Taylor & Tyler: Tambellini should pitch his brains out to Peter Chiarelli

TORONTO - APRIL 13: Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini awaits the announcement for the first overall pick during the NHL Draft Lottery Drawing at the TSN Studio April 13, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages / Getty Images for NHL)

It’s not often a team with the second overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft has a reasonable chance to win now like the Boston Bruins do, and that’s reason enough why Steve Tambellini should be all over Peter Chiarelli like a bad haircut.

But, thanks to Brian Burke and the Phil Kessel trade, the Bruins are a team that’s already pretty good — 91 points this season, 116 in 2008-09 and 94 in 2007-08 — and a team that holds second pick in Los Angeles, right after the Oilers pick first (and take Tyler Seguin).

Given the make-up of the Bruins, who have a core of players entering or still in the prime of their careers, would Chiarelli be better off hanging on to his selection and taking Taylor Hall, as he has already suggested he might, or is it in his best interests to at least listen when Tambellini takes up residence in his ear?

If the conversation starts with Tambellini offering, say, Ales Hemsky and Gilbert Brule or Dustin Penner for his pick and a Seguin-Hall daily-double, is there reason to keep talking?

If I’m the GM of the Bruins, if I think my team might be a Stanley Cup contender with Hemsky and Penner, and if I’m willing to admit gainful employment is a consideration, the answer is yes.

Why wouldn’t Chiarelli listen?

Here and now

Before you laugh off the possibility of Tambellini swinging a deal to land Seguin and Hall, ask yourself this: will the Bruins be a better team over the next two seasons with Hall in the line-up or with Hemsky and Penner? Yes? No? Not sure? If yes, might the Bruins be good enough before Hall turns 21 to win a Stanley Cup with Hemsky and Penner?

Before you trot out cliches about "mortgaging the future" and the like, remember, that kind of talk takes on a different tone if you’re walking in Chiarelli’s shoes, as opposed to spouting platitudes as a fan or writer.

Talk about the future is fine, but the future can be somewhat more immediate in a city like Beantown that hasn’t sipped champagne from the Stanley Cup since 1972. Dale Tallon damn sure had a hand in building the Chicago Blackhawks, but he wasn’t around to enjoy the parade.

Is it a longshot that Tambellini will be able to convince Chiarelli to part with this pick? Duh. Of course it is. Chiarelli will have a line up of eager suitors trying to separate him from a crack at Hall with attractive offers. Then, there’s the optics of giving up a potential franchise player for a shot to win here and now — with no guarantee it’ll play out that way.

Of course, it’s not nearly as hard a sell if the Bruins win something before Chiarelli starts losing bits and pieces of his roster, as is inevitable under a salary cap, and Hall becomes the stud people project him to be.

From the Oilers end of things, Tambellini won’t get the answers to any of those questions unless he asks. He damn sure better — and it should be Plan A before he settles on trying to squeeze something out of Chiarelli to lay-off Hall if he can’t hit the home run.

What’s to lose?

I’ve already written why I’d offer up Hemsky. I’m not sure he’ll be here after his contract expires in two seasons, despite his candlelight dinner with owner Daryl Katz after the season ended. I’m not convinced Penner will re-sign in Edmonton, either.

So, I start this what-if scenario with them, but feel free to change or add names you think might make a deal possible. If that includes taking a hummer contract back, like that of Michael Ryder — the Bruins already have over $46 million committed to salaries next season, so the cap is a consideration — so be it. Tweak it however you like.

The point is, there shouldn’t be anybody near untouchable on the Oilers roster, not after four straight years out of the playoffs. Tambellini isn’t giving up the chance to win something in the next two or three years by parting with Hemsky, Penner, Brule or whoever.

But, if you add a combination of those names to Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Blake Wheeler, Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara. Johnny Boychuk and Tuukka Rask, might that put the Bruins over the top?

If I’m Tambellini, I’m asking Chiarelli that question in Los Angeles, and I’m throwing offers at him in an attempt to get Seguin and Hall until the mini-bar is empty and he tells me to get the hell out of his room.

What’s to lose?

Know your audience

There’s some sharp fans out there, but there’s a handful of dullards with slack jaws and walnut-sized brains in the mix who keep things interesting by providing laugh-out-loud material.

Every Sunday, Jim Matheson serves up one of the best reads anywhere with Hockey World in the Journal. Matheson, an Elmer Ferguson Award winner — he’s in the writer’s wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame — got people talking with his latest offering last weekend.

Among other things, Matheson asked if the Oilers might make a pitch for Chicago’s Kris Versteeg with the 31st pick at the Entry Draft, if they might be interested in free agent defenceman John Scott and if San Jose might be interested in Sheldon Souray.

Matheson’s what-ifs and speculation drew this response by somebody calling himself "Asher" over at HF Boards.

"The more I read these Matheson "speculations" the more he comes off sounding like Eklund. I’ve often thought a lot of Eklund rumours are created by him sitting down looking at rosters and saying things like, "Gee, Team A could really use a player like the one Team B has that might be available." And then he goes on to create a rumour. I know Matty was writing for Eklund’s site a while back… maybe he picked up a few of Eklund’s writing habits along the way."

Matty was writing for Eklund a while back? Uh, no. Never has. Never will. That’s the wonderful thing about the interweb. Dolts can write stupid stuff that has no foundation in fact and people will read it because it’s only a mouse click away, alongside legit offerings from journalists, fans and bloggers who aren’t uttering nonsense and lies.

The right stuff

Hall certainly passed his drive-by to Edmonton today with flying colors, saying all the right things.

"I know how crazy this city is for hockey," Hall told reporters at Rexall Place. "I was having lunch at Joey’s and the chef came out and asked me to autograph his apron. People are recognizing me, already. I think it would be pretty cool to play here."

Part of the reason some people are pitching Seguin as a better fit for the Oilers is that he’s a centre, while Hall has played primarily left wing while leading the Windsor Spitfires to two straight Memorial Cups.

"I’d be very comfortable playing centre," Hall said. "In Windsor we had a lot of true centres who were better there than on the wing, so I moved over.

"When we had injuries this year, I moved back, and I played half the year I was at centre. It’s still hockey, it’s about winning battles in the offensive zone."

Seguin will stop in Edmonton for a look-see next week.

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

  • Crash

    My offer to the Bruins would be Penner, Brule or Cogliano, the 31st pick and the Oil’s 1st rounder in 2011..for the 2nd overall pick that would allow me to take Seguin…otherwise

    If Chiarelli asks instead what it would take to allow him to get his hands on Hall…Tambellini says I’m only interested in a trade that lands me both otherwise forget it…Hall is mine, period.

  • m3sh

    Without trading future 1st rounders Tambellini should trade any combination of players to get both TnT.

    Landing both would erase the failure of epic proportions the Oilers have become.

    Hopefully Seguin’s maturity rubs off on the “vets” Shelly & Sully…

    (if they’re still here)

  • m3sh

    For sure I agree I wouldn’t give up any first rounders, even landing both wouldn’t make us immediately competitive and we’d want that likely high pick in 2011.

    Would we dress 4 rookies? Eberle/MPS drop to minors and only dress 2? That might be excellent come 2012/2013, to let them both develop some more in minors.

    It’s too good to be true.

  • Crash

    I think the only way the Oilers get both picks is to give up future picks…so the question is, do you want both Hall and Seguin or not?

    Boston has stated on more than one occasion that they are NOT trading that pick for roster players alone.

    Boston owns their own 1st rounder and Toronto’s next year…I think they’d love the Oilers pick with the hopes that the Oil and Toronto are bottom 5 next year…

    I disagree that the Oilers won’t be competitive next year with adding both Hall and Seguin. If we don’t run into the same rash of injuries next year then I think at worst we are finishing somewhere in the 17th to 20th spot next year.

  • Crash

    I would offer hemsky cogs and our first next year. From what I have read next years draft is the weakest draft they have seen in a long long time. I agree that Hemsky will not sign when his contract is up so they should trade him while he is still worth something. If they what Penner as well we could take on a contract like Ryder or if we have to Thomas.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    I wonder if Boston would be interested in something like a Hemsky or Penner with Souray deal?

    Imagine Chara and Souray on your PP? Deadly…

    Again you’d have to juggle a bit to make numbers work but it could be an option eh.

    I also agree with crash, we shouldn’t trade away any picks. There is always the possibility that we are looking at another top end pick for next year but I believe with the right mix of staying healthy, rookies making an impact, a free agent signing or two and next year we could be in the playoffs. Or we could go the opposite direction… Eberle, MPS, Omark and Seguin/Hall all in Oklahoma to play together and gel together as a group for a year, the big club sucks for one more year (in which time alot of contracts are up that we no longer need) bring up the kids for next season and we make a go for it.

    Then again I could be drunk as well…

  • Muji 狗

    Knowing our GM, this is how it’s all going to go down:

    Tambellini: With the first overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers are proud to select – from the Windsor Spitfires – Taylor Hall!


    Bettman: …and coming up to the stage to make the second overall pick is Mr. Chiarelli from the Boston Bru.. oh, we have a trade ladies and gentlemen! The Edmonton Oilers have acquired the 2nd overall pick from the Boston Bruins!


    Bettman: The Edmonton Oilers get the 2nd overall pick in exchange for Ales Hemsky, Ladislav Smid, and Taylor Hall.

    *massive confusion*

    Tambellini: My bad. Sorry guys. I felt great up here a few minutes ago as I was selecting Taylor, but when I sat down and really started assessing my pick, I realized I need to make some changes. So, without futher ado, with the second overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers are extremely proud to select – from the Plymouth Whalers – Tyler Seguin!

    *confused cheering*

    Tambellini (as he’s exiting the stage): I feel great with this pick!

    Bettman: Okay!… Wow! Expect the unexpected right? Okay then. Moving onto the 3rd overall selection, please welcome Dave Tallon from the Florid.. wait, another trade has just been passed to me! The 3rd overall pick has been traded to the… Edmonton Oilers?!..

  • Jason Gregor

    I’d trade our first overall and Souray to Boston’s 2nd and 15th,plus their 2 first rounders next year. If the Bruins want the number one that bad they better give us a nice return.


    I am vacationing in Sapporo, Japan. Trying to follow the lord Stanley series. congrats to chicago. I am hoping to see the best pitcher in the world not playing MLB, Yu Darvish pitch this weekend for the Nippon Ham Fighters.

    I would trade Hemsky, Cogs and one of the young goalies which we may lose anyways for Boston`s first pick. Penner is the big man with soft hands that give D-men fits which every team desires and the Oilers constantly talked about having. Well Penner has reached that point where he is valuable enough having several multipoint games where he dominated in the offensive zone. KEEP PENNER!

    Sayonara Baby!

  • Tha Legion

    Dont be so sure Hemmer n Penner wouldnt want to resign with the Oil. Come on I thought for sure that the Sedin sisters wouldnt resign with the Casucks and well go figure they did. Jesus we’re so negative here its depressing! Its possible the Oil come out flying this next season the whole attitude of the team takes a 180 degree turn, all of a sudden everyone’s having fun and loving the game. So I give Boston my middle finger and take Taylor Hall.
    Cant Fu%$ing wait for draft day!!

  • Jason Gregor

    What’s with people saying that they wouldn’t trade next years first? Do we really think it’s a guarantee that we finish 29th or worse next year?

    Is next year’s crop supposed to be that much better than this year’s? …Not what I heard, (though my knowledge of it plus $1.75 would get you a cup of coffee).

    When you really think about it is there anything on this team AT ALL that you wouldn’t trade for the second pick? Maybe there is a combination that would be too much; but ANYTHING on this team is tradable as part of some sort of package for the second overall in my opinion.

      • Jason Gregor

        I aggree that MPS would be pretty tough to lose, and that he allong with Gagner and Eberle are probably the last assets you give up. But if Boston wants Hall as bad as people say, then I’d say that MPS would have to be involved in any trade for the 2nd.

        I can imagine scenarios where I’d make that deal, and some where I wouldn’t. All I’m saying is that I wouldn’t rule it out completely.

  • Hemmertime

    One of Hemsky/Penner + one of Gagner/Brule/Cogliano for that 2nd overall. Done.

    I’d love to see Hall-Seguin-Hemsky in 2/3 years. Tenacious sniper, brilliant playmaker, unnatural talent. That’s a line I’d love.

  • treblecharger

    Of course, I love this scenario, Brownlee. I mean, if he’s gonna make a move, now is the time for Tambo.
    I wouldn’t trade Eberle, Paajarvi, Gilbert, Whitney, Smid, Gagner, Petry, Stortini, Brule or Horcoff. Everyone else is trade bait.
    But…slim chance. Still worth a good try, though!

    On draft day no matter who the Oilers are picking it will be the 1st overall, they won’t pick 2nd and ruin the prestige for their choice.
    If the B’s want Hall so bad, the very least the Oil will get is the 15th pick.

    Hall reminds me of a guy who ran roughshod around the WHL and was a top pick in his draft year, over a ppg player, award winner/all star, great in playoffs and the Memorial Cup, making the NHL immediately. Gilbert Brule.
    If I was Tambo and could get a shot at walking out on Day 2 after picking Seguin 1st and Jack Campbell 15th and calling Dylan McIlrath’s name at 31, I would be ecstatic.

    Tambellini needs to make some hay now.

    • Hemmertime

      Agreed, the Oilers are throwing a draft party at Rexall to see who is first overall. I don’t see them trading down. Like RB said in past though, see what we can get for passing on Hall. Not moving the pick tho.

  • treblecharger

    It’s not happening Brownlee.

    The Oilers aren’t picking Seguin. I’m really looking forward to when the Oilers call Hall’s name so I can laugh at how you constantly said the Oilers would draft Seguin like you had some inside info(which you do not)

    Get used to Hall in an Oilers jersey and Seguin in a Bruins jersey cause that is the reality of the situation.

  • Muji 狗

    It is sure nice to speculate and dream about the what-ifs.

    Unfortunately, my honest belief that nothing will happen. The Oilers if anything will be guarded and will probably be pretty straight forward just to make the first overall pick. I’m curious to find if the NHL and the Commish have told the Oilers not to make a mockery of this draft and fuel the ludicrous rumors floating out there. Play it safe, draft your players, or maybe trade some assets and maybe move up from 31st to the top 15 and drive for a second player of choice. Don’t mess around. That is my personal opinion.

    • Muji 狗

      You might be right that nothing will happen in terms of the top picks, but it won’t be because of any directive from Bettman.

      Teams spend a long time assessing prospects and to to pass on a player they’ve honed in on at the last minute takes an offer that knocks their socks off. Still, there’s lots of talk on the night before the draft and on the floor before the first round.

      I don’t see that as making a “mockery” of the draft. It’s how business is done.

      • With as deep as we are with young forwards, wouldn’t it make more sense to try & trade for one of the defencemen? Gudbranson, Gormley or Fowler with the 3rd or 4th pick? Not that I think you can have too much talent, but if you can’t get the 2nd pick I’m sure some of the pieces could be moved for 3 or 4.

        Have you heard anything on the CLB front? It has been suggested that pick could be available.

        • Muji 狗

          Getting the two best players in the draft — Hall and Seguin — makes the most sense, as you put it, but it’s obviously a longshot.

          Yes, I’d take a run at Gudbranson or Gormley by offering roster players, but you won’t get the third or fourth pick for spare parts.

          Scott Howson is on record as saying he’ll move the fourth pick.

          • Chris.

            Hall and Seguin?

            Can’t we just spend the next two weeks endlessly arguing about who is better despite the fact that almost none of us has ever seen either player play a single game (other than on TV)?

            *Edit* I totally agree with your comments on Gregors show yesterday… It would probably take Hemsky and MPS to get a real conversation going with Chiarelli.