Hold on, Tambo alarmists

Jason Gregor
November 23 2009 09:11AM

The Oilers get schooled by the Chicago Blackhawks, combined with an article by Dan Rosen and suddenly some people — including OilersNation's Jonathan Willis — believe that Steve Tambellini is an awful GM and that his job should be in jeopardy. I love a good story, but if anyone thinks that Steve Tambellini will, or should, get fired a year and a quarter into his tenure as GM, they're enjoying too much of the hippie whiskey.

News flash, people: if you expect the Oilers to improve overnight, it won’t happen.

Anyone who believes organizations plan to lose is kidding themselves. The Blackhawks look solid right now, but until making the playoffs last year, the Hawks had made the playoffs once in ten seasons. Did they purposely tank it for that many years, just so they could be a contender now?

Do you think they planned to be that bad?

Duncan Keith was a 2nd rounder in 2002, and then Brent Seabrook was taken 14th overall in 2003. Dustin Byfuglien was an 8th rounder in 2003. Cam Barker was 3rd overall and Dave Bolland was 32nd overall in 2004. Then Jonathon Toews, 3rd overall in 2006 and Patrick Kane, 1st pick in 2007 were the big pieces.

It has taken seven years for the Hawks to be this good, not to mention they’ve signed big tickets like Cristobal Huet and Marian Hossa, and because of the salary cap this might be their best shot to win, before they have to make some tough choices this off-season.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but signing Sheldon Souray and trading for Lubomir Visnovsky weren’t bad moves, and they aren’t the reason the Oilers sit in 12th place in the west.

Up until this year the, Dustin Penner signing looked like a disaster, and there is no guarantee that if they didn’t make that offer that they’d somehow be better. Would Penner’s absence have made them a bottom three team, and out them into a position to draft Zach Bogosian, Steven Stamkos or Drew Doughty?

No one knows, because there are so many other intangibles in play that you wouldn’t know where they would have finished, but the odds are they wouldn’t have gotten a top-three pick. And so far, outside of those three, no other player in that draft looks like a bonafide star, so how can anyone say that the Oilers would be better off without Penner?

The part that makes me laugh the most is that many feel if the Oilers had a 4th line faceoff guy, that they’d be in the playoffs right now. Do you honestly believe that?

Of course the Oilers could be better, since they are 30th in the league in FO% at 45.8, but the Colorado Avalanche are 29th and the Flames are 28th, yet they're 3rd and 4th in the standings.

Philadephia (17th), Ottawa (21st), LA (22nd), New Jersey (23rd) and Pittsburgh (24th) all struggle in the dot, yet they are all comfortably in the playoffs right now.

Don’t you think all the injuries have had a bigger impact on the team’s current standings than a 4th line faceoff guy?

Rob Niedermayer is 50.8% in the draw, Blair Betts is 49.5% and both have taken over 200 faceoffs. Would they really make the Oilers better?

There are much bigger problems with the Oilers than a freaking 4th line centre.

Tambellini needs to change the culture, and if you don’t think he is then you haven’t been paying attention. He brought in a new coaching staff, and has given them the reins to try and make this team accountable.

I said it, and wrote it, repeatedly last year that Craig MacTavish wasn’t holding back this team. No doubt it was time for MacTavish to go, but now that he is gone, many of the same problems still exist.

If you thought they would all evaporate in one year, you were dreaming. Injuries to physical players like Stone and Jacques have hurt this team, but they are just a small piece of the puzzle similar the absence of a faceoff guy. This team still has too many guys who don't consistently out-work the opposition — either physically or mentally. They still make too many mistakes. They still miss too many passes, they still lose too many one-on-one battles.

Did you think that a new coach would magically fix all of these problems, or that Tambellini would be able to rid himself of all the problems with a few phone calls.

The changes need to continue. Pat Quinn and Tom Renney are trying to find out which guys have the character, smarts and skill to play their system. If they can’t after 40 games then I’d expect to see Tambellini start to make some changes.

Any suggestions that Tambellini’s job is on the line is grossly premature and that would be another knee-jerk reaction, which is exactly what got this organization in this situation to begin with.

Bulin's Back

Nikolai Khabibulin's back injury will keep him out for at least a few more games, so the Oilers have recalled Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk has played well in the AHL so far with a 9-8-1 record and a respectful 2.77 GAA and .924 SV%.

If Khabibulin is out for an extended period of time you will see Dubnyk play, but if it is just a few games expect Jeff Deslauriers to get his 3rd and 4th consecutive starts.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 Hemmertime
November 23 2009, 01:31PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Give me a break. Did I once say the way there are playing was okay. No, I said that injuries would be a bigger factor than a faceoff guy. That was it.

And my point was Tambellini has been on the job for 18 months, you can't expect him to erase all the problems at once.

What the hell does the last 15 years have to do with Tambellini. He wasn't here. That is my point. It isn't an excuse, it is a fact.

And you say sell the farm and rebuild. Do you think teams will line up to take the Oilers garbage for draft picks. Wake up, it won't happen.

I was being realistic, not making any apologies. And because you guys say trade Nilsson, Moreau, Staios etc...doesn't mean it is that easy.

Tambo has been on the job in 18 months, and has done nothing besides a failed pitch to Heatley. Hell, I miss Lowe as GM, he at least makes it interesting.

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#102 OilW30
November 23 2009, 01:35PM
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If I were Katz, I would have fired Tambo as soon as he tried to sign Khabby. Words cannot even express how stupid that deal is. It's a sign of total incompetence and, to my mind, it shows that Tambo doesn't have what it takes.

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#104 Offthebandwagon
November 23 2009, 01:40PM
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@Victoria

What do people expect to happen? Is Tambo supposed to come out in the media and say, "All right, we need to make changes here because I realize now my team sucks. Any offers?...please." If he did this he would undermine any future tradability and leverage he might still have for some of his players. Most of the guys he'd trade are already losing value, so all he can really do is claim to stay the course and look for options. I don't think he is being truly transparent with his actually short-term, long-term plans to make changes.

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#105 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 23 2009, 01:43PM
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@Jason Gregor

Being realistic what 3 moves would you make to help this team not only make the playoffs, but also help in the future.

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#106 Torres' Faux-Hawk
November 23 2009, 01:44PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@Torres' Faux-Hawk

Please explain what the extreme positions (both for and against) and the moderate centre positions are on Tambellini and Khabibulin and I'll think about what you said.

Here's my idea of what those spectrums are:

Khabibulin

One end: He's a washed up has-been when he isn't hurt Centre: He has a track record of injury problems, he's 36 and he's an average to above average goaltender when healthy. Other end: He's a STANLEY CUP-winning top-five NHL goaltender.

I think I'm in the middle there. Maybe your spectrum is different.

Tambellini

One end: He's a washed up has-been who couldn't get a job in Vancouver and shouldn't have got one in Edmonton Centre: He's been overly-cautious in making changes and has yet to fix the teams problems. Other end: He's an amazing GM who would easily get this team on track except that free agents don't like Edmonton and there are a bunch of cap issues that aren't at all his fault.

Again, I'm in the middle. If your spectrum is different, please let me know.

If your spectrums aren't different, what exactly are you so pissy about?

I think somewhere in between your "one end" and your "centre" lies the opinions which you have expressed throughout these articles. To say you're in the centre of your opinion spectrums would be an exaggeration and would represent a significant backing off from other comments you've made. Perhaps if I'm bored one Sunday afternoon, I'll roll through your various articles and supply you with specific examples. Your opinions aren't as extreme as the ones you've supplied here, but those are gross exaggerations of an opinion that even an extremist would hold.

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#107 Chris.
November 23 2009, 01:45PM
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I wonder if there is a growing disconnect between Quinn and Oilers management.

Quinn likes to move the puck up the middle of the ice with a series of short quick passes and close puck support. The disconnect: The Oilers lack depth at center and haven't used a high draft pick on a center with size since Pouliot. Management, to date, has refused to target via trade, or free agency any help at center.

Quinn wants the Oilers to shoot the puck more. The disconnect: Management has iced a team with maybe two forwards who truly have an NHL grade shot. IMO Hemmer, and pre shoulder injury Horcoff can shoot... what other forward has any real velocity? O'Sullivan has a nice release... but it seems like I can count to three before the puck arrives on net: (Try loud counting if he shoots above the faceoff circle... and then try not to laugh... T.V. somewhat masks this.) Maybe the players keep looking for that extra pass for an empty net tap in because they know they simply can't score any other way... Lowe brought in Lupul, and Tambellini targeted Heatley because the Oilers lack any one-shot scoring dimension up-front... Could someone please tell Quinn?

Finally, Quinn wants the D to play more physical... Quinn also says he doesn't care if they put up points as long as they take care of business in their own zone.(Remember the Gilbert comments) But... best of all, Quinn doesn't consider a guy who can skate the puck out of harms way or join the rush to be a true PMD... Instead, he wants quick, sharp transition passes. It's pretty clear, to me, that the D supplied by management is generally at odds with this philosophe... Heck, when Staios becomes a top pair defender: you know there is a disconnect.

I like the Tambellini from six month ago: The Tambellini that openly acknowledged the necessity for change; The Tambellini that hired Quinn and Renny; The Tambellini with passion... That Tambellini! The new Tambellini is out to lunch. Anyone who has watched Quinn coach before would have supplied the man with some physical D, and some big centers. I hope Lowetide/ Black Dog are right and that Quinn assumes the GM post this offseason.

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#108 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 01:45PM
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OilW30 wrote:

If I were Katz, I would have fired Tambo as soon as he tried to sign Khabby. Words cannot even express how stupid that deal is. It's a sign of total incompetence and, to my mind, it shows that Tambo doesn't have what it takes.

Aside from Penner hasn't Khabibulin been our best player?

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#109 Hemmertime
November 23 2009, 01:45PM
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Also, if Tambellini meant to be idle, he shouldnt have come in promising all the things he did. His inability to address weaknesses that he has determined lands at his feet. I am willing to give some of the blame to Katz, he may be holding the purse strings. Otherwise we should have done whatever it takes in UFA, or even now, to get our player. That likely would entail burying Nilsson in the minors or taking a second player in a trade that you would bury and eat their salary. Yes, we have spent to the cap - but I've seen no evidence that Katz is willing to go the extra mile with his money.

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#110 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 23 2009, 01:53PM
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@Chris.

Nicely put, but I think Quinn is going to need to meet management in the middle and deal with what he has. He knew coming in what he had to deal with, so it's not like it should be a shock to him that he doesn't have all the players he needs.

At the same time, Tambo needs to meet Quinn in the middle as well. Try get him some of the players he needs.

Quinn might not get all the players he wants, but he needs to adapt to what he has.

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#112 Jonathan Willis
November 23 2009, 01:58PM
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@ Torres Faux-Hawk

I have a strong opinion on the Khabibulin contract; not so much the player himself. His injury record is a concern, as was some of his Chicago performance, but he's probably an average (10-20 range) NHL starter. The contract, given the market, was downright bad, IMO, and I don't mind being on one end of the spectrum there (although THN called it the "worst" contract of the summer, so I'm not sure that I'm being an extremist there).

As for Tambellini, I've been supportive prior to this summer, and now I've mopved firmly into "He's been overly-cautious in making changes and has yet to fix the team's problems" territory. I didn't think his summer was good, and while I think he deserves until the end of the season to see if the team he put together can turn it around (and I wouldn't mind being wrong), the early returns are that his moves this summer won't fix the team.

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#113 Darren
November 23 2009, 02:01PM
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@Torres' Faux-Hawk

Gotta love an arguement where no proof is given at all for an opinion.

But might give it, "if I'm bored"

Classic

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#114 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 23 2009, 02:04PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Bulin is the 19th highest paid goalie, so it's not like he is being overpaid. I to have concerns but it is more about that last year.

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#115 Torres' Faux-Hawk
November 23 2009, 02:12PM
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"People can invent statistics to prove anything. Sixty-five percent of people know that".

-Homer J. Simpson

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#117 Jonathan Willis
November 23 2009, 02:14PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr.

Not overpaid relative to NHL goaltenders as a whole, but overpaid relative to the guys on the market last summer.

Biron, Roloson and Anderson all got substantially less money for substantially less time.

The money isn't good but it's not awful; it's the term that kills in this case.

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#118 Darren
November 23 2009, 02:16PM
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Proof comes in more ways than stats. Try it

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#119 freeze
November 23 2009, 02:22PM
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Correlations between people who criticize a thing and people who misunderstand a thing are necessarily more instructive than they realize. - Merlin Mann

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#120 Chris.
November 23 2009, 02:23PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Nicely put, but I think Quinn is going to need to meet management in the middle and deal with what he has. He knew coming in what he had to deal with, so it's not like it should be a shock to him that he doesn't have all the players he needs.

At the same time, Tambo needs to meet Quinn in the middle as well. Try get him some of the players he needs.

Quinn might not get all the players he wants, but he needs to adapt to what he has.

I was naive when I assumed that Tambellini was going to make signifigant roster changes after hiring Quinn. IMO, Tambellini has taken a bunch of muffins to the butcher and asked him to cut some steaks.

What's really surprising, is the underlying insult to MacT... I thought he and Lowe were really good friends.

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#121 Senator Theo
November 23 2009, 02:23PM
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SirFozz wrote:

Very nice analysis!

Quit staring at his analysis!

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#122 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 23 2009, 02:23PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Rollie has to be removed from that list as he wasn't an option. Anderson went for cheap, but was a big time risk. Clemmenson was really in the same boat as Anderson, how is that looking in Florida? And Biron, well I bet we inquired but at the same time he was asking for over 4mil to start so unless we wanted to wait Biron wasn't an option.

Tambo went out and made getting a starter the #1 guy to sign. He ended up with Bulin, who knows maybe if he waited we could've gotten a better deal, but there is also that possibilty that we would've ended up with DD and JDD as our goalies.

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#123 Rick
November 23 2009, 02:27PM
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@Jason Gregor

I'm not sure where you got that I was expecting Tambellini to gut the team in the last 18 months. I never suggested it.

What I said is that it's unclear if his most significant move (coaching change) was actually part of his grand plan or if it was made,at least partially, for him. Your answer doesn't exactly clear that up. So really, the coaching change, is no indication on the competancy of Tambellini as a GM. Good or bad.

Moving beyond that, sure he made a couple minor moves and a couple lateral moves but it doesn't change that the same things that were plaguing this team when he was brought on, are still plaguing this team 1 1/2 years later. That's not even hindsight talking, that's talking about things that fans a media were already talking about as weak spots when he was brought in.

Where is the improvment and what indicators are there that this team has a firm direction?

After 18 months, the frustration for a lack of moves/changes is less about the team making a run for the playoffs this year and has everything to do with wanting some indication on the plan, vision, direction Tambellini has for this team. Nothing has been shown and at this pace the only accomplishment he will have on his resume is burning two years of Hemsky's bargain contract and adding two years of wear and tear on his most valuable veterans.

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#124 Gunner
November 23 2009, 02:28PM
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I thought the whole point of Tambellini sitting on his hands last season was to "assess what we have". So what is the reasoning for waiting until we are out of the race this year? He should know what we have. We watched this same garbage hockey last year and so did he. We have essentially the same line-up. We have all the same problems. You don't need to be a rocket surgeon to do the math.

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#125 Jonathan Willis
November 23 2009, 02:30PM
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@ Torres' Faux-Hawk, Others:

This is the article I wrote here when the Oilers signed Khabibulin. My conclusion is quoted:

The final analysis: This wasn’t the best possible choice, and the term is a little frightening. All of that said, this isn’t an albatross contract either, and the goaltending should be adequate for the next few years.

Smoking gun?

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#126 Ogden Brother
November 23 2009, 02:30PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I don't doubt that, but who was a realistic option in your mind? Don't say John Madden because as an UFA at his age he wanted to go to a winner.

I'm not saying Tambellini has been great, but to think he should be fired at this point is asinine. That was my point.

I believe the Oil are at a competitive disadvantage when aquiring players (ie your Madden example) so obviously theirs going to be a few of these guys that wouldn't have been an option.

That said the Oil could/should have at least held discussions with the following:

Malhotra Betts Joel Ward Matt Walker Laperriere Fidler Skrastins Marchant Boyton Mckee Moen R Nieds Wisniewski Kaleta Scott Nichol Upshall Eaves Jason Williams Mike Grier Marcel Goc Weiss

At the very worst, 1-3 of the above would have provided the team with nice depth to get through injuries.

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#127 Jonathan Willis
November 23 2009, 02:36PM
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@ Ogden Brother Jr.:

Roloson would have taken the same deal he took in NYI here; he said the only reason he left was the Oiler's refusal to consider a second year.

As for waiting, anybody - and many, incluidng me (although I wasn't the first) - could see there were more potential starters than there were destinations, particularly after Colorado gambled on Anderson.

But we probably argued about this enough in the summer, yes?

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#128 Torres' Faux-Hawk
November 23 2009, 02:41PM
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Darren wrote:

Proof comes in more ways than stats. Try it

"As everyone here knows, I’m not a believer in Khabibulin"

-Jonathan Willis

"While I’m still not a believer in Khabibulin I can honestly say that a 50-save effort in a 1-0 win wouldn’t have changed my mind on him either"

-Jonathan Willis

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#129 Rick
November 23 2009, 02:41PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Blair Betts has played 13 games in philly, so how much credit should he get. And they felt that Pouliot was just as good. Betts is not a physical player.

Niedermayer wasn't going to sign in Edmonton even if they wanted him, which they didn't.

How was in unsustainable? Because they won by getting out shot. Well they have out shot the opposition five times and only won once.

How about the fact that guys WERE scoring.

First nine games..Gagner four goals, Brule four goals, Grebeshkov and Comrie three goals..Cogliano and O'Sullivan two goals each. That is 18 goals...

In the 14 games since...they have combined for seven. The guys that most of you thought would help in secondary scoring, haven't. Brule and Comrie were sick and that is fair, but they still have four of the seven goals.

All the guys who aren't producing for this team have nothing to do with a 2nd line PK unit. IT would help, but like I said it ISN't the major issue on the team.

I love how you guys think the GM can just wave a magic wand and fix their cap issues. Oh that's right, just buy out four guys and trade away all the garbage. Yes that is realistic and plausible isn't it.

Building cred in your sphere isn't important to me if you only want someone to agree with your opinion.

Regarding the cap and magic wand comment...

Tambellini's own cap managment should be fair game for critisism. He had over 7 mil coming off the books at the end of last season and he traded it for O'Sullivan's 3 mil hit and Khabibulin's 3 mil (with the obvious +35 pitfalls that come with it).

In addition to that, if you look around the league a few GM's have managed to clear what are or were considered bad contracts this summer so it's not as implausible as you are making it sound.

A couple names that come to mind are Primeau, Gomez, Smyth, Vandermeer.

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#130 Chris.
November 23 2009, 02:42PM
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Gunner wrote:

I thought the whole point of Tambellini sitting on his hands last season was to "assess what we have". So what is the reasoning for waiting until we are out of the race this year? He should know what we have. We watched this same garbage hockey last year and so did he. We have essentially the same line-up. We have all the same problems. You don't need to be a rocket surgeon to do the math.

X2.

Unfortunately, Lowe/Tambellini still like this group... MacT is probably laughing himself to sleep after watching Quinn's post game comments.

MacT: Thanks guys for being such great friends; for saying I did a great job and then firing me; and then especially for keeping the same roster! (like I didn't get the insult) Too bad Quinn is getting even worse results! My stock is rising! HAHAAHA! Losers.

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#131 Torres' Faux-Hawk
November 23 2009, 02:46PM
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@Jonathan Willis

I know I posted this already, but I think it rings truer when juxtaposed with your quote:

"I have a strong opinion on the Khabibulin contract; not so much the player himself. "

vs.

"As everyone here knows, I’m not a believer in Khabibulin"

and

"While I’m still not a believer in Khabibulin I can honestly say that a 50-save effort in a 1-0 win wouldn’t have changed my mind on him either"

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#132 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 02:51PM
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Pouliott just got traded!!!!

Benoit Pouliott from Minny to Mtl for Latendresse.

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#133 Ogden Brother
November 23 2009, 02:56PM
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Chris. wrote:

X2.

Unfortunately, Lowe/Tambellini still like this group... MacT is probably laughing himself to sleep after watching Quinn's post game comments.

MacT: Thanks guys for being such great friends; for saying I did a great job and then firing me; and then especially for keeping the same roster! (like I didn't get the insult) Too bad Quinn is getting even worse results! My stock is rising! HAHAAHA! Losers.

I gotta admit, though I would have loved to seen the on ice team improved I see a silver lining in icing a very similar squad to last year. Watching all the "it's all MacT's fault" crew scratch their respective heads.

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#134 Jonathan Willis
November 23 2009, 03:02PM
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@ Torres' Faux-Hawk

"I'm not a believer" implies the absence of a strong opinion rather than a strong opinion in and of itself.

I don't believe Khabibulin's a top-ten NHL goaltender. I don't believe he's a magic bullet for the team. I don't believe he was the best possible acquisition this summer. I don't believe his injury record makes him a ood bet.

All of that fits well with "I have a strong opinion on the Khabibulin contract; not so much the player himself."

I remain lukewarm (i.e "not a believer") on the player, and disdainful of the contract.

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#135 Torres' Faux-Hawk
November 23 2009, 03:09PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Saying that you don't believe in a player and then attempting to state that it has nothing to do with the player himself is quite a stretch. Clearly you and I have very different opinions on what constitutes a strong opinion. If your parents told you they didn't believe in you, would you consider that to be a strong statement?

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#136 misfit
November 23 2009, 03:24PM
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"The part that makes me laugh the most is that many feel if the Oilers had a 4th line faceoff guy, that they’d be in the playoffs right now. Do you honestly believe that?"

I think an argument could be made that a defensive centerman who can win draws and help with the PK would do just as much to get this team into a playoff spot than adding Heatley at the expense of Penner, Cogliano, and Smid, would, even without the career season Penner seems to be having.

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#137 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 23 2009, 03:24PM
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@Dan the Man

Funny we never went after Pouilot, we seem to be all over former 1st rounders.

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#138 OilW30
November 23 2009, 03:39PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Aside from Penner hasn't Khabibulin been our best player?

That's a sad defense. You'd be fired too.

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#139 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 03:44PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Funny we never went after Pouilot, we seem to be all over former 1st rounders.

It's like they're shopping at Winners looking for Brand Names at discount prices.

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#140 Jonathan Willis
November 23 2009, 03:50PM
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@ Torres' Faux-Hawk

Damn it! I've been trying to be objective, and there you go telling everyone that my bond with Nikolai Khabibulin is like the bond between a father and a son.

Me not believing in Khabibulin has roughly as much emotional weight as internet commenters not believing in me. Namely, none.

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#141 Jonathan Willis
November 23 2009, 03:51PM
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Too bad they didn't go after Latendresse.

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#142 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 23 2009, 03:51PM
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@Dan the Man

Depending what it would've cost I would've taken a chance on him. Maybe we need two Pouilot's together. I really though Benoit was suppose to be the next big thing in Minny.

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#143 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 03:52PM
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OilW30 wrote:

That's a sad defense. You'd be fired too.

He's been one of our top 2 players is a sad defense?

For the record I picked Khabibulin as my goat this year as I didn't think it was a great signing either. I didn't think he would be as good as he has been but I've been wrong so far. He has given us a chance to win most nights, what more can you ask for?

Is his contract too long? Of course it is, that was my main issue with the signing but I suspect if Tambo could have signed him to a shorter term he would have.

Bulin is not what's wrong with the team this year, not even close.

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#144 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 03:57PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Depending what it would've cost I would've taken a chance on him. Maybe we need two Pouilot's together. I really though Benoit was suppose to be the next big thing in Minny.

Or we could have exchanged Pouliots. I think of the 2 I would have had more interest in Latendresse though.

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#145 Darren
November 23 2009, 04:07PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Too bad they didn't go after Latendresse.

Not a big name player. Can't do it.

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#146 Torres' Faux-Hawk
November 23 2009, 04:27PM
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@Jonathan Willis

I'm glad we have that settled. I look forward to your next article on what Edmonton's faceoff percentage is when Liam Reddox used black stick tape versus when he used white tape.

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#147 oilerdiehard
November 23 2009, 05:33PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Give me a break. Did I once say the way there are playing was okay. No, I said that injuries would be a bigger factor than a faceoff guy. That was it.

And my point was Tambellini has been on the job for 18 months, you can't expect him to erase all the problems at once.

What the hell does the last 15 years have to do with Tambellini. He wasn't here. That is my point. It isn't an excuse, it is a fact.

And you say sell the farm and rebuild. Do you think teams will line up to take the Oilers garbage for draft picks. Wake up, it won't happen.

I was being realistic, not making any apologies. And because you guys say trade Nilsson, Moreau, Staios etc...doesn't mean it is that easy.

No I would not expect every problem fixed in 18 months. But how about at least checking off the to do list with taking care of the easier ones?

Will a big 4th line center who can play gritty, win face offs and make our PK better solve all of our woes?

No it will not but it is an easy fix that helps address some of our obvious problems. The face offs & PK black hole of suck is not a new thing. Something should have been done to help out in this area by now.

Would adding Heatley have solved all of our problems?! No but then with your logic Tambo should not have tried that at all because that one move does not solve everything that is wrong with this team. It is a series of adjustments and moves that is needed.

Your sort of logic paints it all with one brush and seems a little too simplistic for me. Just because one obvious and needed move (that helps out in multiple areas) does not fix everything do you not bother making it even though it fills a need?

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#148 Archaeologuy
November 23 2009, 07:14PM
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Everyone backlashed when I said that Tambi was a ghost wandering the halls of Rexall last year. The statement still stands. Outside of 1 deal where he groveled at the knees of a man who spat on the Oiler Jersey and one heck of a fiery speach at the end of the year, Tambi has done zilch.

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#149 Jay Bird
November 24 2009, 11:26AM
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From where I sit, we hired a GM that has been passed over many, many times by his own organization.

From what I've seen, he hasn't changed a whole lot after his Obama like "Yes we can" speach at year's end.

No, you can't overhaul a team in 18 months.

But you can fill a few holes with players not named Mike Comrie. You can get bigger and meaner with smaller moves. You can quit developing players on the fly in the NHL like this team stubbornly does year after year.

This "culture" change that's talked about needs to start at the top. I still see a stubborn arrogant organization who refuses to take accountability for running it into the ground. The dollars are coming in big time. But the on ice product is not bearing fruit.

I listen to this man talk about "identity". What is the teams identity? Are they rebuilding, or competing for the cup? We all know the answer as fans, but our GM doesn't seem to get it. Our former GM didn't get it either.

Their arrogance is laughable at times.

Gregor speaks of Chicago tanking it for a decade. I'll just say this, we're heading on year 4 out of the playoffs and haven't stock pilled a damn thing as far as prospects and draft pics. I don't see the team dramatically improving even next year. So if we as fans are at 5 straight of no playoffs, no playoffs in 7 of 10 years, is that not tanking it without really tanking it? No Kane (1st) or Toews (3rd) is coming without getting worse, and our GM, current and previous, don't have the balls to get worse so they can get better down the road. Unfortunately they missed their chance and this could be a lot longer coming now. Especially with the long term dough tied into some questionable players.

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