The Edmonton Oilersí president of hockey operations, Kevin Lowe, apparently needed to learn a lesson this week taught in Sports Marketing 101: Never take potshots at your fans. There might be a special chapter in the marketing handbook about doing so in a news conference designed to inspire optimism among your fans, as when you hire a new general manager because the last one drove the franchise into a ditch.

Lowe missed those memos. When he announced Craig MacTavish as the Oilersí new general manager Monday, he answered a question about the suitability of the new personnel team (criticized for also engineering the teamís downturn, as John MacKinnon writes in The Edmonton Journal; MacTavish used to be the teamís head coach) by somehow veering to the suitability of the fans: