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Edmonton Oilers' owner Daryl Katz sent a letter to his team's supporters on Monday, urging them to "hang in there". The letter also attempted to defuse some of the fury directed at Kevin Lowe, who earned a promotion to President of Hockey Operations rather than a dismissal for building the team that got Edmonton to this point.
"I know Kevin is the target of a lot of personal attacks right now, and that’s really unfortunate," Katz wrote. "Kevin is a big part of our organization, and it’s not just the Oilers that value his knowledge and perspective. He is consistently chosen, year after year, to play a leadership role with Hockey Canada."
It didn't work.
The next day, police responded to a concerned call from the Edmonton Oilers' administrative offices after Day parked a massive "KEVIN LOWE MUST GO" sign just outside the building.
[Police spokeswoman Clair] Seyler said staff were concerned the situation might escalate and turn violent. “They didn’t know what the intentions were,” she said.
Police arrived and found the man, Bill Day, was not causing any trouble. “It was a quiet protest,” Seyler said.
“I’m like a lot of fans, tired of being in the bottom looking up,” said Day, who spent three hours in his parked vehicle Tuesday afternoon. “I’m just someone out there protesting the Oilers being in the basement.”
I'd say three hours strikes me as a very long time to sit somewhere, wishing Kevin Lowe were fired, but that's pretty much the fan experience at Rexall Arena now.
Not that Day attends many games. He "describes himself as a Tier 2 Oilers fan," according to the piece, hilariously.
Probably smart to stay away. Public protests against Lowe that happen in Rexall Arena can get you dragged to the basement dungeon we joked about on Monday -- before Tyler Dellow pointed out that it's actually sort of real.
Day, on the other hand, was neither ticketed nor forced to move once the police determined he wasn't a threat and that the the tail end of his trailer wasn't impeding traffic, proving the outdoor protest is definitely the way to go.
For further evidence, we direct you to the "This Is As Lowe As We Go!!" billboard that showed up elsewhere in Edmonton yesterday:
As you can see, this billboard is brought to you by "Kevin Lowe has to go" Facebook fan page, which is now Liked by over 13,000 fans.
Their mission statement:
This page was started in order to raise awareness and garner public support for the removal of Kevin Lowe from the Edmonton Oilers organization.
We started doing this by selling bumper stickers with our message of "This is as Lowe as we go" on them. These are sold to the public for a fee of $5 which is then used to fund the billboard with the same message on it and all remaining sales go to charity. Local "Tier 2" fan t-shirts are also on sale for $20 each. We have partnered with an online t-shirt company so fans can purchase t-shirts online and have all proceeds go directly to charity.
Man. It's like none of these people even read the letter. Lowe has worked with Hockey Canada, you guys! Don't you love Canada? Why are you still so mad?