Steve Tambellini, The Devil You Know

Jonathan Willis
March 13 2012 12:02PM

It was suggested to me today – as it has been, off and on, for some time now – that the Oilers would be making a terrible mistake if they failed to renew Steve Tambellini. Tambellini launched this rebuild, the logic goes, and has taken a number of positive steps, and to throw him under the bus and bring in somebody new would jeopardize those accomplishments.

I’ve spent a significant amount of time the last while studying rebuilds, both successful and failed. It’s been a difficult thing to do because few teams in recent memory have performed as poorly as the Oilers, and comparisons to a pre-salary cap NHL are flawed because teams could spend whatever it took to keep their high-end collection of talent together.

The obvious, successful comparisons that everyone remembers are to Pittsburgh and Chicago.

Pittsburgh had five years of high picks before turning into instant contenders, like someone had flipped a switch. They lucked out a little bit because there was a lockout in between, but – aside from the absence of a Crosby-like talent (and arguably, given that he scored 85 points as a rookie, a Malkin-like talent) – there’s a reasonable case to be made that the Oilers are on track to imitate them.

The Chicago timeline is more difficult to match, because the Oilers are already falling away from it. Chicago had two years of being really terrible after the lockout. In their third year (where the Oilers are now) they finished with a plus-4 goal differential and picked outside the top-10. The next year, they went to the Western Conference Finals.

The other thing about these successful comparisons is that they included another ingredient. Those teams both fired their rebuild G.M. The Penguins canned Craig Patrick in the summer of 2006, replacing him with Ray Shero. The team had one last poor year and then started ripping up the standings. Chicago had more success under Tallon in a shorter timeframe than Edmonton has had under Tambellini, but there were specific concerns – his bad contracts in 2005-06 helped launch the rebuild, and specific decisions he made would eventually help to handicap the team when Toews/Kane finished their entry-level contracts, forcing the Blackhawks to dump talent after winning the Stanley Cup in 2010. The Blackhawks acted on these mistakes, demoting Tallon and handing the reins over to Stan Bowman, who won the Stanley Cup as a rookie G.M.

Other teams opted to hang on to the managers who guided their teams out of a building effort. Atlanta hired Don Waddell to guide their expansion team, and slowly the team started to improve. Sure, there were warning signs, but their early progression was highly similar to that experienced in both Pittsburgh and Edmonton. Ultimately, the team was never able to complement their high-end talent with reliable support – either through the draft or free agency. Those signs were there early on, but unstable ownership kept Waddell at the helm.

Then there were the Islanders. Unlike a lot of pre-salary cap teams, Long Island had a tight budget to work under, so it’s easier to make a comparison to them. In a lot of ways, their record under Mike Milbury looks like that of the Oilers. Ultimately, when it came time to turn the harvest of young talent into a championship team, Milbury failed – because while he was fine guiding a team down into the cellar, he wasn’t so good at lifting them back out. A trio of first round playoff losses eventually became all the Islanders had to show for years of ineptitude.

It’s important not to make this more than it really is – four teams hardly represents definitive proof that a rebuild G.M. can’t also be a championship G.M. What it does show is that the ‘devil you know’ approach is flawed – a shift in management doesn’t necessarily mean a second wave of rebuilding.

Many recent Stanley Cup winners can attest to that fact. Much of the core of last year’s Boston team (Chara, Rask, Lucic, Marchand) was drafted or acquired by Jeff Gorton, who ran the Bruins’ amateur procurement department and then served as interim G.M. Peter Chiarelli, however, ultimately guided the team to victory. We’ve discussed the Hawks and Penguins already; the champion before them was Anaheim – a team largely built by Bryan Murray, but eventually led to the cup by Brian Burke. The Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 owed a lot to Rick Dudley, but it was Jay Feaster who put the finishing touches on the team.

Again, I am not here making the case that Steve Tambellini needs to go for the Oilers to win it all.  I don't know that.  I do know that sometimes, a shift at the top part way through a rebuild leads to success that otherwise may not have come about.  In short, I do know that while Tambellini may not need to go for the Oilers to hoist the Cup, by no means does he need to stay.

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 Archaeologuy
March 13 2012, 01:27PM
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I've been harping this point for a while. The guy drove the boys on the bus off a cliff. You dont keep letting him drive.

Time for a big change at the top.

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#2 vetinari
March 13 2012, 12:44PM
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Lowe and Tambellini can't attract top end free agents to complement the kids and a change at the top would be needed to signal to free agents that this is a place to play and win.

Judging by Renney's comments after the SJ loss last night, it sounds like the veteran players have tuned him out, so the solution is either get rid of the Horcoff's (who, someone foolishly gave a NMC to, *Lowe*, and so you can't) and award the captaincy to someone who does care and hates to lose, like Hall, and bring in new veterans in the offseason, or let Renney go (for mercy reasons alone, if nothing else) in the off season and bring in a new coach who can project that he expects them to win and will make them disappear to the minors or the press box if they don't.

The biggest mistake that ownership ever did was publicly go on the record years ago and say, losing is acceptable because we are "rebuilding" and we just want to see growth from the younger players. "Rebuilding" is just a marketing slogan to keep fans around while the team slowly wilts in the NHL's Western Conference cellar.

The rebuild has been going on for three years + now, and where are we? Likely one place better in the standings (29th) then the two previous years-- not because we necessarily improved but because Howson (a former Lowe pupil) drove the Columbus team off a standing's cliff. Sadly, Columbus is still within striking distance of the Oilers to push us into 30th place before the year's end.

Fire Lowe and Tambellini to even have a hope of attracting quality free agents; let go of Renney so that he can mercifully try and salvage his career somewhere else and to give the kids hope that a new voice can be found to lead this team and motivate the veterans; appoint a new captain, preferably Hall, to lead the ones who still give a damn; and quit calling this farce a "rebuild"-- management incompetence doesn't make constant failure a "rebuild"-- a transition of older players (and their roles) to younger ones makes a "rebuild" and this stopped being a rebuild after RNH joined the team.

At this point, because "rebuild" seems to be a marketing slogan for the team, and cross product promotion is the new norm, I propose that the Katz/Lowe/Tambellini/Quinn/Renney era be immortalized as:

THE EDMONTON OILER REBUILD (tm) brought to you by the good folks at Rexall who can fulfill all your drug needs to withstand the NHL season.

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#3 CODD_FATHER
March 13 2012, 01:35PM
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Sorry Mr.Willis.I'm a little of topic but I've been sitting here in my office(250km north of Fort Mac) thinking about the Radulov issue. I'm thinking if it was Toronto and not Nashvile ALOT more people would be in an uproar. I like the Preds but just cause your a small market team does'nt make it right.He owes them a FULL year,not a handfull of games.

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#5 Jodes
March 13 2012, 12:10PM
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Well said Jon. I personally think that Kevin Lowe also needs to be removed from anything that is the Edmonton Oilers. You can't blame Tambellini for a lot of things that occured before he got there, but he has had to deal with.

Sadly though, I can't see either of these two being gone anytime soon.

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#6 Bucknuck
March 13 2012, 12:16PM
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I am glad someone finally did an article on this.

Tambellini got the Oklahoma team sorted out and started some good internal processes, but that does not make a championship team.

Lowe knows how to add the right pieces to go far in the playoffs, but his ego and tenacity seem to rub players the wrong way.

I wish we could take the best parts of both managers and make a single entity that could run this team. If dreams were nickels I would be a millionaire.

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#7 common sense
March 13 2012, 01:00PM
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I think we're all ready for a new devil. Give me a devil I don't know. Tambo can go back to the Nucks.

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#8 Dman09
March 13 2012, 01:24PM
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Maybe Renny is not only frustrated with some of his players but is also upset at the fact he isn't being given the pieces he needs to succeed....... Just a thought in a different direction.

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#9 knobby
March 13 2012, 01:55PM
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Tambellini's stumbling, stammering style has done nothing to build confidence in anybody. He and Lowe have quarreled publicly with players and agents and they are a huge embarassment to me as an Oiler fan.

He has never done a rebuild so he is flying by the seat of his pants. Whoever makes the decisions in this organization needs to do some serious due diligence before allowing this management group and coaches to continue.

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#10 Quicksilver ballet
March 13 2012, 03:23PM
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Renney should put Horcoff in the press box for a couple games. Rotate sitting some veterans.

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#11 Walter Sobchak
March 13 2012, 05:04PM
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I have extremely little faith that the Oilers management team has the ability to procure talent via trade or UFA. Picking the number one consensuses pick in the draft does not give the management team a free pass in my books. This is the last summer for the management to do something proactive and productive before those kids start asking to be traded. Two defensemen a goalie plus the second overall pick put’s us in the playoffs. Time to cut the fat loose of this team!

Should be gone by next year.

Whitney-Horcoff-Khabibulin-Jones-Belanger-Petrell-Omark-Tambo-Lowe-Renney

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#12 mayorpoop
March 13 2012, 12:09PM
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let me be one of the first to say that this is top down problem.

not simply dithers. look up, way up.

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#13 They're $hittie
March 13 2012, 12:24PM
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Outside a malkin like talen?. Who is to say that cant be taylor next year. Lets not forget it malkin did not play in the nhl first year (lockout) or second year after his draft. Third year after your draft and a big physically ready player for the NHL, of course he is going to put up a lot of points. Taylor hall could be the calibre next year.

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#14 Marshall Law
March 13 2012, 12:24PM
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Should we be reading anything into the fact that Kevin Lowe will be the GM for the world championship team this year? Is this a possible indication that Lowe may be preparing himself to step back into a more direct role with the team? Perhaps the plan all along was to bring in Tambellini to gut the team and then bring Lowe back in once some more pieces are in place.

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#15 Kevin
March 13 2012, 12:28PM
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yes- the common denominator with the sad sacked history this last decade is Kevin Lowe. One can't blame Tambellini for the mess he was left. That said he has'nt done much to help his cause. Now this could be due to the fact that KLowe is pulling the strings here. Us at the turn style level paying the bills will never know but certainly the Oil change series does shed some lights as to the behind the scenes goings on. Out saide of a handfull of building blocks there is soooo many holes to fill. Sadly a top pick again will likely mean another waterbug so call skilled forward. Having over 10 million per season tied up in two vet forwards equating to what say 15 goals plus minus is a sad reconning in itself. Klowe responsible for one of those contracts and ST tied to the other. That said along with numerous other issues should be the end to both leaders at the top. Failure to do so will mean continued toilet bowl finishes. This tandom clearly does not have what it takes to build a NHL team and that's TEAM with capital letters. Its not about individual stats and how many point per game players do we have ! does anyone get that ?? !!

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#16 Quicksilver ballet
March 13 2012, 12:33PM
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I'd laugh if 4,14 and 93 came out and publically endorsed Tom Renney as their coach. Been a few yrs since we seen a tail wagging the dog scenario here in town.

Steve Tambellini's responsible for letting 10,20,83 walk all over this roster this year, not Tom Renney. Maybe Katz could hire Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill to come in and gut the lockeroom, no?

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#17 They're $hittie
March 13 2012, 12:37PM
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Would any of you let radulov come back.

The douche bag should not be allowed in the nhl. He gets to take off, go play for more money, abuse a coach, and than come back to the NHL wear off a year of a contract he bailed on than make a lot of money.

Stop bending over and letting a player like this jam you in the a$$.

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#18 Oiler AL
March 13 2012, 12:40PM
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Tabilini,doesnt have the ya`s ya`s to make things happen.. It could also mean that he is not the last word on on ice personnel,Lowe still hanging around, no sure how this impacts the outcome of building the team. Tambilini, made some bad moves.. Habby x 4 yrs, Belanger 3 yrs. At least Barker is a one year deal. Hemsky $5 mil. for 2 yrs... this guy is the biggest floater in the game .Gagner one great night, the rest of the season not close to that. He plays way out on left field too much, as does Hemsky.Sharks game was like boys against men. All over the blogs today, how Oilers play without energy, passion, grit.. etc so wont go there .. the reason they play that way and the only reason... Coaching... Need a house cleaning here. Should have been done at the end of Dec.. Again slow moe Tambilini didnt want to touch his friend. Now lets see if he will at seasons end. Interesting, both GM and coach without a deal... It could be Katz is going to do a major house cleaning.. because with todays staff in place, there is no CUP, maybe not even a playoff spot. I would bit big money.. Renney is done at season end. `We are going in a different direction``No Sh...t!

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#19 Dman09
March 13 2012, 12:46PM
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Does anyone know if Hemsky had a no trade as part of his new contract. Maybe his value will be higher at the draft and Tambo will still move him. I really wish we knew who the problem children were because it is obvious they are hurting the team.

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#20 Dipstick
March 13 2012, 01:03PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Does anyone know if Hemsky had a no trade as part of his new contract. Maybe his value will be higher at the draft and Tambo will still move him. I really wish we knew who the problem children were because it is obvious they are hurting the team.

cap geek is not showing any NTC or NMC on the contract.

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#21 Marshall Law
March 13 2012, 01:05PM
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@Oiler AL

This is why going back to Lowe might be an option for them. Tambellini's conservative approach was appropriate for a rebuild. Now that they have their cupboards re-stocked with prospects, they might need someone at the helm who is more action-oriented. Nobody can say that Lowe was ever shy to pull the trigger on a move.

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#22 Paq Twinn
March 13 2012, 01:15PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Does anyone know if Hemsky had a no trade as part of his new contract. Maybe his value will be higher at the draft and Tambo will still move him. I really wish we knew who the problem children were because it is obvious they are hurting the team.

No there is not a NTC in his new deal. But the fact he hasn't scored and picked up only a few apples since he put pen to paper does nothing to improve his status around the league. He needs to actually produce points for that to happen.

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#23 Mike Krushelnyski
March 13 2012, 01:16PM
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The problem as I see it is when do you bring in a new GM? I'm not sure if waiting this long to say anything about a new contract is a tacit endorsement of Tambellini, or a sign that he's about to be shown the door. If the reign of Tambo is at an end, then a new GM comes in no earlier than April 7. He goes into a draft and free agency period that is probably the most critical one in this rebuild having never been in charge of the roster he needs to overhaul while they were actually playing hockey.

Really what I'm getting at is that the decision on whether or not to go with Tambellini as the GM for next season should have been made in December. The fact that it wasn't means we're either getting more Tambo, a new guy coming in who might not have a good handle on what the team needs or....Kevin Lowe.

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#24 Paq Twinn
March 13 2012, 01:19PM
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Marshall Law wrote:

This is why going back to Lowe might be an option for them. Tambellini's conservative approach was appropriate for a rebuild. Now that they have their cupboards re-stocked with prospects, they might need someone at the helm who is more action-oriented. Nobody can say that Lowe was ever shy to pull the trigger on a move.

Thats fair but I dont think we need any Brad Isbisters, Cory Cross's, or the like. For every good move KLowe made there were 2-3 bad ones. Management needs a "rebuild".

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#25 Dman09
March 13 2012, 01:20PM
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Paq Twinn wrote:

No there is not a NTC in his new deal. But the fact he hasn't scored and picked up only a few apples since he put pen to paper does nothing to improve his status around the league. He needs to actually produce points for that to happen.

I think biggest hesitation from teams is that he is always injured. If he can play out the rest of the season that should put those thoughts to rest for now. Some will just claim that his lack of production is due to playing on what should be a last place team once again, how the jackets managed to do worse with the team they iced only god will ever know, and is sick of it and needs a change.

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#26 Dman09
March 13 2012, 01:23PM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

The problem as I see it is when do you bring in a new GM? I'm not sure if waiting this long to say anything about a new contract is a tacit endorsement of Tambellini, or a sign that he's about to be shown the door. If the reign of Tambo is at an end, then a new GM comes in no earlier than April 7. He goes into a draft and free agency period that is probably the most critical one in this rebuild having never been in charge of the roster he needs to overhaul while they were actually playing hockey.

Really what I'm getting at is that the decision on whether or not to go with Tambellini as the GM for next season should have been made in December. The fact that it wasn't means we're either getting more Tambo, a new guy coming in who might not have a good handle on what the team needs or....Kevin Lowe.

I think if Tambo is on his way out they need to keep Renny around as the new GM will need to rely on his input as to what the team needs to change and what pieces need to be moved or added.

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#27 Paq Twinn
March 13 2012, 01:25PM
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Dman09 wrote:

I think biggest hesitation from teams is that he is always injured. If he can play out the rest of the season that should put those thoughts to rest for now. Some will just claim that his lack of production is due to playing on what should be a last place team once again, how the jackets managed to do worse with the team they iced only god will ever know, and is sick of it and needs a change.

A last place team with potentially 2 30 goal scorers......and he's struggling to get 30 points playing with Hall for a good chunk of time. That is why teams are hesitant....his injuries also play a role.

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#28 Reality Check to the head
March 13 2012, 01:28PM
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@DMAN09

Hemsky admitted in an interview after his signing that there was no, no-trade clause present in his contract.

At the start of the year I liked the signing of Belanger, Eager, Hordichuk and the trade for Sutton. I think Belanger has had a (obviously) bad year, but I think he will rebound. Sutton is what he is, a slow but reliable Dman. Eager has been impressive at times and then nowhere to be seen at others, I still wonder if he is recovering from his concussion from the start of the year. Hordichuk has been more noticable on the ice as of late, but he is auditioning for the oilers or other teams for next year as I believe he is a UFA next year(?). Bringing in Barker was a gamble that did not work out in the slightest way. Tamby shouldn't be fired but any extension over 2 years is a mistake, because he should be on an extremely short leash and needs to show a few steps in the right direction for moving this team into stanley cup contention.

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#29 Copperblueandwhite
March 13 2012, 01:34PM
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Anyone remember "En Vogue"? Free your mind and the rest will follow....fire Kevin Lowe and the rest will follow...bring in Jeff Gorton if you can...if the Oilers continue to do what they have been doing...they will continue to have what they have...

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#30 Dman09
March 13 2012, 01:40PM
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CODD_FATHER wrote:

Sorry Mr.Willis.I'm a little of topic but I've been sitting here in my office(250km north of Fort Mac) thinking about the Radulov issue. I'm thinking if it was Toronto and not Nashvile ALOT more people would be in an uproar. I like the Preds but just cause your a small market team does'nt make it right.He owes them a FULL year,not a handfull of games.

I think that if a player has decided to play in another league, other than the AHL, then he should not be allowed to come to NHL for the playoffs. He didn't earn it.

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#31 ralph_u
March 13 2012, 01:49PM
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Hey great article as usual. I didn't think the replacements you posed were going to be a solution any more then the current guy. I think Bowman won the cup but think it was Tallon's team and think his success is following him to Florida as Murray in Ottawa(although last year this time he was being fired by media) sure Burke wins cup but I think Lowe gave him Pronger and he pretty much inherited rest. My case would be what have Bowman and Burke won since they took over those teams? Anyways love your stats like the Ranger guy and Sharks moneyball guy if we have to replace Tambo.

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#32 Paq Twinn
March 13 2012, 02:04PM
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Dman09 wrote:

I think that if a player has decided to play in another league, other than the AHL, then he should not be allowed to come to NHL for the playoffs. He didn't earn it.

And isn't there a minimum number of games he needs to play to play in playoffs. Turco can't play for Boston because of this....I think. It really shows that Nashville is VERY desperate and has no "balls".

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#33 Time Travelling Sean
March 13 2012, 02:16PM
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@Paq Twinn

Desperate? They have a very good team right now, they'd be stupid to not want to add an elite level talent in what could be their only year of being legitimate contenders due to cap issues.

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#34 oilbaron
March 13 2012, 02:17PM
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Other teams this and other teams that, follow detroit, do what pitts did, what about chicago. Holly cow, I for one have started to have about enough hearing how other teams "did it" or "do it". This is the edmonton oilers, were not the detroit redwing's who had arguably the best leader in hockey and laid the foundation for Lidstrom to carry on. Pitts got UBER lucky when they won the lottery and got the best player in the game today in crosby. Were completely opposite of them and im totally fine with that. In order for us to be winners we have to stick to the model that OUR managment team has, not detroit's or pittsburgh's or whoever will win the cup next. Heaven forbid that the leafs win the cup and everyone's all like "oh boy, we have to play the way they do and build a team like they did". Enough already.

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#35 Dman09
March 13 2012, 02:45PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I don't moralize the Radulov issue.

Radulov defected to the KHL while still under contract, but there was no agreement between the KHL and NHL in pace to prevent him from doing so. That decision has made him fabulously wealthy.

Nashville - and the NHL - want an elite talent to return to the league. This is a way to make it happen that could be acceptable to Radulov. He was never going to return for his ELC money when he's making much more cash in Russia.

It's a simple matter of negotiating power. Radulov has it; Nashville doesn't.

Personally I would rather him stay in Russia. It is obvious that all he cares about is the money he makes. He is not good representation for the sport. Its like the whole we make a lot of money but we spend a lot of money crap. I don't care how much the insurance is on your Ferrari I still think that it is embarrassing when atheletes make more money then people saving lives and working many more hours.

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#36 A-Mc
March 13 2012, 02:46PM
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This is a topic that I can't possibly know enough about to have a solid opinion.

We don't know what goes on behind closed doors and Oil Change wont show you the full picture.

I would love to have an inside view of what really goes on day to day.

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#37 Jerconjake
March 13 2012, 02:54PM
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Marshall Law wrote:

Should we be reading anything into the fact that Kevin Lowe will be the GM for the world championship team this year? Is this a possible indication that Lowe may be preparing himself to step back into a more direct role with the team? Perhaps the plan all along was to bring in Tambellini to gut the team and then bring Lowe back in once some more pieces are in place.

Bringing in Tambellini does insulate Lowe from such decisions, but if that was their plan then the 2008-09 season would have been the start of the rebuild. Unfortunately you might be right about Lowe coming back into the GM chair. He created all the problems with the team, but no big deal; give him another shot.

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#38 Dman09
March 13 2012, 02:59PM
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You know the team needs another defenseman like Pronger. Say what you will but that guy knew how to motivate a team and get a lot from guys. If you look back, how many times did he lead a team deep in the playoffs.

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#39 BigOil
March 13 2012, 03:03PM
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I have been a long time reader and a first time poster. After reading many articles and resposes I thought I would throw in my two cents about this subject.

I get the feeling that the organization as a whole needs a complete overhaul. We as Oil fans have lived through THE worst run hockey club since the glory that was 06. We have lived through some of the worst contracts in the NHL, excluding Gomez and Depietro, some of the most embarrasing public fueds (IE Burke, Souray and Lombardi) and THE worst hockey the oilers have EVER played, all thanks to Klowe and his staff.

As long as Klowe is in charge of this club, we will have no hope of seeing our team succeed.

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#40 DoubleJ
March 13 2012, 03:09PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I don't moralize the Radulov issue.

Radulov defected to the KHL while still under contract, but there was no agreement between the KHL and NHL in pace to prevent him from doing so. That decision has made him fabulously wealthy.

Nashville - and the NHL - want an elite talent to return to the league. This is a way to make it happen that could be acceptable to Radulov. He was never going to return for his ELC money when he's making much more cash in Russia.

It's a simple matter of negotiating power. Radulov has it; Nashville doesn't.

Is it any different then if the Rangers play Redden in the Playoffs? I don't know if that happens or if they even put Redden on their list. Or if you even have to put Redden on you list?

This could cause some sort of a loop going forward. Could Huet from CHI come back and play in the playoffs? He's on "loan" in the euro leagues, right?

I don't really care if Radulov comes back, it could hurt the team just as much it could help. I'm sure he might not even play in the playoffs.

Not sure I made any point just throwing out random situations.

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#41 DoubleJ
March 13 2012, 03:26PM
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Dman09 wrote:

You know the team needs another defenseman like Pronger. Say what you will but that guy knew how to motivate a team and get a lot from guys. If you look back, how many times did he lead a team deep in the playoffs.

Everyone knows how good Pronger was in those playoffs. But the team did end up getting into the playoffs in 8th place.

They also braught in some other vets who wore the C on their jersey. Peca, Spacek. I can't even remember who else. That with Smith and Staios. The team was surrounded by leadership. That was at least 5 former captains.

I do agree we need a super star Dman on this team. But so do 20 other teams.

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#42 Dman09
March 13 2012, 03:28PM
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DoubleJ wrote:

Everyone knows how good Pronger was in those playoffs. But the team did end up getting into the playoffs in 8th place.

They also braught in some other vets who wore the C on their jersey. Peca, Spacek. I can't even remember who else. That with Smith and Staios. The team was surrounded by leadership. That was at least 5 former captains.

I do agree we need a super star Dman on this team. But so do 20 other teams.

Yes but he did the same thing in Ana and Phi

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#43 Buzz Lightbeer
March 13 2012, 03:33PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Renney should put Horcoff in the press box for a couple games. Rotate sitting some veterans.

Easy there QB. You're starting to sound as if you care about team performance. I was sure you were in the "Fail for" he who shall not be named camp. The second overall pick is winning an asset that can be leveaged. No? Or are you just stirring the pot again?

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#44 Pucker
March 13 2012, 03:50PM
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I like Lowe and I think he'll be back. Most of his boners happened after the lockout and heading into the 'new NHL'.

Well he made a mistake and the new-nhl didn't turnout like he expected. I think a combination of him thinking too much and a tremendous lack of experience.

I think he's learning lots from Tambellini and Renney. I also think McTavish could help in management, but that's a different story.

I don't like that Tambo's seemingly 'need-to-know'attitude and I don't like that he tends to snow the public (re communications on Souray, Hemsky, Training Staff etc). Though this could be a Lowe thing or Katz thing.

Anyway I think we'll see a smarter, more experience Kevin Lowe handling the team in the next year or two.

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#45 Quicksilver ballet
March 13 2012, 04:32PM
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@Buzz Lightbeer

Both options have merit, kinda hard to make a snap decision like this....

Okay okay, i've decided...it's the B option. The have my cake and eat it too/stirring the pot one.

...oh look, the 3D Toblerones are on store shelves now.

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#46 The Real Scuba Steve
March 13 2012, 04:37PM
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Anybody can pic 1st overall every year.

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#47 RexLibris
March 13 2012, 04:46PM
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I actually agree somewhat with what Oilbaron says in that, while it is helpful to give a general indication of direction, you can't entirely base every decision on "what would Detroit do?". I think each team's rebuild, or retooling, or whatever action they take to improve their team, has to be taken with special consideration for their circumstances.

Edmonton had to do a complete "scorched-earth" rebuild because, like it or not, we had nothing here around which to build. Hemsky is not a cornerstone of a franchise and he was our most talented player at the time.

For where we are now, and what the future may hold for Tambellini, I highly doubt that he is here in three years. In fact, I suspect that Tambellini will sign a two-year extension, and after next season a new GM will be identified, approached, and once on-board, Tambellini will be moved over to another area of hockey operations, all as part of an earlier negotiatied arrangement. Perhaps overseeing player development, the farm system, and integrating all the levels of player assessment and development together to create a streamlined operation with easier internal communication between departments. When Tambellini was in the Canucks organization he had a hand in player development and the running of the Manitoba Moose, a position in which he excelled. It would seem to make sense to try to capitalize on his strengths.

I doubt that Kevin Lowe comes back to the GMs chair, if only because I am led to believe, from some vague statements from the Oilers head office, that they are looking to add to the braintrust rather than simply shuffle around the pieces.

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#48 Buzz Lightbeer
March 13 2012, 04:53PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I actually agree somewhat with what Oilbaron says in that, while it is helpful to give a general indication of direction, you can't entirely base every decision on "what would Detroit do?". I think each team's rebuild, or retooling, or whatever action they take to improve their team, has to be taken with special consideration for their circumstances.

Edmonton had to do a complete "scorched-earth" rebuild because, like it or not, we had nothing here around which to build. Hemsky is not a cornerstone of a franchise and he was our most talented player at the time.

For where we are now, and what the future may hold for Tambellini, I highly doubt that he is here in three years. In fact, I suspect that Tambellini will sign a two-year extension, and after next season a new GM will be identified, approached, and once on-board, Tambellini will be moved over to another area of hockey operations, all as part of an earlier negotiatied arrangement. Perhaps overseeing player development, the farm system, and integrating all the levels of player assessment and development together to create a streamlined operation with easier internal communication between departments. When Tambellini was in the Canucks organization he had a hand in player development and the running of the Manitoba Moose, a position in which he excelled. It would seem to make sense to try to capitalize on his strengths.

I doubt that Kevin Lowe comes back to the GMs chair, if only because I am led to believe, from some vague statements from the Oilers head office, that they are looking to add to the braintrust rather than simply shuffle around the pieces.

Rex, you have just portrayed 30 current job descriptions in the NHL. The position you covet for Dithers is called the Assistant General Manager on most all clubs. Not dignified for a former bossman. No, Bye bye Pat LaForge, gotta make room for one of the boys.

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#49 RexLibris
March 13 2012, 05:40PM
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@Buzz Lightbeer

Yeah, I knew that going in. But I can't help but think that there is a plan to move Tambellini aside once the next phase of the rebuild gets underway (essentially next season). However, I don't see this group, with the way they have added bodies in the upper management level, just cutting someone loose at this stage.

The last time people were sent packing was in the Great Purge at the end of the 09-10 season, so it could happen again, but I'm just not getting that vibe from the franchise right now.

Granted, it appears to be a demotion, but then again Rob Daum, Billy Moores, and several others were essentially demoted to other areas of the organization where their strength are better utilized so who can say that a similar proposal wouldn't be made to Tambellini. And if it means that he gets to remain employed and help work towards building a Cup-winning team, I think he might be willing to accept.

But then again, I thought they were going to draft Seguin, so what do I know.

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#50 Buckwheat
March 13 2012, 06:04PM
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It's a little early in the game to judge, but it appears to me that Daryl Katz is making the same mistake that so many other Canadian 'owners,' make. He may think that his $200 or so million dollars bought the team and that he possesses ownership, but he doesn't. The city of Edmonton does. The fans do and so too do you and I. And eventually our voices will be heard.

The above said, he didn't get to where he is by being entirely naive. If the on ice failure continues he'll be making what I'm sure will be, because of friendship and perhaps loyalty, a difficult decision. Management, as we know it, will be gone and that includes Kevin Lowe unless he's shuffled off to Buffalo in what might be advertised as a 'lateral,' transition. (A sop to a long friendship?)

How can this not be the case? It's clear to me, and likely many others, that the rot starts at the top, and the top in this instance is one Kevin Lowe. Apart from 06 and the acquisition of Pronger and Peca, what merits distinction?

Were it me, the grace period is up. It's time for a change. A new President of Hockey Operations, a new GM, a new coach, a new direction. It's time. . .

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