IT’S A TOUGH BUSINESS

Glen Sather suffered through bad times as GM of the Edmonton Oilers. However, by the time the Oilers began failing under his watch, Sather had already sealed his legacy with 5 Stanley’s. Today’s Oiler leadership is at the All-Star break and in year 2 through 6 (depending on your pov) of a rebuild. What does the future hold for Steve Tambellini? Tom Renney?

Terry Jones broke the news and Robin Brownlee gave what I felt was the most reasonable solution in regard to the Oiler front office. Jones’ news (Tambellini extension, Renney blowing in the wind) and Brownlee’s item (what’s the hurry, Mac?)  are nice bookends for what has to be a major topic of conversation for Oiler fans right now.

I think the question is: where are we in the rebuild? Do the Oilers feel another top 3 selection is important? Or is there pressure to turn this thing around and show some progress by season’s end?

My guess is that there is real pressure for coach Renney to win some games down the stretch. Draft picks are the building blocks of success, but then again you can’t do it every year because eventually you’ll be at the podium picking first and then saying goodbye to Taylor Hall on July 1 in the same summer.

At some point, you need to stand and deliver. It’s my feeling that coach Renney’s job relies–at least somewhat–on a reasonably strong showing in the second half. RNH and Gilbert will return and the team will have its best available players for the month  of Feb (before the deadline).

In the next month, we’re likely to see Steve Tambellini extended (as per Jones article), Hemsky shopped (as per everybody) or hopefully signed, and I do think it’s an important 30 days for Tom Renney.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

You could argue that Tom Renney doesn’t have the horses and I’d agree with you. I don’t think it changes a thing. Tough damn business.

NationRadio hits the airwaves today at Noon Edmonton time on Team 1260. You can email comments and questions for our guests to nationradio@theteam1260.com or post them in the comments section on the blog. I’m also @lowetide_ on twitter. Scheduled to appear:

  • Terry Jones, HOF writer for the Edmonton Sun. He’s following the Barons this week and I’ll ask him about the prospects, the suspects and the fact that this OKC team might be among the best minor league clubs (in terms of wins and losses) in the Oilers history.
  • Jason Gregor, host of the popular Jason Gregor Show on Team 1260. We’ll talk trade deadline, prospect progress and what he expects from the Oilers in the season’s final 30 games.
  • Dennis King of Dennis King scoring chances and mc79 hockey. Dennis will talk about Paajarvi’s lack of progress (Dennis worried from the start about his offense), the trade of Ales Hemsky and touch base on what this team needs for next season.
  • Jim Byers from OKC Barons. Jim is the play-by-play announcer and an astute resource for all of these Oiler prospects. I’ll ask him about Phil Cornet and his season, plus some of the "under the radar" types like Hunter Tremblay and Tanner House.
  • Dennis Murphy, co-founder of the WHA and therefore a major reason for big league hockey in Edmonton. We’ll talk about the rebel league, the importance of Bobby Hull and the larger than life figure that was Bill Hunter.
  • striker777

    Sather was the worst GM in Oilers’ history. As a GM he has done nothing to deserve being in this business.
    Only Tambelini saw that the emperor has no clothes and fired almost everybody from scouts to coaches and re-tooled our farm club.
    Oilers are undergoing a re-build in every sense of the word.

    The most frustrating thing to watch in the past was to see terrible drafting for over 15 seasons and nobody in the scouting department was kept accountable. Tambelini is the best GM this team has had since the dynasty.

    • a lg dubl dubl

      U forgot these things ~~

      Slats may not have held the scouting department accountable but he brought in proven NHL depth when needed, something Mr Dithers doesn’t know how to do.

      @ cableguy…AWSOME Lmao, that about sums up ST

    • What? Sather was a DAMN good GM! (Short summary here)He helped build the original dynasty! He taught those kids how to win, how to be leaders. In the 90’s under a very tight budget he kept the Oilers as competitive as possible without losing the team. So pro scouting, AHL team and terrible drafting were not all his fault. However, he still managed to trade for or drafted some excellent talent during that time. Some of those players went on to win Stanley Cup’s elsewhere.

      If you check the standing and look at what teams are at the top of the standings you will notice that Rangers are one of those teams. Sather would be that GM.
      Kevin Lowe and Tambellini in my opinion have messed this team up worse then Sather ever could have! Remember, Sather’s hands were completely tied by bad ownership, bad economy, and crumbling Canadian dollar! If it wasn’t for Sather we would be the Houston Oilers.

  • I say it’s year 2.5 or 3 of a 7 year rebuild. The Oilers get partial credit for blowing the 09-10 season to acquire Taylor Hall. And I say it’s 7 years because the team is/was 7 players short on the NHL depth chart at that time also. 6 years is the amount of time Edmonton has with Taylor Hall before making a UFA signing-trade.

    Mikhail Girgorenko would be an elite #2 C for the Oilers. A late birthday, he’s scoring at the same pace as Couturier did in his 3rd year in the QMJHL. 50% on Faceoffs as a 17 year old and brilliant in his own zone. The Oilers need to do everything they can to get this player.

  • smiliegirl15

    I think it’s really sad that the one who should be shown the door (Tambellini), gets to skate and the one who should be given another year (Renney) is probably going to be shown the door.
    How many more years of bumbling will Tambellini be given to do before someone gets a clue?

    • D-Man

      Although I agree with you about Renney (and him getting an extension), I think you aren’t giving Tambo enough credit…

      First of all – OKC is now 1st overall in the AHL… By getting more picks and stocking the shelves – our developing youth can play meaningful games later in the season… I believe his hands are somewhat tied with a couple of albatross contracts like Horcoff’s… Asides from Khabibulin’s brutal contract – he does also get a passing grade in the FA department with the signing’s of Sutton, Belanger (his lack of offense this year is an anomaly), Eager and Hordichuk… The kids are also progressing nicely as well – Tambo does deserve credit there as well…

      Now with that being said – if I’m Kevin Lowe, I’m not handing Tambo an extension until the end of the season… If we don’t finish any better than 26st or 27th overall – Tambo should be let go… This year is/was crucial to show that we’ve been making some improvement…