Armchair GM IV: The Peanut Gallery

Steve Tambellini has some thinking to do

So, if you woke up this morning and you were Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini, what would your list of things-to-do look like? And, no, checking your bank statement doesn’t count.

From hiring a new coach to filling holes and addressing needs on the roster after a third straight season out of the playoffs, Tambellini’s got his work cut out, and there’s no shortage of opinions on what he should do.

Given Tambellini’s stated desire of icing a bigger, grittier team and a handful of obvious needs — a proven top-six forward, a defensive-minded centre who can win face-offs and kill penalties and a shutdown defenceman, not to mention hiring a bench boss who can pull it all together — let’s throw around some scenarios with you in the GM’s chair.

Like Tambellini, you’ll have to keep in mind salary cap space and the fact that no matter which way you go, people will piss and moan. The bottom line is you’d better please Daryl Katz, who signs the cheques, because he’s just sent you a text that reads: “Steve, if we miss the playoffs in 2009-10, I’m firing your ass. Got it? Regards, D.”

Let’s begin.

The back end

1. You’ve decided to shop Tom Gilbert in the hope of acquiring a top six forward. Coming off a 45-point season, Gilbert’s got some cachet and you’ve got the bases covered in terms of offensive depth with Sheldon Souray, Lubomir Visnovsky and Denis Grebeshkov, once he signs the fat RFA offer you’ve got sitting on your desk.

— The Buffalo Sabres offer Derek Roy.

— The Philadelphia Flyers offer Scott Hartnell.

— The Florida Panthers offer Nathan Horton.

Which deal do you take?

2. You’ve taken one of the above three players for Gilbert and you’re getting ready to present your offer to Grebeshkov. Before you do, you get a fax from head office that says Toronto GM Brian Burke has tendered on offer sheet on Grebeshkov that’s worth $16 million over four years.

After you change trousers and wipe your ass, do you match it? Do you send some guy named Bruno to see Burke?

3. The Los Angeles Kings offer a do-over on last summer’s trade: they’ll send you Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene for Visnovsky. Knowing what you know now, do you make that deal?

The Seven Dwarves

1. Unless Snow White has jumped to the top of the short-list of coaching candidates, the need to get bigger up front to complement Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner is the most pressing, so you’re listening to offers for Patrick O’Sullivan and Andrew Cogliano.

— Tampa Bay offers Ryan Malone for O’Sullivan.

— Chicago offers Dustin Byfuglien for O’Sullivan.

— Dallas offers Steve Ott for Cogliano.

Which deal do you take?

2. You’ve got $10 million to spend. Do you offer UFA Ales Kotalik a new deal for three years or do you send Darcy Regier into spasms by tendering an offer sheet on RFA Drew Stafford for four years at $10 million?

3. If not Stafford, would that offer sheet be better spent on Tuomo Ruutu of Carolina or Travis Zajac of New Jersey?

Money Talks

1. You’ve got some dollars for a UFA burning a hole in your pocket — we know how uncomfortable that can be — and you’ve decided to throw some of it around. Who’s the best target?

— Mike Komisarek.

— Francois Beauchemin

— Manny Malhotra

— Scott Clemmensen

2. Dwayne Roloson tells you he’ll re-sign for $4 million over two years. Do you give him the extra season he wants or do you say, “Thanks, and good luck in Philadelphia?”

3. Nashville wants more skill and you want more grit. The Predators offer you pugnacious and noted serial-charger Jordin Tootoo for sometimes-slacker Robert Nilsson. Do you make that trade?

Dazed and Confused

You fall down the stairs and hit your head. You decide that none of the above small potatoes matter unless you can land a BIG name player to throw on the marquee at Rexall Place. Money, at least to the cap limit, is no object. Which makes the most sense?

1. Buy out the final year of Jaromir Jagr’s contract with Omsk for $3 million and give the 38-year-old future hall-of-famer a two-year contract worth $10 million, for a total cost of $13 million.

2. Re-visit the Marian Hossa sweepstakes.

3. Trade one-third of the roster to free up enough cap space to acquire the inseparable UFA tandem of Daniel and Henrik Sedin to play with Hemsky.

4. Let your head clear.

— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Jagr-Gagner-Hemsky
    Hartnell-Horcoff-Cogliano
    Penner-Ruutu-Moreau
    Stortini-Brodziak-Tootoo

    Souray-Komisarek
    Visnovsky-Byfuglien
    Smid-Peckham (Staios died in a fire)

    Clemmensen
    Deslauriers
    Dubnyk?

    I kinda like my fantasy team, this is fun 🙂

  • Tim S

    -I take Horton for Gilbert
    -Let Grebeskov walk
    -Turn down the redo with LA

    -I look to trade Cogliano not for one of the monsters you mentioned but to move up in the draft. I am keeping O'Sullivan.

    -Kotalik does not get an offer for me, no offer sheets this year unless I am moving Penner some how in the early off season.

    -Nilsson becomes Tootoo'
    -Roloson does not get a 2 year deal from me
    -Souray convinces Komisarek to join him in Edmonton.

    And finally I go after Hossa first, followed by Gaborik and finally I buy out Jagr's deal if I fail on options 1 and 2.

  • Harlie

    @ sittingatmydesk:

    from what I've seen of Dustin B these playoffs his strength has been his consistency. Big guy with good hands and a strong will. Dustin P has 2 of those traits and I hope a new coach rather than a change of scenery gets Dustin P his will back.

  • TonyT

    If we had any of those options, I'd be pretty optimistic for our Oilers '09. Having said that biggest steal from above is Tootoo for Nilson, I'd take that in a heartbeat!

  • dragon

    Back End: Hartnell, match Grebeshkov, no to trade Lubo
    7 Dwarfs: Byfuglien, Stafford, Ruutu
    Money Talks: Komisarek, yes to Roli, yes to Tootoo
    Dazed: clear head first. 😉

  • RBK

    Steve Ott would be a FANTASTIC fit out of Dallas.

    Pass on Jagr and Hossa altogether and keep your UFA loot for someone who is in the prime of their career and will be with the team for the next 6 years.

    Keep Roloson – try and trade for one of these shady European Goalies that seem to be everywhere but EDM

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    I take Hartnell for Gilbert, say thank you very much to Burke for the picks, turn around and offer the money I was going to give Grebeshkov to Komisarek. I deal O'Sullivan for Byfuglien and there you go, back end is not as skilled but is much nastier. Then I say no to the Kings on giving back Visnovsky because I just dealt Gilbert and Grebeshkov. I make the offer sheet to Ruutu to replace O'Sullivan.

    I tell Roli thanks and good luck in Philly, and I take Tootoo for Nilsson in a heartbeat. It's probably not realistic to get Hossa in under the cap so I go after Jagr but try for 1 year plus an option rather than 2.

    The biggest problem left is goaltending and without much money to fix it, I try to get Clemmensen on the cheap and hope and pray that JDD can play a solid 25-30 games.

    Yeah…GM is tough, good luck with that, Tambo.

  • Death Metal Nightmare

    – the safe play is Gilbert for Roy but i can see Horton being the popular choice also.

    – Burke putting an offer sheet on Grebs with how much Toronto needs to re-stock their prospects would probably get his balls cut off.

    – keep Lubo. 100% right choice.

    – the player i want the most out of the small potatoes is Ott.

    – Mike Komisarek all the way. hitting/shot blocking machine who could use being around a tougher team.

    – getting Tootoo for Nilsson is like sending the Preds a nicely wrapped present with a huge turd inside.

    – i cant see Malone or Byfuglien going straight up for O'Sullivan. maybe thats just me. id have to take Malone though.

    – Roloson is a gamer and easily has 2 years left at his compete level and low-impact total career. keep him at that price.

    – Hossa OR Jagr. Hossa first, Jagr second. if this team doesnt build a core for Hemsky (which in turn improves everyone elses game and takes off pressure) his contract becomes a waste of time and you basically crap on your best player not getting him anyone to play with. its about as bad as when the Packers gave Favre Donald Driver and his second option was Antonio Chapman. Hemsky isnt even working with that.

  • sittingatmydesk

    @ Harlie:I’d be all over the Dustin Byfuglin for O’Sulivan deal.
    He's overrated, he's like a penner with more grit…imnot sure if he can score on a consistent basis…

  • jayoilfan

    Wow, some pretty funk junk is happening in your head RB, do you just sit there all day and think this stuff up. Very interesting to say the least and when you put it the eway you have I do not want to be Tambellini. Food for thought as they say. I think I'd do the Gilbert for Horton and the Byfuglien for O'sullivan. The others I'd have to think really hard for. Burke would do that with Grebeshkov wouldn't he… meanie.

  • sittingatmydesk

    i'd take Nathan Horton for gilbert, match Denis Grebeshkov offer sheet,take Ryan Malone for O’Sullivan
    Jordin Tootoo for Robert Nilsson. sign Manny Malhotra, say to roli "Thanks, and good luck in Philadelphia"
    and sign an offer sheet on Travis Zajac of New Jersey..
    but then again, im not the GM…
    lots of work, tambo….better start soon