It sounds like the Oilers will make an announcement regarding Steve Tambellini’s future with the Oilers after the World Championships. Tambellini will get an extension, I’m not sure how long, but he’ll be the guy in charge. This isn’t a surprise to anyone who has been following the team, but rumblings seem to be pointing to an announcement sometime during the week after Victoria Day.

The actions of the Oilers make it seem like he’s known he’d be the guy moving forward for months, but an official announcement will finally happen.

Once it does, Tambellini has lots of work to do.

By my rough calculations Tambellini has between 25-30 contracts to sign. He needs to sign players, scouts, both pro and amateur, training staff and of course decide on the fate of the coaches. Rick Olczyk will help facilitate some of these deals, but Tambellini will have lots on his plate once the Oilers make his extension official.

The Oilers currently have 31 players under contract for next season.

Horcoff, Hemsky, Hall, Eberle, RNH, Jones, Eager, Belanger, Whitney, Smid, Schultz, Potter, Sutton and Khabibulin are on one-way deals. Technically Hall, Eberle and RNH are on two-ways and could go to minors, but that won’t happen.

Paajarvi, Lander, Hartikainen, Pitlick, Hamilton, Cornet, Tyrvainen, House, Arcobello, Abney, Martindale, Pelss, Teubert, Marincin, Bunz and Roy all have two-way deals for next season.

Tambellini will need to make decisions on RFA/UFAs like Dubnyk, Smyth,  Petry, Gagner, Peckham, Petrell, Alex Plante and Taylor Chorney.

I’d be stunned if they qualify Cam Barker, I doubt they re-sign Darcy Hordichuk while Linus Omark will most likely be dealt.


I wonder if this is how Tom Renney feels. I can’t recall the last time a coach sat in limbo this long awaiting his fate. I’m sure it has happened, but I sure don’t like the optics.

It’s been over a month since the Oilers cleaned out their dressing room and went their separate ways. We haven’t heard much on the coaching front since, but earlier this a week a source told me Renney likely isn’t coming back. I think most of us suspected as much, but it’s the first time I’ve been able to get any sort of answer on the direction the Oilers are heading in.

I was also told that it seems more likely by the day that Brent Sutter is at the top of the list to replace Renney. I couldn’t get any confirmation that he was guaranteed to get the job, but I got the sense that is the direction they are leaning. I also couldn’t get confirmation when this announcement would take place.

I’ve said for weeks that during Tambellini’s extension presser, that at the very least he will announce Renney’s fate one way or the other. It would look awful, and very disrespectful, if they announced Renney wasn’t returning, and then introduced the new coach moments later. Maybe they’ve already told Renney he isn’t returning, but I highly doubt it, since that would have leaked out somewhere. If Renney knew he wasn’t coming back, I’m sure he’d let people in the hockey world know so he could start looking for another job. 

That is what I find concerning about the delayed announcement. By tomorrow we will be down to four teams remaining in the quest for the Cup, and the other 26 will be formulating plans and making calls regarding their coaching staffs for next season. If Renney isn’t returning, then they need to give him an opportunity to apply for other jobs as soon as possible.

After my conversation this week regarding Renney and Sutter, you have to wonder where that leaves the rest of the coaches. I doubt Krueger sticks around with a new regime. I think Smith has a good chance to stick, while Buchberger has been here under MacTavish, Quinn and Renney. Will he last through four different head coaches?

  •  Kevin Lowe has had a chance to see Ryan Murray up close at the World Championships, and he’s been very impressed. Why wouldn’t he, the kid can play, but is he the best player in the draft? No one knows for sure, but every independant scouting bureau has Nail Yakupov listed at #1. The risk in taking a D-man first overall is there’s a good chance he won’t be the best player long-term. History shows the best D-man is rarely the first one drafted. If the Oilers really want to take a D-man, and I understand that thinking, then they should trade down. I wouldn’t take a D-man first overall, regardless of which one they like the best. Yakupov is the consensus #1, so either take him or trade down.
  • Win or lose, I think the Rangers will acquire Rick Nash this summer. They don’t have enough skilled forwards to compete v. Pittsburgh or Philly long-term.
  • Sven Bartschi is a very good young player, and he’ll play in Calgary next year, but he’s not a miracle worker. During last night’s WHL game, the Shaw broadcast crew’s suggestion that if he was in Calgary all year they would have made playoffs were a massive stretch. The kid is good, but he’s not God. He couldn’t have created a miracle.
  • It would be nice if Sportsnet or TSN picked up some of the AHL games between Toronto and OKC. The Barons are one win away from facing the Marlies in the 3rd round of the AHL playoffs. It would be great for fans in Toronto and Edmonton to see their top prospects playing playoff games, not to mention a nice reward for two fan bases who haven’t witnessed playoffs since 2004 and 2006.


Thanks for the awesome response. We are 48% sold out in two days.

I am riding in the 190km MS Bike Tour on June 09th and 10th, and I’ve come up with a pretty good package for the diehard sports fan.  Click here and donate $100 and you will get one entry into the draw. If you donate $200 you get two entries and so on.

We only take 100 entries, and we only have 52 left.

The winner will win a prize pack that includes:

  1. A pair of tickets to the Oilers home opener in October.
  2. A pair of Edmonton Eskimos season tickets.
  3. A signed Jordan Eberle stick.
  4. Pizza for a year from Boston Pizza and a special "all meat wings" package.
  5. A beer fridge and beer for a year from Big Rock Brewery.
  6. Four Edmonton Rush season tickets.
  7. And more surprise prizes, something involving Wanye and something with Strudwick, to come in the next few weeks.

We will add a new prize every few days leading up to the draw on June 07th. So if you want a chance to win and help End MS, get in the draw today.

Thanks for your support and helping to End MS. 

  • O.C.

    What a great hire! The Oil were lucky they managed to re-up Tambo before someone else snapped him up.

    In later years, NHL historians will marvel at the pure genius that is Steven Tambellini.

  • The thing I’d like to see happen, is for Klowe to appoint himself the interim GM of the Oilers. As soon as the playoffs are over, and all teams have made decisions as to how the they want to proceed for 2012-13, there could be lots of upper management and coaches relieved of their duties. Waiting to see if any GMs and coaches who may be available would give Lowe a great opportunity to interview potential candidates in helping the Oilers push forward with their rebuild. My personal opinion of the current coach and gm is that neither are strong enough to lead this team in the direction they’re heading.

  • The Oilers are clearly under a review process for the coach next year.

    If Renney did not want to be considered as part of that review, he could have asked the Oilers for his release, and I’m sure they would have granted it, if he wanted to look for another job.

    Since he probably still wants to be considered for renewal as the coach, he probably hasn’t asked for his release to go look for other jobs.

    It would be stupid to rush the coaching decision when Dave Tippett might have been available if a Phoenix buyer had not been found and the Coyotes had been moved to Quebec City, requiring a bilingual coach.

    It would have been unfair to rush the coaching decision when one of the likely candidates, Todd Nelson, is still focused on the AHL playoffs.

  • It’s a bit scary to think who Tambelini would consider as a replacement for Renney, based on what Tambelini came up with for player selection in the likes of Barker, Eager, Hordichuck,Belanger. Some getting as much as 3 years on term. I can see that if you are using these players as interm fillers, why go to extended term on the deal. Giving Hemsky $5 million was a mistake, now you have Smyth needing the close or the same dollars.. why not he contributed more to the team than Hemsky.I am not a fan of Renney, taught he should have been fired in Dec. but I dont have the confidence in old Dithers to make this team a contender from the coach on.Rebulding via the draft .. now what?
    You better hire a coach who knows how the work with young players,,because this team is full of them, and dont see Sutter being the guy.

  • Puritania

    First off if Sutter is named coach of the Oilers I will be extremely disappointed. I think there will be some much better coaches available shortly this off season.


    Secondly, I really hope Tambo is a smooth Mother ****er and has been deliberately sewering this team. Hopefully behind closed doors we have a sharp hockey mind who is ready to take the NHL by storm now that we have aquired a sufficient amount of top picks.


  • Oilers4ever

    Oilers mgmt continues to be a three ring circus with how they are handling Renney. He’s a good guy who deserves respect and is not getting any. If I am a coach, I don’t want to be in Edmonton because there mgmt style is a disgrace to the entire league. Fire everyone of them arseholes and start up with a new regime that knows what the word class means.


    I have to sya Tambo does not instill confidence. He takes to long to anything and does not seem to be able to make the moves to help this team.

    Not sad to see Tom go BUT I think Tambo should go as well…….


    I have to sya Tambo does not instill confidence. He takes to long to anything and does not seem to be able to make the moves to help this team.

    Not sad to see Tom go BUT I think Tambo should go as well…….

  • Is it possible we see Renny move into the operations side of things? With Renny’s background could we see a move upwards into a role more suited to him. Head of player development would fit him like a glove. I think that’s what we are going to see rather than Renny being fired. Renny’s ability to evaluate players is known. He brought in Giradi in New York and look how that has turned out for the NYR. I just think that 2=2 = Sutter. Leaving that kind of homegrown talent on the table would behoove the Oilers. I think that Sutter has a desire to work with exactly the kind of club the Oilers have. I can’t see him wanting another Calgary situation. The WHC are certainly a way for Sutter to lay the groundwork with players like Dubnyk,Eberle and RNH.(Murray?)

    Gregor you always quote that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Would not this scenario be counter to that? I certainly for one admire the job that Renny has done but its time for a new voice in the locker room. Renny deserves to be elevated,not cutoff, for the tremendous work that he has done in moving this team forward. His attitude and dedication to teaching has served the team well. Players like Hall.Eberle and RNH have benefited from his patience and though at times we all have cried for more, Renny choose the harder path to travel. It has not been easy for him. Yet for all the whining and moaning about how we are a lottery team again I look forward to the day that the seeds that have been planted come to bear fruit.

  • Reg Dunlop

    @ michael

    Bear fruit? Does moving up from 29th to 26th next year constitute bearing fruit? Renny deserves a higher position with the oil? Why? He has done NOTHING quantifiable to warrant anything but adios. This is pro sports, the time to compete is NOW. Enough coddling the kids,if they are to be top line guys they have to succeed against other teams best.

    There are some pieces of the puzzle in place, now is the time for mgmt to finish the job(2 more NHL dmen and bottom 6 forwards that know what their role is and can do it).

    As for Tambi, he also has earned nothing but his walking papers. The Yellowhead runs east/west, be on it. As many have previously stated, one of our problems is low expectations. Rebuild is a licence to stink at your job and get away with it. Enough already. AAARRRGGG, I am a joy to be around today.

  • @Reg Dunlop I agree to disagree. What were your expectations going into this season? A 30 point rise in the standings? We improved by 12 points. PK and PP were respectable. We saw some disappointments from some veteran players on this squad. But overall the goal of making the team better was achieved.

    What do you expect this coming season. 100 points and a conference championship? I realisticaly think we can get 85 points and 37-40 wins in 2012-2013. I ould love to be wrong and see us in the 95 point range but I do not see that kind of progression about to occur.

  • DSF

    Oh, good grief.

    In one offseason, Dale Tallon took the Panthers from 15th in the EC to division champs and a playoff berth.

    He did this while maintaining the best prospect base in hockey and being almost $20 million under the cap.

    After drafting first overall three times in a row and missing the playoffs six years in a row, if the Oilers can’t make the playoffs next season, the management team should be fired, hung and burned…in no particular order.

    All you Stepford Fans who think a little progress is acceptable need to realize the Oilers are burning through ELC’s on their young guns like there is no tomorrow.

    Just win Baby.

    Or take the gas pipe.

  • DSF

    The sky is falling. The Rapture is coming. Its the Mayan/Oiler Apocolyps. Its Y2K.Good grief Charlie Brown. ELC? Then what? We have to pay Hall ,Hopkins and Eberle 1.5 -2.5 more than there making now. OMG its the end of the world. What happens at the end of an ELC in your nightmare scenario? Toronto offers them 7 million per season and the Oilers match? Or they take 3 number 1’s. Please breath and look to the past. At 47 I have seen this happen before. Breath and enjoy it. The process is moving forward in a direction that most fans think is reasonable. Did you really expect to win overnight?

  • Reality Check to the head

    @ Jason Gregor and everyone else who believes that Renney should be treated better.

    Last year Renny made 10-20 times more than everyone else on this blog and possibly more. The Oilers are one of 30 NHL teams who employ coaches. I am not saying they are handling this situation 100% right with Renney, however, the oilers have earned the right to explore all their options.

    Most people do not judge (too harshy) a player, after playing out the final year of their contract before UFA for looking for the best possible situation (whether money or championship potential). Most people would agree that the player has earned the chance to shop around.

    Well the oilers have earned the chance to shop around for the right coach. They have respected the terms of the contract they have signed and are now shopping for coaches. Anyone who thinks otherwise should suck it. Seriously, If the oilers cannot find someone better than Renney, and approach Renney about the job, he then has the option to tell them to shove it. However, I think Renney would (begrudingly) take his position back at the helm of the Oiler coaching staff.

    So as one of 30 teams in the NHL, who holds all the cards in this game with Renney?

  • Slapshot

    WHAT IS TAKING LONGER TO DEVELOP , A WINNING TEAM OR A WINNING GM ? The latter seems more in tune with a green Gm that has yet to field a competitive team as yet . How long must Oilers be strattled with a losing GM before fans, etc. rise up and demand change ?

  • Reality Check to the head

    This movie is getting stranger by the day. Seems everyone is hiding in the weeds[ not the smoking kind]. Owners not to be found, the President is hiding at the worlds, and making like he knows nothing, and the G M is touring Europe and is not even dithering. No deal for the GM, and the expiring coach is swinging in the wind. The local scribes /media dont have an inside track to this show. Not sure if this is a drama or a comedy.

  • Reality Check to the head

    Right on Playoff Bound 2013. The present coach has made millions and we haven’t got out of the basement. boo hoo for him. The Oiler have done everything as per their contract. They don’t owe Renney anything. They have the right to try to upgrade their coaching if they want. I think we should all quit crying for Tom Renney and think what is best for the Oilers. I don’t think he will starve if the Oilers let him go. Besides, why should ST do anything until he has inked his own contract. If I was him that would my first priority.