An Edmonton Oilers legend has stepped down from his post with the franchise. Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Kevin Lowe is retiring from his role as vice chair and alternate governor, the team has announced.
When the Oilers selected Lowe with the No. 21 overall pick in the 1979 NHL Draft, he became the first draft pick in franchise history. Between his playing career and off-ice roles, Lowe has spent roughly four decades with the Oilers, and chairman Bob Nicholson released a statement thanking Lowe for his service to the team.
“Kevin Lowe has been an integral part of the Edmonton Oilers for over 40 years and will continue to be connected to the organization as Oilers Ambassador,” Nicholson said in his statement.
“Very few have had the impact that Kevin has had, both on and off the ice. He exemplifies leadership and has done so much to help connect the organization with our fans, while supporting so many worthwhile causes in our community. He is a teammate, leader and friend to so many in the organization and we congratulate him on an amazing career and are excited for this next chapter of his career.”
Lowe played a total of 15 seasons with the Oilers, broken up by four years with the New York Rangers from 1992 to 1996. In Edmonton, Lowe was a stalwart on the blue line and still managed to contribute offensively with 74 goals and 309 assists in 1,037 games. Lowe was a key player in five Stanley Cup championships with the Oilers, and he added another with the New York Rangers in 1994.
Lowe retired from playing in 1998, and he was immediately hired to be an assistant coach on Ron Low’s staff for the 1998-99 season. One year later, Lowe replaced Low as the head coach, and he led the Oilers to a 32-26-16-8 record and a postseason berth.
When general manager Glen Sather left for the New York Rangers in 2000, Edmonton promoted Lowe to that role, and he remained there until 2008. Under Lowe’s guidance, the Oilers won the Western Conference in 2006 before falling to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Final. Since 2008, Lowe has worked in several off-ice roles with the Oilers, including president of hockey operations.
In 2020, Lowe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the Oilers retired his number in 2021.