Tambellini, 54, has been the GM in Edmonton since 2008.
The team has failed to make the playoffs during his four seasons on the job, and he’s been in the unique position of having the first overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft three years in a row, selecting Taylor Hall (2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and Nail Yakupov (2012).
This year, the Oilers seemed primed to make a run at the postseason but have faltered badly of late, losing five straight, including a disappointing 4-1 loss to provincial rival Calgary on Saturday.
Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe has announced he’ll hold a press conference later this morning, at which time the news of Tambellini’s firing is expected to be made official.
According to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, Tambellini will be replaced by former Oilers coach Craig MacTavish who, ironically enough, was fired by Tambellini in 2009…but was hired back by Tambellini in 2012 as part of the club’s Hockey Operations department.
Friedman also reports former Columbus GM Scott Howson, who had been working in Edmonton’s scouting department, will also be promoted to an “expanded role” in the front office.
Oilers make it official…
#Oilers announce Craig MacTavish as their new General Manager, Scott Howson named Senior VP of Hockey Operations
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.