There’s no shortage of general managers looking to pick the bones of a bottom-feeder like the Edmonton Oilers clean, so Steve Tambellini can count on his phone ringing almost non-stop between now and the 1 p.m. NHL trade deadline.
A lot of those calls will be follow-ups to conversations already started and well worth taking, while others will be initial inquiries out of the blue by GMs who’ve been laying in the weeds until now. Sucker deals.
Either way, Tambellini would be well-advised to be pro-active, and that means making calls to teams who have players his pro scouts have targeted. With the due diligence done, initiate rather than react.
That said, Tambellini has to stick to the stance he’s taken leading into today, especially where it regards prime trading chips Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner — with term left on their contracts, he doesn’t need to do anything
It’s a balancing act for the man dubbed Mr. Dithers by some, but how he pulls it off is going to go a long way in shaping this team as it heads for another lottery pick in 2011 and beyond.
Pitch. Listen. Measure. Move. Or not.
BEST BET IS TINSELTOWN
I expect Tambellini will talk to Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi again today. If I’m Tambellini, I’m going to insist Lombardi name his price for Brayden Schenn, knowing full well Lombardi is reluctant to move him. If it’s Hemsky-plus, as we’re led to believe, I say no thanks.
If I’m Tambellini, I put Penner on the table and ask what else it’ll take to get Schenn. A draft pick? A prospect in the system? A player on the roster right now? Who?
If I can’t get anything done with Schenn, I ask what it’ll take to get Kyle Clifford or Wayne Simmonds and Vyachislav Voynov. If the answer includes Hemsky, I probably say no thanks. If the answer is Penner-plus, I keep listening.
Listen. Measure. Move. Or not.
From where I and a lot of other observers sit, Lombardi is Tambellini’s most likely trading partner, given the needs and wants of both the teams. That doesn’t mean something gets done today. Nor should it.
THIS AND THAT
— Gerry Johannson, the agent for Penner, said this morning he doesn’t get the sense Tambellini is actively shopping his client. Even if Johansson is telling it straight, that doesn’t mean Tambellini isn’t making and taking calls on him. Bottom line is I think there’s a better chance Penner is gone at the end of the day than Hemsky.
— The Oilers are talking with Nashville. The name that’s come up most often regarding Nashville GM David Poile is Ladislav Smid, but might Poile look at Penner? I think so. If Penner is in play, Tambellini should ask for puck-moving Windsor defenseman Ryan Ellis and big winger Austin Watson, who is with Peterborough of the OHL. Jordin Tootoo?
— I haven’t heard one word, aside from rank speculation, about Andrew Cogliano being in play. That seems odd, given Tambellini has tried to move him twice already.
— I’ll be down at the rink for NHL.com this morning and then on the air with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. as part of the station’s deadline coverage.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.