Kevin Lowe is no longer the GM of the Edmonton Oilers. Let that one sink in Nation. In what can only be described as monumental news, and one of the best kept secrets we have seen in quite awhile with the Mighty Oilers, Kevin Lowe has been named the President of Hockey Operations of the Edmonton Oilers. Lowe then named Steve Tambellini as the team’s new General Manager and Kevin Prendergast as Assistant General Manager.
Steve Tambellini joins the Oilers after 17 seasons as a member of the Vancouver Canucks management team. The 50-year-old native of Trail, British Columbia served as the Canucks’ Vice President and Assistant General Manager for the past three seasons. In his role with the Canucks, Tambellini was involved in all aspects of the team’s hockey operations, including contract negotiations, scouting and minor league affiliates.
During his tenure with Vancouver, which began in 1990-91, Tambellini served in several positions within the organization. He was the Vice-President of Business Operations for several seasons before being appointed the Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations for the 1997-98 season. In August 1998 he was named the Vice President of Player Personnel and served in that role until being named Vice President and Assistant General Manager in June 2004.
Tambellini and Lowe have previously worked together as members of Team Canada’s management team, helping lead Canada to success on the international stage. As Director of Player Personnel, Tambellini helped put together the roster that won the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah and he was also a member of the management team for Team Canada’s gold medal triumph at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He also served as the General Manager of Team Canada at the 2003 and 2005 IIHF World Hockey Championships, winning the gold medal in Finland in 2003 and silver in 2005.
Inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004, Tambellini played 10 seasons in the NHL after being selected 15th overall in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft by the New York Islanders. A member of New York’s 1980 Stanley Cup championship team, he played 553 career NHL games with five NHL teams between 1978-79 and 1987-88. After scoring his first NHL goal with the Islanders in 1979-80, he went on to score 160 goals and 150 assists for 310 career points with 105 penalty minutes with New York, the Colorado Rockies, New Jersey Devils, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks.
“My favourite motto is expect the unexpected,” Lowe told a news conference. “The unexpected happened in the last four to six days.”
From this we can infer that this move hadn’t been planned in the long term. Is that because Tambellini suddenly became available or at least agreed to the deal, or because Katz has started to make his mark on the team?
This is pretty big news Nation. Do we salute you Steve Tambellini as our new overlord and master? We have to have a think, a beer, a shot and another think.