In Montreal, Canadiens fans are livid with Bob Gainey for trading goalie Christobal Huet for a pail of pucks in 2009 and getting absolutely nothing else on NHL trade deadline day.

In Ottawa, Vancouver and even Calgary, to some extent, there's criticism of the Senators, Canucks and Flames for not doing enough.

And in Toronto, fans are furious that the Maple Leafs couldn't do anything meaningful because five players refused to waive their no trade contracts.

But here in Edmonton, a strange phenomenon played out at yesterday's trade deadline.

Kevin Lowe is being trumpeted today for doing everything the Oilers should have done on deadline day - which was absolutely nothing.

A team which has a history of doing at least some sort of deal on the trade deadline, did zip.

Good job, Kevin!

"I used to dread this day as a player. Now, I almost wanted to do a deal," said Lowe of just being part of the frenzy with the focus of fans throughout Canada on deadline day.

The Oilers are a team on the way to breaking last season's franchise record of most man-games lost to injuries and, more importantly, have a host of talented young players who have given every evidence of fast-forwarding to a first-rate future.

NO GRIEF

Lowe is going to get no grief in this market for his nadda, nil, nothing day.

And if that left the deadline day a little flat for the fans in the heartland of hockey, at least he made up for it with an entertaining press conference when the deal-less day was done.

The first question from the floor was if he felt "like a wallflower at an orgy" during the day which saw 24 trades involving 45 players and 22 draft picks.

"By the inactivity demonstrated by our organization, it by no means indicates we are satisfied with what we have or are satisfied with our position," he said of their spot in the standings.

He said he went fishing for a couple of the big names but didn't get a bite.

And the one deal to be done, a Toronto Maple Leafs-type trade of goaltender Dwayne Roloson and his $3 million contact for a late round draft pick, drew absolutely no interest from anybody.

That, combined with the injuries, translated into nothing Lowe wanted to give up, unless he wanted to give up on Jarret Stoll which, quite rightly, he didn't want to do on a player coming off a concussion after looking like a top talent.

"We didn't have the opportunity to do anything," he said.

"It just wasn't in our best interests to do anything today."

The GM who on this day last year, only hours before Mark Messier's banner would be raised to the rafters, traded Ryan Smyth, certainly wasn't interested in being a seller.

"It still leaves a bit of a mark," he said.

"We pulled Ryan Smyth out of the room and didn't replace him with anybody."

CLEAR

Lowe made it clear he isn't saying the Oilers don't have needs.

"Scoring concerns us," he said.

"We also need to get more grit and toughness," he admitted of the need to add more sandpaper to the lineup.

But there will be a better time and place.

When Lowe made the controversial deal to acquire restricted free agent Dustin Penner last year, there was the suggestion that no general manager around the league would be willing to do a deal with him.

But Lowe said his phone was ringing from all the area codes.

"I had 28 pages of conversations," he said of the other teams in the league.

"Not 29," he quipped of Anaheim Ducks GM Brian Burke.

"I even had a conversation with Darryl Sutter," he said of the Calgary GM.

At the end of his press conference, I suggested that seeing Lowe had nothing else to do during the day, he could analyze the trades which were made.

"That's what happens when you get fired," he said, breaking up the gathering with a reference to John Ferguson Jr., Doug MacLean and Mike Milbury -- all of whom were working deadline day telecasts.


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