LOS ANGELES — Does Steve Tambellini have the moxy and the brass to make something happen, to make a deal that matters, before he walks to the podium with the first pick in the 2010 Entry Draft at the Staples Center Friday? We’ll find out soon enough.
Before Tambellini calls the name of Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall with the first No. 1 pick in the history of the Edmonton Oilers, will he put the arm on Boston GM Peter Chiarelli in the quest for the other first-round pick he’s been talking about?
Will he ask what it will take for him to get the second overall pick that belongs to the Bruins? Would he offer Ales Hemsky and Jordan Eberle — that’s the latest rumour making the rounds — to make it a sweep of the top two picks?
"There’s nothing wrong with asking," Tambellini said. "Peter’s been pretty adamant that he’s making the selection of one of the top two kids. I understand that, too, but who knows, things may change by the time we get to the floor."
WORK THE FLOOR
If Tambellini can’t or won’t offer enough to separate Chiarelli from his pick, he should look at Dale Tallon and the Florida Panthers, who have the No. 3 pick, and say, "Dale, what would it take?"
Tallon and Tambellini are already talking about the 15th pick. Why not raise the stakes?
Likewise with Scott Howson and the Columbus Jackets, who have the fourth selection. Howson is willing to move the pick, although he’d like to stay in the top 10. Howson isn’t looking, at least not so far, to make a trade that leaves him without a first-rounder.
Any reason why the GM of a 30th-place team like the Oilers shouldn’t ask again?
"All I’ve told managers all along, throughout this year, is that I’m wide open,’" Tambellini said. "Proposals that come to me, some people say, ‘No, I’m not listening to that.’ "I still think it’s my job, where we’re at as an organization, to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening."
And there’s nothing wrong with asking. It could be a busy morning for Tambellini, and it should be.
TAYLOR OR TYLER XXIV?
Tambellini and his scouting staff have already decided on who the Oilers will take with the No. 1 pick, but, to nobody’s surprise, Tambellini isn’t admitting as much.
"We’re closer, but we haven’t formally sat down as a group and said, this is who we’re taking," Tambellini told reporters with a straight face. "I want to save that for tomorrow.
"Our scouts, they’re excited. Not too many of them are going to sleep tonight. They’re looking forward to that moment when we can make a selection with an impact player who is going to be a huge part of Edmonton, a huge part of the team."
No consensus? No decision?
BUT YOU SAID …
"At the end of the day, the responsibility, I know, comes to me," said Tambellini. "We’re excited about that. We know we’re going to get a great player. No issues there.
"We’re close to making our decision. It’s more that we’re going to save this for tomorrow and speak to it as a group. I want to enjoy that moment. Our scouts have worked so hard for this.
This is the part I want everybody to enjoy. "The homework is done. The depth of information is incredible. They need to enjoy the selection now."
Close to making our decision? At the end of the day, the responsibility comes to Tambellini?
Stu MacGregor: "I want Tyler Seguin."
Tambellini: "I want Taylor Hall."
MacGregor: "You said it’s my call."
Tambellini: "Yes, I did. But only if we agreed."
Kevin Lowe: "Do I have to give up my number if we take Hall?"
Tambellini: "No. I don’t think he wants No. 4."
Lowe: "What Tambi said."
— Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.