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.

  • Pajamah

    it certainly is interesting. Looking at their strengths, Hall has the size, speed and shot we need.

    But what gets my vote is that a way higher percentage of Seguins goals came at even strength on a worse team. I particularly like the argument about how a center can be more of an impact player then a winger.

    The beauty of it is no pick is a bad pick as there are many holes that need filling on the team. In my opinion the higher priority would be to try to trade for a second first round pick.

  • Shawner

    hey boys and girls either way they will get something for the future unless they fumble the pick and (dare i say it) trade it away, who knows what will happen on the 25th of june, and like i said either way they WILL get SOMETHING for the future

  • MrCondor

    Does anyone think we can move Sourey for a low first round or high second round pick?

    I'm assume we'll have to receive some salary back, but as long as that new player is off the books in a couple of years, I say go for it.

    Sourey to Colorado for Liles and a 2nd? Or at least something along those lines?

    • I'd do Souray for Liles straight across. It might have a chance, I'm not entirely sure how much Colorado covets Liles these days. I think the Oilers could use a Dman like Liles going into next season.

    • Jodes

      You honestly think that a injury prone 34 year old D man who's a defensive liability most nights and is a 5.4 million dollar cap hit next season is going to get us anywhere near the 1st or 2nd rounds?

      I thought maybe a 4-5 Dman, a 3rd or 4th rounder and another bad contract.. Now that Souray's been a flapping though, we'll be lucky to get anything for him.

      Yet people still think we can trade him to Boston for their 2nd overall.. Man I'd like to see what colour the sky in their world is, because thats not going to happen, EVER.

      • OilFan

        I agree. We will be lucky to trade him. Getting anything would almost be a bonus. I'm guessing a bad contact swap we may have to give up picks to get the trade to work. If we find a trade at all.

  • BarryS

    I suppose part of the choice will be made on how true the rumours and inferences that Mr. Hall's dad might be the second coming of Mr. Lindros, Eric's dad. I recall hearing an interview when Mr. Hall senior stated he hoped toronto (boston) would get the first pick and take his son. Just how serious he was, or how true his supposed attempts at influencing his son's current team, I do not know. Hopefully the Oilers do.

    • MrCondor

      From what many learned tonight, that (hope for Boston to pick his son) may have been because of Bobby Orr (Hall is #4) and not necessarily anti-Oiler comment, just speculation however.

  • Reagan

    Hey ROBIN, do you think the Oilers could move some players/anything to acquire the second pick from Boston?
    What do you think the Oilers are gonna do on draft day?
    Also, can Hall be converted to a center?

  • Reagan

    Hey ROBIN, do you think the Oilers could move some players/anything to acquire the second pick from Boston? What do you think the Oilers are gonna do on draft day, besides Seguin in the first round? Also, can Hall be converted to a center?

  • JaroslavPouzar

    More proven on a bigger stage… True Star potential, more marketable, a sit on the edge of your seat player. Maybe not the prettiest face, either was Messier. You don't have tyo be pretty to be the face of a franchise… Ask Ovechkin
    Who cares if he was a Flame fan… Ask, Jarome who he would rather have played for when he was drafted… Allegiences change with who signs your cheques.
    Seguin will probably be a big player but he's had one full great year in Jr…. Hall has excelled EVERY year and is more NHL ready.
    Watch the Oilers fleece everyone by selecting Thomas Tynan…

  • JaroslavPouzar

    true enough Oilfan…. but he's a similar pricetag, and Oiler needing center and he's never publically blasted Oil management for bad communication… thats good enough for me. 🙂

    And that reminds me, by NO means are the Oil management just the victims here… it is THEIR job to stroke ego's and make sure everyone is doing ok. Its the players job to play. Souray should have just said "no" if he wasn't healthy.. nobody to blame but him. Suck it up Sheldon. YOU chose to play, end of story.
    Having said that, if Sourays comments are true, that he hasn't talked tyo Tambi since January… thats pretty weak. What the %&^% else are you doing all the time. There are far too many compalints of fans and now players that Tambellini doesn't communicate well enough.

    IMO, call up Stevie Y., and offer him the job of President and GM of the Oilers….heck throw any position it takes to get him. There is NO better respected guy in the world of hockey than Steve. Too bad it stands as much a chance of happening as the Oilers travelling back in time to draft Shane Doan instead of Steve Kelly…

  • Hamburgler

    It's interesting to note that Seguin did not have a single goal in the first fifteen games of the 08-09 season. Then there was a coaching change and he was moved to the first line. After that, he took off. Especially in the last twenty games when it would appear that he became very comfortable in the role. During that twenty game span, he had 15 goals and 22 assists. This year, he continued to dominate.

    Don't get me wrong, Hall looks to be a superstar in the making, but Seguin has shown real growth as well, and I do believe he has more upside. I can easily envision Seguin gettin up to 200 pounds in a couple years, not to mention that he's a right-handed shot that could also help us in the faceoff dot somewhere down the line. Not to mention that Hall has linemates that both made the Canada junior team this year. Seguin played with…

    So if the Oil pick Seguin, I will be pleased. And if Brownlee and Stauffer are leaning that way, I would say it's the best bet.

    Eat that Crash!!!

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      Ummmm, eat what Bombay? That you will be pleased if the Oilers take Seguin? That Brownlee and Stauffer are leaning that way? What?

      What is it I'm supposed to be eating here?

      I don't begrudge anyone on who they prefer…you, Brownlee and Stauffer may like who you like…but if it's ok with you I'll like who I want to like and when the debates come up on the two I will make my points just as the Seguin backers make theirs…

      Eat that Bombay 🙂

  • Mitch

    Both players a going to be great, I think to much is made of the winger, center position. Hall has played center before. If it was my pick I take Hall, I love his ability to score goals, Hall carries a major presence on the ice. I feel he could be a major advantage on the pk and pp, this is where he excelled at in the WJC. If you dont take Hall, what do you do when he is a MEGA STAR and you passed on him?
    I perdict a 70+ point season.

  • Muji 狗

    Either Seguin and Hall are fine by me. Anybody that says otherwise isn't saying with 100% certainty anyway. They're both great.

    If the Oilers do pick Seguin, they should trade down and get something for free from Boston though (as Boston probably prefers Hall…)

      • How can he be overlooked, if the Oilers are picking 1st?

        Which of the following youngsters is more likely to get packaged along say Horcoff and/or Souray?

        Magnus Paajarvi Svensson, Anton Lander, Linus Omark, Riley Nash, Taylor Chorney, Jeff Petry, Toni Rajala, Alex Plante, Teemu Hartikainen.

        Damn!, why so many Scandans in the system?

    • Colin

      I like the idea, not sure howson would give it a lot of consideration. What the #4 pick costs would be an interesting discussion though.

      Don't think #2 is available…..

    • I haven't talked to Scott lately, so I can't say who he's looking at.

      I can say Howson thinks highly of Ward, but it doesn't necessarily follow that he's the right guy for the roster in Columbus now. Not saying he isn't, but I don't know.

      Why would you trade Hemsky to Columbus?

      • Why would I trade Hemsky to Columbus?

        I assume Howson's a fan.
        I know they could use a playmaker for Nash – whether a center or winger.
        Columbus' 4th overall pick intrigues me.
        There's enough young talent on both sides to possibly make an interesting deal – beginning (but not ending) with Hemsky for the 4th.

        Sounds like you wouldn't trade him there? Just given the prior relationship with Howson, I'd think he could be given 1st crack. Of course, if Florida was tossing around their 3rd along with Nathan Horton's name, I'd be intrigued as well.

        I just recently looked into this Gudbranson kid, and I'm impressed.

        • OilFan

          Do you think Gudbranson is ready for the NHL. If not I'm not sure the Oilers can afford to trade all proven talent. Do they just play kids next year ? I think we have to keep some good forwards to help develop the kids

          • I wouldn't move Hemsky straight up for the 4th pick, but like I said, there's enoughyoung guys on either side to make things interesting… like say – along with the 4th, what does Hemsky & Cogliano get you?

    • FWIW, I sent Aaron Portzilne a tweet & he responded…

      a) He said that he "had not heard Geoff Ward's name being talked about."

      b) "sure they are (interested in Hemsky), but he's not a much-needed center."

      c) RE: moving the 4th overall pick – "unlikely but not out of the question".

  • Pajamah

    Mr Brownlee,
    What is your problem? Let T. speak…you know he has to hear the complaint then react to minimize the negative.
    He's not there for your sound bites…or OIl
    Nation … he has to look after the Oil.

  • Pajamah

    If the Oilers did trade Hemsky for the 4th overall pick, I'd rather see them take Brett Connolly.

    Or, if one of the top 3 choices isn't Cam Fowler, which is possible, considering his drop in the rankings, go with Fowler

    • As long as his no trade clause is expiring or he approves the move here. Think Rozsival @ 5mm & a contract that expires in 2012. At least we would have a dman with some sick shoot out skills.

    • Bucknuck

      And they call Horcoff's contract a bad one….

      That said – if no money was involved I would take that trade as Redden is a Lloydminster boy and from all accounts a pretty good person and a decent defender. He's just a 2.5 million a year defender, not a 6.5 million dollar defender like he is being paid for the next four years.

  • Stauffer was going on last night about a trade with the Blue Jackets. Hemsky & Tencer were in full sell mode for the rebuild, so us sheep tend to follow.

    If we made that trade Hemsky fo #4 & a player, it would be interesting to see what we would pick. Connolly a talented big winger (if we don't pick Hall) or a Dman like Fowler, Gudbranson, Gormley, Pysyk or go off the board & pick Nino Neiderreiter.

    • I actually never heard that. Here I thought I was all smart & making stuff up and Tencer & Stauffer already did it? WTF? Seriously though, I never heard them (don't usually listen in to Dan – he comes off as quite arrogant).

  • VMR

    Boston have already stated they have a player they like and if they trade their pick it will be to move up. Do you think it's possible to get their 2 first round picks to move up and would you want to do that?

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    I listened to Gregor's show yesterday and really thought Barnes needs to suck it up, so what Tambo didn't send you that email that said very little. What exactly does the media want to hear?

    Then today McKenzie comes on the radio and says Tambo shouldn't say much because it will only add fuel to the fire and hurt himself.

    Is it just me or are some of the media taking their personal problems with the Oilers management and making it cloud the actual story at hand.

    The bickering amongst are media and with management is almost worse then how the Oilers performed this year.

    On to the important stuff. Watching that lottery was the most intense moment of the year for me, I just wanted it to be over.

    And Brownlee any word on what the apparent deal that was on the table for Souray at the deadline?

    • Hemmertime

      Yes, it is just you.
      Bob can say whatever he wants because he's got 30 teams to cover and his gig is different than that of beat writers and those who cover a particular team in any given city.

      You call it bickering, but having the GM of the team you cover sit silent without commenting on what Souray had to say when his comments referred specifically to management, then offering up a generic comment in a news release two days late doesn't give the local reporters much to work with, and that's our jobs.

      Tambellini has not made himself available to the media on a timely basis this season. That's his call, but when it prevents reporters from doing their jobs, he's going to hear about it.

      • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

        So then isn't it the media's job to find the info from other sources from within?

        You know I don't here too many Gm's making too many statements. What has Gillis had to say this year? How about Sutter who calls conferences just for the heck of it. The only one that talks in Canada on an on going basis is Burke.

        When did Tambo go to Toronto? Was that maybe not a reason why he didn't make himself available on this? I thought Tencer or someone mentioned on Monday that Tambo plans on having a presser Today?

        And to go off topic, wow is there alot going on other then the playoffs. Atlanta cleaning the coaching staff out, Jerry Reinsdorf getting one step closer to buying the Yotes. Us getting that pick. TB cleaning house.

        • Bucknuck

          The info from other sources?
          Souray's comments were in direct reference to Oilers management and Tambellini specifically. He's the GM.
          So, if Wanye calls you an as*hole, what's the best way to go? "Hey, Brownlee, what do you think about Wanye calling Ogden Brother Jr. an as*hole?" or "Hey, Ogden Brother Jr. Wanye called you an as*hole. What do you think?"

          What has Gillis had to say this year? What Vancouver player has said, "Our management sucks and the GM doesn't know how to communicate?" Same with Sutter.

          Tambellini had time to comment before he went to Toronto. And if you think meeting with us today, three days after Souray's comments, is timely and acceptable then you know nothing (or don't care) about the job we have to do.

          • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

            Half the time people forget the junior so they would be calling the Orginal Ogden and arsehole. And if someone calls me an arsehole, I don't ask Orginal about it, I come on here and ask the person about it and go from there.

            Don't get me wrong I care about the job you guys have, but I care about my Oilers alot and if Tambo decided to what a few days instead of making a knee jerk reaction then so be it.

            Why would Tambo make that reaction before talking to Souray, which I believe he did yesterday?

            Things are getting blown way out here and I think its obvious that in this instant the media is using their past relations with Tambo and slamming him for it.

          • OilFan

            So you think Tambellini should get into a media pissing match ? This may be good for you media guys but not the organization. Why have he ( Tambellini ) she ( Souray) said ?

      • BarryS

        Have to agree with Mr. Brownlee, the Oilers are the authors of their own problems. I know what others say is unimportant as long as they spell your name right, but if the team will say nothing in their own defense, then they can't expect others to defend them. In the lack of giving out real information,or at least their spin on it, then the Oilers will have to live with speculation, like it or not.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Problem found – now can Katz take steps to correct, or are we going to continue to suffer from players exodus on a worsening basis ? We are inundated with a managerial and coaching teams of old draconiian business management (from top to bottom )teams and practices trying to compete in the new corporate culture world that is vastly superior to it in every way . Oilers are a perfect example of the old draconian business model and how ineffective that style is in addressing todays workforce and place , the human element , communication lines , and speed and rapid adjustment to the rapid changing demands of it's employees . The new business models addresses the motivation , flexibilty and human elements of it's entire workforce and gives them the tools to succeed . Each problem , and especially feed back of it's employees is merely an opportunity for the company to improve itself either in it's business and / or addressing it's human issues . Old style simply fails in those areas . Yes our managerial and employee problems will only worsen if they do noyt adjust to the vastly superior culture that is taking the world by storm . They are probably aware of it , but still lack the ability to impliment it to any effective degree . Quinn's tirade was a perfect example of "old school" ! No matter how you slice it our problems will stay rear their ugly heads so long as we stay married to the old style business format . We will continue to stay at the bottom as the new style of business said would happen . Lets hope tey clean up the major problems with new business direction to fit into the demands of the new workforce , rather than put a "gag" order on it and further chase them and others away prematurely . That's it in a nutshell -we need to impliment and form a managerial and coaching team that is effective in implimenting the the new corporate culture out there to maximize any success in the future !

    • BarryS

      Better to draft adults rather than large children. The "new" culture is basically baby culture and will end up getting its clock cleaned by older more "eyes on the prize" cultures. Hockey is a team game, soothing the "I" hurts the team. Until the players learn team before "I", there is no team. Quinn is right, no matter how politically incorrect. Until the Oilers get players who understand team and the sacrifices needed for team, they will never win. I know "me first and only" is the current fashion but it is a loser fashion. Money and fame are wonderful things, I admit, but teams always beat individuals no matter how talented the individual. The team doesn't need "Souray" or any other individual. Even Gretzky, the best player who ever lived (so far) could not win cups all by himself. The team with the best player never wins a series, the team with the best third and fourth lines, and 5th & 6th defencemen win. The number one is an important piece, no doubt, but until the bottom half of the team is greatly improved the Oilers will win nothing.

      • Ender

        Sorry to have to disagree with you again being as we both seem to be union orientated to a degree . Unions are losing the fights to the new wave of corporate culture , and have to reinvent themselves in the great opportunities the new culture can/is giving them . If we don't ,then unionism is also going to go the way of the "dodo " as long we are stuck to the old ways of doing business with the new wave . The new corporate culture (wave) is filling and recognizing all 4 types of employees ,and making the workplace in which all four catagories can achieve individual , team , corporate and busineess goals all in one neat package . It works and it is not going away anytime soon ! I'm not quite as old as Quinn , but probably older than yourself . I've adapted ,and see the far superiority of the new business culture over the old . It's time we all got into the new wave instead of being left behind trying to solve our problems the "old ways " . I don't need no "ad hoc " group or consultant to point out the obvious problem here . It is old school hanging on when we should be pressing forward with the brighter far superior in every way new corporate culture . Don't just take my word for it , Burke and Toronto are where we are for almost same reasons .

        • BarryS

          Sorry, I thought Burke was from the new corporate culture? New corporate culture seems to have got us in as bad of problems as old culture. Old is not necessarily bad and new is not necessarily good.

          Results, however count. Just as many new corporate cultures in the tank as old corporate cultures, at least telling from the financial pages. The problem is leadership and we live in a culture which defines leaders as old fashioned and a bad thing. See lots of politicians in government and business, old fashioned, new fashioned, but not so many leaders. Leaders take risks and fight for what they believe come what may, politicans don't. Seen any leaders in North America lately?

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    If Boston really wants Hall and they really do, because of Orr and the connection. I really wouldn't mind us trading the 1st overall to Boston for the 2nd overall pick and Boston's 17th. Plus if we want a scoring winger who has tons of talent but has an attitude then the Russian kid Kirill Kabanov might be available at 31st. Its going to be an interesting spring/summer, June 25 is only 72 days away!!

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    I guess another thing is I can see where Tambo is coming from in terms of keeping a tight lip organization. After the Heatley debacle and others, something needed to be done so that we aren't hurting the players on this team by having their names tossed around like a salad.