STEVE TAMBELLINI: THE MAN WITH A PLAN?

In his first three seasons as general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, Steve Tambellini has proven conclusively he can put together a team capable of finishing dead-last in the standings, and rather handily. So, what will he add to his resume in 2011-12?

I don’t know the answer to that, of course, but after assuming the GM’s hot seat from Kevin Lowe and seeing the Oilers finish 21st in 2008-09 and 30th the past two seasons, it’s not a stretch to suggest Tambellini had best add a trick or two to his CV.

While ELPH has a certain charm to it and the failure of finishing 30th in 2009-10 produced the franchise’s first-ever, first overall draft pick in Taylor Hall — a welcome diversion for fans during a stretch that has seen the Oilers miss the playoffs for five straight years — reversing directions in the standings and actually contending for a playoff spot in the Western Conference is probably a good place to start.

I’m guessing that might be a reasonable benchmark and one of significant interest, not only to long-suffering faithful who pay the freight by buying tickets. but to the man who endorses the payroll cheques with the little Oil Drop on them, owner Daryl Katz,

This shapes us a big summer for Tambellini, no?

IT’S HIS SHOW

Three years into his tenure, has Tambellini shown he’s got the chops to rebuild an organization that, aside from a magical two-month run in the spring of 2006, has fallen on mostly hard times since that fifth Stanley Cup in 1990?

Does Tambellini have a plan for progression and a return to contention — aside from having chief scout Stu MacGregor and his staff mull over who to select with a lottery pick? I don’t know.

The Entry Draft and MacGregor’s work aside, what has Tambellini shown as CEO of this outfit? What has he shown as a team-builder? How has he performed in acquisitions and hires, be it coaches, scouts, support staff or players through trades and free agency?

Is he capable of assessing the needs of this roster and acquiring players who meet those needs? Transitional players. Veterans who can aid in the development of Hall, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Linus Omark, Jeff Petry and Teemu Hartikainen. Those kinds of decisions.

Who will Tambellini keep this summer? Who will he acquire? Will he play the free agent market more skilfully than he has or get played by it? Sign Ryan Jones or not? How much?

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

With Lowe hovering as president of hockey operations, Tambellini’s tenure has been a decidedly mixed bag. He pursued Dany Heatley . . . all the way to Kelowna. He hired Pat Quinn and Tom Renney. He stuck by his guns with malcontent Sheldon Souray. He traded Dustin Penner.

Tambellini’s record of personnel moves is there for all to see. Some calls observers can make right now — good, bad and indifferent. Getting rid of Patrick O’Sullivan? Good. Other moves? Not so much. Of course, it’s too early to tell on others. On June 24, it’s a second straight first overall pick. Anybody out there want to make it three straight? Uh, no.

Jason Gregor dubbed the 2009-10 off-season the Summer of Steve, but from where I sit, what Tambellini does and doesn’t do this summer as it regards turning his vision into something tangible will go a lot further in defining the future of this franchise and his place with it.

If the rebuild fans have been sold is going to amount to anything, it’s going to demand more on Tambellini’s part than adding the name Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the outfit already assembled. Selling hope, after all, has a shelf-life. Likewise, general managers.

This much we know.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • CanaDave

    I think if ST wants to make a big splash for a top 4 Defenceman this year, he needs to pick up his phone and come to some sort of understanding with Souray. They can both hate each other as much as they want, but the Oilers would be a better team with Sheldon Souray on it than they would be paying off 2/3rds of his salary to buy him out and get nothing in return.

    In fact, I’d go so far to say that if ST can get any sort of value out of Souray next year, whether it’s him playing for the team or being traded for something for than a 2013 7th round pick, that would be enough to placate me for another season. He doesn’t have to say that he was wrong, and I certainly don’t expect him to say Souray was right, but manning up and putting this whole ugly mess behind him in a professional way would be good enough for me this summer.

  • I’m a little surprised at how much time a lot of people still have for Tambellini.

    You simply can’t compare this rebuild to the New Jersey/Detroit rebuilds until we see something beyong losing.

    At this moment, it could just as easily be the Islanders/Thrashers rebuild – those teams excelled at losing and piling up big draft picks.

    Steve Tambellini will deserve credit for building this team the right way once he builds this team the right way, not before.

    • Mitch

      Come on, how long has the real rebuild been on? Yes, I know we have been pathetic for a long time but we spent a bunch of years just “needing to add a guy or two” and we would be ready to catch the wave through playoffs again (What Calgary is going through now).

      I know we need more than a year to rebuild the team and the culture. Come on, we weren’t even close. Someone mentioned the Lightning, they had Stamkos, Lecavalier, St Louis, Downie, Hedberg. Then added some pieces and a coach. They have a core, we aren’t even close.

      Give us an analysis of where the Islanders rebuild and Thrashers build went off the rails.

      Tolstoy writes in War and Peace, his old generals sage advice in the situation versus Napoleons invasion – Time and patience, patience and time.

      Has ST proven himself a success or a disaster? No, that will take some time yet. In the mean time he has a plan and it makes sense.

      • Ben Dover

        The only thing Tambellini has proven since his arrival is an ability to build a last place loser 2 years running. If he can add some veteran help in key positions this summer (even the players are requesting it) they might stand a chance of improvement next year. Otherwise, his record speaks for itself.

        I’m sure you believe he actually has a plan (many fans do for some reason), but people lose jobs and money every day due to the mismanagement of public and private companies. Just saying you have a plan doesn’t mean it has substance or will produce results.

        Lucky for Tambellini he works for a recession-proof company with an owner that makes money no matter what record his team owns at the end of the season. In the real business world, a G.M. like that would have been toast a year ago. Not many industries accept the incompetence Tambellini has displayed since his arrival.

        You (and others) can quote ‘time and patience’ all you want, but the proof is in the pudding — Steve hasn’t performed well to date. What makes you think more “time and patience” will make a difference? Average joe’s get fired every day for his level of performance.

        • Rob...

          Built a last place team? I would say inherited is a better word. If you remember ST dealing with issues such as Heatly not wanting to touch us with a ten foot pole, or Souray joining the long list of players wanting out of town. I would think it obvious to most a culture change is required. But I geuss not to you.

          Taking steps toward that goal is happening, getting there is not done in a year. ST sold a plan to Katz, which obviously he liked. But then how smart can Katz be? He said he is changing the culture. He said he is not chasing free agents. He said he is building depth by draft. He said he is looking to do the samll things right. It’s been a year since this was started.

          I will say it again. Only time will tell if ST can or can’t do it. BUT I do like his plan and he needs to be given the opportunity to complete it.

  • For the record, I expect S.T. to do very little. Build from within, move on to rebuild year 3 of 5. Sorry everyone, but it’s a lottery pick or very close again next year. Then again, who knows what the kids and a healthy team could fluke into. Either way, I forsee no major changes.

  • I love reading RB articles.

    Question: I heard that Lowe’s role as Hockey Operations Guru is to handle ALL the decisions in our system including ECHL and the AHL. So does Lowe get more of a say of how our farm teams are handled? Who would you say is the catalyst of the turn around in Oklahoma?

    • This shouldn’t be a news bulletin, but Lowe has an influence in virtually every decision made by the hockey operations department.

      That doesn’t mean Tambellini “reports” to Lowe as an underling, but Kevin has input in all matters here and regarding the farm system.

  • Action Jackson

    Boys boys boys, this is rebuild is not Detroit or the Thrashers. This screams Emilio and the ducks! Tambo just needs to kindly let Crosby know that they rezoned the city and he should be playing for the Oil.

  • I’m most confident that the Oil found themselves in a position to rebuild out of pure incompetence. There was no plan to plummet to the bottom until it was obvious the team was a dud. Then they switched gears and finally started making (some) moves that made sense.

    It’s true, ST has proven nothing except that he could take a middling/poor team and make them attrocious. However, I currently believe that what’s happening to the organization is the best thng that’s happened in decades. It’s a happy accident that we got Hall and ???RNH??? That said, I dont think there is any way that Tambellini is the guy in charge when the Oil finally need someone at the helm who can put the right pieces together. Luckily for us though, he’s so inept that it actually benefitted the team.

  • knee deep in it

    What do you expect to happen over the next 3 months Robin. I don’t see ST wavering from the course that he set.Who would you bring in as a transition player and who do you think the Oilers should move? Tambo appears to be a man who stands by the players he signs come hell or high water. NK is a prime example.I believe that some of the exprets evaluation of NK’s skills are not solely unbiased. Darren Pang for example. Or Kelly Hrudey. The goaltenders brotherhood runs deep. I just think that there are 3-4 members of the Oilers current roster that need to move on from this organization. Like Brule, Fraser and Cogliano. In Cogliano’s case its not so much his performance but what the Oilers need are going forward. Less small 3rd and 4th line forwards. He could do better elsewhere. IMO. Lastly. How long does ST get to rebuild this team?

  • knee deep in it

    ST is doing almost exactly what he said he would a coule of years ago. No real surprises and not much fodder for fan forum discussions.

    Nice article RB. I think you are 100% correct in wondering how far allong the rebuild are we? If ST thinks we are close to competing for a playoff spot, then that will direct his moves this summer.

    IMO, the direction will be clear at the draft. COlumbus has the 8th pick and an absolute necessity to a some short term move. Howson loves Hemsky.

    If Hemsky is an Oiler after the 8th pick, then the rebuild enters phase two, the aquisition of players to help the kids. If he is gone, then we are still in the 1st stage which is aquiring prospects.

    • knee deep in it

      I don’t think it’s that simply re: Hemsky. If they moved him for 8th overall, they could decide that he’s the final player out for prospects – even if they move Hemsky they may decide they are ready for “phase 2” and try to replace his money via UFA.

      It might be tough to determine the rationale behind a Hemsky deal, because they could be making it for a variety of reasons and we likely won’t know which of those reasons were the catalyst.

  • O.C.

    ST was given a helluva mess, which it’s going to take some time to clean up. Actually, if you think about it, he’s done a fine job of taking out a whole lot of trash. It’s really NOW that he’s finally able to start building something. Let’s see what he does in the next six months (well, sixteen months, if we were being completely fair) before deeming him a failure, shall we?

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      I’m always amazed with how impressed people are that Tambelinni was able to push the waiver and buyout button.

      Doing that doesn’t “take time”.

  • knee deep in it

    I do not think they should trade Hemsky this summer. If they are serious about pushing for the playoffs, they need Hemsky in Oiler silks. Only if it becomes apparent that the Oil will miss the playoffs next year, should they consider trading Hemmer for a 2012 1st round pick. The 2012 draft class looks like a bumper crop. Scouts are comparing it to 2003. You know, the draft that produced 1st round picks like Ovechkin, Malkin, Phaneuf, Green, Richards, Carter, Kesler, Parise, Getzlaf, etc.

    • VMR

      If the 2012 draft is that good then trade him asap. There were so many good players available late in the first round of that draft that any 1st round pick was like a top 10, and we ended up with Pouliot 🙁

      It’s tough to judge Tambellini yet. He hasnt done much but he inherited garbage, a bubble team that was aimed straight down. A meddling management team that was still of the belief that finding that hidden gem would turn things around(dont try and say that Heatley and Khabibulin were all his ideas, that was a classic continuation of the end of the Lowe regime strategy in action). This team was doomed to fall no matter who was in charge with little talent left in the organization save for middle of the road grinders whose game was on the downspin.

      I’ve said it for at least a year now, the big challenge comes with the Hemsky contract. If they can keep him at a reasonable rate or make a good trade that brings in some real talent that will help in the long run then Tambellini will prove he’s capable. Until then management is almost on autopilot and it more revolves around scouting and player development.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    My two points of contention with the article are;

    1) ELPH in no way has any charm to it. It was a novelty that wore off as quickly as it arrived.

    2) Tambellini’s track record is not a mixed bag. It’s just bad.

    ….

    And if the plan was to be that bad two years in a row (and growing) then cut the frigg’n ticket prices in a gesture of aknowledgment that the team intentionally continues to under deliver instead of increasing them on the back if an 18 year old that offers hope 2 or 3 years down the road and some well crafted speaches during the yearly ticket drive about playing meaningful games in March and April.

    But on the bright side we are heading into Tambellini’s contract year so perhaps we can look forward to having a GM that goes from sitting on his hands in wait for the league to reward his incompetence to a GM that will make a bunch of desperate Milbury-esque moves in a an effort to extend his employment.

    • “While ELPH has a certain charm to it and the failure of finishing 30th in 2009-10 produced the franchise’s first-ever, first overall draft pick in Taylor Hall — a welcome diversion for fans during a stretch that has seen the Oilers miss the playoffs for five straight years — reversing directions in the standings and actually contending for a playoff spot in the Western Conference is probably a good place to start.”

      You are “contesting” a point we agree on.

      • I admit that at best I was splitting hairs. More than anything I was looking for a jumping in point.

        I would add that your statement aside there is still a significant segment of fans that inexplicably still believe that things are rolling along as intended and ELPH, perhaps not by that exact acronym, is still alive and well.

        Personally I can’t take that attitude anymore than I can take an exciting final 10 minutes of hockey to salvage a 4-3 loss out of a 4-1 loss.

  • knee deep in it

    We will finish deadlast this upcoming year again , and probably the next 3-4 seasons before the Oilers even bother to try and rebuild or compete . Why ? Theirs no need to as long as Oiler fans will buy hope . Oiler management has gone from trying to being a contender last 5 years , to hopefully being a contender in next 4-6 years . Now thats obviously the plan . Draft till the cows go home and hope about 3-4 years from now to be able to form a contender from that lot . Where’s the expediancy ? There is none so long as Oiler fans keep selling out by buying the hope image – which it is doing . You can blame whomever you want and defend Tams by blaming others , but bottom line is this is Tams first stint as GM and his record is pathetic other than he keeps filling the building with hope, and thats enough obviously .

    So has Tams finished his rebuild ? He has failed miserably at trying to form a competitive with the on ice product , but has made team competitive as far as making money goes . In around about way, you might have to conclude he has done a wonderfull job of salesmanship . So lets be honest here , is it even necessary or adviseable to try and form an on ice competitive team when they have failed at that miserably in the past 5 years ? It’s so much easier and probably lucrative to build team the way they are doing it now . We got what we are paying for !

    • big joe grizzley

      Madjam….you hit the nail on the head…I was a season ticket holder for the past 5 seasons but no more. It became too expensive asking the cost price for the games I was unable to attend and finding very few buyers. So you get a very bad team , lousy building , expensive parking , poor food , lining up for a drink or the washroom that takes nearly the whole intermission…you get the picture…an extremely poor entertainment value at a very high cost. Plus I do not see this team being competative for at least another 3 years as they cannot attract enough good players as free agents who want to come here. So its really hope and pray that ST and the boys can draft well and build a good team that way. The outcome of course can go either way…..Hawkfan

  • Nation, I doubt if we’ll all reach a consensus on this.

    Again, as with all (or most) talk on Tambo’s record so far, it comes down to philosophy. If you’re in the camp who believe that he’s only proven to be able to build 30th-place teams, then you probably aren’t going to be converted. Fire him, you’d say. Throw da bum outta dere. Just like MacT (any way we can fire MacT again, for old time’s sake?)

    And if you’re in the camp that believes teams often (not always) need to get worse before they get better and that rebuilds seldom follow any “plan” or “template,” then you’re probably willing to cut Tambo some more slack.

    I consider myself to be in the latter camp. It’s my opinion that the Oilers’ rebuild will be done before the 4-6 years, but only if they luck out with a few of their draft picks and signings. That may sound fanciful or even “magical,” but the truth is, that’s how most of the great teams got great. They luck out and stumble onto players that none of the other teams do.

    Think about it. Imagine where Detroit would be right now if they didn’t luck out with late-rounders like Zetterberg or Datsyuk. Would Chicago have won the Cup last year without guys like Bolland and Byfuglien or Patrick Sharp?

    Behind every great rebuild is a lot of (outhouse) luck. I have no idea if Tambo’s got any or not, but I’m prepared to give him some more time to find out.

    If you’re not, I don’t blame you. I won’t try to convince you otherwise.

  • Ok, so 24 months ago when we ALL agreed in a 3-5 year plan we knew there would be hard times coming.

    We need to continue to develop the team, which is exactly what they’re going – starting with an AHL affiliate.

    We ALL KNEW it would be 3 years until we start to see progress so let’s give this one more year to see how things are progressing before we start to change our minds and scream for UFA signings again like we did for the past decade.

    Unfortunately we all better sit tight because Katz did not want a quick fix, he wanted strong roots upon which a team would eventually grow.

    You guys sound like american’s whose exercise regime didn’t result in a 15lbs drop in weight after day 1!!

    • Who is “screaming” for UFA signings?

      Part of developing young players is surrounding them with transitional players and veterans who can aid in that process by what they do on the ice and how they lead.

      Those veterans might be third-line grinders or reliable second-pairing defensemen. They can be acquired via trade or free agency. They can be, but don’t have to be, “big” names.

      I’m not reading people begging to sign Jagr or expecting Tambellini to go after big-name, big-money free agents — he has already said he will not do that.

      So, where is the screaming?

      • Mitch

        Come on, Robin.

        You read into the smallest and the most easily identifiable sarcastic point in my paragraph. Let’s address the real issue that was blatent in my comment in that people are already jumping off the bandwagon.

      • Mitch

        Yeah, no offense Robin but I kind of agree with junior there.

        It’s apparent people are on board with jumping off the rebuild train already. I guess verbal irony probably played a part in his “screaming” comment, however, there are an overwhelming about of “offer webber”, “offer sutter”, “sign a third liner”, type comments the past everal months and I guess you could say that was screaming?

      • big joe grizzley

        Also, I never mentioned that we “were” screaming. I was suggesting that it would eventually come to that (i thought it was obvious anyway) since from 2000 – 2006 that’s what we were awaiting each July 1.

    • striker777

      Who agreed to that? Fans have to accept the plan to some degree because management drove the franchise into the ground. Asking what the plan actually is (other than losing a bunch and drafting high) and whether the same guys that crapped the bed in building a winner in the first place can be trusted to do properly rebuild the club are fair questions.

      If you’d like to blindly accept a shizload of losing without assessing whether things are actually moving in the right direction, more power to you. Don’t use ALL CAPS to assert something ridiculous.

      • big joe grizzley

        Speak for yourself. Jr-chris is absolutely correct in that everyone wanted a rebuild. Something ridiculous is having fans act like pure babies the second things don’t go 100% they way they wanted. No one promised we wouldn’t finish last twice, they said it would take about 3-5 before we became competitive.

        Thanks for your assessment but you guys are acting like snivling babies. Since you’re not a GM and no one in here is a GM what does your opinion on where we are matter.

        Thanks for showing up. Go back to Zellers and put your apron on.

        • big joe grizzley

          I guess the meaning of “everyone” escapes you. You also fail to notice that you also lack the GM title, meaning your opinion, as per your well-stated argument, also doesn’t matter. Thanks for coming out. Enjoy driving around with the fake bull’s balls and “Dodge the father, ram the mother” bumper sticker resting on the back of your truck.

      • big joe grizzley

        you’re a tool BJ

        Tambo is doing exactly what he needs to do. You can call yourself an analyst all you want, but at the end of the day your opinion is garbage.

          • big joe grizzley

            You’re pretty clever Mr. Magoo. What’s awesome about reading responses from you and steve sizoo is how fired up you get when someone questions the current direction. Look at it like this: the Oil might be the Hawks or they might be the Thrashers. No guarantees either way. Looking at 2 straight last place seasons and 6 straight years golfing in April and not blinking an eye is pretty telling though. Stupidity and apathy are what the Oiler ticket selling machine is looking for. You two clowns are exactly what they’re looking for.

  • Mitch

    Robin Tambi can make some serious moves, we will still miss the playoffs. Tambellini has made some ok moves, some terrible moves, I don’t see any great moves though. Moving the veterans out was a no brainer, step up and aquire a stud for somewhere in this lineup, or is this to tough in todays game? I’m not much a fan of his coaching choices and how Quinn was let go, only to be replaced by Tom. We must make the playoffs in 12-13, this is a absoulte must!

  • positivebrontefan

    I say we have a lottery pick again next year, he will not sign a big name free agent, and will trade Hemsky if he has a chance to get something reasonable for him and would have traded him this year at the deadline if he knew Hemmer wasn’t injured…again.
    Just so you know, I’m OK with all of the above.

    And they should be close to the salary minimum. If we aren’t we won’t be able to keep all our up and coming superstars in 3-5 years.

    • Ender

      Keeping the young players has nothing to do with spending to the cap floor now. Even if the Oilers were to spend to the cap next year, as long as they keep any signings to one or two years it doesn’t have any impact on the cap once Hall etc’s ELCs expire.

      • positivebrontefan

        I agree speeds, it’s just that you won’t be attracting any UFA’s for any cost, if you are only offering a one year deal, so if they are signing only the crappy free agents it’s a moot point, just let our young guys experience the NHL a year or two earlier than they would on a good team.

        • big joe grizzley

          I’m not sure I agree. I mean, you may well be right, but are you telling me that it’s impossible that Tanguay would sign a 2 year, 5 mil per year contract if no one else is offering more than 4 mil a year? Or that Vokoun would absolutely, definitely turn down 11 over 2 if no one else is offering better than 12 over 3?

          I’m not saying it would make sense for EDM to do so, but are you completely sure that Brad Richards would turn down 22 over 2 if the Oilers decided to offer it?

          • positivebrontefan

            If you offer them silly money yes you could sign anyone, with the exception of Heatley apparently, but that doesn’t set a good example for the kids who will no doubt be looking for the same kind of silly money in a couple of years if they see that. We already have that with Horcoff, although a bit of a different situation.

  • big joe grizzley

    hey tambo,grizzleys got a few words of wisdom for you, listen and learn brother..toughen this group of cream puffs up…more size,more grit,more nastyness…add a few alfa males,get a freaken centerman who can win a bloody draw,get a tough shutdown defenceman to hold down the fort,once in a while,and kick all the soft little metro sexuals to the curb,hockeys a mans game and its a game of intimadation,and when you got a team full of pansys how the hell are going win enything…hell a monkey taking a pull off a butt can figure this out…bjg is out

    • Ender

      Since you’ve started posting, I’ve tried to stay away from commenting on your posts. Live and let live, everyone entitled to an opinion, yada-yada-yada . . .

      Please, big guy – do one thing for me. One itty-bitty little thing that will keep me from pulling my hair out every time I read one of your posts. Just do this one tiny thing and then I’ll read everything you write and never complain again.

      It’s Alpha, like in alphabet. Thank you for understanding.

      • big joe grizzley

        live and let live is the key to life brother..some cats on this site don’t seem to roll that way…ps…alpa…alpha…in grizzleys world things like that don’t matter, but since you keep it real,i’ll try to keep you from going bald,and next time i will spel; it alpha…bjg is out

  • striker777

    settle down here guys.

    this article is about providing your opinion on how steve is doing. Why are you taking personal shots JB and jchrist? No need.

    personally, i think steve is doing what katz wants.

  • knee deep in it

    if we are offering a crazy contract, then Markov is the guy we target. When healthy, he is a top 5 dman in this league.

    If he signs for one year 6 mill, he gets a pile of cash plus an opportunity to prove that he can stay healthy.

    We get a guy who anchors one of our top 2 lines and mentors one of the kids like Petry.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Ask 50 people, make that 5 million people, to name the top five defensemen in the NHL and nobody — assuming they don’t have a bag full of model glue taped to their face — will have the name “Markov” on their list.

      • knee deep in it

        I actually said, when healthy, he could be a top 5 dman. His last healthy year was 2008-9 where he finished 2nd overall in defence scoring, 5 points ahead of Lidstrom. He was an absolute stud.

        He led his team in scoring. He also led the team in short handed + power play time on the ice. His normal partner was Komisarek who got a big ufa contract because of him. Once Komisarek had to play without him, he is a flop (6th in TOI amongst dmen in Toronto).

        I agree that injuries in the last 2 years have completely taken him out of the conversation, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was considered one of the best.

        • No, you said this:

          “if we are offering a crazy contract, then Markov is the guy we target. When healthy, he is a top 5 dman in this league.

          If he signs for one year 6 mill, he gets a pile of cash plus an opportunity to prove that he can stay healthy.

          We get a guy who anchors one of our top 2 lines and mentors one of the kids like Petry.”

          You’re shifting between “was” and “is” with Markov. He isn’t, and never was, worth $6 million a season. He isn’t, and never was, a top-five defenseman in this league.

          That aside, if Petry needs a mentor, Ryan Whitney is the guy.

          • VMR

            Wouldnt that be great. $6 million wrapped up in Markov when he’s probably going to be out injured, $4 million on Whitney who’s injury history suggests he’s going to miss significant time again this season, another $4 million on Souray in the minors. We should trade for Wade Redden just to make it an even $20 million on guys not playing for the Oil.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Wonder if there’s much of the us versus them thing going on in the Oilers dressing room. Is Renney using it as a motivational tool with some of these guys?

    Being set up to fail miserably last year, there must’ve been some of the players versus management being used at times, is there any desire on the players behalf to shove it up managements backside being left on their own like this. Have to think this will be more of an issue next season if tankage is in order again.

  • Bucknuck

    Hey Robin if the concensus is we are taken RNH at #1 with thoughts that he would stay in juniors another year would you through $$ at Arnott for one year. This would bring size and experience to centre the first line between Hall and Benn. Yes thats Jamie Benn from Dallas for Gagne and Eberle. I’m thinking we would get perhaps a 2nd out of Dallas as well. I would look at signing Ben Eager for the forth line to play with Horc and Jones. Could Bogosian be had for Hemsky and the 2nd we get from Dallas. I would take a run at Bieksa and bring back Souray to finish out his term.
    Omark Pytlic and Pajarvi on the second. The third would consist of Hartikinen and Bergenhiem centered by Van devalde.
    Of course Bergenheim would be a free agent signing. Just thinking outside the box a bit.

  • Clyde Frog

    I think this could all be solved if Tambellini would be required to personnally purchase anyone who watches the Oilers lose any game by 3 or more goals next year.

    This would provide him the motivation to ice the best possible team, while ensuring I have a nice supply of puppies!