If you could put yourself in Steve Tambellini’s shoes — you’re wearing golf spikes and sashaying around the links with owner Daryl Katz in California today — and take over the rebuild of the Edmonton Oilers, what would your next move be? And the move after that? What then?
If you’re Tambellini, with the same roster players, same organizational players the Oilers have and the same salary cap NHL GMs are working with, what’s your plan between now and the trade deadline? Over the summer leading up to training camp in 2011?
Who stays and who goes? Who will take the players you want to move, and for what return? Who will take Sheldon Souray off your hands and when? Do you want to stockpile draft picks or is freeing up money for free agents the priority right now?
Are you a seller between now and the trade deadline? Does that answer depend on where the team sits in the standings? Will you do whatever it takes to ensure a second straight lottery pick?
Does that putt break right or left?
SETTING A COURSE
From where I sit, Feaster has a lot more difficult job facing him in rebuilding the Flames than Tambellini does trying to plot a course to get the Oilers back to respectability and playoff contention.
That said, there’s plenty of issues here and they get discussed just about every day in bits and pieces. But what about a master plan? What if you had to call a news conference in the next week and lay out your vision — and spell out exactly how you intend to make it happen — for Oilers fans who have plenty of questions?
- What’s the single most important issue right now?
- What’s the most obvious need in terms of personnel?
- What’s your timeline for icing a playoff team? A Cup contender?
- Who is untouchable?
- Do you trade Dustin Penner or Ales Hemsky? Both? Neither?
STEP RIGHT UP
If you’ve got a master plan, let’s see it. What I’d like to do is have you put together what you think and submit it here. While I haven’t asked Jason Gregor, maybe we could spend part of a show discussing the merits of the best submissions we get on an upcoming show and interview the person who came up with them.
Maybe Bob Stauffer would be up for that on Oilers Lunch. I don’t know, because they call the shots, not me, but I’d be happy to take the best of what we get and make the suggestion. If you come up with something that makes sense, why not? At the very least, we could re-post it here as a separate article at Oilersnation. Let’s see how it plays out.
Framed in that, resist the temptation to come up with trades sending Shawn Belle, Linus Omark, Zack Stortini and Souray to Anaheim for Ryan Getzlaf and a first-rounder. That kind of stuff. Don’t make suggestions that would lead another GM to laugh out loud, hang-up and deem you a fool or insane. Keep the salary cap and your timeline for how the rebuild evolves in mind.
Give it some thought and have at it over the next couple of days and we’ll see what you come up with. In the meantime, I’ll bounce the idea off Gregor and see what he thinks.
Just talked to Gregor, who is out shovelling snow at the farm, but he’s all over the idea. Post your ideas here and we’ll take a look at them and pick a day this coming week to discuss the merits of the best stuff that gets submitted. The author might even get a call and a chance to discuss his master plan on the air.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.