Tambellini has his say… and, YES, Oilers pick first!!!

After taking two days to contemplate Sheldon Souray’s public trade request and what can only be characterized as a scathing indictment of Edmonton Oilers management, GM Steve Tambellini had his say this afternoon.

Unavailable to media after Souray’s inflammatory comments ran on Sportsnet.ca, Tambellini issued a statement via a news release at 4 p.m., saying very little and pre-empting his own availability with local media that’s scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. at Rexall Place.

As per the release:

“Sheldon’s comments are unfortunate and counterproductive, but we are going to manage through this in a responsible and professional manner.

"We understand Sheldon has had a tough year and he has a desire to play elsewhere. His additional comments regarding being ‘forced to play’ when injured are far more serious and my stance is that they are demonstrably untrue.”

Atta boy, Steve. You tell him.


Given Souray’s accusation the Oilers made him return from a shoulder injury before he was ready to play to start the 2007-08 season with a freshly inked $27-million contract in his hip pocket, you’d think that Tambellini might have fired back.

Considering Souray essentially called Tambellini a lousy communicator who never even bothered to talk to him while he was recovering from a broken hand this season, you’d think Tambellini might have served up something today that would disprove that. But no.

Perhaps a page from coach Pat Quinn, who offered this about Souray in his meeting with media this morning.

"It’s been no secret here," Quinn said of Souray’s discontent and desire to be traded. "He’s made it clear for a long time.

"I’m one of those guys that if you don’t want to play here, don’t screw around. Get the hell out."

Added Quinn: "If you have one guy sitting over there who doesn’t bloody well want to be here, how do you build trust? How do you have a team? You don’t. Sheldon knows how I feel about that sort of thing."


As per Oilers news release:

The Oilers have been awarded the first overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, being held in Los Angeles June 25-26, 2010.

The Oilers received the right to pick first overall when they won the NHL’s Draft Lottery, held Tuesday night in New York City.

“This is a significant moment for the organization and its an important part of the process moving forward. We have the first overall pick in this year’s draft,” Tambellini said. “This is a very exciting time for our organization and our fans. Securing the first overall draft selection tonight provides a tremendous opportunity for the Oilers."

The 2010 NHL Entry Draft will mark the first time in franchise history the Oilers will select first overall.

The Draft Lottery is a weighted lottery system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the NHL Entry Draft. It gives the teams that finish with the fewest points during the regular season the greatest chance of winning the Draft Lottery.

Only the 14 teams that do not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or clubs that acquired those clubs’ first-round draft picks, participate in the drawing.

Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, are placed in a lottery machine. The machine expels four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls is matched against a probability chart that divides the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs. The Lottery was incorporated in 1995 by the NHL.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Matty31

    TAMBO is definitely holding back and being diplomatic.
    He needs to concentrate all his positive energy into getting that #1 pick in an hour!!!

    Mr Brownlee who should we pick???

    OF NOTE….Patrick O'Sullivan was +2 in the Oilers 7-2 loss to the ducks. WTF?!?!?!?

  • Jeremy

    The Oilers certainly sit back and say nothing. They always have to assess the hell out of everything. Maybe thats not such a bad thing, but when you just got ripped on by someone, you should be able to discuss it, retort, reply, scream holler, do whatever. But they have to take a few days and prepare proper statements.
    For once, show some passion.

    • I don't think Renney's shown anything here. If anything, the defense has been worse than ever this year under his watch. Why should HE get to coach? I'm not convinced.

      I wish we could skip from Quinn to Daum, but they've already GUARENTEED Renney the next coaching job. Who DOES that without even a single game of experience with the coach?!

  • BigE91

    A backhanded, off the cuff reaction at this point would only tie the Oilers hands further making Souray impossible to move, his value is minimal already.

    Any chance he has now become a candidate for a buyout?

    • I don't see q buy out in the cards. Souray has some value to the right team (NY Rangers and maybe Dallas come to mind).

      Better to trade him and get him off the books even if you have to take some salary back in the form of another GM's stiff back and lose the trade in terms of player-for-player ability than to use that much dough for a buy-out — especially with POS and Nilsson as more sensible buy-out candidates if they can't be moved.

      • How much value does Souray have to the Rangers if there's any feeling MacTavish could be their next coach (it was stated today that Tortarella would be back, but who knows)?

        How about Dallas, given their current ownership situation? Doesn't seem likely (although it makes sense from a hockey perspective).

        Which turns me to St. Louis. After taking a step back this year and missing the playoffs, the Blues are gonna want to make a push to get back. With Kariya & Tkachuk coming off the books, they've got some cap room, too. They've also got a defenseman they'd like to move in Eric Brewer (1 yr left @ 4.25). I don't expect the return to be much higher than that… would the Oilers have interest?

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          at leaset Brewer and Souray have similar questionable histories in terms of health and are as sturdy as the $6.00 Man.

          I would do that deal – at least Brewer comes to play if he can.

          Also I think players in the league are able to sniff out what Souray is really trying to do and perhaps he got some bad agent advice but it was easy for him to push Edmonton management under the bus that many had already done before. In the end I think he loses though.

  • GSC


    Are you taking the Kansas approach here ("Fight Fire with Fire")?

    In my book, Tambi is in a damned if you, damned if you don't situation. If he comes off as too soft, he'll look spineless and it will show that the organization can be pushed around. If he comes off as too harsh, it projects the image that management really is arrogant and is the main culprit in the organization's problems. Either way, he's screwed and the return on Souray isn't going to be pretty.

    I'm not sure what he can say that will defuse the situation…as Jack Ryan said in Clear and Present Danger, "There's no sense defusing a bomb after it's already gone off."

    • Ender

      I think there's something to this statement. On top of that, perhaps Tambi didn't defend his lack of communication with Souray while in the hospital because there wasn't much to say. Quinn seems to indicate that there has been some bitterness surrounding Souray for some time. I've been in management for a number of years and while I don't claim to have written any books on the subject, I know there are some employees I would take flowers to in the hospital (and have) and other employees where my attitude is 'Meh. Let me know if he dies.' It's easy for Souray to paint the organization as uncaring, but perhaps he hasn't given them much to feel all snuggly about. If that's the case, the less Tambi says about it, the better. It serves no one's interests to get in a mudfight now.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        "he hasn't given them much to feel all snuggly about"

        I try not to read too much into situations like this, but I've got to say when ever I seen Souray playing in person this year he looked completly disintersted. I would guess he's been a malcontent for a while.

  • I don't see the need for Tambellini to go off on Souray because that solves nothing, BUT, he should have either responded immediately to Souray's comments — like when Spector asked for the Oilers side of the story — or come up with a rebuttal with at least some teeth if he was going to wait. This response is both a day late and a dollar short.

    As far the argument that a tougher response by Tambellini would only lessen Souray's value, that's dubious. Souray's injuries, his cap hit and his public trade request have diminished his value to next-to-nothing already.

    • GSC

      I should have been clearer…a tougher response by Tambi might have the adverse effect of further swaying potential free agents away from signing in Edmonton. Too tough of a response adds fuel to the fire, making many believe that the management really is full of a bunch of arrogant pricks.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      While it may or may not lessen the value I really can't see it helping anyting other then people outside of the organization feeling good about the situation.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I don't really have a problem with Tambo's response, I don't see much point in having a public pissing match that turns into a he said, she said situation.

  • Petr's Jofa

    Lottery odds…

    25.0% – Edmonton Oilers

    18.8% – Boston Bruins (from Toronto)

    14.2% – Florida Panthers

    10.7% – Columbus Blue Jackets

    8.1% – New York Islanders

    6.2% – Tampa Bay Lightning

    4.7% – Carolina Hurricanes

    3.6% – Atlanta Thrashers

    2.7% – Minnesota Wild

    2.1% – New York Rangers

    1.5% – Dallas Stars

    1.1% – Anaheim Ducks

    0.8% – Calgary Flames

    0.5% – St. Louis Blues

  • Milli

    Almost 600 Games lost to injury – yeah it sounds to me that the coaches were pushing people to play early! gimme a break.

    Sheldon – "No NHL team likes a whiner" – good luck in KHL.

  • Everyone please take a long, hard look at Taylor Hall. Is that really the face we want to be forever immortalized in bronze statue form outside of Daryl Katz's Super Arena®?

    At least Seguin looks like an actual human being.