The Edmonton Oilers have reportedly fired general manager Steve Tambellini, according to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug.
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…
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.