Now we’re talking.

As reported by the esteemed Jonathan Willis and the rest of the internets Steve Tambellini has been fired as the GM of the Edmonton Oilers despite his outrageous results at the helm of the team these past 12 odd years. It’s almost as though the plan isn’t to sit on the bottom of the NHL ocean floor for all eternity.

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He has been replaced by a tandem of former Coach Craig MacTavish and celebrated GM of the Blue Jackets Scott Howson. This is understandably giving some Oilers fans migraine headaches and somewhere Paul Shmyr is polishing his CV and looking at projections for Edmonton Real Estate values 2017-2022.

Also causing some excitement at the moment is the presser by Kevin Lowe where he called out fans, praised himself for playing with Wayne Gretzky and pumped his own tire so hard Donald Trump watches on in smug approval from his solid gold office in NY.

But there will be time enough for all of that hilarity. Today is about replacing the current problem with the old problem. It’s kind of like trying to put out a grease fire with a glass of gasoline. It’s gonna do something that’s for sure.


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When Steve Tambellini was hired we couldn’t help but be excited. A long time assistant GM in Vancouver, involved with Team Canada he seemed to have the perfect resume to lead the Oilers into a new era of winning. Hell his Dad Addie Tambellini was a part of the 1961 Trail Smoke Eaters that won the World Ice Hockey Championships. That’s a good pedigree any way you slice it.

But five years later Tambellini leaves more questions than answers with his enigmatic ways. The Oilers are stocked with talent to the roof, yet are burning years of All World Entry Level Contracts like crazy because of an inability to address team toughness, add a couple bottom 6 forwards with size and heart and bolster the defensive corps.

He never seemed entirely comfortable with the job, ducking media and fans alike and never quite able to move from the assessment phase of his career to the "take action and plug holes" part. Was he merely taking his marching orders from Kevin Lowe? Or was he unable to get involved in the deals that seemed to flow around him like the Mighty North Saskatchewan around the River Queen?

We may never know but the image of Tambo smiling as the Oil crushed the Blue Jackets in the draft lottery will remain burned into our brain until the end of time.

Good luck to where ever life may take you Mr Tambellini. You will doubtlessly work somewhere else in hockey – perhaps in an assessing capacity. At the end of the day we represent polite Edmontonians who followed your every move for 5 years. May you go in peace with all the best wishes in the world.


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Ah our old nemesis/life partner Craig MacTavish is just rocketing up the depth charts now isn’t he? We won’t have to think of any new jokes now for at least a season – we already have acronyms at the ready to be dusted off. We know all the digs we will need to use and Scott Howson being back in semi-charge replacing the next worst GM in the league practically writes itself.

Yeah, the good times have returned for your ol’ pal Wanye with the return of the Silver Fox. Whether or not the good times return for the Mighty Oilers on the ice that remains to be seen.


Here’s the thing about Craig MacTavish. You may not necessarily like the guy but you have to respect him. He is very bright – hell compared to others around his office he positively looks like Einstein and Stephen Hawking did a Spockian mind meld and look real sexy like now.

And we don’t get the sense that he is going to sit on his hands and hope to win the draft lottery each and every year. Yes he was crippled by the GMs inability to get him help and clearly lost the room towards the end of his regime as head coach. But you know K.Lowe ain’t gonna run his show – he has been dealing with the guy since he forgot to wear his helmet for a stunning 656 NHL games in a row.

This is a team that is really at a crossroads MacT. People are starting to get owly – the players themselves, fans and clearly Kevin Lowe ain’t having the time of his life. And ain’t nobody got time for that. Let’s get on with the show MacT.

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We believe in you*


"What’s that Wanye?" you must be asking yourself if you are somehow still reading this tripe. "You have words of advice for Craig MacTavish? This can only be described as ‘unnecessary’ and ‘a waste of internet,’"

Yeah well we do have some pearls of wisdom to pass along.

#1: Make moves

You are in a market where your every move is breathlessly watched and dissected. And you have a roster laden with players that could go elsewhere and exact a terrible revenge on their former team for years to come. This could make it real easy to be riddled with indecision as to what to do next.

Make some moves MacT. Address the issues that everyone within 1000 miles of Rexall Place know need to be addressed. If you have to deal some stars to do this (of course not Jordan Eberle) then just pull trigger. This standing pat crap isn’t gonna play no more. The Nuge turns 13 next year for heaven’s sakes. Make moves knowing everyone is behind you and better to do a deal trying to improve things than stand around flipping coins into a wishing well.

#2 Don’t be afraid to snap if you are frustrated

If there is one thing we love about MacT – other than that impossibly curly shock of silver hair atop his head – it’s when he goes wild on a reporter in a presser. In an environment as tense as this seeing that someone involved with the team is mad too would be a much needed dose of relief.

#3 Stop treating the fans like a bout of the Avian Flu

Not quite sure why the Oilers Organization is building a Grand Canyon of a gulf between the team and their trillions of fans worldwide. As fans go everyone has been pretty damned patient. But if you were to extend an olive branch our way – say by commiserating with our misery and treating us with 2% more respect than one would treat the gum on one’s shoe – you could quickly build a much needed bridge and get everyone on side.


To celebrate the beginning of a new regime that is still eternally linked to days of glory from long ago we would like to announce a photoshop contest celebrating the changeover in the style of a recent changing of the guard in North Korea.

Are we saying that the Oilers are like the reclusive regime in Pyongyang? Certainly not. We are just saying that a photoshop suggesting they are would be funny.

Soldiers standing at attention. People crying. Jaunty military suits et al. Oh man it could be so awesome. If we knew how to operate the Photoshop Machine we would do it ourselves. But we can’t so there.

Entries close on Friday and the winner will get (3) NationGear tees from events in the past year – the draft party, the 5th birthday party and a special I heart the Yeg Arena shirt that is a uniform at Oodle Noodle.

Send em to wanyegretz at gmail dot com

*And Scott Howson too(?) Whatever.

  • The real minnow

    After watching the presser, I feel like I have a better understanding of how much of a micro-managing dickhead Klowe is.
    Also, I was excited to read Wanye’s take on this, and even more excited to see what the silver fox has up his sleeve.
    Today is a good day to be a fan of this team

  • The Real Scuba Steve

    As I said on stauffs show today: we have been methodically drafting the best player available (BPA). Yet when it comes to management Lowe and Katz refuse to hire the BMA – best manager available.

    We now have a rookie GM and a rookie manager and a first and second line that has never played a playoff game.

    I got cut off due to a hard break on the oil now show but below is essentially what I wanted to finish with:

    The problems at the beginning of the season remain at the end. How come its taken Jones (and all the other Edmonton sports media) to speak out.

    And yet they continue to ignore the elephant in the room – Katz.

    Do you think an owner like Steinbrenner would have put up with this crap?

    readers of the this post should google Phillip wrigley.

    And ponder an owner like him having endless sellouts in a new, govt funded building surrounded by real estate he owns, counting and folding his money not motivated in the slightest to make real changes to the on ice product…

    For the next THIRTY-FIVE years.

    We are hostages to his contentment with being surrounded by sycophants and mediocre hockey.

    • Eddie Shore

      Then stop supporting his team if he upsets you so much. Nobody is forcing you to be a fan. Unfortunately he OWNS the team, so he will do whatever the hell he wants with them.

      • vetinari

        Absolutely asinine comment.

        My support of a team is not determined by who owns it. The oil existed before Katz. It will exist after he sells it. I remain a fan for better or worse throughout. AND I will exercise my right as a fan to criticize or compliment management and players throughout.

        • Hair bag

          That’s fine but live in reality. You can criticize management and hockey operations all you want. But, unless you are sitting down with Katz for Sunday dinner every week I hardly think you are a valid source to be spouting off about his grand scheme to screw the fan base and rape and pillage the taxpayer for all the financial gain he can possibly get. Stick to being angry about the hockey team, your conspiracy theories overshadow are starting to overshadow any of the valid points that you do make….

  • vetinari

    If we can post back in time, please tell Tambellini to not put that “GM 4 LIFE” sticker on the back of his SUV… and on trade deadline day to actually do something!!!

  • Just like Hemsky playing on a line with Yak and Gags, Mac T at least doesn’t have any excuses for not winning as he not only has the talented tools that are hard to acquire, and is in the position to go out and get everything else he needs.

  • geoilersgist

    Major props to the Boston marthon runners who continued to run to the hospital so they could give blood. I am always impressed with good humanity can be. In times of crisis don’t dwell on the evils. Look for the helpers they are the ones who define humanity. Not the radicals.

    Thoughts and prayers.

  • vetinari

    Thoughts and love to the people affected by the Boston marathon bombing…

    As for the Tambellini dismissal, I plan on getting drunk, finding an elephant, and ghost riding the pachyderm on my way home…

  • #ThereGoesTheOilers

    “We may never know but the image of Tambo smiling as the Oil crushed the Blue Jackets in the draft lottery will remain burned into our brain until the end of time.”

    Ain’t that the truth?

    • #ThereGoesTheOilers

      I must say that after the career Suicide K-Lowe committed with his overt elitism and arrogance combined with a healthy dose of absolute distaste I cant see how he could possibly survive here much longer, he initiated contact when facing a terminal dynamic as is his nature and the writing is on the wall.

      Insulting and degrading the majority of Oilers fans Nationally and Worldide is never good for business, considering todays Global marketplace, not very well played.

      Kevin Lowe needs a strong Intuitive influence immediatly to balance his perspective, he is fighting his battles in the wrong places with misplaced energy and resources to many times. had he been well versed in dynamic managment he would have read into the question deeper and not replied with the exact context he projected and we all might have recieved a different and more accurate and tempered message.

      The idiot was trying to simply say that the paying fans carry a specific fiscal power and weight that the team must respect and respond to as a primary catalyst of actions as a going concern all of the time, and this means that as much as the team values and respects the many many
      fans who support the Oilers but arent able to make it to games but support us in many many other ways, we cannot possibly burn the candle at both ends. We do our best to always inject as much Oilers fan-Flavor into our operatios as we can, thats how much we value and respect the many fans we have and work for all over the world.

      The idiot was trying to say that he has a firm understanding of what it takes to create a winning formula here and he has 7 rings to back that acumen up so the fans can rest assured that he will be prepared and able to create this winning environment for them here next year,and that the 7 rings were all earned by teams engaging challenges as many times as it took to find the winning formula, and this means hard hard work, boreing hard work at full effort every night, a truly gruelling pace that always starts with mistakes that are piled up and worked into winning solutions through volume of experience and nothing else. So lets all try to stay the course, it is safe to say we are nearing calmer waters as we speak.

      That took me a few minutes to post, so who the hell is helping the Oilers out here anyways, and dont they arrange prepared questions that they let the reporters prepare for them? You know ask the reporters to submit their individual questions—and an alternate question as well,ha ha ha— pre-interview and have the Oilers rep ‘randomly” choose the questions they want to participate in with each media rep on air or otherwise. Or we wont play ball at all.That is called Intuative Dynamic Managment, anticipating every possible future dynamic factor that could possibly effect the teams ability to produce positive outputs, results are stats based outputs are not, different catalyst, the root of most of the teams failures and inadequacies.

      Lets just keep working at bringing back the trainers and other pieces of the winning puzzle we have tossed away needlessly if they will accept our traitor asses now. Prendergrast should be next to return, and the list is long.

      And replace the Video Coach with NewAgeSys while you have the hatchet out,lets give K-Lowe and the team the Intuitive Analytical perspective they so badly need,ha ha ha. After all that is the only spot where you can correct dynamic changes or errors immediatly, it is the most influential seat at the battle which is why we need an Intuit there adding to the analysis and tactical dictum at all times with tangible influence. You know like in the movies where the King always has an Intuit by his side somewhere giving him the edge allowing him to anticipate and plan with seeming ability to read the future or dynamic flow of actions and reactions. Knights werent the right hand men of Kings, Intuits were,ha ha ha.

      The Oilers keep trying to put their strongest Knights beside the King when they should be putting them beside the General on the field of battle where they can optimise their influence. This asset lacking resulting in dynamic mismanagment is causing an epic level dynamic disconnect, one the Oilers can neither diagnose nor cure without a strong intuitive influence being injected into their power structure immediatly.

      The Oilers coaches have enough gut instinct, we arent talking about gut instinct, we are talking about a completely individual perspective commonly referred to as being a visual thinker, this abilty allows you to follow dynamic patterns and sequences with anticipatory accuracy far surpassing any other perspective available. Most are born with it, few can teach it, but when they can they can move move mountains and teach you how to learn foreign languages or win Stanley Cups in a few weeks. I am an Intuit, and love being a hockey fan,ha ha ha.

      Tambi was never the solution ,he was just another soldier with different stripes on his shirt than everyone elses, we lose one and we gain one, no harm no foul. Next issue please.

      Kevin Lowe is the System representative and catalyst of its content and direction so I believe he needs to be taken to task and either table a prospectus illustrating adjustments he is engaging to correct the managment weaknesses he is encountering within the organisation on many levels concurrently or walk the plank, something must change with K-Lowe as well and it must be tangible, and measurable,and he must own and be accountable for those changes. After his implosion he might already be the Number One pick at the Bucket List Draft those seeking blood have created,ha ha ha ha.

      K-Lowe = Oilers System and the system is the only top to bottom influence that has been in place and around long enough in an influential enough position to have effected decades of loseing results, Kevin Lowe IS the Systems representaive and Advocate, it is his job, but whoever picks the System is directly responsible for our current and long-held position as a loseing team. If Kevin Lowe designed and or picked this system then he needs to be accountable for the results it has consistantly produced for most of his entire tenure. If he was forced to utilise this system then tell his boss he has screwed up royally. I already know that Mac-T created this system, but he is now disconnected from the decision making process and he was forced to use its predecessor anyways he adjusted it to take us to the finals and that is what we use today.

      We need to recognise the system as our achillies heel and really its not that hard a thing to do, or we can all make more popcorn and just watch the oilers infrastructure begin to cannabilise itself over the next few years as they struggle to find consistancy solutions in the wrong places as we have done for decades now. We need an Intuit to troubleshoot mac-Ts Adjusted-Hybrid system so we can keep our current super-structure organisationally and produce better playoff level results or we need a completely new System and its Philosophys to start fresh with from the top down,current persnell optional in all positions.