Stay the Course

Jason Strudwick
January 31 2012 10:05PM

 

 

When the rumor mill spit out last week that Steve Tambellini was going to get a contract extension it set off a lot of debate. Should he be extended or not? Does he deserve it? Should Tom Renney be extended as well?

I believe that both Tom Renney and Steve Tambellini should remain in their positions next season. I have been a part of organizations that change coaches and/or GM's frequently. It does not work. Bringing in a new philosophy would mean a change of course for the team.

This could mean a new approach to drafting and free agent signing. It could set the team back at a important time in the rebuilding process. Each GM has a vision of the team he would like to ice. Having a coach that can implement a system that will mesh with the types of players the GM acquires is very important.

Before the lockout I was playing with the Chicago Blackhawks. Mike Smith was the GM and the coach was Brian Sutter.

Talk About a Mismatch

Mike favored european players, specifically Russian so he was always adding that type of player for a coach who believed in meat and potatoes hockey. Telling a Russian skilled forward to dump it in and run someone over didn't work. The team never had a chance at success with that combination.

I believe that Tambellini and Renney are on the same page. The Buffalo Sabres are a great example of a GM and coach duo that works and has brought a lot of stability to an organization that has had reasons not to be (ownership issues). Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff are very good and respected throughout the league.

Before the season, many people expected the Sabres to be near the top of the eastern conference. With all the big signings and trades they did in the off season it was a reasonable expectation. However it has not been a great year for the Sabres. Injuries to key players have killed their record. Now people are demanding changes to the management and coaching positions.

Does this story sound familiar? I think it is near impossible to judge how good a team the Oilers are when top players are out for extended periods. Take a look at the D-man injuries to Whitney and Barker. It put to much pressure of the D-corps. They are both twenty minute guys and you can't replace that for months. Throw in Gilbert's injury and that is three of your top four D-men out.

The consecutive seasons with high man games lost are what concern me. Yes, many of the injuries have been flukes but this has been happening for three or four years now. Is that really bad luck or is it a pattern that has developed? I think more rest days would reduce some of those fluky injuries. Now is the not the time to make radical changes. Stay the course and say your prayers that the injury bug finally moves on to another team next year. A healthy team for 82 games would be a nice change and improve the teams record.

Way easier

 

Last night I scored an empty net goal. The first of my career. I thought back door tap-ins were easy but without the goalie between the pipes my chance of goal scoring success goes up at least a few points!

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#101 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
February 01 2012, 02:44PM
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@simon says

Cheers dude! This round's on me.

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#103 Dave Lumley
February 01 2012, 03:15PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

"We do not have the depth of Detroit and that is why we are rebuilding. To think that can be done in a year or two is seriously naive."

Why this has been so hard to understand is beyond me. Let's make this clear. I am not the delusional one who couldn't see past the lack of organizational depth and thought we could turn it around in 2 years.

Those expectations were set by the very guy you are defending. Steven Q. Tambellini. Meaningful games in March.

I just want to hold him accountable for failing to meet his goals.

You are right. He set the goal and will not reach it. But as Jason Sturdwick suggests and I made note of, if we are sans the all the injuries to so many key players it is not unlikely that we would have 5 more wins and be exactly where Tambellini predicted - 2 points out of the playoffs and playing meaningful games in March.

By the way, I do not believe that you are delusional but there are certainly others that may be.

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#104 DAve Lumley
February 01 2012, 03:35PM
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Yourmomthinksimhot wrote:

When you drafted 3 players in the first round, including 6th overall in 2007, and in the top ten every year excluding one since, you've been rebuilding for more than 2 years......

That's 4 out of 5 years of drafting in the top ten, including a top ten talent the one year you didnt draft top ten.

Arch is right, when I myself as a fan with no scouting background can plainly see that the defense and goaltending are questionable, then how does the GM of an NHL team come out and say this team will compete for the playoffs?

We in fact have more depth than Detroit because of our high drafting, the difference is Detroit's depth is more NHL ready because unlike us they develop EVERY one of their prospects. They dont rush prospects like us.

Give me one good reason why Lander is not in the AHL. Would a team like Detroit put him in the NHL? No, surely we could've replaced Lander in the lineup with a veteran signing (or Brule). But Tambo knows everything apparently.

He has done a good job of proving that he is anything but competent of building a playoff team.

Many of your questions fall on Tambellinis coach, Tom Renney. Playing Lander, sending Brule down, etc.

You should check his resume. Coach of Team Canada - Silver Olympic medalist. Director of Player personnel with the Rangers, 7 or 8 years coaching in the NHL. If he wants to play Lander instead of sending him down I would defer to that.

I am not suggesting that he is incapable of making mistakes, I just would give him the benefit of the doubt.

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#105 TigerUnderGlass
February 01 2012, 03:39PM
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Dave Lumley wrote:

You are right. He set the goal and will not reach it. But as Jason Sturdwick suggests and I made note of, if we are sans the all the injuries to so many key players it is not unlikely that we would have 5 more wins and be exactly where Tambellini predicted - 2 points out of the playoffs and playing meaningful games in March.

By the way, I do not believe that you are delusional but there are certainly others that may be.

Coming into the season did you expect RNH to have the season he has had so far? Did you expect Eberle to be one of the top scorers in the league this year? On the other side was it not predictable that Whitney would not be healthy?

For the injury excuse be remotely valid it would mean that Tambellini was counting on Whitney. It would mean that Tambellini expected the years he got out of the other two. It would mean he expected a lot of things that no reasonable person should have expected.

The point is that even if there were no injuries and the team was sitting in 8th place and fighting for a playoff spot it was still an unreasonable expectation from Tambellini based on absurd presumptions.

This is the problem with Tambellini. He has demonstrated zero ability to evaluate the talent level of the team and has yet to demonstrate anything close to a coherent plan, let alone the ability to assemble a winning team.

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#106 TigerUnderGlass
February 01 2012, 03:40PM
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DAve Lumley wrote:

Many of your questions fall on Tambellinis coach, Tom Renney. Playing Lander, sending Brule down, etc.

You should check his resume. Coach of Team Canada - Silver Olympic medalist. Director of Player personnel with the Rangers, 7 or 8 years coaching in the NHL. If he wants to play Lander instead of sending him down I would defer to that.

I am not suggesting that he is incapable of making mistakes, I just would give him the benefit of the doubt.

This is not a valid argument.

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#107 simon says
February 01 2012, 04:05PM
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Posting from my Blackberry. As a none citizen. Thanks for making such a valid point though.

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#108 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 01 2012, 04:46PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

I think a lot of people defending Tambellini misunderstand the issue.

Nobody is claiming that the Oilers should be close to being a playoff team. The fact that they are still bad is not precisely the problem.

The problem is that Tambellini went into this season believing they were good enough to compete for a playoff spot, and, despite some positive surprises, they are still not even close.

This complete inability to evaluate his team is why he should be fired. It isn't even the first time he went into a season believing he had a much better team than he had. Someone this clueless has no business running an NHL team....even if some people believe the fact that he happens to already hold the job presumes competence.

^this

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#109 grodapare
February 01 2012, 04:53PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

I think a lot of people defending Tambellini misunderstand the issue.

Nobody is claiming that the Oilers should be close to being a playoff team. The fact that they are still bad is not precisely the problem.

The problem is that Tambellini went into this season believing they were good enough to compete for a playoff spot, and, despite some positive surprises, they are still not even close.

This complete inability to evaluate his team is why he should be fired. It isn't even the first time he went into a season believing he had a much better team than he had. Someone this clueless has no business running an NHL team....even if some people believe the fact that he happens to already hold the job presumes competence.

The truth doesn't sell tickets. Hope puts asses in the seats. ST evaluated, knows what he had, elects to sing a sweet melody. Nothing wrong with the ol'positive spin. Everyone wants to hold his feet to the fire cuz this used car only gets 15 mpg instead of the advertised 18? Deal with it. His extension should silence the critics but it won't.

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#110 Harlie
February 01 2012, 05:07PM
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Any way you slice it I can't honestly believe that Tambo would watch us..or any GM of any team...just watch each season flush by on the bottom and not do every single thing in their power to not change things.

When you break this down to it's barest element, Tambo and some GM's have shorter shelf lives than their players. They are also judged on their records. So wouldn't self preservation prevail at some point just to save face and build a career as GM and a winning record or at least a decent record to go with it?

It is totally clear to me that Tambo's hands are tied and have been tied...ON PURPOSE...to build through the draft.

Tambo is following the plan and has taken many bullets and will take more bullets and for that Katz is rewarding him.

Now oars in the water boys!! haha that's a classic new line I just learned..

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#111 TigerUnderGlass
February 01 2012, 05:12PM
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@Harlie

It is totally clear to me that Tambo's hands are tied and have been tied...ON PURPOSE...to build through the draft.

If this is true the team is doomed. Nobody can build a winner using nothing but the draft.

that's a classic new line I just learned.

It's not a new line.

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#112 grodapare
February 01 2012, 05:16PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The coming 2 yr deal for Tambellini isn't an extension, it's just a negotiated severance package.

I havent laughed out loud in quite a while. Thank you for your insightful view sir.

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#113 Yourmomthinksimhot
February 01 2012, 05:16PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Is this a serious response? You believe that an extension somehow proves he is competent?

He put on a positive spin huh? Absurd. He has already once tried his best to ice a winner and finished last and now suddenly he is a great evaluator of talent?

It's funny how every defense of Tambellini takes the form of "I'm sure he knows what he's doing."

WHY? Why does anyone believe this? He has never ever ever done a single thing to demonstrate that he knows what he is doing, and has repeatedly done things to make himself look incompetent. So where is this blind faith coming from? Baffling.

This makes me laugh out loud, props.

But seriously, there is no way Oiler fans are supporting Tambellini. Please tell me that a group of Flames or Canuck fans are up to this sick joke. Clearly there is some type of trolling involved.... no?

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#114 Quicksilver ballet
February 01 2012, 05:37PM
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@grodapare

Lol, one could hardly call a 2 yr extension a leap of faith...no?

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#115 russ99
February 01 2012, 06:15PM
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@Sliderule

Tambo would get a lot more respect from the fans if he actually is proactive about fixing obvious problems with the team.

Make a NHL-roster improving deal outside of the deadline and draft, claim anyone on waivers, sign an impact FA, etc.

While the mentality of "wait and fix everything with the draft" may have been a correct one for last season, and might be a correct one for this season, you can't sell that kind of long-term plan and kick the rebuild down the road another season every year.

The big question, as already alluded to, is does Tambellini have problems making big decisions such as the Smyth trade and the Penner deal as on Oil Change - or is he's forced to act that way by ownership?

I hope we find out in the weeks leading up to the deadline.

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#116 Sliderule
February 01 2012, 06:35PM
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@russ99 What you have said is exactly what I think.The only thing I wonder is how much is the puppet master involved.The assistant coaches I know is pretty much Klowes call. Are we talking about replacing the wrong guy?

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#117 Simon says
February 01 2012, 07:07PM
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So any improvement that has happend is either explained away by ones interpretation of statistics, a complete fluke or is the result of drafting because of an incompetent GM.

Anything that is bad with the team is explained as an incompetent GM.

Yet I am the one drinking kook-aid and not making sense.

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#118 Simon says
February 01 2012, 08:55PM
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Obviously you're not getting it. The only metrics you need are these:

Last year on feb 1

Record. Pt. Gf. Ga. Hm. Aw. 15-26-8 38 122 168 7-13-4 8-13-4

Today

record. Pt. Gf. Ga. Hm. Aw. 19-26-5 43 125 144 13-8-3 6-18-2

Now maybe I'm just a simple Simon. But it looks like a pretty clear improvement. Now combine the injuries and I think the forward thinking group out there can see that there is actually significant improvement. Especially at home where the incompetent fools in the office force joe public to go watch a team that is winning more than its losing. Now I really don't want to have to answer your question for a 5th time so please if you don't understand just go away.

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#119 Oilcruzer
February 02 2012, 01:35AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The coming 2 yr deal for Tambellini isn't an extension, it's just a negotiated severance package.

I was thinking the same thing. It's more of a warning shot... "you've got another year to prove to us if you should stay or not."

I'm not convinced either way. Two problems still remain. Goaltending and defensive depth. Injuries exacerbated the weakness. There's still time to fix this, for next year.

I'm hoping the signs of building depth and fostering winning philosophies at other operations (WHL & AHL) trickles uphill.

If it doesn't, then the coach and GM both go. The GM goes before the trading deadline of 2013.

(I wonder if this is how Pittsburgh sounded when they sucked slough water for five years?)

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#120 Saytalk
February 02 2012, 03:25AM
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So how many more years of finishing last and seeing "fluke" injuries to key players before someone starts asking whether there are systemic problems within the organization? I'm all for stability, but losing and sloppiness are not the types of things you want to keep stable.

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#121 Simon says
February 02 2012, 08:25AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
Now maybe I'm just a simple Simon

Finally. Something we can agree on.

The only metrics you need are these

I only now realized that you are just trolling. So when Minnesota was in first place earlier in the year did you believe they were really a first place team? You must have been sure Colorado was going to win the cup 2 years ago too huh?

Say there are two teams, on average team (a) gets outchanced 23-4 and outshot 45-13 but has a recond of 5-6. Team (b) gets outchanced and outshot by the exact same margin but their record is 2-9. Is team (a) really a better team or did they get lucky for a while? Your refusal to even acknowledge these factors does not help your credibility.

Now I really don't want to have to answer your question for a 5th time so please if you don't understand just go away.

You haven't answered it even once. You just keep repeating the party line.

If I am trolling then I am throwing anything caught here back.   You are now trying to use Minnesota to back up your pathetic argument? That was an extremely small sample size. What I am saying is that the results are what matter. The results after 50 games (not the 20 that Minnesota had a very short run at the top for) show the Oilers HAVE improved despite injuries.   So there are two teams bla bla bla bla..... Just because someone says that was a scoring chance those stats are subjective! This is what pisses me off about you yahoos using your advanced stats and metrics to back up a pathetic and feeble argument! The simple fact is that you leave your base data to be collected in an inconsistent manner! If you haven't realized that different people see things different ways (obviously you don't since you're still here!)then you have never looked at away game and said, "there is no way that team had that many shots or hits". On top of that not every scoring chance is equal! You can have two breakaways, if one player loses control of the puck and gets a very poor shot on net, it is counted EXACTLY the same as a guy who makes an incredible move and the goalie stones him! So you saying two teams bla bla bla bla is just that.... verbal diarrhea!     Now obviously you're NOT GETTING IT! So this is my last post on the matter. Take the shots that you want. The rest are free.  

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