Blaming The Professional Scouts

Jonathan Willis
June 08 2012 09:18AM

There’s a line of thought that suggests the Oilers’ primary weakness in recent years has been in signing and trading for professional players. It’s an argument I tend to agree with.

There’s an addition to that argument that’s been made with surprising frequency lately: that the problem lies in the Oilers’ professional scouting department. While I don’t know if that’s true or not, it isn’t an argument that I find especially compelling.

Steve Tambellini has been the general manager of the Oilers for four years now. Three of the Oilers’ five pro scouts – Morey Gare, Dave Semenko and Mike Abbamont have been employed continuously over that span. The other two – Chris Cichocki and Duane Sutter – have been hired during Tambellini’s tenure.

Prior to being hired by Edmonton, Tambellini spent 17 seasons with the Vancouver Canucks front office. According to his biography on the Oilers’ official website, “Tambellini was involved in all aspects of the team’s hockey operations including contract negotiations, scouting and minor league affiliates.”

Between the 1997-98 season and leaving to join the Oilers, Tambellini served as Senior V.P. of Hockey Operations, V.P. of Player Personnel and V.P. and Assistant General Manager. He has also been involved in the selection of Team Canada over the years, twice serving as the team’s G.M.

He’s not some babe in the woods, unable to fend for himself and at the mercy of the competence or incompetence of his scouting staff. He knows – or at the very least has no excuse for not knowing – the players the Oilers are making decisions on. He’ll be familiar with the opinion the Vancouver Canucks had on a lot of these guys. He’s also going out and talking to other people about deals he’s making – Steve Yzerman was cited as an authority on the Tom Gilbert-for-Nick Schultz trade.

In short: if he’s been getting bad advice from his professional scouts, surely it should have been evident at some point over the last four years. Tambellini has spent the last two decades in hockey management , and something like the last four in and around the game. He would also have first-hand knowledge of the scouts in Vancouver and be able to compare them to his personnel in Edmonton.

It could very well be that there are problems in the scouting department. To my mind, though, if there are they would tend to condemn Tambellini rather than exonerate him.  We're at the point now, four years into his tenure, where it's his front office and both its mistakes and its triumphs can be laid at his feet.

This week by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 dawgbone98
June 08 2012, 09:24AM
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The Oilers were able to procure NHL players (especially defencemen) before Tambo with a similar pro scouting staff, so unless these guys got worse, I don't see how they can suddenly be the primary culprit.

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#2 El Capitano
June 08 2012, 09:27AM
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At least this season we can look forward to something changing, either the team gets better or the GM gets fired.

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#4 Lenny
June 08 2012, 09:33AM
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You are absolutely right about ST but it is even more true about Kevin Lowe. They both have to go!

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#5 TwoSkidoos
June 08 2012, 09:38AM
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I would assume that ST would have some incite into some players, or at the very least he should if he's the one pulling the trigger on either a trade or a signing.

Why would ST give two schlitz malt liquors about what Stevie Y thinks about the Gilbert-Schultz trade - isn't that why he has scouts and a head on his shoulders? Usually one thinks for himself.

Lastly, I can see the intent with a signing like the Belanger signing, but, it seems that there was little thought put into exactly how he fit into the team's dynamic - he's a face off center, but, on other teams he's been more than that, with time on the PP and has shown a bit of a scoring touch. In Edmonton he is a 4th line-faceoff man and nothing else. For all intents and purposes he's a Horcoff clone with an accent.

This same thought process can extend to the Eager signing and his "role" with the team.

It begs the question - does ST actually put alot of thought into the moves he makes beyond the superficial "filling a need"? At the very least it makes you question either the information he's given or how he's interpreting it.

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#6 bdiddy18
June 08 2012, 09:41AM
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I've lost count is this the 180th or 181st "why I hate Steve Tambellini" article by Willis since the season has ended ?

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#7 John Chambers
June 08 2012, 09:47AM
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It's funny. Prior to Tambellini the Oilers have an extremely successful track record of bringing in professional players:

Let's start in 1998 with Roman Hamrlik, Bill Guerin, followed by Eric Brewer, Janne Niiniimaa, Tommy Salo, ... and to some extent Anson Carter, Radek Dvorak, and Mike York.

Post lock-out everything KLowe touched turned to gold including Pronger, Roloson, Spacek, Samsonov, and even Peca eventually. Even if Lupul didn't work out here and Sykora flamed out near the end of the '07 season, they are productive NHL'ers.

The list goes on with Pitkanen, Cole, Visnovsky, and say what you want, Souray is a top-4 D and a powerplay menace when he's not injured. KLowe and his pro scouts were excellent and acquiring talent.

Fast forward to the tenure of Steve Tambellini. His first acquisitions were Ales Kotalik and Patrick O'Sullivan, followed by Khabibulin, and, and, and.

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#8 Chris81
June 08 2012, 09:51AM
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With the material Tambellini is giving him to work withh, he'll be able to write another 180 or 181 more.

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#9 jsakicfan19
June 08 2012, 09:56AM
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I completely agree that all of this NOW lies at the feet of Tambellini.

However, I still can't excuse Morey Gare and his ineptness and procuring NHL talent. Did anyone see Oil Change last year when he was practically over the top GIDDY about signing Hordichuk?? You could have swore we just landed Suter if you didn't know any better.

Too many misses the last 4 years, not enough hits. Could be luck, or it could be that the game has passed these guys by. Analytics is a key factor nowadays and I'm almost certain that the Oilers don't fully utilize it.

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#10 jonrmcleod
June 08 2012, 09:59AM
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I think they're main problem has been their inability to draft quality defencemen. The only active NHL d-men that are better than bottom pairing guys are Petry and Greene. Has any NHL team done worse drafting D-men recently? (Hopefully the D prospects will do better.)

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#11 Rama Lama
June 08 2012, 10:02AM
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Bang on article........Lowe and Tamby are clueless when it come to assessing both amature and pro talent.

Given we brought in Belenger and Barker I suspect no one except Stu, has a good handle on talent .......amature or pro.

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#13 Dave
June 08 2012, 10:27AM
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I still think that ST has made bad choices on players on purpose. How else can you obtain three first overall picks? Tambo made these choices to destroy the oilers chances at the playoffs to procure the young talent to become dominant. That's why he has been extended. He laid out the plan to Katz to be a horrible team for three years and now this year I think you will start to see him making better moves and trades. He's going to be a juggernaut in obtaining good talent this year

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#14 hightide
June 08 2012, 10:28AM
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The story of three envelopes is a business classic for dysfunctional organizations. It starts with an incoming manager replacing a recently fired outgoing manager. On his way out, the outgoing manager hands the new manager three envelopes and remarks, "when things get tough, open these one at a time."

About three months goes by and things start to get rough. The manager opens his drawer where he keeps the three envelopes and opens #1. It reads: "Blame your predecessor." So he does and it works like a charm.

Another three months passes and things are growing difficult again so the manger figures to try #2. It reads, "reorganize." Again, his predecessor's advice works like magic.

Finally, about nine months into the new job, things are getting really sticky. The manager figures it worked before, why not try again. So he opens the envelope drawer one last time and opens #3. It reads..."prepare three envelopes."

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#15 NewfoundlandOil
June 08 2012, 10:29AM
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Man, I remember a lot of folks around here loving the Belanger signing nearly a year ago.

I don't think the Belanger signing gets laid at anyone's feet other than Belanager at this moment. He had an anomalously poor year last year that I don't think anyone could have predicted based on his consistent career stats.

What troubles me is how often this type of performance drop off seems to happen to FA's coming to the Oilers (e.g. Pitkanen, Lupul, Cole, Eager, Belanger.......).

To me this seems like less a pro-scouting problem than it is a larger implementation flaw with FA's coming in.

Can anyone put their finger on this? Are most FA's coming to the Oilers poorly deployed by the coaching staff? Not kept around long enough to gel? Unhappy about their lot in life?

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#16 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 08 2012, 10:32AM
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This Smyth dealio is another example of how botched up things are in management.

Ryan has similar minutes played, very similar offensive statistics compared to the 6 million dollar in 2012-2013 Horcoff, as well as the 5 million dollar Ales Hemsky.

Why chop Ryan Smyth off at the knees if you didn't conduct business accordingly with Hemmer and Horcoff.

Don't get me wrong, i don't think Smyth deserves anywhere near 5 mill per, this is just another example of how much things are screwed up in management. Mind you, Tambellini can fix this problem if he moves Hemsky in the next two weeks and then unloads Horcoff to a floor team at the end of the 2012-2013 season. A new financial order needs to be established here.

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#17 Eulers
June 08 2012, 10:34AM
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Tell us how you really feel about Tambi, JW! ;)

For the record, I agree 100%!

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#18 dawgbone98
June 08 2012, 10:45AM
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@Dave except the first year of the rebuild he spent to the cap and brought in what he thought was a an allstar coaching staff.

Not really the actions of a man who is trying to rebuild.

Yes, the last 2 years he's been trying to rebuild the club, but that's only because the playoff team he thought he had put together finished dead last.

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#20 OIL4LIFE
June 08 2012, 11:01AM
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Just a thought but if the mantra from ownership was to finish low for great draft picks, can anyone think of better bad moves to make. If he was following the plan and keeping the team hand cuffed. He did a great job!!!! YOu have to look like you are trying but make the worst moves possible. I for one cant think of to many moves he did that could be considered mistakes if you look at it that way. maybe the shultz move but that could be after it was decided to start trying. lol

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#21 EL PRESIDENTE
June 08 2012, 11:09AM
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By all accounts most of us can agree the Oilers are in year 3 of their rebuild.

so I ask the following,

1. Can someone give me one example of a NHL GM that has done a COMPLETE rebuild in less than 6 years?

2. In said example, where was this genius GM's team finishing after year 3 of their rebuild.

3. if nobody can give 1 legit example can we all agree to "Parlez" this Tambo witch hunt for 3 years hence?

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#22 Dman09
June 08 2012, 11:10AM
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TwoSkidoos wrote:

I would assume that ST would have some incite into some players, or at the very least he should if he's the one pulling the trigger on either a trade or a signing.

Why would ST give two schlitz malt liquors about what Stevie Y thinks about the Gilbert-Schultz trade - isn't that why he has scouts and a head on his shoulders? Usually one thinks for himself.

Lastly, I can see the intent with a signing like the Belanger signing, but, it seems that there was little thought put into exactly how he fit into the team's dynamic - he's a face off center, but, on other teams he's been more than that, with time on the PP and has shown a bit of a scoring touch. In Edmonton he is a 4th line-faceoff man and nothing else. For all intents and purposes he's a Horcoff clone with an accent.

This same thought process can extend to the Eager signing and his "role" with the team.

It begs the question - does ST actually put alot of thought into the moves he makes beyond the superficial "filling a need"? At the very least it makes you question either the information he's given or how he's interpreting it.

In all fairness those two trades looked good right off the bat all their numbers were pointing in the right direction, consistancy was there I can't fault Tambo for those signing because they were good and made sense. The fact that they didn't work out would make me think is has something to do with the coaching and the system play. Look at Renny's first season PP cluster F*ck. Was that Tambo fault? not even close. Also each Belanger played on 7 teams with success, and Eager played on 5 teams with success which tells me that they have the ability to play different styles and systems and still be productive. Still points the the coaching side of things or the player is just slacking off.

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#23 WhattaMike
June 08 2012, 11:19AM
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IMO, the more larger scale deals Tamby supported and/or made was of Khabby at four years (too long/too expensive), Barker, Eager, Hordichuk and Belanger. They are not entirely his fault due to that these players weere the ones who played below their levels in the past.

O'Sullivan was horible however, and Pitkonen was not the right fit. Smyth was a good deal cause we all know what he is as a player and yet Smyth orchestrated that deal.

Souray is not actually Tamby's fault and but yet the stink of the war between him and Souray did not look good either.

If Belanger had played like he did prior to coming to the Oil this discussion of him would not be here right now, same with Khabby and the others.

The four year deal with Khabby is the fault of Tamby though.

Hordichuk never really played to warrant whther or not he was terrible. I enjoyed watching him scrap this year but wished that the coach (Renney)would have used him more as a deterrent than just two to four minutes average a game. That's Renney's fault more than Tamby.

However, if I have to weigh the pros and cons of his four year term, it was MBS who basically put the draft in Tambellini's hands to look great (with Hall and Eberle and the other kids like Musil, Gernat, Marancin, Pitlick, etc), while free agency and with the pro trades are on the manager's shoulders.

However, I will give him credit for finding and hiring Todd Nelson and the way the Barons and the Stockton Thunder played this year.

Those two farm teams have very much improved through Tambellini.

I wont give Tamby an F on his report card just yet but as of now, I would give give a very low C- or a D only because of MBS and the way the kids are coming though at those levels.

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#25 Dman09
June 08 2012, 11:34AM
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@dawgbone98

Yes but that team was supposed to have a Heatly or Hossa on it but didn't. And a happy Souray.

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#26 Dman09
June 08 2012, 11:42AM
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WhattaMike wrote:

IMO, the more larger scale deals Tamby supported and/or made was of Khabby at four years (too long/too expensive), Barker, Eager, Hordichuk and Belanger. They are not entirely his fault due to that these players weere the ones who played below their levels in the past.

O'Sullivan was horible however, and Pitkonen was not the right fit. Smyth was a good deal cause we all know what he is as a player and yet Smyth orchestrated that deal.

Souray is not actually Tamby's fault and but yet the stink of the war between him and Souray did not look good either.

If Belanger had played like he did prior to coming to the Oil this discussion of him would not be here right now, same with Khabby and the others.

The four year deal with Khabby is the fault of Tamby though.

Hordichuk never really played to warrant whther or not he was terrible. I enjoyed watching him scrap this year but wished that the coach (Renney)would have used him more as a deterrent than just two to four minutes average a game. That's Renney's fault more than Tamby.

However, if I have to weigh the pros and cons of his four year term, it was MBS who basically put the draft in Tambellini's hands to look great (with Hall and Eberle and the other kids like Musil, Gernat, Marancin, Pitlick, etc), while free agency and with the pro trades are on the manager's shoulders.

However, I will give him credit for finding and hiring Todd Nelson and the way the Barons and the Stockton Thunder played this year.

Those two farm teams have very much improved through Tambellini.

I wont give Tamby an F on his report card just yet but as of now, I would give give a very low C- or a D only because of MBS and the way the kids are coming though at those levels.

Depends on what you are grading for. If your grading whether or not he has made a winning team then ya its a fail but that was not part of the requirements the last couple of years. If its to grade him on setting the team up for the future without making any moves that could hurt the team down the line he gets an A. This upcoming season is where he needs to start concentrating on winning but at the same time he can't sacrifce the future to do it. This is why I believe Renny is gone and I think the upcoming year is going to be really interesting for the Oilers.

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#27 Duane
June 08 2012, 11:42AM
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Given that many of the pro acquisitions performed below expectations and didn't perform as well as in the past; I would suggest that management feels that coaching is a contributing factor to the poor performance of pro acquisitions. This would seem to be supported by players leaving the organization performing better or having useful roles on other teams.

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#28 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 08 2012, 11:59AM
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What happens to Tambellinis rebuild plan if....

In the upcoming CBA the NHL lowers the age of unrestricted free agency to 5 yrs, instead of the current 7 yrs?

This looks like one of a few things the NHL has to give the NHLPA in exchange of reducing the players take to 52% in salaries, along with the intro of non guaranteed contracts.

By the time the Oilers are any good, we could be seeing the Oilers best players heading to more desirable working locations.

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#29 dawgbone98
June 08 2012, 12:05PM
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@Dman09

So he built his plan on 2 guys he couldn't get? Is that an endorsement or further criticism?

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#30 dawgbone98
June 08 2012, 12:11PM
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@WhattaMike

What exactly were you expecting out of Khabibulin, Barker, Eager and Hordichuk? They pretty much gave the Oilers exactly what they've done elsewhere.

Where you expecting the 03-04 playoffs version of Khabibulin? He hasn't been anywhere near that level in years.

Barker has been a terrible defenceman for years, he was just in a sheltered enough situation early on in Chicago that he put up some counting numbers one year, but he never followed that up.

Yes, Belanger fell below expectations, but that's one instance. All the others were players who gave the same performance they had in previous years.

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#31 Dulock
June 08 2012, 12:14PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

1. Sure, Chicago (link here). The drafted Jonathan Toews in 2006 and Patrick Kane in 2007; they won the Stanley Cup in 2010. Both Kane and Toews were in the final year of their entry-level contract (as Hall and Eberle will be in 2012-13).

2. In year three, the Blackhawks recorded 88 points and a plus-4 goal differential.

I'm not sure you can call 2007-2008 year three of their rebuild. They hadn't made the playoffs since 2002 and were the second worst team in the league (by 1 point) in 2003-2004. The rebuild was in year five when they recorded 88 points and in year six they won the cup.

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#32 Oiler Al
June 08 2012, 12:20PM
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With the Oilers operation is really difficult to tell who the master is and which are the puppets? The Pro Scouts have a say, Tambelini as a say, and Lowe has a say. I have no proof, but I would suspect Katz gets involved with his toy and makes his opinions known to the boys on player selections, unless he gave up after Heatly and Hossa told him to take a hike. Who makes the final call on these player selections.. if its totally by committe , than no one imparticular is responsible for the good and the bad on this team on players signed.Is it possible Tambelini is just a big puppet and the first tree to be chopped down when the time comes.On the surface it would appears "he's the man".. or he just a front man [ poor one at that ] for Lowe and Katz.

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#34 Ducey
June 08 2012, 12:26PM
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Willis, in this down time, I'd be interested in a few articles where you actually set out, definitively, who you think the Oilers should hire as coach, who they should sign as free agents, and what they should do at the draft. In other words, if you were GM, what would you do?

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#35 Kevin
June 08 2012, 12:27PM
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Bang on- I hear that John Davidson is snooping around and could have an out in St. Louis. To bad we have the duo we have running this team. Sadly I expect this up comming season to be more of the same old. Way to many holes to fill. Kind of surprising there has'nt been more activity on the player transaction front thus far this summer. Teams are allowed to make moves ! Well I guess Tambo is waiting for his phone to ring. If he knew Renney was out, this could have been dealt with weeks ago, a new coach would have been in place by now so collectively they can discuss the make-up of what the team needs to look like. This current duo of Lowe and Tambellini seem to be reactive rather than proactive and take way to much time to assess. Let's be real this has been a toilet bowl team for years. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If their thinking this smallish skilled forward group is going to amount to a winning combination they are sadly mistaken. They better figure this out soon- getting tired of watching Tambo smug smile at the TSNs daft lottery.

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#36 AGUY
June 08 2012, 12:32PM
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No one needs to be fired! The team sucked on purpose and now is the time to start paying close attention, because the purposeful sucking is about over. All the assets have arrived, Eberle, Hall, RNH, Yakupov. That's enough. Time to start managing!

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#37 Dulock
June 08 2012, 12:35PM
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@Jonathan Willis

I can see your point.

I'd argue that based on the poor performances coupled with the fact that a fair number of the pieces they built with (Keith, Seabrook, Crawford, Byfuglien, Burish, Ladd from the Ruutu trade, Bolland, Brouwer, Hjalmarrson) that they were already in the rebuild phase despite management's attempts to make the playoffs. I'm not sure either of us are wrong we just have different opinions on what "rebuild" means.

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#38 DSF
June 08 2012, 01:10PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

1. Sure, Chicago (link here). The drafted Jonathan Toews in 2006 and Patrick Kane in 2007; they won the Stanley Cup in 2010. Both Kane and Toews were in the final year of their entry-level contract (as Hall and Eberle will be in 2012-13).

2. In year three, the Blackhawks recorded 88 points and a plus-4 goal differential.

And no surprise that the architect of that rebuild is doing it again.

When Tallon moved out a ton of under performing vets and acquired 3 first round picks (Gudbranson, Bjugstad,Howden, and three second round picks (McFarland, Petrovic, Brickley) in the 2010 draft and then followed that up with signing a brace of actual NHL players, you could see how a rebuild SHOULD be accomplished.

With Kulikov, Gudbranson and Petrovic as young cornerstones on D and Markstrom in goal you can see Tallon building from the back end out.

And now with Huberdeau, Howden and Bjugstad about ready to join the party, and sitting with almost $30M in free cap space, Tallon should be able to have his team contending very shortly.

A 2 year rebuild...imagine that.

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#39 The Beaker
June 08 2012, 01:24PM
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@DSF

It hasnt happened yet. You are annointing Tallon on the premise that all these rookies are going to contribute as they are projected too and no one falls off. As well as that all the high priced NHL talent they have is going to be "worth it"

It's totally possible. I'm just saying it hasnt happened yet. Florida was really not that great of a team this year and I'll believe it when I see it.

Also, 30$ mill in cap space means nothing if you never intend to spend to the cap (which isnt any sort of judgement on Tallon, just a reality he has to live with).

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#40 jonrmcleod
June 08 2012, 01:27PM
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@DSF

The Panthers aren't who you think they are. I expect them to regress next season. Check their goal differential.

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#41 Digger
June 08 2012, 01:45PM
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Ah...DSF has arrived.

This thing should hit 90+ posts in no time.

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#42 DSF
June 08 2012, 01:58PM
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The Beaker wrote:

@DSF

It hasnt happened yet. You are annointing Tallon on the premise that all these rookies are going to contribute as they are projected too and no one falls off. As well as that all the high priced NHL talent they have is going to be "worth it"

It's totally possible. I'm just saying it hasnt happened yet. Florida was really not that great of a team this year and I'll believe it when I see it.

Also, 30$ mill in cap space means nothing if you never intend to spend to the cap (which isnt any sort of judgement on Tallon, just a reality he has to live with).

Of course it hasn't happened yet but anyone who can't see the direction is blind.

Elite G prospect - Markstom √

2 Elite D - Kulikov, Gudbranson √

1 Elite F prospect - Huberdeau √

2 Very promising former first round picks - Howden, Bjudstad √

Round out the team with proficient vets while the young ones mature and make the playoffs.

On the one hand you criticize Tallon for all the "high priced NHL talent" he has assembled and at, at the same time suggest he has more cap space than he can spend.

The new ownership in Florida has given Tallon the green light to build a winner and just extended his contract last week.

You'll believe it when you see it?

Alright.

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#43 G Money
June 08 2012, 01:58PM
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@ Willis, @DSF:

Easy to make the comparison to Florida and Chicago, but realistically, when rebuilding how easy is it to get free agents to come to Chicago or Miami vs Edmonton?

Edmonton's rebuild is inherently tougher and will take longer, simply because we have to wait until *after* we're a good team before we can get decent free agents to come here at a reasonable price. Meanwhile you can much more easily convince a free agent to go to Chicago or Miami just because, well, its Chicago or Miami. (Or LA, or New York, or San Jose, or pretty much anyplace other than Buffalo or Winnipeg).

Might be painful to admit, but true. It may not necessarily be fair to blame ST alone when you see the Oil sign only mediocre free agents, and always seems to have to overpay term or money to get them.

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#44 DSF
June 08 2012, 02:11PM
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jonrmcleod wrote:

The Panthers aren't who you think they are. I expect them to regress next season. Check their goal differential.

The Panthers are exactly who I think they are.

They went from 72 points to 94 points in one offseason.

Do they still have work to do?

Sure.

What makes you think Tallon is so stupid he doesn't know that?

Their young defensemen are going to get better.

How would you like to have these guys as young studs on the Oiler blue line?

Eric Gudbranson - 20 years old, 6'5" 220. Already played one NHL season

Dimitri Kulikov - 21 years old, 6'1", 205. Already played 3 seasons in the NHL

Keaton Ellerby - 23 years old, 6'5", 220. Already played part of 3 seasons in the NHL

Alex Petrovic - 20 years old, 6'4" 195. 48 points in 68 games with Red Deer Rebels.

Makes you pretty excited about Klefbom doesn't it?

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#45 DSF
June 08 2012, 02:14PM
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G Money wrote:

@ Willis, @DSF:

Easy to make the comparison to Florida and Chicago, but realistically, when rebuilding how easy is it to get free agents to come to Chicago or Miami vs Edmonton?

Edmonton's rebuild is inherently tougher and will take longer, simply because we have to wait until *after* we're a good team before we can get decent free agents to come here at a reasonable price. Meanwhile you can much more easily convince a free agent to go to Chicago or Miami just because, well, its Chicago or Miami. (Or LA, or New York, or San Jose, or pretty much anyplace other than Buffalo or Winnipeg).

Might be painful to admit, but true. It may not necessarily be fair to blame ST alone when you see the Oil sign only mediocre free agents, and always seems to have to overpay term or money to get them.

Did it ever occur to you the difficulty in getting free agents to come to Edmonton has little to do with the city but more to do with the management team?

Ask Comrie, Souray, Peca, Pronger, Smyth (again) and now Eager and Belanger what they think about that.

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#46 bdiddy18
June 08 2012, 02:14PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Hey Sir Willis,

earlier comment just saying Tambo is here ...lets move on.

as for your Chicago example - from 1997 to 2007 they made the playoffs once.

Duncan Keith was drafted in 2002 Brent Seabrook was drafted in 2003

they are integral components and must factor into the "building" of a championship team.

Point being how can Oilers fans "buy in" to a full rebuild but then bitch about how much losing happens or bad roster selections. Who cares how much you lose - its a full rebuild.

So when the Oilers where doing the 8th - 9th song and dance for a decade or more - Fans would say man I wish we could just rebuild properly through the draft.

Now they do exactly that - an peeps complaining how we could have done better here or there.

Start Analyzing Tambo now - from this point forward -

the painful part should be over of watching stink on ice. It needed to be done. But its clear the fan base, and media are ready to put the team through the gears if it continues.

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#47 Archaeologuy
June 08 2012, 02:26PM
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@DSF

Gudbranson is elite? Did I miss the party on a 14 minute a night Dman with no offense and a -19 rating being elite?

So far he's as elite as Cam Barker. He has pedigree and thats about it right now.

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#48 bdiddy18
June 08 2012, 02:30PM
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Florida has sucked forever - until this year had not been a playoff team since 2000. And it was their second appearance since 97-98. Since 2000 - they picked in the top 5 - 5 times, another 3 teams in top 10. that's 8 players! 1/3 of your team.

Much like the Vancouver Canucks record is inflated by being in the weakest division in hockey for the last 3-5 years. Florida's rise last year is related to Washington's abysmal year.

Dale Tallon had something to work with, and with the team REQUIRING to get to the floor of the cap, needed to get UFA talent and take on contracts.

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#49 G Money
June 08 2012, 02:35PM
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@DSF,

Baloney. Just an excuse to blame the management team because you don't like them. I can see a player wanting to go to a team or avoiding a team because of a coach.

But not signing for a team because of the management team? No. The players you cite are either terrible examples or you're just making sh*t up to support your position:

Comrie - this is totally legit in that Lowe acted like a giant vindictive b*tch in his dealings with Comrie (who himself acted like a spoiled little b*tch) - but guess what? You torpedo your entire argument that FAs don't sign here because if anyone has a genuine reason to avoid the Oilers because of the management team, it's Comrie - but *he signed here again*. How about that.

Souray - whatever troubles he may have ended up with, it wasn't Lowe or Tambellini who forced Souray to break his hand in a completely pointless fight with Iginla. That was the beginning of the end, and rightly so. And before all that happened, guess what - we had to grossly overpay him to come to Edmonton - and that's his frickin' home town for craps sake.

Peca - got traded here, had a great playoff, left after one season. But where is the management issue in that? The only rationale I heard is that he didn't like the city.

Pronger - left because his wife made him. I'm pretty sure that's not because ol' Lauren had a problem with Lowe. If anything, the Pronger situation was one where the Lowe was TOO accomodating. Should have made him play out his contract until he got a genuinely good offer.

Smyth - now that we're seeing Smyth's true colours (rejecting 2x$2M which is an absolutely fair offer), it sure doesn't seem like the original standoff over $100K was all Lowe's fault. But surprise surprise, just like with Comrie, *Smyth came back*. (Little different than a FA signing, but forced the situation nonetheless). Because he's one of those very rare guys that likes the city. Imagine that. (And yet even he refuses to once again give the team any sort of a hometown discount).

Eager and Belanger - you're making sh*t up again. Exactly what do either of those guys have to complain about? "Oh gee, avoid those Edmonton management guys, they overpay you and then expect you to perform!"

So... it's demonstrably true that players don't want to come here because the team sucks and the city is - by most measures of a rich athlete - the third worst in the league.

This means the rebuild will be much harder here than it is in other, more easily sellable cities.

Pretending that the reason players don't want to come is that somehow they don't like Lowe or Tambellini is not only conjecture, but it is contradicted by actual player signings.

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#50 DSF
June 08 2012, 02:36PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Gudbranson is elite? Did I miss the party on a 14 minute a night Dman with no offense and a -19 rating being elite?

So far he's as elite as Cam Barker. He has pedigree and thats about it right now.

Oh, good grief.

Gudbranson just turned 20.

He's been a winner everywhere he's played...including the WJC.

How many defensemen make the NHL at 19?

What were Petry, Smid, Maricin and Musil doing at 19? What will Klefbom be doing when he turns 19 next month.

Tambellini would give his left nut to acquire Gudbranson and you know it.

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