LOTTERY WINDFALL: NOW WHAT?

Robin Brownlee
April 11 2012 01:34PM

So, with the Edmonton Oilers becoming just the second team in NHL history to own three consecutive first overall picks in the Entry Draft after the balls fell their way Tuesday, will people now be calling for GM Steve Tambellini to follow the "Quebec model?" The Oilers should be so lucky.

The Quebec Nordiques, before they packed up and moved to Denver as the Colorado Avalanche, were the first team to turn the Entry Draft trifecta and the fall-out from that good luck changed the fortunes of both the Nordiques and Philadelphia Flyers for more than a decade.

After taking Mats Sundin first overall in 1989 and Owen Nolan first in 1990, Quebec stepped to the podium with first overall selection in 1991 and took Eric Lindros of the Oshawa Generals, ignoring obvious indications that the highly prized Lindros had no intention of playing in Quebec.

Lindros held true to his word, and the Nordiques dealt his rights before the 1992 Entry Draft to the Philadelphia Flyers for a package that included Peter Forsberg, Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, Steve Duschene, Kerry Huffman, Chris Simon, a first-round pick in 1993 (Jocelyn Thibault) and a first-round pick in 1994 (that eventually became Nolan Baumgartner).

Now, after consecutive 30th-place finishes landed the Oilers Taylor Hall in 2010 and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011, Tambellini again holds the No. 1 pick and the right to select, most think, dynamic Russian winger Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting and the possibilities that go with it. What will Tambellini do? What should he do?

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY

While critics point out that Tambellini's main accomplishment as Edmonton GM has been to oversee the Oilers to finishes of 30th, 30th and 29th , thus they don't have much faith he'll get it right, the stroke of luck that saw him jump ahead of Columbus in picking order presents a huge opportunity.

Now, in today's salary cap world and with nobody in the 2012 draft class, including the talented Yakupov, hyped or projected as the generational talent Lindros was coming out of Oshawa (I still have 10 or 12 of his rookie cards for sale if anybody is interested), Tambellini has no chance to trade his pick for the kind of bounty the Nordiques fleeced the Flyers for. Won't happen.

That said, given the other wants on needs this team has, Tambellini would be a fool not to inform his peers with the 29 other teams in the NHL that he's willing to entertain offers for the first pick and that he'd like them in hand as soon as possible. Best package wins. Let's make a deal. That's a message that should have been sent already. "It presents options," understated Tambellini to open his availability with reporters today.

Those options are many. Darren Dreger of TSN, for example, threw out a theoretical situation today involving the Montreal Canadiens, asking what if the Habs were willing to part with P.K. Subban? I'm guessing that is, or will be, an E5 soon enough. What else is out there? Who wants that pick?

If Tambellini doesn't get an offer he likes, no worries. He steps to the podium in June and adds Yakupov to Edmonton's growing talent pool with Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle and sees what happens from there. He can draft Yakupov and then trade him. Maybe Yakupov is a keeper and somebody else goes . . .

Again, Tambellini isn't going to land the mother lode that sent Colorado on its way to a decade of dominance and the Stanley Cup and Philadelphia the other way, but if he can't turn Tuesday's gift from the hockey lottery gods into the turnaround fans of the Oilers have been patiently waiting for, chances are he never will.

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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#51 oilrocks
April 11 2012, 06:39PM
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This is 2007 top 10 draft picks see how many panned out.... MOVING DOWN IS DUMB 1 CHI Patrick Kane 2 PHI James van Riemsdyk 3 PHX Kyle Turris 4 LAK Thomas Hickey 5 WSH Karl Alzner 6 EDM Sam Gagner 7 CBJ Jakub Voracek 8 BOS Zach Hamill 9 SJS Logan Couture 10 FLA Keaton Ellerby

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#52 Quicksilver ballet
April 11 2012, 07:24PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

From a fellow Marty Turco supporter.

Just a post season synopsis of Martys time in Boston. 4 starts,2 wins,3.68 gaa and a .854 save%. At the ripe old age of 35, it could be time to hand Turco a front loaded multi yr deal to tend net here in Edmonton.

You figure 10.5 over 3 yrs would earn his loyalty? The time is now my friend.

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#53 Jackson
April 11 2012, 07:33PM
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People are saying pick a D-man, it generally takes 4-5 yrs to find out what you have. Why would they waste their # 1 on a D man? Unless there is one of those special players.

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#54 DieHard
April 11 2012, 10:27PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Okay this might be blasphemy, but I was thinking about a trade today just for giggles sake. What about trading the pick to Anaheim for Getzlaf? I know the danger is he is only signed for one more year, but he is that big, nasty right handed centre everyone is always talking about here. He is only 26, and there were rumors chasing him most of the season as one of the big 3 possibly on his way out of town. Perhaps include a conditional pick from Anaheim that increases in value depending on if he resigns with the oil.

Other than being only signed for one more year is that we would have to pay him big dollars sonnet rather than later where with nail we get to wait at least 3 years. Add to that he had a down year by his standards but perhaps nothing to worry too hard about. Anyhow just a mad idea I thought of .

How about we create are own Getzlaf's and Weber's.

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#55 The Soup Fascist
April 11 2012, 10:45PM
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DieHard wrote:

How about we create are own Getzlaf's and Weber's.

I agree but you can't make chicken soup out of chicken shi ...... er ..... feathers. I don't see a big body centerman in the system that could have the upside of a 1st line center like Getzlaf (or what Getzlaf was a couple of years ago). Oilers have some nice D prospects but Weber is a flat-out witch. Not many 230 lb D-men with wheels, a cannon, stamina to play a half an hour a night and play with an edge. No chance getting Weber IMO and would not give up 1st overall for Getzlaf, but I do not see anyone CLOSE to these guys in the system.

I agree with the sentiment. Just don't know who the building blocks are.

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#56 Shaun Doe
April 11 2012, 10:55PM
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@DieHard

Well it was really more of an idea towards those who would prefer to move the pick than use it. Getzlaf's and Weber's deffinetly don't grow on trees, so some times you have to go to the store and get them that way. It just seemed, to me anyways, like a trade that actually addressed a need that could help the team in the now, rather than the later. As for myself, I am not sure what to do with the pick but I feel for the time being that picking Nail can't hurt us. We could put him in the minors for one more year to see if he can make it through the next season healthy while burning one more year of Hemsky's new contract, or we could move one of our roster pieces to make room for him now. Or we could decide we just don't need him as bad as what some other team is willing to offer. So many options.

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#57 Reg Dunlop
April 11 2012, 11:27PM
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Trading down in the draft should not be an option. The team that gets the best player wins the trade, and the drop-off after Yak is substantial in this years draft. So for example Gardiner plus switch picks with Tor. lands us a #4 d-man plus maybe a d-prospect. Dumb idea so you know Stumbelini would be on board.

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#58 E-town Rebel
April 11 2012, 11:30PM
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To Columbus- first pick, ales hemsky, Linus omark (maybe throw in a 2013 second round pick) To Edmonton- second pick, Rick Nash

Just a thought

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#59 Reg Dunlop
April 12 2012, 12:16AM
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I just had the chance to read T. Jones' report on Tambi's press conference earlier today. He hinted that he is shopping the 1st pick. Being the clueless chucklehead that he is, he begins negotiations by stating "There isn't the player coming out of this draft who has that kind of impact" refering to Stamkos, Ovechkin and Hall. Way to limit the worth of your asset! If he sells his car I'm sure he says "breaks are good,tires fair".

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#60 Oil Dude
April 12 2012, 08:19AM
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rubbertrout wrote:

Jeanshorts said it best on Twitter. Passing on Nail to get the next guy is kind of like passing on Malkin to draft Barker.

Take the BPA. If you develop forward depth then use that to swing a deal for the D-Men you like.

Also, invent a time machine and go back to where you don't trade Gilbert for Schultz.

I agree with taking the BPA , especially in the first round.

I don't agree with the Schultz/Gilbert comment. Shultz is 100 times the defensman Gilbert is , Tambellini won that trade easily.

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#61 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
April 12 2012, 09:21AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

From a fellow Marty Turco supporter.

Just a post season synopsis of Martys time in Boston. 4 starts,2 wins,3.68 gaa and a .854 save%. At the ripe old age of 35, it could be time to hand Turco a front loaded multi yr deal to tend net here in Edmonton.

You figure 10.5 over 3 yrs would earn his loyalty? The time is now my friend.

is this your disguised way of saying your turco idea was bordering on insane earlier and you admit defeat?

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#62 Quicksilver ballet
April 12 2012, 10:06AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

is this your disguised way of saying your turco idea was bordering on insane earlier and you admit defeat?

You and i, aren't the men we used to be either. Someone has to keep the old gaurd company.

Carey Price and the Habs 3rd overall to the Oilers for the No. 1 pick and Devan Dubnyk?

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#63 D-Man
April 12 2012, 10:55AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You and i, aren't the men we used to be either. Someone has to keep the old gaurd company.

Carey Price and the Habs 3rd overall to the Oilers for the No. 1 pick and Devan Dubnyk?

Why would the Habs deal Carey Price - especially when they made the commitment to him by dealing Halak???

Montreal also has forwards almost as small as ours - Yakupov (as gifted as he is) might not be the greatest fit...

If we trade the pick - the best offers are going to come from the teams picking 20 to 30... The teams the most interested will definitely be good enough to spare a top-2/3 defencemen and a decent draft pick... They'll also be attracted to Yakupov - not only because of his skill but his cap hit (max at about $3.0 million/year, $975K per year in actual cash paid)... They would be able to unload a high cap player and get a gifted player in return.. They'd also be able to be patient with the rookie; should he need more time - they could send him back to junior and not suffer the wrath of committed fans...

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#64 nunyour
April 18 2012, 10:38AM
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i would make that trade,edmonton could use price,and a third pick would work,or maybe edmontons first and thirtyfirst for columbus's second and eighteenth.edmonton has enough skill they need some size.

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