How many coaches does Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini get to send down the road before he takes the fall and joins them on the unemployment line? I’d hope Tambellini reached his limit with today’s announcement Tom Renney won’t be back.

Having pulled the trigger on a good man and a good coach in Renney, the next bullet in the Oilers organizational gun has to have Tambellini’s name on it — a lot of fans would add the name of president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe — if the rebuild doesn’t move forward into the new phase the GM talked about at his availability at Rexall Place today.

It’s time for some buck-stops-here mentality and that means that Tambellini, who has a new contract in his pocket from owner Daryl Katz, had better get it right with his next coaching hire. I believe that hire, all circumstances taken into account, will be Brent Sutter.

That won’t play out, we’re led to believe by Tambellini, immediately. He’d only say today he wants to have somebody in place before the NHL Entry Draft, which is June 22. Every instinct I have tells me we’ll have a new man in the hot seat before June 1 and that Sutter is the leading candidate.

I don’t know for sure if that’s the right move, but it better be because the next guy out the door if the rebuild goes sideways absolutely has to be the guy who delivered the bad news to a good man today.

Over to you, Steve.

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

  • Banger

    “We want to make sure we’re doing all we can as we enter this next phase of development so that we are putting ourselves in a spot where we are competing for playoff spots.”

    -Mr. Dithers

    From playoffs to not having another lottery pick to competing for playoffs. If Tambellini misses this goal as well, can we all finally agree that he is not the manager we need in charge to properly handle assests like Eberle, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, ect…

  • SurfacetoAirMissile

    @ Rob:

    Not sure the wrong guy got fired today. The problem is two guys more culpable then him didn’t also get fired.

    Renney is a decent coach, but not a great coach and we should not settle for less.

    Lowe has lost it as a GM (and make no mistake about it, Lowe IS the GM) and surely if you have to have a puppet in front of the media pretending to be GM you can get a more entertaining/credible one than Tambo.

    The right thing to do would have been to clean them all out. They didn’t and its us fans who are going to pay the price…

  • The Farmer

    I don’t know if Sutter is the right man for the job, but i don’t know what all the hate is about for him. He’s a Flame castaway sure, but part of that is because he wanted the team to play a different way than they were, and nobody including management would buy in. He was lucky to get out when he did, and he might just be what the doctor ordered here.

  • dawgbone98

    DSF, do you think the Panthers are for real? They look to me a lot like the 07-08 Oilers, a team that relied heavily on non-regulation points.

    Not to mention the fact that they were in arguably the worst division in the NHL.

    • DSF

      The Panthers are for real.

      Their goal differential was certainly a concern but I think they showed in the playoffs that they can be very competitive.

      It’s important to bear in mind the quality and depth of the prospects who are coming up through their system.

      G: Markstrom

      D: Petrovic, Robak, Seabrook

      F: Huberdeau, Howden, Bjugstad, McFarland, Grimaldi, Shore.

      Considering they ran with 3 very young but very promising defensemen in Kulikov, Gudbranson and Ellerby, I think their D has huge upside.

      And, of course, with almost $24 million in cap space, you can bet Tallon will be adding a few more pieces.

      Man knows what he’s doing.

  • O.C.

    The reality is if the Oil aren’t in the hunt for a playoff spot this year, upper management will be punted before the trade deadline.

    A lot of sleepless nights ahead.

  • Renney seemed like a good man. I’m sad to see him go but being a good man doesn’t necessarily make you the right man for the next step. Good to hear the organization is trying to take it.

    A lot of people are calling for Tambellini’s head, arguing that Renney wasn’t given the right tools to get the job done.

    I agree that Renney was set up to fail, but this precisely means that Tambellini is doing his job. Katz ordered a rebuild, a way to escape the cycle of mediocrity and finishing just outside the bubble and drafting mid-round.

    Noone wants to hear this but I think Tambi has done pretty much exactly what his bosses wanted. He has taken the team to the bottom of the league and the top of the draft, and has completely reworked the insides of the organization vis a vis OKC. The motto is build from within. He has made very conservative and safe choices ever since the rebuild was declared, which is exactly what you need when trying to completely turn around an entire organization. Would you want Burke taking risks and trading away our first rounders? I didn’t think so.

    You might not like Tambi, and be standing white-knuckled with your pitchfork in the air as you shout at the walls of Castle Katz. Nevertheless he was the right man for the job.

    I’m not sure how often it is that the GM who creates the team is still the GM when the team matures and becomes a contender. Will Tambi be the GM during this next phase? Is he the right man for the job? Either way this next year will tell us.

  • Milli

    I`m not sure the Renney didn`t deserve to get aexd, but Tambo should have been axed as well. Fire both or keep both. As for Sutter, I am actually pretty excited to have him coach. No nonsense, hard nosed, he will get the most out of the players that is for certain. And he will want to destroy the Lames!!!!!

  • Milli

    RB…….you are reading my mind. The only thing I would add is the caliber of the bullet should be cannon sized!

    If we are going to kill the ” worst GM in the NHL”, let’s do it with style, something he lacks big time.

  • Zamboni Driver

    Cue the “MacT” thoughts.

    and I wouldn’t actually be surprised, why? Because people in this City do not demand better. And have no new ideas “I really wish we could bring back Penner.” “Where is Mike Grier these days?!” “LUMMER. WE NEED LUMMER”

    We want it to be 1990. and we think that these bozos who were good PLAYERS are good at anything else.

    Dear Edmonton,

    1990 was….now take off your shoes and socks to count for this one. And get your dogs paws ready, because this is a hard one.


    I have a crazy idea.

    Someone with coaching credentials.
    With GM credentials that would not, in 100 million years give the owners’ weight lifting buddy $7 mil.

    And that maybe.
    JUST MAYBE – wasn’t an Oiler.

    Oh right.
    They had a coach like that. And the Boys on the Bus just ran him over.

    Stay classy Oilers.

    And keep believing that ‘veteran leadership’ like the tinman and the really rich weightlifter will take this team anywhere.

    Oh and maybe watch the playoffs HERE instead of the booze cruise to Europe to figure out how to win in the NHL.

  • Well Dithers really bugged me during his interview essentially throwing Renney under the bus. We need to get more out of our players, we need to produce more, we expect more. Well Dithers no coach will get this team to the playoffs. Dithers needs to start doing his job. The defense is in terrible shape with an injury or two which will happen. I like Dubnyk but if he starts out slow we can’t depend on Bulin to do the job, relying on that is just plain stupid. So, Dithers start taking responsibility for how you are doing your job.

  • PREMONITION ? Has TAMBO just announced his own impending dismissal ? Apparantly Tams would like to hook up again with Renney down the road . Sounds to me like Tams may be stepping down as no contract extention has been attained. Can we be so lucky ? In order to fascilitate a competitive team for upcoming season, which Tams has failed miserably at , a new GM should be put in place shortly as well . The dislike for Tams grows stronger each time he opens his mouth .

    Has there ever been a GM in league with a results record as poor as Tambellini’s here ? The fans generally have no faith in Tams ,and it’s not hard to figure out why . It’s time to move forward with someone new .

  • crobar

    can’t wait for tencer to start hyping up the team with his classic and optimistic line…. (after another loss)”as the rebuild continues”. is there a bigger stooge in this town?? he MUST be on the oiler payroll….

  • crobar

    Maybe this is a moot point but…. was Tambo’s contract extension ever made public? It seemed like a foregone conclusion but I seem to have missed it in the news.

  • dawgbone98

    @DSF they proved they were real? They were losing by 2 or more goals at one point in 5 of the 7 games (they lost 4 of them).

    Getting down by that many early is not the mark of a good team and in doing so they played with fire (and of course ended up losing).

    Them having $24 mil in cap space is rather meaningless when they won’t spend to the cap, especially when they have to sign some of those good young D and pay Versteeg for a career year.

    You mention that their GD is worrisome. Yeah, I’d say so. They managed to make a modest improvement of +10 in their GD and made up 22 points based on that, most of which had to do with their division mates dropping off (Tampa & Washington) than it did any real improvements by Florida.

    I mean I guess the good news for the Panthers is that their division doesn’t look to be any better next year, so they have that going for them, but their -24 is the worst GD of a playoff team since the 96-97 Montreal Canadians. That’s one hell of an outlier.

    • DSF

      How do you know what their spending plans are?

      Versteeg made $3.3M last season…can’t see him getting more than $4M.

      That leaves $23M in cap space.

      Kulikov and Ellerby are RFA’s so likely won’t hit the jackpot.

      Suggesting Florida will be in tight signing them is just silly.

      Of course, you totally ignored the young, cheap help they have coming.