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Lowe apologizes to Oilers fans

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EDMONTON -- Kevin Lowe, the Edmonton Oilers president of hockey operations, says he's sorry for suggesting there are two types of Oiler fans: those who buy tickets and those who don't.

"If I offended anyone, I apologize," said Lowe, seen sitting in an office in an 80-second video posted on the team website Wednesday.

"We see many of our fans at Rexall Place, but we have hundreds of thousands of fans that never get to Rexall Place.

"We appreciate each and every fan. I did not make that clear."

Lowe got into hot water with fans Monday for comments he made at a news conference to announce the firing of Steve Tambellini as general manager.

The news conference also announced that Tambellini was being replaced by Oilers executive and former coach Craig MacTavish, with former Oilers assistant GM Scott Howson being brought back to assist MacTavish.

The Oilers sit 12th in the NHL's Western Conference heading into Wednesday's games and are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs for the seventh straight year.

That led to pointed questions from reporters Monday on why the Oilers were bringing back the same group of people who have failed in the past. Lowe fired back that the Oilers know to whom they answer.

"We have two types of fans: we have paying customers and we have people that watch the game that we still care about," said Lowe. "But certainly the people that go to the games and support we spend a lot of time talking to them, delivering our message."

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 18, 2013 D5

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