Edmonton Oilers fire Steve Tambellini, Craig MacTavish to replace him

Jonathan Willis
April 15 2013 10:02AM

As broken by TSN's Ryan Rishaug, general manager Steve Tambellini has been fired by the Edmonton Oilers.

Who replaces Tambellini? Both TSN's Bob McKenzie and CBC's Elliotte Friedman report that Craig MacTavish will be the Oilers' new general manager and that former Columbus G.M. Scott Howson will be taking over MacTavish's role with the team.

Club president Kevin Lowe will hold a press conference at 9:30 MT, at which point it is expected the team will officially confirm the reported changes. Update: Oilers confirm all of the above.

Initial Reaction

  • The decision to replace Tambellini was necessary and long overdue. For that alone, this was a positive move.
  • The Oilers are being pilloried on Twitter for the decision to replace Tambellini with an internal candidate, but while Craig MacTavish is seen by some as more of the same, that's likely not entirely fair. He was a strong head coach, and he only returned to the Oilers last summer. His CV is pretty strong and while nobody knows how well he'll do in the top job he's a bright hockey man and a legitimate candidate.
  • Also worth noting: the last time the Oilers went outside the organization, they ended up with Steve Tambellini. Sometimes the grass isn't greener.
  • Scott Howson previously worked as the assistant general manager in Edmonton before taking the top job in Columbus, and was obviously fairly successful in the role. The perception of him has changed markedly since then, but like other former G.M.'s - Don Waddell in Pittsburgh, John Ferguson, Jr. in San Jose - he may be better suited to a depth role. Certainly the Oilers wouldn't be expanding his role if they weren't impressed with his work in a similar role previously. 
  • Why not wait until summer? The obvious answer is that the team felt they had their guy in MacTavish. With that said, I'd have preferred seeing a full search in the summer that included external candidates. It's not like the Oilers have a bunch of trades and moves to make over the next few weeks.
  • This is a plum job. Is there a team in the league - outside of the current Stanley Cup contenders - that has more raw material to work with than the Oilers over the next few seasons? 
  • The perception that Steve Tambellini was just a puppet and that nothing will change until Kevin Lowe goes is not one that I buy into. The Oilers were a better team under Lowe than they were Tambellini, and when Tambellini came in there were significant changes in how the team was run - most notably in the head coaching department, where a pair of ex-Vancouver bench bosses were hired. 

To sum up: replacing Tambellini was a necessary move, and while I would have preferred a full search over the summer for a new general manager, MacTavish would have been a legitimate candidate in such a search. This isn't an ideal decision, but the Oilers are better in the hockey operations department today than they were yesterday.  

Comments from the Press Conference

  • Kevin Lowe thanks Tambellini and his family for their service to the Oilers, says he released him of his duties yesterday,
  • Lowe: "Despite showing areas of improvement... the fact of the matter is we are not where we want to be right now nore where we should be."
  • Lowe says that Craig MacTavish "played the lead role" in acquiring Justin Schultz last summer.
  • Lowe has lots of praise for other areas of the organization - the AHL, the WHL - but sharply critical of where the Oilers are now.
  • MacTavish: "I have great faith in Scott [Howson]."
  • MacTavish: "I'm an impatient guy, and I bring that impatience to this situation, and I think we're at the stage... where we have to do some bold things. We have to expose ourselves to some semblance of risk."
  • MacTavish: "I know every time I turn my alarm off there are 29 teams trying to beat my brains in."
  • MacTavish is on fire, hammering away on the need for the team to make immediate changes, to take some risks to get to the next level, to add depth to the organization. 
  • MacTavish: "It makes very little difference what I say today. What really, truly matters is.. what we do tomorrow."
  • Lowe, asked by Mark Spector how this represents meaningful change, says the team has much more ammunition now if what he means is that they aren't capable as a group. 
  • Lowe: "The timing didn't have anything to do with an article that was written."
  • Steve Tambellini had one year left on his deal.
  • Lowe on the 8-2 win over Calgary: "Even our biggest critics thought that we had arrived." Uh, no. 
  • MacTavish references the Oilers' five Stanley Cups when asked about how the group that made the mess that Tambellini couldn't clean up is going to do a better job than Tambellini did. That was a long time ago.
  • MacTavish says he doesn't know that he's ever failed the organization in any of his previous positions. 
  • Lowe: "You're talking about the team that came within one period of winning the Stanley Cup. Someone in the crowd: "Seven years ago."
  • Lowe: "Are you saying to me you're getting impatient after three years?"
  • Lowe says there's only one general manager in hockey who has won more Stanley cups than him, so he knows al ittle bit about winning.
  • Lowe: "The general manager makes the decisions in hockey, my position... is similar to the chairman... I'm a liaison to our owner Daryl Katz."
  • Lowe: I don't think there was ever a time when Tambellini wasn't able to do something he wanted to do, or I asked him to do something he didn't want to do.
  • MacTavish, asked about grit in the top-six: "Grit without skill, as I mentioned, is not something that's going to move the dial of our team forward."
  • MacTavish talks about acquiring "Milan Lucic-type" players, told "I don't know if you're allowed to say that." 
  • MacTavish, smiling, "Just happy times" when asked about this being the anniversary of his departure from the Oilers.
  • MacTavish: 'If you can't do the difficult things that this job requires, how can you ask your players to do them.' 
  • Lowe: "For the record, Craig stepped down four years ago... Tambi didn't fire him."
  • MacTavish: "If you're referring to the young core that we paid an exceptionally high price to acquire, we would part with those assets very begrudgingly."
  • Good news for Ralph Krueger; MacTavish says that the team's burned through four coaches and that it's very remote that coaching is the problem. "I give Ralph a lot of credit."
  • MacTavish: "My physical health is good," jokes that his mental health is open to discussion.

MacTavish came across pretty well, though as he says he's going to be judged on actions, not words. He repeatedly tossed Steve Tambellini under the bus during the press conference without mentioning his name, alluding to his impatience with the slow process of the rebuild, and talking about the need to take action, to take some risks to get ahead. The "if you can't do the difficult things line" was particularly noteworthy in that regard.

The low point was both Lowe and MacTavish referencing the Oilers' glory days victories at the press conference today. A Stanley Cup ring as a player (or five, for that matter) is a lot different than a Stanley Cup ring as a general manager - not that there isn't cross-over, but the skillset to build a team is completely different than the skillset to score a goal or block a shot. Neither man is doing a job on the ice today, and they shouldn't expect any forgiveness for a poor record in the front office based on their work on the ice. It's a different job. 

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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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#51 vetinari
April 15 2013, 10:46AM
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Everyone (think "Wizard of Oz"):

"Ding dong, the GM's gone... Which one, you say? Tambellini!"

I think they should have cleared Lowe out too in the process but I'm content with MacT at the helm. He's got a Masters in Business Administration, he's experienced as a coach and as a decision-maker, he's familiar with the Edmonton market, he wants to be here and he knows when to push players to round out their game (remember him trying to get Hemsky to learn how to play defence?).

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#52 Eddie Shore
April 15 2013, 10:46AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Nothing more pathetic than blind faithers, I'm sorry.

"I think he will a great job. I am really happy."

BASED ON WHAT, exactly?

Though I suppose that's why it's called "blind" faith.

Honestly, if you think this is a good decision you need to give your head a shake.

I'll flip this on you. What makes you so sure this is a bad move? I think any move away from Tambo is a good move at this point. MacT seems like a guy who isn't afraid to make the difficult decisions. Maybe thats just me convincing myself, only time will tell.

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#53 Dave Lumley
April 15 2013, 10:47AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

The guy who figured Marty Reasoner was a "poor man's Joe Sakic" is now in charge of player evaluations.

I see no problems with this at all.

"Nilsson, the 23-year-old son of former Calgary Flames star Kent Nilsson, had an eight-game scoring streak earlier this season and was trying to match that last night. "You can see his skill level," MacTavish said. "He could be the leading scorer on this team one day.""

This is our new GM? Anyone else have a problem with this?????

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#54 Gazmort
April 15 2013, 10:48AM
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It is a challenge to be optimistic about this move when the guy who requested a player pay back part of his salary prior to finalizing a trade is ultimatley still in charge (nevermind who the player coming back was).

Give Lowe full credit though; he is exceptional at putting people in front of himself to take the bullets. He's a survivor!

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#55 Quicksilver ballet
April 15 2013, 10:48AM
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@The Soup Fascist

Your concern with MacTs health.

As a person also living with cancer, it is possible to still live a relatively normal life. I see MacT at the CCI every six weeks or so when i'm there for appointments. He always has his bodyguard Debbie with him, striking up a conversation is always difficult when his wife is always around. Haven't had the opportunity to talk to him at all, doesn't feel right to interrupt/barge in on him when he's obviously uncomfortable.

Growing up in Edmonton, I always feared even driving by the Cross Cancer Institute. Now that I actually have to go in that place it's not a facility to be feared at all. To be the 1 person in 15 (based on the worlds population) who has access to this quality of healthcare, is a very humbling experience to say the least. It isn't a place to be feared if you ever find yourself having to go there.

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#56 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
April 15 2013, 10:48AM
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FIRE LOWE! FIRE LOWE!! FIRE LOWE!!! FIRE LOWE!!!! FIRE LOWE!!!!! FIRE LOWE!!!!!! FIRE LOWE!!!!!!!

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#57 HugThePost
April 15 2013, 10:49AM
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Well, it's a change I guess. Hard to get too excited when the Oilers pretty well telegraphed this happening when they brought MacT back.

Who knows what really happens behind the doors on Kingsway Ave unless one is actually there, but it seemed like Tambo had too many masters to serve, all with differing agendas. I suspect it is kind of like sausage......you just don't know what goes into it.

I'm really hoping that this won't turn out to be another case of 'the more things change, the more they stay the same'. MacT seemed to have a keen eye for identifying actual hockey players and squeezing all that he could from teams with low talent but lots of want. It will be interesting to see what he does with a team with the stallions but low on the worker bees. I'm already kind of worried about his overt disdain for advanced stats, when it is clear the superior teams of the nhl rely on them more than a little.

The oilers will end the year on a meaningless win streak which will ruin their draft position, but seduce many to re-new their season's tickets for next year, already termed, "A New Hope".

Come on MacT. Don't let us down.

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#58 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 15 2013, 10:49AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Nothing more pathetic than blind faithers, I'm sorry.

"I think he will a great job. I am really happy."

BASED ON WHAT, exactly?

Though I suppose that's why it's called "blind" faith.

Honestly, if you think this is a good decision you need to give your head a shake.

Or you could explain why this is a bad decision.

What do you call disliking something with no supporting evidence? Hate.

You got a hate on for Management. I get it. There are a few scorned women on here.

Give him a chance. He coached this team to game 7 in the SCF. He's not an idiot.

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#59 wiseguy
April 15 2013, 10:51AM
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Harlie wrote:

Wow, it looks like Lowe was reading Gregor's ON blog yesterday, the first point on my list was FIRE Tambo and replace him with MacT.

Keep going Lowe and MacT...more changes needed!!

So this is all your fault..

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#60 Ducey
April 15 2013, 10:52AM
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MacT is a very smart guy. Smarts, like talent, usually wins out.

Howson is a smart guy too. And he should be given most of the credit for the success CLB is now having. Tambo never seemed like a smart man. But I think he did a good job of tanking. A guy like Burke would have F'ed it up due to impatience.

Lowe is not going anywhere. The whole reason Katz owns the team is that he hung out with the boys on the bus in the 1980's. Katz is very particular about his friendships and Lowe is one of his guys. In some ways if Lowe goes, Katz goes. Some people may say thats great but there are no a lot of people floating around that can afford to buy the Oilers and put some $ towards a rink.

I think its a good move. I have always respected MacT and Howson.

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#61 Zamboni Driver
April 15 2013, 10:52AM
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@Eddie Shore

"MacT seems like a guy who isn't afraid to make difficult decisions..."

Again.

Based on what?!

Decisions like Tobey Peterson on the powerplay?

I actually don't think it's a 'bad' move. I think it's completely ridiculous. Fire Tambellini, fine....but with 5 games left in the season?! And bring in ANOTHER old boy.

Don't get me wrong, I think Steve did a HORRIBLE job, but at least he had some experience and pedigree at the job. MacTavish wanted a coaching job. Couldn't get one.

Another example of a team with no ideas. Going nowhere.

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#62 freeze
April 15 2013, 10:52AM
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This is a great start. Anything is better than listening to Tambo in a press conference.

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#63 jake
April 15 2013, 10:53AM
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Lol, Well played Teflon Lowe, well played. Maybe it was prearranged, ST knew he was going at some point.

If Lowe has indeed been calling the shots, maybe he will decide to really let his new GM do the work, but then what would he do to justify his salary?

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#64 Ducey
April 15 2013, 10:54AM
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Dave Lumley wrote:

"Nilsson, the 23-year-old son of former Calgary Flames star Kent Nilsson, had an eight-game scoring streak earlier this season and was trying to match that last night. "You can see his skill level," MacTavish said. "He could be the leading scorer on this team one day.""

This is our new GM? Anyone else have a problem with this?????

You get that when you are coach you need to say nice things publically about your players?

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#65 Zamboni Driver
April 15 2013, 10:54AM
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@DigDeepNBleedBlue

First of all...Please don't bring up the fluke.

Or I will trot out $7 million for Horcoff and $3 million for Pisani.

Also.

Please understand as well.

He was the COACH of that team.

His new job is as General Manager. For which he has part of one year's experience as an assistant.

But I know I know...he's a boy on the bus, Ole MacT...so I should believe.

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#66 westcoastoil
April 15 2013, 10:55AM
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I like this. MacT is intelligent. He had the opportunity to step away from the team for a while (and while away worked within another org), and right or wrong I don't see him taking the job if Lowe is going to still be in the driver's seat.

How he deals with the pro scouting department over the summer will be a tell.

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#67 The Other Ron Burgundy
April 15 2013, 10:57AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

The guy who figured Marty Reasoner was a "poor man's Joe Sakic" is now in charge of player evaluations.

I see no problems with this at all.

There it is. I can't believe it took 37 posts for this to come up.

Don't forget he also thought Horcoff should have been on the last Olympic team due to his superior skills in 3 vs. 5 situations...

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#68 Walter Sobchak
April 15 2013, 10:58AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Somewhere in Anaheim, Sheldon Souray chuckles under his breath, thinking they fired only half of the problem.

This^ all day long, you only cut the snake, you never removed its head!!

nothing will change, the Oilers will be just as brutal!

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#69 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 15 2013, 10:58AM
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@Zamboni Driver

"Based on what?! Decisions like Tobey Peterson on the powerplay?"

Dude, you've been carrying that around for this many years? And, that's why you think this is not a smart move? I feel for you. I really do. Let it go, brah!

Scorned. Wow. Woooosaaaaa....

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#70 Czar
April 15 2013, 10:58AM
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DSF wrote:

1 step forward...2 steps back.

And on it goes.

Getting rid of Tamboob is definately a step forward. How can replacing him with MacT be 2 steps back when our back was already up against the wall? He might not be the next Jim Nill but he can't be any worse,can he? The press conferences will definatley be more entertaining with Craig at the wheel and yes I know K.Lowe still carries the keys.

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#71 Harlie
April 15 2013, 10:58AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Best of luck with your health man, and anyone else who has to go to the CCI.

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#72 Pharmboy
April 15 2013, 10:58AM
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Long search during the summer? We may get a better candidate, but there are immediate needs that have to be dealt with, contracts to get rid of,the draft, ufas to hunt. I admit I am a little uneasy with MacT due to his lack of experience (as with Krueger) but maybe the Oilers have been conducting their search for the last few months already and felt this was the best way to go. Can't wait until next year....(I am so sick of saying that)

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#73 Rama Lama
April 15 2013, 10:59AM
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There is a Hockey God after all? Now please let's fire LOWE who was the putz that hired Tamby in the first place.........and then let him work his magic for five long years!!

I hope that Mac T does not turn this team into a bunch of pluggers!

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#74 Zamboni Driver
April 15 2013, 11:00AM
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@DigDeepNBleedBlue

Well I gave evidence of lack of judgement.

You show off your Oiler underoos as reasoning that this is a good idea.

I'll take my position.

Also...I get blind faith I guess. But good lord. Aren't you TIRED of this nonsense? Demand better.

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#75 The Soup Fascist
April 15 2013, 11:00AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Your concern with MacTs health.

As a person also living with cancer, it is possible to still live a relatively normal life. I see MacT at the CCI every six weeks or so when i'm there for appointments. He always has his bodyguard Debbie with him, striking up a conversation is always difficult when his wife is always around. Haven't had the opportunity to talk to him at all, doesn't feel right to interrupt/barge in on him when he's obviously uncomfortable.

Growing up in Edmonton, I always feared even driving by the Cross Cancer Institute. Now that I actually have to go in that place it's not a facility to be feared at all. To be the 1 person in 15 (based on the worlds population) who has access to this quality of healthcare, is a very humbling experience to say the least. It isn't a place to be feared if you ever find yourself having to go there.

I appreciate your candidness and wish you all the best, OC. My mom is a 30-year survivor, so I know what the Cross brings to the table.

That is the difficult part of this. MacT's health is really none of my business. However, right or wrong hockey and specifically Oiler's hockey in Edmonton, is a huge part of our identity.

My question is two-fold. The most important is honestly what is best for MacT and his family - which again, is really none of my business. The second (and of much lessor importance) is will he be able to do the job, given the challenges someone dealing with this terrible disease faces?

I hope he does an amazing job and any health issues are unwarranted. Sincerely, I do.

Good Luck, OC.

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#76 vetinari
April 15 2013, 11:02AM
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Dear Calgary Flames:

Thank you for putting what is most likely, the final nail in the coffin of our 2012-13 season with your win the other night if it meant that Steve Tambellini was the corpse inside. I owe you a beer at the next BOA.

Regards,

v.

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#77 Eddie Shore
April 15 2013, 11:02AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Well I gave evidence of lack of judgement.

You show off your Oiler underoos as reasoning that this is a good idea.

I'll take my position.

Also...I get blind faith I guess. But good lord. Aren't you TIRED of this nonsense? Demand better.

Thats the thing, this COULD actually be better. Nobody knows yet, not even you.

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#78 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 15 2013, 11:05AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

First of all...Please don't bring up the fluke.

Or I will trot out $7 million for Horcoff and $3 million for Pisani.

Also.

Please understand as well.

He was the COACH of that team.

His new job is as General Manager. For which he has part of one year's experience as an assistant.

But I know I know...he's a boy on the bus, Ole MacT...so I should believe.

You should give him a chance. That's the main point.

A COACH does influence a GM when trades are being made. Why? Because, he knows what HIS team needs. One reason why I think there should be a change there too. We'll see.

"Or I will trot out $7 million for Horcoff and $3 million for Pisani."

Trot it out, dude. This is a forum where healthy arguments are intended to be made. That's what this is.

Pisani got sick. Maybe we should blame God on that one. As for Horcoff, yup, way too much money. And?

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#79 Spydyr
April 15 2013, 11:05AM
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Press conference just started

http://oilers.nhl.com/

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#80 Harlie
April 15 2013, 11:06AM
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All 3 of them smiling like Cheshire Cats on TSN right now.

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#81 jeanshorts
April 15 2013, 11:07AM
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"EVERYTHING THE OILERS DO IS ALWAYS WRONG EVERY TIME!!!" - Most of the commenters on here/Twitter.

THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!!!

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#82 Zamboni Driver
April 15 2013, 11:07AM
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From the Presser:

Oh that is funny,

Kevin Lowe...the Leader.

"We believe this club needs a change in leadership."

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#83 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 15 2013, 11:09AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Well I gave evidence of lack of judgement.

You show off your Oiler underoos as reasoning that this is a good idea.

I'll take my position.

Also...I get blind faith I guess. But good lord. Aren't you TIRED of this nonsense? Demand better.

Fair enough. But, everything he did to get to game 7 in the SCF with what most would agree was a subpar team means absolutely nothing? C'mon, dude. Give that old cat some credit.

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#84 DSF
April 15 2013, 11:11AM
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Czar wrote:

Getting rid of Tamboob is definately a step forward. How can replacing him with MacT be 2 steps back when our back was already up against the wall? He might not be the next Jim Nill but he can't be any worse,can he? The press conferences will definatley be more entertaining with Craig at the wheel and yes I know K.Lowe still carries the keys.

As long as Lowe still has the keys, the Oilers aren't going anywhere.

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#85 The Soup Fascist
April 15 2013, 11:12AM
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"This Lowe guy seems a little wooden up at the podium".

Signed,

A Cigar Store Indian, Pinocchio and Dutch Shoes

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#86 Ducey
April 15 2013, 11:12AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Well I gave evidence of lack of judgement.

You show off your Oiler underoos as reasoning that this is a good idea.

I'll take my position.

Also...I get blind faith I guess. But good lord. Aren't you TIRED of this nonsense? Demand better.

Lets say they fired Lowe and undertook a massive worldwide search to find a replacement GM.

It would come down to someone who is a retread (like Burke who has made some good moves but also some terrible ones like the Kessel trade - one of the worst in history) or someone with no real managment experience thats an up and comer.

Tambo was highly regarded and an "outside" guy from a successful organization that needed to take the next step. How did that work?

MacT has the kind of life experience (cancer, prison, Stanley Cups, being fired as a coach, MBA) that should give him the wisdom needed. He has been around the game at all different levels (even a broadcast announcer). He has Howson to help him. I also don't think he is going to take any crap from Lowe or anyone else.

Who would you put in the job instead of him?

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#87 HongKongHockeyFan
April 15 2013, 11:12AM
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I really wonder what is spinning around in Tambellini's head now?

He must be regretting the fact that he didn't trade some his B grade prospects and upcoming draft picks to get some help on the bottom-six and on the D. He could have easily snatched Bouwmeester from Calgary.

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#88 OilersBrass
April 15 2013, 11:14AM
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God Lowe is an idiot, he doesn't even look professional. Not to mention he couldn't even say Dubnyk and Yakupov correctly... What a turd.

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#89 Eddie Shore
April 15 2013, 11:14AM
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Ducey wrote:

Lets say they fired Lowe and undertook a massive worldwide search to find a replacement GM.

It would come down to someone who is a retread (like Burke who has made some good moves but also some terrible ones like the Kessel trade - one of the worst in history) or someone with no real managment experience thats an up and comer.

Tambo was highly regarded and an "outside" guy from a successful organization that needed to take the next step. How did that work?

MacT has the kind of life experience (cancer, prison, Stanley Cups, being fired as a coach, MBA) that should give him the wisdom needed. He has been around the game at all different levels (even a broadcast announcer). He has Howson to help him. I also don't think he is going to take any crap from Lowe or anyone else.

Who would you put in the job instead of him?

Excellent post.

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#90 Zamboni Driver
April 15 2013, 11:16AM
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@Ducey

That's a good question. I really don't know.

the huge problem, and the one that we ALL need to be tired of....

They don't consider anyone else.

Let's move forward by moving backward. Oh hey look! Scott Howson too- well he was horrific in Columbus, but he was an Oiler too.

The move now makes absolutely no sense.

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#91 Ducey
April 15 2013, 11:16AM
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DSF wrote:

As long as Lowe still has the keys, the Oilers aren't going anywhere.

The Oilers could install the Almighty himself (I mean God, not Brian Burke) and you would find a problem with it.

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#92 Harlie
April 15 2013, 11:17AM
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"BOLD THINGS, EXPOSE OURSELVES TO RISK, NOW IS THE TIME TO ACCELERATE".

MacT

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#93 Smokey
April 15 2013, 11:17AM
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So dumping Tambo for another Old Boy, WTH is the point in that.

Oilers motto should be, "Mired in Mediocrity since 1993."

NEW BLOOD PLEASE, stop the inbreeding. Rookie NHL coaches with Kreuger who probably will be back although his team quit on him, and his van down by the river speeches make this team play like an all-star team of sloths. Then we hire boys on the bus bumchum MacT who was fired (thank goodness), then rehired then promoted with no experience. How does this crap happen? Tambo probably won't get fired, he's probably moving to Team VP or going to be running Katz's drug cartel.

You wonder why Charles "Hung" Wang reads the Edmonton Sun every morning to laugh at us, and its true...

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#94 DSF
April 15 2013, 11:18AM
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Ducey wrote:

The Oilers could install the Almighty himself (I mean God, not Brian Burke) and you would find a problem with it.

The problem is Lowe...always has been.

He's still driving the bus.

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#95 Zamboni Driver
April 15 2013, 11:19AM
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Spector with the last question he'll ever be allowed to ask,

"How is this meaningful change?"

Well done Mark.

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#96 Smokey
April 15 2013, 11:20AM
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Jay Feasters probably this instant on the secret the cold war backchannel line to the Oilers office to see if Tambo is willing to come over to the darkside.

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#97 Mike Krushelnyski
April 15 2013, 11:21AM
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The problem is not that MacTavish is an idiot. If this move was made in a vacuum I wouldn't be opposed. The problem is that 95% of Oilers fans could have told you that MacTavish would be Tambellini's replacement before it happened. It's business as usual, and business ain't exactly booming.

I'm setting the over/under on 3 years before Tambo is hired back in some capacity. Any takers?

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#98 Smokey
April 15 2013, 11:23AM
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DSF wrote:

The problem is Lowe...always has been.

He's still driving the bus.

If he's driving the bus, then bus has rolled into a bad side of Harlem and has been stripped, and Lowe's there sitting in the drivers seat confused as to why he is not going anywhere.

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#99 Ducey
April 15 2013, 11:23AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

That's a good question. I really don't know.

the huge problem, and the one that we ALL need to be tired of....

They don't consider anyone else.

Let's move forward by moving backward. Oh hey look! Scott Howson too- well he was horrific in Columbus, but he was an Oiler too.

The move now makes absolutely no sense.

Was Howson horrific in CLB?

I don't think so. CLB is full of the big bodied players the Oilers need. He basically had no choice but to lose the Nash trade, but its arguable he won it.

http://www.jacketscannon.com/2013/2/12/3982644/what-scott-howson-did-right

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#100 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 11:24AM
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Finally! At least a change is better than no change. One would have to think the MacTavish/Howson combo couldn't do any worse than sit-on-his-hands Tambo.

Gotta love Lowe deflecting criticism; I'm still shocked he was promoted instead of fired.

First order of business, find an adequate backup to Devon, a top four defenseman (Yandle to mentor Schultz), and some veterans that don't drown versus the opposition (I'm looking at you Smyth).

Congrats!

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