The answer comes historically and from the present. Historically as GM he got the Oilers into the playoffs twice from 2001 -2009. He claims we are on our 5th year of our rebuild and that fans should be patient and yet the Oilers have done nothing since mortgaging their team 7 years ago.
He has brought in numerous coaches and GMs and still the Oilers finish last, second last and last year we made a whopping 7th before this year looking to be on our way to secure 29th or 30th place.
He reacts way to late to these problems. When MacT was put in as GM, they stated they knew the Oilers didn't have the pieces to make the playoffs and they spelled out that we needed to get a larger bottom 6 and a top dman. If you knew your GM started the season without the ability to win, why trade for a player at the deadline and why not trade off players that had value who left for nothing as UFA's in the off season. Boston signed Redden for offense and they had interest in Whitney but we didn't part with him. Regher went for 2 x 2nd round picks and he had 6 points. Whitney should have been worth at least that. Lowe admitted knowing the problem but didn't remove Tambellini until after he messed up the trade deadline.
Then he puts his best friend, a coach that numerous previous players have publicly spoken out against (Poti, Marc-Andre, Pronger...) for his lack of ability to coach defense men. While putting in a rookie GM he decides to also put in a rookie coach that has some radical ideas in terms of running a hockey club.
First the GM goes out in the summer and signs a bunch of defense men that can't possibly make the team. A backup goalie with a career 3.00 GAA average to backup a goalie they are not sold on. They trade Horcoff's big salary only to get a face off guy with no offensive ability for 3 million. They sign a guy that was playing poorly last year in Jones. MacT signs Omark and Grib, to contracts despite the fact that they could have just had them for tryouts. later to trade most of his summer pickups for nothing of to put them on waivers. He gambles our only large potential top 6 and a second round pick for a guy with recent concussion problems which pays off. Which is the extent of his success.
However Lowe once again should have seen this coming before the UFA market opened with MacT's lack of ability to get anything done during the draft. MacT gambling with the first pick on a dman that some scouts argued was the second best dman at that position. A dman that was not even on the radar for the World Jrs this year. Who was is at the World Jrs is many picks made before him and players that could have been taken with our second round pick that MacT traded away to acquire quantity in the draft, rather than quality. Leaving us with a huge back log of defensive prospects with none looking to fill our need as a 1-2 man.
What he did pass on what a player that he specifically said he wanted in his FIRST press conference after becoming GM. A large, hard to move top 6 guy that can play many roles. Nishuskin was projected by many to go in the top 4 but slid to 8. A player that right now is making a name for himself on the scoreboard and with the fans of Dallas. He is not a big hitter, which often comes with time in rookies but he is tough to move and crashes the net in a way that no current Oiler could. A player that teams just don't trade away. The type you get by drafting.
When MacT came out of that draft with practically no one of any real value, Lowe should have known. When the dust settled in the first week of UFA's and MacT walked away with a 3-4 dman in Ference as his only catch, Lowe should have known.
Now Lowe has a problem. He has a coach that they picked to help develop young players but seems to be horrible with young players. He is doing a number on our last first round pick and having no ability to get anything more out of our young stars. In fact, most nights they seem to be worse than they were at the end of last year. The team is second last and even vegas won't pay out for a team to win against the Oilers at this time.
Lowe knows NOW that MacT and Eakins have to go. It is yet another switch which is crazy at this point how many they have done but they currently have never had a worse GM or coach in franchise history. MacT is ruining the Oilers future and Eakins is damaging our young players development at a crucial point in their careers.
Something needs to be done but he will never fire MacT and the coach will continue to be the scapegoat for years until Katz either realizes he has a team and not a property deal and fires Lowe or the team is sold to an owner that is interested in hockey.