43 DAYS: A MATTER OF PERCEPTION

Robin Brownlee
January 16 2012 10:00PM

All the suggestions around here that Tom Renney isn't the right coach for the Edmonton Oilers and that GM Steve Tambellini has bungled the rebuild and should be out the door ass-first sooner than later is great for debate.

Likewise, all the discussion about who is and isn't in the plans for the Oilers and who fans would either like to see, or expect to see, sent packing by the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 27, which is 43 days from now.

While that's a lot of fun, it also goes to show how quickly perceptions can and do change over a relatively short period of time. That's especially true in Oil Country, where the bandwagon can be rolling like a runaway train on a winning stretch of road with fans feeling like there's no end in sight, only to end up upside down and on fire in the ditch around the next corner.

Might many of you still think Tambellini is a boob in need of a pink slip 43 days from now? Sure. Might you still shudder at Renney's use of personnel then? Maybe. Should the Oilers, 17-23-4 for 38 points and hopelessly out of playoff contention as of today, be willing to trade anybody not named Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle by Feb. 27? Done.

Then again, 43 days is a long time. If you go back that far, to Dec. 5, Oilers fans were in a distinctly different mood than they are today. How have your perceptions about this team, and what it needs in terms of personnel moves and changes in the front office or behind the bench, changed since then?

BACK IN TIME

-- On Dec. 5, the Oilers were 13-11-3 for 29 points, which had them sitting in 10th place. San Jose held down eighth place with 29 points and Phoenix was ninth, also with 29. Did you think Tambellini a bungler then?

-- Back then, the Oilers were five points ahead of the Calgary Flames, who were 11-13-2 for 24 points. Was Renney overmatched as a tactician? Today, the Flames are nine points ahead of the Oilers with a 21-20-5 record.

-- On Dec. 5, the Minnesota Wild sat atop the Western Conference with 37 points from a record of 17-7-3. Wasn't Mike Yeo a candidate for the Jack Adams Award? Today, Minnesota sits eighth at 22-16-7 for 51 points.

-- In the 43 days since Dec. 5, when the Oilers sat within a whisker of a playoff spot, they've gone 4-12-1. It's a skid that's been greased by the losses to injury of Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Tom Gilbert and Ryan Whitney. At what point did you decide Ales Hemsky had to go? Or do you still beg to differ with those who feel that way?

Sure, some of you wanted Tambellini gone 43 days ago regardless of the standings at the time. He still hadn't put this team together right, it just wasn't as obvious. And, yes, some of you were screaming about Renney's lines and who he used in certain situations even when this team was in the hunt, just not as loudly as now. Granted and granted.

Suffice to say, it'll be interesting to see what the pulse is here an hour before and an hour after the trade deadline comes and goes 43 days from now. A lot can change between now and then. Just saying . . .

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 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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#2 Sean
January 16 2012, 10:06PM
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The perception vs reality pic made me laugh, and hungry.

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#3 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
January 16 2012, 10:11PM
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Keep Tom, Fire Tambo

The rebuild has been bungled

Dithers should be gone

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#4 Travis Dakin
January 16 2012, 10:12PM
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Yes... Yes I WOULD still beg to differ with ANYONE who says Hemsky should be traded. Lunacy.

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#5 Tyler
January 16 2012, 10:16PM
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This is the guy the Oilers need to go after.

They're in the hunt for a playoff spot. They need more scoring. They have lots of depth on D. He's a 22 years old, 6'3, 200 ound D man that has 27pts in 30 AHL games this season. He shoots consistently at 104, is a two time AHL allstar and is progressing like crazy. Skates well, hits when he needs and gets the job done. GO GET HIM OILERS.

http://jets.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=611610

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#6 speeds
January 16 2012, 10:23PM
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Here's a question for everyone:

What would you need to be offered, if you were EDM's GM, to move Jones at the deadline?

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#7 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 16 2012, 10:24PM
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Tambillini should have been let go after the team accidentally came in last. Nothing he's done since changes that.

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#8 speeds
January 16 2012, 10:26PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Yes... Yes I WOULD still beg to differ with ANYONE who says Hemsky should be traded. Lunacy.

For me, it's tough to have a strong opinion on what EDM should do with Hemsky because we're missing so much information that Tambellini does (or should, or will) have.

Does he want to re-sign?

If so, at what cost and how many years?

How much concern is there about his health going forward?

What's his trade value?

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#9 jeanshorts
January 16 2012, 10:35PM
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My favourite part is how, according to some (AKA. a lot of you) basically everything is Tom Renney's fault (that isn't Tambo's fault, anyway) and he's ruining the team and he's single handily ruined whatever was to become of MPS' career, and every single loss is his fault, etc, etc, etc.

Cause I mean it's not like Gilbert and Smid have been playing the best hockey of their careers, or that Jordan Eberle was (still is hopefully?) on pace to almost double his points from last year, or that Taylor Hall also keeps getting better seemingly every game, or that Ryan Smyth came out of the gates like a horse on fire, or that the special teams literally did a 180 degree turn from last year (still sitting second in the league for PP!), or that before the RNH injury he could have literally coasted into the Calder before the All-Star break, lather, rinse, repeat. Apparently all these things were happening despite Renney, which is incredible.

Now I'm not absolving him of all his sins *COUGH Belanger PP time COUGH* or *COUGH Staggeringly incomprehensible line matching at times COUGH*, but anyone who's laying most of this on Tom Renney is dumb. Plain and simple.

Seriously, leave Tom alone you guys!

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#10 Bleak Winter
January 16 2012, 10:36PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

UMMM. Guiness and burgers . . . Guiness and burgers.

Is THAT the secret to losing 90 lbs. and keeping it off??? Where do I sign up?!

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#11 Ryley
January 16 2012, 10:37PM
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I'm not a fan of Tom Renney or tambi! Housecleaning time:) why do they recall Magnus, and them give him 8 minutes a night with Eric Belanger! Why?

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#12 bazmagoo
January 16 2012, 10:38PM
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Tyler wrote:

This is the guy the Oilers need to go after.

They're in the hunt for a playoff spot. They need more scoring. They have lots of depth on D. He's a 22 years old, 6'3, 200 ound D man that has 27pts in 30 AHL games this season. He shoots consistently at 104, is a two time AHL allstar and is progressing like crazy. Skates well, hits when he needs and gets the job done. GO GET HIM OILERS.

http://jets.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=611610

Looks like a solid prospect, first I've heard of him.

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#13 bazmagoo
January 16 2012, 10:41PM
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@speeds

Moving Jones would be insane at this stage. $1.5 million for a solid 3rd line energy guy. The Horcoff - Smyth - Jones line is a 3rd line any team in the league would want.

edit: minus Horcoff's contract of course :)

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#14 Wanyes bastard child
January 16 2012, 10:44PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Moving Jones would be insane at this stage. $1.5 million for a solid 3rd line energy guy. The Horcoff - Smyth - Jones line is a 3rd line any team in the league would want.

edit: minus Horcoff's contract of course :)

~Most expensive third line in the league~

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#15 Wanyes bastard child
January 16 2012, 10:44PM
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speeds wrote:

Here's a question for everyone:

What would you need to be offered, if you were EDM's GM, to move Jones at the deadline?

Weber hands down, because yeah, Jones is just that awesome :)

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#16 Shro
January 16 2012, 10:50PM
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speeds wrote:

Here's a question for everyone:

What would you need to be offered, if you were EDM's GM, to move Jones at the deadline?

A left nut.

Not going to happen. Jones should be untouchable, IMO.

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#17 Jerconjake
January 16 2012, 10:51PM
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speeds wrote:

Here's a question for everyone:

What would you need to be offered, if you were EDM's GM, to move Jones at the deadline?

That's an interesting question, because I'm sure Tambellini will get a call or two on him. I agree with bazmagoo though. Jones doesn't have the value to fetch what the oilers really need and he's a solid role player for a reasonable price.

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#18 speeds
January 16 2012, 10:59PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Moving Jones would be insane at this stage. $1.5 million for a solid 3rd line energy guy. The Horcoff - Smyth - Jones line is a 3rd line any team in the league would want.

edit: minus Horcoff's contract of course :)

I don't at all think moving Jones would be insane, as always it depends on the return.

But, look at it from the acquiring team's POV:

He had 18 goals last year, is on pace for 20 this year. Cap number is easy to fit this year, and he has another year left on the deal.

Why would EDM move him? First of all, it depends what you can get back - no sense moving him if all you can get back is a 4th. But, maybe you're selling high. Even if you're not, you might not want to pay him what he'll cost when his contract is up, and even if you think he's worth what he'll cost you may want the lineup spot for one of your younger players, or feel that you can go to he market and get a similar player for similar money.

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#19 oilredemption
January 16 2012, 11:12PM
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Lines when ebs and nuge get back...

Prv-nuge-eberle

Hall-gags-hemsky

Smyth-horcs-Jones

Eager-belanger-lander

If Prv can't find his game there who knows but I think the oilers should run with this and keep hemsky and gagner how can u deny the pure talent in all this

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#21 bazmagoo
January 16 2012, 11:20PM
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speeds wrote:

I don't at all think moving Jones would be insane, as always it depends on the return.

But, look at it from the acquiring team's POV:

He had 18 goals last year, is on pace for 20 this year. Cap number is easy to fit this year, and he has another year left on the deal.

Why would EDM move him? First of all, it depends what you can get back - no sense moving him if all you can get back is a 4th. But, maybe you're selling high. Even if you're not, you might not want to pay him what he'll cost when his contract is up, and even if you think he's worth what he'll cost you may want the lineup spot for one of your younger players, or feel that you can go to he market and get a similar player for similar money.

Why don't we just keep developing players, then when they are good ship them off for draft picks. Repeat, repeat, repeat. No thanks!

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#22 bazmagoo
January 16 2012, 11:21PM
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@oilredemption

Agreed, give PRV at least 5-10 games with RNH and Ebs to see how he does.

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#23 bumblebpete
January 16 2012, 11:34PM
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oilredemption wrote:

Lines when ebs and nuge get back...

Prv-nuge-eberle

Hall-gags-hemsky

Smyth-horcs-Jones

Eager-belanger-lander

If Prv can't find his game there who knows but I think the oilers should run with this and keep hemsky and gagner how can u deny the pure talent in all this

I like that line up! Can you call Renney for me?

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#24 Quinn the Eskimo
January 16 2012, 11:35PM
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Guinness in a bottle? Not serious.

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#25 Clarko
January 16 2012, 11:42PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

My favourite part is how, according to some (AKA. a lot of you) basically everything is Tom Renney's fault (that isn't Tambo's fault, anyway) and he's ruining the team and he's single handily ruined whatever was to become of MPS' career, and every single loss is his fault, etc, etc, etc.

Cause I mean it's not like Gilbert and Smid have been playing the best hockey of their careers, or that Jordan Eberle was (still is hopefully?) on pace to almost double his points from last year, or that Taylor Hall also keeps getting better seemingly every game, or that Ryan Smyth came out of the gates like a horse on fire, or that the special teams literally did a 180 degree turn from last year (still sitting second in the league for PP!), or that before the RNH injury he could have literally coasted into the Calder before the All-Star break, lather, rinse, repeat. Apparently all these things were happening despite Renney, which is incredible.

Now I'm not absolving him of all his sins *COUGH Belanger PP time COUGH* or *COUGH Staggeringly incomprehensible line matching at times COUGH*, but anyone who's laying most of this on Tom Renney is dumb. Plain and simple.

Seriously, leave Tom alone you guys!

I don't think any fair-minded fan would put "all" the blame on Renney. But he deserves at least some of the blame for the team he is coaching who is well on there way to a 3rd consecutive bottom 3 finish.

You give him credit for Smyth scoring 12 goals in his first 21 games. Fair enough, as long as you are willing to blame Renney for Smyth only scoring 3 goals in his past 22 games (I would suggest neither to his credit or his fault). Sure the kids are getting better, but they should be naturally getting better too being more accustomed to the NHL in their 2nd year and being more physically mature.

The issue is that most fans have seen almost no improvement in terms of the standings even though as you point out that there have been some improvements (special teams). Fans are sick of losing and being mediocre or average and this has been really manifesting over the past 20 years. The team hasn't really iced a legitimate contender since 1992, with exception of the miracle run in 2006.

Ownership, management, coaching, poor player development, and a unstable farm system have all contributed to this organization's failure over the last 6 years in particular.

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#26 Butters
January 17 2012, 12:05AM
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The Oilers braintrust has said that this would be a five year rebuild. Why would they ditch ST in year 3- I think we are in year 3.

I am not sure what the issue is, ST brought in Belanger for faceoffs, and the % went up. ST traded Penner for a former 1st rounder and, by some expert accounts, the next Keven Lowe; Klefbom.

Evertone clamoured for size and grit, ST signed Eager and Hordichuk and took Suttom off of Anaheimès hands.

For some reason a lot of people consider Tambellini a ditherer because he cannot trade spare parts for an elite D man.

The Oilers were a mess, and I think it is about half cleaned up now. I think ST has done alright.

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#27 bazmagoo
January 17 2012, 12:15AM
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@Butters

Agreed

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#28 Talbot17
January 17 2012, 01:02AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

UMMM. Guiness and burgers . . . Guiness and burgers.

The best part about those pictures is that I would still hammer down those burgers....with a glorious guiness...

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#29 Yourmomthinksimhot
January 17 2012, 02:14AM
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Butters wrote:

The Oilers braintrust has said that this would be a five year rebuild. Why would they ditch ST in year 3- I think we are in year 3.

I am not sure what the issue is, ST brought in Belanger for faceoffs, and the % went up. ST traded Penner for a former 1st rounder and, by some expert accounts, the next Keven Lowe; Klefbom.

Evertone clamoured for size and grit, ST signed Eager and Hordichuk and took Suttom off of Anaheimès hands.

For some reason a lot of people consider Tambellini a ditherer because he cannot trade spare parts for an elite D man.

The Oilers were a mess, and I think it is about half cleaned up now. I think ST has done alright.

These examples that you have given cannot make up for the travesties that he has performed.

The fact is he signed a 35+ goalie to a 4 year deal, signed a coach who hadn't coached in the NHL for a couple of years to be the head coach (Pat Quinn), failed to properly address the defense situation at the beginning of this year.

The marginal positives that you cherry picked are far and away destroyed by the blunders that he's made.

Losing is part of a rebuild, that isn't the problem. A GM who believes this team is better than it is and refuses to trade our assets at forward for help at D is the problem. There is a reason a Player agent got hired over him as GM in Vancouver.....

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#30 gcw_rocks
January 17 2012, 03:58AM
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On December 5th I definitely thought Tambo should be fired. He has done a great job with the Player Development system for the Oilers. It was a joke when he arrived and it appears to be very good now. Tambo clearly learned how to build one in Vancouver (his primary role with that team was player development).

But being a GM means you also have to make trades that improve your hockey team. Since Tambo became GM Brian Burke has added the following actual NHL hockey players for almost nothing: Dion Phaneuf, Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner, Keith Aulie, and Cody Franson. All of whom should form part of a strong Leaf's core going forward. Plus he added Kessel. Even if you hate the trade, Kessel is additive to the team and will be part of the core going forward.

Tambo has added a few draft picks and this list of players: Stone, Sabourin, O’Sullivan, Kotalik, Whitney, Johnson, Fraser, Vandemeer, Montgomery, and Tuebert. Of those, only Whitney and Tuebert have any hope of being part of a core going forward, and Whitney looks more iffy every day.

And unlike in Toronto where the cost was Beachamin (a FA pick up) and a bunch of spare parts, Tambo spent: Penner, Cole, and Vishnovsky, as well as a bunch of spare parts over that time.

That should be enough to seal his fate.

On Renney, on Dec 5th he was generally a line matching demon, and while he was doing some questionable things (Paajarvi with plugs, Belanger on the PP, for instance) his overall work was good enough. But since then he keeps throwing the 4th line on the ice in the third period of close hockey games (and does so against opposing lines higher than their 4th line) and is costing the team wins. A coach should never be directly responsible for costing the team wins. That puts his future in question.

But if it were me in Katz's shoes, I would fire Tambo and keep Renney for 2 more years. I woudl hire a new GM and basically give him Renney to fire once he has a better handle on the team and knows better what kind of coach the team needs.

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#31 sizedoesmatter
January 17 2012, 06:28AM
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@gcw_rocks

Toronto might squeak into the playoffs.but will lose in the first round.Phil Kessel or Tyler Seguin,Dougie Hamilton and Jarred Knight

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#32 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 17 2012, 07:19AM
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Butters wrote:

The Oilers braintrust has said that this would be a five year rebuild. Why would they ditch ST in year 3- I think we are in year 3.

I am not sure what the issue is, ST brought in Belanger for faceoffs, and the % went up. ST traded Penner for a former 1st rounder and, by some expert accounts, the next Keven Lowe; Klefbom.

Evertone clamoured for size and grit, ST signed Eager and Hordichuk and took Suttom off of Anaheimès hands.

For some reason a lot of people consider Tambellini a ditherer because he cannot trade spare parts for an elite D man.

The Oilers were a mess, and I think it is about half cleaned up now. I think ST has done alright.

so what is the end point to signify the end of the rebuild at 5 years? playoffs? cup win?

i agree 100% tambellini was the right guy for the start of the rebuild. he drove the oilers right into the toilet, built up a nice amount of really good prospects, and has resisted the urge to trade any of them. as a founding member of tanknation, i applaud tambellini for the job he had done up to the start of this year.

however

i have some (huge) issues seeing tambellini as the guy who is going to turn this ship into a cup contender. if we look at the hawks/pens rebuild that the oilers are very often compared to, was the coach/gm that led them through the rebuild the coach/gm that were in place for the cup win?

hawks/pens rebuild or islanders rebuild... time will tell which one the oilers fall into.

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#33 Chaz
January 17 2012, 08:17AM
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Tambo and Renney must go, although as Browlee and Gregor have both pointed out, no need to do this until years end. This is a results based business and we haven't progressed since last year. Injuries have hurt us sure, but we also had very significant injuries last year, so I don't think they are a valid excuse. I'm sure they're doing their best, but if the wins aren't there changes have to be made. I hope the Oil play well enough over the next 43 days to change my opinion on this, but I won't hold my breath. Really wanted to at least be in a playoff run at this time this year....

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#34 John Chambers
January 17 2012, 08:20AM
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The Chambers Plan:

1) Attempt to re-sign Hemsky to a 2 or 3 year deal at under $5M per. If this isn't possible move him for an asset on D.

2) Trade Khabbi (if possible) at the deadline. Start fresh in goal next year.

3) Only trade Sutton or Jones if they'll fetch you a 3rd round pick or better - perhaps a 2nd in Jones' case. Give Omark, Paajarvi, and Hartikainen plenty of playing time the rest of the season to see who fits longer term and who is destined for a career in Europe.

4) Draft Nail or Grigorenko

5) Keep Gagner - he's a player. Try to get him inked to a 6 or 7 year deal at around $3M per.

6a) Pull a Dale Tallon and surround the young core with vets this offseason, with emphasis on re-building the D. Guys like Wideman, Jackman, and Zanon should be our focus.

6b) Don't be afraid to bring back Penner. Tuomo Ruutu also of interest if we can't re-sign Hemsky.

8) Re-sign Renney to a 1-year deal with Playoffs in 2013 being his ticket to another 1-year extension. Otherwise we need a Quenneville / Hitchcock / Laviolette type.

9) Tomas Vokoun on a 2-year contract, an attempt to trade for Weber if he would consider extending in E-town, picking apart some of the good pieces of the Anaheim massacre.

God only had 10 points, I'll keep it at 9 :)

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#35 MrCondor
January 17 2012, 08:30AM
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If a second round pick turned out as good as Jones I'd be thrilled. Why is there talk of trading him?

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#36 borisnikov
January 17 2012, 08:33AM
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John Chambers wrote:

The Chambers Plan:

1) Attempt to re-sign Hemsky to a 2 or 3 year deal at under $5M per. If this isn't possible move him for an asset on D.

2) Trade Khabbi (if possible) at the deadline. Start fresh in goal next year.

3) Only trade Sutton or Jones if they'll fetch you a 3rd round pick or better - perhaps a 2nd in Jones' case. Give Omark, Paajarvi, and Hartikainen plenty of playing time the rest of the season to see who fits longer term and who is destined for a career in Europe.

4) Draft Nail or Grigorenko

5) Keep Gagner - he's a player. Try to get him inked to a 6 or 7 year deal at around $3M per.

6a) Pull a Dale Tallon and surround the young core with vets this offseason, with emphasis on re-building the D. Guys like Wideman, Jackman, and Zanon should be our focus.

6b) Don't be afraid to bring back Penner. Tuomo Ruutu also of interest if we can't re-sign Hemsky.

8) Re-sign Renney to a 1-year deal with Playoffs in 2013 being his ticket to another 1-year extension. Otherwise we need a Quenneville / Hitchcock / Laviolette type.

9) Tomas Vokoun on a 2-year contract, an attempt to trade for Weber if he would consider extending in E-town, picking apart some of the good pieces of the Anaheim massacre.

God only had 10 points, I'll keep it at 9 :)

There is no way Tamby is savvy enough for all of this. He may get 4 and 8 done but the others? NFW.

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#37 Waqas
January 17 2012, 08:40AM
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this is whats probably going to happen. Oilers will trade Ales Hemsky for a pick and prospect dman (preferrably) and then all will be good in Edmonton until about next year when we realize and call for heads saying "we shouldn't have traded Hemsky..fire tamby!! we NEED a 2nd line scorer!!"

Life in Oil Country...

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#38 j
January 17 2012, 08:45AM
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I don't think most of the fanbase are being reactionary when questioning Tambo's abilities. Most were well aware that the team remained unbalanced as this year began. Sure we enjoyed the early successes and may have 'forgotten' our woes for a period of time. But I don't think many were all that surprised when the team started to sputter and the injuries began to have considerable effects. If we assess Tambo's entire body of work, it hasn't been good enough. Let's not forget that he is a rookie GM - this is his first kick at the cat. I find it interesting that some are so violently opposed to Lowe as GM even though it was his first time also. I suspect that Lowe would be a much better fit as GM for this team given the last 5-7 years of experience he has gained. Would an outsider with more experience be better - possibly. But we really shouldn't keep looking to 'rookie' GMs and expect them to take this team over the top. It is a tough business and requires some savy/experience.

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#39 Souby
January 17 2012, 08:56AM
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John Chambers wrote:

The Chambers Plan:

1) Attempt to re-sign Hemsky to a 2 or 3 year deal at under $5M per. If this isn't possible move him for an asset on D.

2) Trade Khabbi (if possible) at the deadline. Start fresh in goal next year.

3) Only trade Sutton or Jones if they'll fetch you a 3rd round pick or better - perhaps a 2nd in Jones' case. Give Omark, Paajarvi, and Hartikainen plenty of playing time the rest of the season to see who fits longer term and who is destined for a career in Europe.

4) Draft Nail or Grigorenko

5) Keep Gagner - he's a player. Try to get him inked to a 6 or 7 year deal at around $3M per.

6a) Pull a Dale Tallon and surround the young core with vets this offseason, with emphasis on re-building the D. Guys like Wideman, Jackman, and Zanon should be our focus.

6b) Don't be afraid to bring back Penner. Tuomo Ruutu also of interest if we can't re-sign Hemsky.

8) Re-sign Renney to a 1-year deal with Playoffs in 2013 being his ticket to another 1-year extension. Otherwise we need a Quenneville / Hitchcock / Laviolette type.

9) Tomas Vokoun on a 2-year contract, an attempt to trade for Weber if he would consider extending in E-town, picking apart some of the good pieces of the Anaheim massacre.

God only had 10 points, I'll keep it at 9 :)

1) I like Hemsky, but I feel that he wants to test the UFA market, so I say package him to a team for a #1-2 D-Man. Weber would be my preference which is a pipe dream I know.....but I still want him anyways!

2)Agreed

3) Agree on Sutton, but I think the Oil should keep Jones.

4) Agreed

5) Agree!!!!

6a) Agreed. The D definately needs this type of focus.

6b) Penner? No way. He and his Pancake can stay in LA or anywhere else but not here please. I do like Ruutu though.

8) I like Renney. I think he has done well considering the limited options he has to work with. Tambo (or someone) needs to get him more pieces to work with.

9) Agreed. It seems like Dubnyk is not taking over the starting job as the Oil had hoped, so I feel other options need to be explored. Vokoun would be at the top of my list.

Just my 2 cents....

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#40 TrentonL
January 17 2012, 08:57AM
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Perception: A rebuild takes 5-6 years Reality: A rebuild can be done in one year with good management (which Edm does not have)

Example 06-07 Flyers

Gagne Carter Knuble Sanderson Richards Upshall Umburger York Kapanen Afanasenkov Potulny Fedoruk Pitkanen Jones Picard Kukkonen Coburn Hatcher Biron Nittymaki Esche

This team put up a stellar 56 points. It was the second seasons for both Richards and Carter. Biron, Coburn, Kukkonen and Upshall were acquired at the trade deadline. After the season PHI acquired Hartnell/Timmonen before July 1 and signed both to long term deals. They then traded for Lupul and Smith and signed Briere as an UFA. During the season they traded for Vandermeer, Modry and Prospal.

07-08 Flyers Gagne Richards Briere Prospal Carter Knuble Hartnell Umberger Kapanen Upshall Dowd Downie Timonen Coburn Jones Smith Modry Hatcher/Kukkonen Biron Nittymaki

This team put up 95 points and finished 6th in the east. Philly identified holes, identified talent to fill those holes aggressively, and has been a playoff team and cup contender since.

And don't give me crap like they had Richards and Carter unless you think Hall/RNH/Eberle dont have that upside, in which case how can you believe in this "rebuild"

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#41 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 17 2012, 08:58AM
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You got to go all the way back to the first hot run of the season (or the last win) for the last time I was whooping it up Oiler-Style.

BUT, even in those states of euphoria I don't recall giving ST a giant pat on the back and certainly not as recently as Dec. 5th.

I hate to be a squish and take a middling position (isn't that banned on the internet?) but I don't think ST has been an unmitigated disaster as GM, but nor do I think he's been exceptional. He's been middling.

You can't pin all the Oiler woes on his door (including this year we've only made the POs twice in the last decade and 2006 was a miracle of stumbling into 8th and getting production at the right time from guys like Pisani etc). Structurally this team has been effed for a long time.

ST had a crap hand to play when he came in and there are signs of improvement and I think those two factors will buy him some time...

BUT, at the end of the day Katz is going to realize he needs more than a middling performance from his GM and ST won't be able to park the blame on his predecessors for long.

RE: Hemsky - re-sign him... try much, much harder to do so. Maybe ST is, but is keeping mum on the situation (that's his MO after all). But if he lets him go (and inevitably loses on the deal) that will be a huge black-mark on his status as GM IMO. In 2 years we will look fondly at other teams that have elite secondary scoring on their 2nd line wing.

RE: Jones... surprised to see his name come up. I like him a lot and there is no doubt that he's developed into a solid NHLer in Oiler silks. But if you can flip him for a solid return I'd be open to it. It would be a classic case of buy low/sell high and a nice return on investment. But I'd love to see him become a PK specialist who magically scores 15-20 a season on the Oil.

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#42 Rick
January 17 2012, 08:59AM
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speeds wrote:

Here's a question for everyone:

What would you need to be offered, if you were EDM's GM, to move Jones at the deadline?

It seems like a strange place to start given all the other obvious trouble spots in the line up.

If I was GMing I don't think it would take a whole bunch to get Jones from me but it wouldn't be a move made in isolation like perhaps some of teh other available players because it would probably leave me worse off for it.

Sort of like the Brodziak trade, the trade itself wasn't horrible, ignoring the hole he left for two more seasons was.

As a side note, although I realize critiquing the articles aren't appreciated a whole lot around here, it seems off base for the Edmonton fans to be referred to as Bandwagoners. This team has been the suck for going on three straight years - the worst of the worst suck both on and off the ice - which followed another 3 years of missing the playoffs and yet the arena is still full and radio shows still seem jammed and the message boards are still relevant.

To suggest it's a bandwagon is almost as offensive as suggesting that fans expect the team to go from 30th to contender status over the course of the summer without any stops or signs of improvement in between.

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gcw_rocks wrote:

On December 5th I definitely thought Tambo should be fired. He has done a great job with the Player Development system for the Oilers. It was a joke when he arrived and it appears to be very good now. Tambo clearly learned how to build one in Vancouver (his primary role with that team was player development).

But being a GM means you also have to make trades that improve your hockey team. Since Tambo became GM Brian Burke has added the following actual NHL hockey players for almost nothing: Dion Phaneuf, Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner, Keith Aulie, and Cody Franson. All of whom should form part of a strong Leaf's core going forward. Plus he added Kessel. Even if you hate the trade, Kessel is additive to the team and will be part of the core going forward.

Tambo has added a few draft picks and this list of players: Stone, Sabourin, O’Sullivan, Kotalik, Whitney, Johnson, Fraser, Vandemeer, Montgomery, and Tuebert. Of those, only Whitney and Tuebert have any hope of being part of a core going forward, and Whitney looks more iffy every day.

And unlike in Toronto where the cost was Beachamin (a FA pick up) and a bunch of spare parts, Tambo spent: Penner, Cole, and Vishnovsky, as well as a bunch of spare parts over that time.

That should be enough to seal his fate.

On Renney, on Dec 5th he was generally a line matching demon, and while he was doing some questionable things (Paajarvi with plugs, Belanger on the PP, for instance) his overall work was good enough. But since then he keeps throwing the 4th line on the ice in the third period of close hockey games (and does so against opposing lines higher than their 4th line) and is costing the team wins. A coach should never be directly responsible for costing the team wins. That puts his future in question.

But if it were me in Katz's shoes, I would fire Tambo and keep Renney for 2 more years. I woudl hire a new GM and basically give him Renney to fire once he has a better handle on the team and knows better what kind of coach the team needs.

Yes, Brian Burke is an amazing GM. Just look at all the great moves he's made. I mean it's the main reason why the Leafs are gonna go from 10th place last year to well, 10th place this year.

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#44 John Chambers
January 17 2012, 09:02AM
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@borisnikov

I guess the implication here is that Tambi gets replaced by a committee of ON faithfuls with Mr. Chambers holding veto power. You dig?

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#45 @GCW rocks
January 17 2012, 09:07AM
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You missed a few.

Connolly, Liles, MacArthur, Lombardi, Komisarek and Colborne.

Burke has basically turned over his roster (now the youngest in the league) and has his team playing meaningful games in January.

Likely a year or two from being serious contenders but at least you know Burke won't sit on his hands.

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#46 Dman09
January 17 2012, 09:09AM
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John Chambers wrote:

The Chambers Plan:

1) Attempt to re-sign Hemsky to a 2 or 3 year deal at under $5M per. If this isn't possible move him for an asset on D.

2) Trade Khabbi (if possible) at the deadline. Start fresh in goal next year.

3) Only trade Sutton or Jones if they'll fetch you a 3rd round pick or better - perhaps a 2nd in Jones' case. Give Omark, Paajarvi, and Hartikainen plenty of playing time the rest of the season to see who fits longer term and who is destined for a career in Europe.

4) Draft Nail or Grigorenko

5) Keep Gagner - he's a player. Try to get him inked to a 6 or 7 year deal at around $3M per.

6a) Pull a Dale Tallon and surround the young core with vets this offseason, with emphasis on re-building the D. Guys like Wideman, Jackman, and Zanon should be our focus.

6b) Don't be afraid to bring back Penner. Tuomo Ruutu also of interest if we can't re-sign Hemsky.

8) Re-sign Renney to a 1-year deal with Playoffs in 2013 being his ticket to another 1-year extension. Otherwise we need a Quenneville / Hitchcock / Laviolette type.

9) Tomas Vokoun on a 2-year contract, an attempt to trade for Weber if he would consider extending in E-town, picking apart some of the good pieces of the Anaheim massacre.

God only had 10 points, I'll keep it at 9 :)

I agree with most of this. I wouldn't trade Jones I like what he brings and I would rather have him over Eager so I would change that to Trade Eager.

Drafting really depends where they are picking but I would prefer them taking Grigorenko over Nail. Injury history and size my reasons. If you don't get him then they need to do what ever they can to get Murray. He is supposedly the most NHL ready Dman this draft and has the most upside.

Two thumbs up for signing Gagner.

I wouldn't be willing to bring back Penner, I like the guy I would just rather try and fill that spot with a player who has more of a physical edge to his game. Ruutu would be interesting.

I agree with the Renny signing, when I try to invision another coach behind the bench I don't really see any difference due to the personel he has had to work with and the injuries this season.

The Vokoun signing I disagree with completely. His age would make this almost a step backwards unless you have a really high potential backup playing with him and that is something the oil don't have right now.

Also of note I don't think the Oilers should be willing to sign Hemsky for anything more than he is making now just base solely on his injury history and performance this season. If he wants to take a one year deal and prove he can stay healthy and get back to form for a raise, okay. But I wouldn't give him a raise and a longer contract without proof.

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#47 michael
January 17 2012, 09:12AM
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Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate wrote:

Keep Tom, Fire Tambo

The rebuild has been bungled

Dithers should be gone

A new GM would bring in a new coach I would assume. I give Tambo a c+ as far as his grade goes. He has made some mistakes but other have been due to the player not performing rather than a poor descision on ST part. Renny has done a fine job with what he has been given. He does get a B for hs work. A couple of head shakers including putting EB on the PP. Also his overusage of RS and SH early in the season.

This season is as painful to watch as the 09-10 season. We are stuck moving forward. Spinning our wheels. We have UFA's to deal with. The Hemsky situation weighs on all of us. Fans,repoters,the Oilers. Its become the elephant in the room.Injuries have once again taken our best players. The x and y factors continue to add up to losses. Painful as it is to watch as a fan I know that THe Penguins and Hawks fans had to endure the same kind of growth and development. Hopefully our story ends up as positively as thiers.

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#48 A-Mc
January 17 2012, 09:15AM
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I don't think ST has done a bad job. He got us guys to fill holes that under normal circumstances would have been great. It's not his fault guys like Eager and Belanger haven't kicked in yet.

I don't think either ST or TR should be fired, but that might change after the Trade Deadline and of course after the summer. The only scenario that will really piss me off is if nothing is done to fix some of the deficiencies we're currently facing.

We need some established Defensemen: atleast 1 really good one and one Middling one.

While i wouldn't be entirely PISSED over picking up some very good D Prospects, i really don't think the Oilers can afford to wait until they mature before we can attempt a playoff run.

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#49 Copperblueandwhite
January 17 2012, 09:17AM
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Kevin Lowe must smile when he reads these blogs (assuming he does) as nobody mentions him and he's behind the whole mess...I doubt any of the signings (and lack thereof) were done without his consent....that's where the rebuild has been absent.

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#50 A-Mc
January 17 2012, 09:17AM
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Jones better not be on the chopping block. He's a solid piece of Heart and Soul that our team desperately needs to hold onto.

I will be crushed if Jones gets moved. =(

I'd be 100% OK with Signing Penner to a 1 year deal. As i saw it, Penner started believing in the system and started playing very well for the Oilers. Obviously trading him has crushed his spirits because he has totally SUCKED for LA. If we picked him up again and he played awesomely for us for another year or two, who is to say that we cannot trade him for more than magic beans in a couple years? Due to his Disastrous year in LA, we might be able to pick him up really cheap too.

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