HOLY COW! K-Lowe no longer GM

Wanye
July 31 2008 11:56AM

 

Kevin Lowe is no longer the GM of the Edmonton Oilers. Let that one sink in Nation. In what can only be described as monumental news, and one of the best kept secrets we have seen in quite awhile with the Mighty Oilers, Kevin Lowe has been named the President of Hockey Operations of the Edmonton Oilers. Lowe then named Steve Tambellini as the team’s new General Manager and Kevin Prendergast as Assistant General Manager.

From EdmontonOilers.com

Steve Tambellini joins the Oilers after 17 seasons as a member of the Vancouver Canucks management team. The 50-year-old native of Trail, British Columbia served as the Canucks’ Vice President and Assistant General Manager for the past three seasons. In his role with the Canucks, Tambellini was involved in all aspects of the team’s hockey operations, including contract negotiations, scouting and minor league affiliates.

During his tenure with Vancouver, which began in 1990-91, Tambellini served in several positions within the organization. He was the Vice-President of Business Operations for several seasons before being appointed the Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations for the 1997-98 season. In August 1998 he was named the Vice President of Player Personnel and served in that role until being named Vice President and Assistant General Manager in June 2004.

Tambellini and Lowe have previously worked together as members of Team Canada’s management team, helping lead Canada to success on the international stage. As Director of Player Personnel, Tambellini helped put together the roster that won the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah and he was also a member of the management team for Team Canada’s gold medal triumph at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He also served as the General Manager of Team Canada at the 2003 and 2005 IIHF World Hockey Championships, winning the gold medal in Finland in 2003 and silver in 2005.

Inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004, Tambellini played 10 seasons in the NHL after being selected 15th overall in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft by the New York Islanders. A member of New York’s 1980 Stanley Cup championship team, he played 553 career NHL games with five NHL teams between 1978-79 and 1987-88. After scoring his first NHL goal with the Islanders in 1979-80, he went on to score 160 goals and 150 assists for  310 career points with 105 penalty minutes with New York, the Colorado Rockies, New Jersey Devils, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks.

From Sportsnet.ca

"My favourite motto is expect the unexpected," Lowe told a news conference. "The unexpected happened in the last four to six days."

From this we can infer that this move hadn't been planned in the long term. Is that because Tambellini suddenly became available or at least agreed to the deal, or because Katz has started to make his mark on the team?

This is pretty big news Nation. Do we salute you Steve Tambellini as our new overlord and master? We have to have a think, a beer, a shot and another think.

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#1 Lucas
July 31 2008, 12:02PM
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wtf?

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#2 Brian Fellows
July 31 2008, 12:04PM
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WHAT?????

*head explodes*

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#3 charlie
July 31 2008, 12:08PM
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To me, Tambellini seems like he was the only credible member of the 'nucks management team...I mean, really, Gillis the ex agent is all they have left over there...

Lots of International success, a big part of Hockey Canada, and a hell of a mustache on his Devils' card.

I say welcome to our new fearless leader, and I hope his first news conference has some slight mention of Burke's Douchebaggery.

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#4 Tony Romo
July 31 2008, 12:13PM
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To me, this says Katz wants to run his own show from day one, and not have anyone pull rank on him

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#5 Tommy
July 31 2008, 12:13PM
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Way to take 10 mins to approve my comment on the previous thread :)

In my opinion, this is Katz running the Oil more like a business. Surround yourself with the best people and hire on experience and talent. Can't be viewed as a negative really.

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#6 Maverick
July 31 2008, 12:17PM
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Where did this come from and where are all our "insiders"

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#7 Rick
July 31 2008, 12:22PM
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"Let that one sink in Nation."

No kidding.

I'm not sure what to think. I have never been so convinced that the Oilers were poised to turn the corner to contender as I have been this summer. I am surprised that Lowe wouldn't have kept the position to enjoy the praise that comes with that and finish off the job he started.

As for Tambellini, he seems very qualified and it's nice to see some new blood in here but on the flip side I have never been really impressed with the make up of the Canucks, even when they were enjoying some success.

This one will need a few days to digest before really deciding if I think it's a good move, bad move or a "meh" move.

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#8 Chris C
July 31 2008, 12:28PM
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I disagree with tony romo. If Katz wanted Lowe gone, he could have just canned him. Its a way of taking him out of the line of fire and giving Lowe more power.

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#9 Wanye Gretz
July 31 2008, 12:30PM
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And I disagree with Chris C. President of Hockey Operations, while still powerful is less powerful than the GM I would think. Put it this way - Lowe makes very different on the job decisions today than he did yesterday. He isn't removed from the mean streets, but it is more of a safe desk job.

Maverick - No clue dude. This is pretty far out of left field.

Tommy - Yeah, we were busy trying to type this post out!!

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#10 Wanye Gretz
July 31 2008, 12:34PM
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Tambellini is a pimp by the way, the Islanders should have hired him over Snow or the Canucks should have made him GM. He is very capable, as he has proven in his work with the Canucks and the Olypmic team in 2002.

Oh, and we shall call you T-Bell Steve. Let's run for the border!

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#11 Bob
July 31 2008, 12:47PM
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Sorry, cut my own message off.

Important note: The GM of a team typically cannot make a deal without the approval of the President and the Owner. So, Lowe has more power, but now has less BS to deal with (phone calls, Brian Burke, etc.). Previouly the President (LaForge) had to babysit the ownership team. Now the new President (Lowe) can totally run this team while the work is carried by the GM and Vice-GM.

I agree that this is making the team a professional business - go Katz go...

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#12 MJ
July 31 2008, 12:58PM
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"Previouly the President (LaForge) had to babysit the ownership team. Now the new President (Lowe) can totally run this team while the work is carried by the GM and Vice-GM."

This has nothing to do with Laforge. He stays on as the President and CEO. Re-read the presser. Lowe is now the President of Hockey Operations.

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#13 oiler_fan
July 31 2008, 01:02PM
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being that burke and tambellini are friends, this should and end to the bs from anaheim. congets t-bell and k-lowe. hopefully this will be a pre-cursor to some bigger moves player wise like....sundin???

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#14 Hoos
July 31 2008, 01:11PM
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The best part about this move is the continued destruction of the Can-Sucks franchise. With one swoop, the Oilers management becomes stronger and the Sucks become MUCH weaker. Now, with their most experienced hockey mind gone, what's left to attract Sundin other than $$$$? Gillis is done, the Sucks are going to finish dead last in the NW, and wait for Tambellini to sign Luongo when he becomes unrestricted. HaZa!

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#15 Tim S
July 31 2008, 01:30PM
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Probably much like Davidson in StL, Lowe Likely has the final word on everything.

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#16 SlipperyPete
July 31 2008, 01:30PM
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Great Move, another great hockey mind and all around classy guy for the Oilers that is well connected in most hockey circles. Have to say though that this caught me by surprise. Go Oilers Go!!

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#17 Tommy
July 31 2008, 01:38PM
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Oilers website has some interesting interviews by Dan Tencer with K Lowe and T Bell (good call with the nickname)

Lowe said Katz had regularly talked about the "need" to grow the management staff and Lowe will have "more creativity" with his job and "more family time". Sounds like he will be doing some work on the Oil Kings and even on the new rink thus the title of President Rexall Sports...

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#18 The Towel Boy
July 31 2008, 01:39PM
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I think his nickname should be Tambo.

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#19 fyvvm
July 31 2008, 01:41PM
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This is interesting. Tambellini is a very interesting choice. I think this sets up a change of dynamic for the organization. This may be a Detroit-like management move. We'll see how this plays out but I like it. I think it may help get targeted free agents here now that the agents will be dealing with a more palatable GM without Lowe's combative history with players and agents.

Now Lowe can distance himself from potential coaching changes.

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#20 1011011
July 31 2008, 01:50PM
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"Now Lowe can distance himself from potential coaching changes."

THAT is interesting fyvvm

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#21 Ender the Dragon
July 31 2008, 02:21PM
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I review the situation from all angles and after all is said and done . . .

meh.

Show me what you've got, Tambo.

(While Wayne's T-Bell is a creative spin on Lowe's old handle, I think I like Towel Boy's nickname better. No offence, Wayne.)

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#22 fyvvm
July 31 2008, 02:22PM
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1011011 - On giving it some further thought, it may be more a case of KATZ putting a buffer between Lowe and MscT. and bringing in some long overdue new blood to work with assets already in place.

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#23 Brian Fellows
July 31 2008, 02:36PM
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This is really quite strange to me. Two seasons in a row having missed the playoffs, having the financial handcuffs removed for the first time, now K-Lowe is gone from the GMs office?

This can't have been his idea.

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#24 Milli
July 31 2008, 03:10PM
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wow....

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#25 The Towel Boy
July 31 2008, 03:45PM
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I agree Brian Fellows...I mean...K-Lowe alluded in his presser that this basically came about in the past 4 to 6 days... So I don't think he saw it coming...but perhaps it was "his idea" in the sense that he needed help to run the team and wanted Tambo...but Tambo was under contract and the only out was if he went to a team to a higher position, so a hiring and restructuring was in order. I think they wanted him...and created and shuffled personnel around to make him fit. K-Lowe took one for the team and swallowed his ego to move "up". Just my thoughts.

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#26 Greg Mc
July 31 2008, 04:15PM
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WOW!

We will have to watch and wait how the roles shake out. Mr. Katz is "Tha Boss". Blew me away (figuratively).

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#27 Deno
July 31 2008, 07:07PM
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Don't quite know what to think here. Instinctively I see it as Katz ushhering in his era with his proverbial "boy" rather than the old guard, but who knows maybe this is a "promotion" for Lowetide. One positive as I see it is Steve Tambellini is an outsider in the sense he has NOT won a cup with the Oilers as a player.

PS Sweet 80's style moustache, how could this guy not be a good executive.

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#28 Digger
July 31 2008, 08:19PM
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The spin being put on this is that it was Lowes brainchild to get the Tam so this has Katz stamped all over it. Its about time

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#29 David S
July 31 2008, 09:45PM
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We may not all have agreed with his moves over the past few years, but it was pretty obvious that Lowe had the crap kicked outta him. I wonder if this was one of those situations where he asked to step down and was talked into this new position by Katz.

Also, I think its important to acknowledge that Lowe is President of Hockey operations for REXALL SPORTS. This is the entity that's going to be front and center in the new arena push. Lowe would make the best spokesman in that regard. He carries a big stick in this community - far more than Lyle Best or Laforge.

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#30 fyvmvv
July 31 2008, 10:04PM
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I think it's a moot point as to whether Lowe jumped or was pushed. They went hard on the point that he is conceding nothing by way of his will to lead the Oil to the future. Lowe didn't sound or look too excited to me. I don't think this new management structure was necessarily his idea.

To me it shows a couple of things. I feel we saw Katz' way of structuring a professional sports organization to succeed. Whether Lowe or MacT realize it or not they are now answerable to a world class businessman who will give them everything he can to help them win. I'm not sure either Lowe or MacT have the seeds to carry this ball. I sure hope so. For all of their public spiritedness the now-fabled EIG were not corporate sports guys and weren't up to doing business on the scale of the Katz organization. Nor did they hold Lowe and MacT's feet to the fire and hold them truly accountable.

This has been one hell of a ride for an off-season with no play-offs in the spring. What will the season hold come Sept.

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#31 Jonathan
July 31 2008, 11:04PM
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Deno: "Lowetide" is actually the nickname of former coach Ron Low, not Kevin Lowe.

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#32 David S
July 31 2008, 11:24PM
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Just watched the presser at Oilers.com

Lowe said it was a mandate from Katz, and he didn't look too happy when he said it. Guess that's a lesson on how to get some fresh blood in without making it look like you're throwing a local hero to the curb.

This Katz guy has got the nuts, I'll give him that.

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#33 The Towel Boy
August 01 2008, 07:47AM
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From all accounts (the newspaper articles I just read)...KLowe still calls the shots...nothing gets done w/o his approval. So ...it's basically the same set up we had when Scott Howson was our Asst. GM...only Katz has retitled everyone so they sound better. Basically, everyone still does the same ol'jobs.

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