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.
He has been replaced by a tandem of former Coach Craig MacTavish and celebrated GM of the Blue Jackets Scott Howson.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.
PEACE OUT TAMBO
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.
MACT x HOWSON RISES
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.
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE
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.
We believe in you*
SOME WORDS OF ADVICE FROM A MORON
"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.