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.


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.


— 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 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.

  • Steve Smith

    Well, on the upside, the performance of the Oilers’ highest scorer from last year is now entirely irrelevant in the Lucky 13 contest. As it should be, of course.

  • magisterrex

    Good deal, all things considered. Teubert will give that shut-down D we’ll need to match some of the puck-moving d-men we’ve got coming up. Could be Jason Smith, part 2.

  • book¡e

    The hyperbole on Tuebert here (Strudwick comparisons for a 20 year old with a lot of uncertainty around him) demonstrate the grey coloured glasses that many fans wear when judging things regarding the Oilers. This is a decent trade if the Oilers are not making a cup run next year and if there were suspicions that Penner would not sign here.

    • book¡e

      Penner just said that management and he never spoke about a contract extension…that in itself is strange when we all thought that was the determining factor as to whether he was going to be on the block…

      My question is …does this trade make Los Angeles “better today” ???

    • Skidplate

      That’s funny. Mind you, I watched the Oiler/Philly Grezky 50 in 39 games from the Oiler DVD pack and was surprised at Semenko’s speed. It was one rush up the ice, but he had wheels.

      • thednp

        Sammy’s speed? it wasn’t something i ever noticed but it sure did depend on how much patrolling and the number of on-ice ‘meetings’ he had to conduct…i dunno if they were measuring ice time back in the day but from where I was watching I’d bet he played a half dozen minutes each night…it depended on how many times Gretz gave him the winnkwinnk nudgenudge…

  • Rogue

    I am ok with the deal. We need some muscle on the D and I hope Colton can provide that. My only wish is that we would of picked up Clifford. That would of definetly helped muscle up the bottom 2 lines.

  • Skidplate

    I can not see anyway that Penner would re-sign in Edmonton. He married an actress that lives in LA. Have we not learned anything from the past? I like the deal. It hurts short term, but fits with the rebuild.

    Colten Teubert
    ASSETS: Is a nasty defenseman with loads of toughness. Owns a projectable frame and all-around upside. Can also score goals due to a good shot from the point.

    FLAWS: Must fill out his frame to fully develop into an all-around blue-liner at the highest level. Needs a bit more refining in the defensive zone.

    CAREER POTENTIAL: Potential all-around blue-liner.

  • thednp

    IMO, it was clear to all that Penner wasn’t going to sign here after next year and the Oilers arent making a run this year or likely next, so why not get what you can. Penner spoke highly of the city, the team etc, at the very least he learned a lesson not to be an ass and burn a bridge. If he truly means it, even better for the team down the road. He married an actress based in LA. Hmmm doesnt leave too many options on where he’d be going or want to go.

    Maybe this leaves the Oilers open to bring Smyth home to finish his career, its been said his dad talks of his want to finish here. He would be a great add in the off season to work with the rookies and have the old chemistry with Horcoff who will be here through the end of his deal as well.

    All is not lost, this move was inevitable, and if Teubert is an upgrade on any of our current d which he looks to be, i dont see a problem at all.

    Good luck to Penner and the Kings this year. Bring on the draft!!

  • thednp

    Surprising Jim VanD is still here, but if all that was being offered was a 6/7th rounder – which multiple posts indicate provide little chance of getting an actual player – maybe keeping him was the best call. They still defencemen to finish the season and given his play and apparent longing for a permanent home, he would be good to re-sign at a much lower salary to fill the bottom 6 out.

  • thednp

    We got back basically what Penner cost us to get him . From that aspect it seems reasonable , as Oilers were probably worried about him on a contract raise or extention . We may have , however, have got nothing in the long run if Colton and other two draft picks turn out to be duds .

    On the bright side , i feel with Teubert and using our first two round picks for Larsson and Musil for defense may be a huge win in the long run ,and address our defensive problems rather well !! Did we win this trade big or lose big . Could go either way , but if we get Larsson and Musil out of this, plus a possible 2nd or 3rd rounder , i have a feeling we won big .

  • thednp

    He may be however be drunk. Early reports suggest he’s been belting whiskey while driving his Lexus near Kingsway Garden Mall and has been rumored to have a ring of coke around his left nostril.* Clearly the pressure to move Jim Vandermeer is taking its toll.

    Reports have now come in from Rishaug that it’s actually powder from a donut, but a Tim Hortons employee has tweeted that ST smells like hookers and Wild Turkey.

    – This is true honor

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      No, this is called giving up an established player and trying to sell a defensive prospect like Teubert who is not as good as Voynov or Forbort as the best possible return and expecting people to buy it.

      “Magic beans” is for people who are unable or too lazy to say what they mean.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Was Tams and Penner speeches made just for media , as appeared ? Was it true or made up ? If their was no pressure to make this deal somewhere unknown to most , why was it done at this time ? High risk move on part of the Oilers , but low risk on part of the Kings . Seemed almost two rehersed to be all true .

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    So basically what you are saying Robin is you like magic beans? I kid.
    So Robin, seeings how this concludes our first successful foray into the RFA offersheet route, would you do it again? Hello, Bogosian…
    Nobody seems to have discussed this angle of The Curious Case of Dustin Penner.