Tambellini has his say... and, YES, Oilers pick first!!!

Robin Brownlee
April 13 2010 04:54PM

After taking two days to contemplate Sheldon Souray's public trade request and what can only be characterized as a scathing indictment of Edmonton Oilers management, GM Steve Tambellini had his say this afternoon.

Unavailable to media after Souray's inflammatory comments ran on Sportsnet.ca, Tambellini issued a statement via a news release at 4 p.m., saying very little and pre-empting his own availability with local media that's scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. at Rexall Place.

As per the release:

“Sheldon’s comments are unfortunate and counterproductive, but we are going to manage through this in a responsible and professional manner.

"We understand Sheldon has had a tough year and he has a desire to play elsewhere. His additional comments regarding being 'forced to play' when injured are far more serious and my stance is that they are demonstrably untrue.”

Atta boy, Steve. You tell him.

THAT'S IT?

Given Souray's accusation the Oilers made him return from a shoulder injury before he was ready to play to start the 2007-08 season with a freshly inked $27-million contract in his hip pocket, you'd think that Tambellini might have fired back.

Considering Souray essentially called Tambellini a lousy communicator who never even bothered to talk to him while he was recovering from a broken hand this season, you'd think Tambellini might have served up something today that would disprove that. But no.

Perhaps a page from coach Pat Quinn, who offered this about Souray in his meeting with media this morning.

"It's been no secret here," Quinn said of Souray's discontent and desire to be traded. "He's made it clear for a long time.

"I'm one of those guys that if you don't want to play here, don't screw around. Get the hell out."

Added Quinn: "If you have one guy sitting over there who doesn't bloody well want to be here, how do you build trust? How do you have a team? You don't. Sheldon knows how I feel about that sort of thing."

UPDATE: OILERS PICK FIRST!!!!

As per Oilers news release:

The Oilers have been awarded the first overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, being held in Los Angeles June 25-26, 2010.

The Oilers received the right to pick first overall when they won the NHL’s Draft Lottery, held Tuesday night in New York City.

“This is a significant moment for the organization and its an important part of the process moving forward. We have the first overall pick in this year’s draft,” Tambellini said. “This is a very exciting time for our organization and our fans. Securing the first overall draft selection tonight provides a tremendous opportunity for the Oilers."

The 2010 NHL Entry Draft will mark the first time in franchise history the Oilers will select first overall.

The Draft Lottery is a weighted lottery system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the NHL Entry Draft. It gives the teams that finish with the fewest points during the regular season the greatest chance of winning the Draft Lottery.

Only the 14 teams that do not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or clubs that acquired those clubs’ first-round draft picks, participate in the drawing.

Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, are placed in a lottery machine. The machine expels four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls is matched against a probability chart that divides the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs. The Lottery was incorporated in 1995 by the NHL.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#251 Hemmertime
April 14 2010, 12:00PM
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And trading for Redden is worse than playing a disgruntled Souray. But Quinn likely wouldnt stand for it

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#252 Tracie
April 14 2010, 12:01PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Because Katz (probably) doesn't want to pay a guy 4.5 million to play in the AHL.

I agree with that statement, but wouldn't his (Katz) money be better spent paying Souray in the minors (and freeing up that cap space)rather then taking on a contract like Redden or Drury or some other NYR loser? We are going to have to take money back in any trade...I'm just saying that unless it's less then 4.5 mil coming back, or less years left on a contract, or something, then we should just put him in the minors and let him rot there...

BUCK75 - that's only if we decide to bring him back up after he goes to the minors, if he gets picked up before even reporting to the minors, then someone else has his contract and we didn't have to take any money back.

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#253 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
April 14 2010, 12:04PM
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Crust wrote:

I don't see that the only choices Tambellini has are to remain silent or tear Souray a new one. What about addressing the problem Souray brought up?

I wouldn't mind them acknowledging that the possibly of a communication problem exists within the organization and that they are willing to try to improve it. I don't think such a statement would damage anybody and just might make the organization look better.

So how does it look when a team acknowledges that not only do we have a weak on ice product, but there are issues within management? It's a very delicate situation.

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#254 Ender
April 14 2010, 12:09PM
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Crust wrote:

I don't see that the only choices Tambellini has are to remain silent or tear Souray a new one. What about addressing the problem Souray brought up?

I wouldn't mind them acknowledging that the possibly of a communication problem exists within the organization and that they are willing to try to improve it. I don't think such a statement would damage anybody and just might make the organization look better.

Souray made several allegations but two of the biggest were:

1) The Oilers make players play hurt.

2) The Oilers have poor communication with their players.

Before confirming or denying those fairly broad accusations, don't you think the Oilers would want to investigate the comments to see if their ass was covered? They'd look pretty dumb if they said "We don't make anyone play hurt." and the front-page story the next day was Horcoff telling about how the Oilers made him play hurt all year. I bet several of the the players and coaches were questioned extensively before the Oilers stated that the allegation was "demonstrably untrue".

The communication thing is even worse. What's the standard for 'good' communication? What's 'bad'? Which do the Oilers have, and once they pick one, can they prove it? That's not stuff you can reply to in a few hours.

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#255 BBOil
April 14 2010, 12:12PM
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@Crust

Acknowledging the possibility of a communication problem says Souray's statements have some validity. Perhaps they do, but we don't know for sure. I see it as similar to saying sorry when you are in an accident, even if its not necessarily your fault. Admitting it could be your fault opens you up to blame. Better to deny or keep your mouth shut, and take care of the business you need to behind closed doors.

Not admitting it doesn't mean they cannot still work on it internally if there is an issue.

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#256 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
April 14 2010, 12:40PM
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1:00 Tambo is addressing the media.

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#257 RossCreekNation
April 14 2010, 12:45PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

@ Robin

Knowing Scott Howson...

a) would Geoff Ward be a likely coaching candidate in Columbus?

b) how interested would the BJ's be in Hemsky?

I assume likely and very ??

FWIW, I sent Aaron Portzilne a tweet & he responded...

a) He said that he "had not heard Geoff Ward's name being talked about."

b) "sure they are (interested in Hemsky), but he's not a much-needed center."

c) RE: moving the 4th overall pick - "unlikely but not out of the question".

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#258 Archaeologuy
April 14 2010, 12:45PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

1:00 Tambo is addressing the media.

Commemorating the 1 year anniversary of his last Fiery Speech?

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#259 Crust
April 14 2010, 12:47PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

So how does it look when a team acknowledges that not only do we have a weak on ice product, but there are issues within management? It's a very delicate situation.

Agreed, it's a delicate situation; but doesn't a weak on ice product suggest issues within management? The Oilers have already come out and said that the organization needs evaluation from top to bottom.

Issuing a statement that you are willing to look in the mirror and assess honestly is not a sign of weakness and may signal to other free agents that the Oilers are willing to take player's concerns (right or wrong) seriously.

Souray has already come out and admitted he could have tried harder to communicate; I don't think it is an admission of weakness for the Oilers to say they could have tried harder to listen. On the contrary, it seems like a rational stance.

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#260 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
April 14 2010, 12:49PM
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Crust wrote:

Agreed, it's a delicate situation; but doesn't a weak on ice product suggest issues within management? The Oilers have already come out and said that the organization needs evaluation from top to bottom.

Issuing a statement that you are willing to look in the mirror and assess honestly is not a sign of weakness and may signal to other free agents that the Oilers are willing to take player's concerns (right or wrong) seriously.

Souray has already come out and admitted he could have tried harder to communicate; I don't think it is an admission of weakness for the Oilers to say they could have tried harder to listen. On the contrary, it seems like a rational stance.

They actually said they need to evaluate top to bottom?

I really wish we would've lost the lottery, it would've brought on rage to a different department.

This is as stupid as getting mad over a chick who you plan on dumping, but she dumps you a day earlier.

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#261 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
April 14 2010, 12:50PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Commemorating the 1 year anniversary of his last Fiery Speech?

Could be or it could just be the same crap Calgary told their fans. Just be patient.

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#262 Dan the Man
April 14 2010, 12:54PM
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In addition to Redden being the worst contract in the League, the Oilers tried to trade for him while he was with Ottawa and he refused to waive his NTC then.

Even if his contract wasn't completely brutal would we want a guy that didn't want to come here in the past?

I also saw some posts that mentioned sending Souray to the minors or buying him out. In either situation he would have to clear waivers.

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#263 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
April 14 2010, 12:55PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

In addition to Redden being the worst contract in the League, the Oilers tried to trade for him while he was with Ottawa and he refused to waive his NTC then.

Even if his contract wasn't completely brutal would we want a guy that didn't want to come here in the past?

I also saw some posts that mentioned sending Souray to the minors or buying him out. In either situation he would have to clear waivers.

Not sure how many teams would actually take him off waivers. I would suspect he would be one of those guys that teams would want to move a warm body the other way for. Who exactly has 5.4mil kicking around for him?

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#264 Archaeologuy
April 14 2010, 12:58PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Could be or it could just be the same crap Calgary told their fans. Just be patient.

I can see that. He'll pretend like he INTENDED on making a last place team so that the team can rebuild on the right foot too. Then he'll say once this team starts the season injury free we will actually be ahead of the rebuilding curve, but be patient.

Patience was what was required to make it through the average Oiler game this year.

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#265 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
April 14 2010, 01:00PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I can see that. He'll pretend like he INTENDED on making a last place team so that the team can rebuild on the right foot too. Then he'll say once this team starts the season injury free we will actually be ahead of the rebuilding curve, but be patient.

Patience was what was required to make it through the average Oiler game this year.

So patience=beer?

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#266 Archaeologuy
April 14 2010, 01:04PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Not sure how many teams would actually take him off waivers. I would suspect he would be one of those guys that teams would want to move a warm body the other way for. Who exactly has 5.4mil kicking around for him?

Nashville? St. Louis? Only the budget teams really. Maybe one of those teams is looking to make a bigger move. Souray to Nash for the rights to Hamhuis is possible, maybe a 2nd rounder is involved too. Just throwin stuff around.

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#267 dragon
April 14 2010, 01:11PM
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listening to Tambo:

??? how can you come back a year later with the same line: 'we have good players but we need to make some change' ????

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#268 rubbertrout
April 14 2010, 01:11PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Not sure how many teams would actually take him off waivers. I would suspect he would be one of those guys that teams would want to move a warm body the other way for. Who exactly has 5.4mil kicking around for him?

I think 5.4 is his cap hit but he only gets paid 4.5. Someone who took him off of re-entry waivers would only pay half of the salary (I think) but take the whole cap hit.

A better situation than a buy out for sure.

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#269 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
April 14 2010, 01:16PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

I think 5.4 is his cap hit but he only gets paid 4.5. Someone who took him off of re-entry waivers would only pay half of the salary (I think) but take the whole cap hit.

A better situation than a buy out for sure.

I hear local media talking about the management standing up to Souray and showing they mean business, if they want to make an example of Souray then fire the son of a gun in the minors.

I'd actually think acquiring Wideman or Rosival would be something not too far fetched. Rosival while not worth 5mil is sure more valuable then a 5.4 injury prone player and Wideman is young and could fit well with guys his age on the backend.

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#270 Dan the Man
April 14 2010, 01:17PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

I think 5.4 is his cap hit but he only gets paid 4.5. Someone who took him off of re-entry waivers would only pay half of the salary (I think) but take the whole cap hit.

A better situation than a buy out for sure.

Both cap hit and salary are shared 50/50 if a player is picked up on re-entry waivers.

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#271 Bucknuck
April 14 2010, 01:34PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Both cap hit and salary are shared 50/50 if a player is picked up on re-entry waivers.

How is this option better than a trade? I don't think it is.

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#272 freshpotofcoffey
April 14 2010, 03:40PM
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@Bucknuck

If I'm not mistaken, they key here is RE-entry waivers. If someone takes him as we send him down, then they're on the hook for the entire cap hit and salary. The idea would be to hope that someone takes him then. Otherwise we never call him up and see how his big ego takes 2 years in Oklahoma. This would require Katz to be willing to spend $9MM total just to be vindictive, but who knows.

How is it better than a trade? Because we don't have to take back a bad contract. Seriously, people are throwing aroung Redden's name. REDDEN? Good God, if it comes to that...

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#273 Chris86
April 15 2010, 05:29AM
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BarryS wrote:

As I recall, Tambo said they took all the offers, or words to that effect, at the trade deadline, so no worries there. Not trading Souray, or any other player for that matter, in the summer, does not mean the Oilers necessarily want to much, but perhaps no one wants him at any price. Many other teams have those problems as well.

As for the other players having value, I notice none of them went at the trade deadling. what makes their value any more in the summer?

They might not have much more value, but alot of teams will have player contracts expiring this summer too, and with just 1 year left on some of these contracts, they might be willing to take the risk knowing they can be moved at next years trade deadline

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