Tag: Steve Tambellini

Steve Tambellini

Oops: Every player from start of Oilers rebuild now elsewhere


When the Edmonton Oilers officially began their rebuild in the 2009-10 season, hope ran high. Since that season they’ve added guys like Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, and Nail Yakupov to provide hope they’ll return to the playoffs for the first time since the Stanley Cup Final fun in 2006.

But the team that started it all that first season under GM Steve Tambellini? They’re all playing elsewhere now.

Jonathan Willis of the Edmonton Journal highlighted this fact showing when each player from that team left or was moved out of the organization and what they got in return for them. Teddy Purcell, Oscar Klefbom, Matt Hendricks, and Nikita Nikitin are the NHL-ready remnants of those moves.

The final few who departed this summer included Ales Hemsky, Devan Dubnyk, Sam Gagner, and Ryan Jones. Only Jones hasn’t found a new home as Hemsky signed with Dallas this summer and Gagner was sent to Tampa Bay for Purcell (then later moved to Arizona). Dubnyk was moved to Nashville last season in the Hendricks deal.

Tambellini’s history as GM in Edmonton was an awkward one. While the team was able to land tremendous talent with all those first-round picks and sign Justin Schultz as a free agent, the team never improved and has missed the playoffs eight seasons in a row.

Now with Craig MacTavish entering his second year as GM, the roster is clear of everyone Tambellini attempted to start the road to recovery with. You have to think that’s a good thing given how things have gone for Edmonton.

PHT Morning Skate: Khabibulin’s return a bit of a downer

Pavel Datsyuk, Nikolai Khabibulin, Ladislav Smid
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Nikolai Khabibulin finally had a chance to play yesterday and did well for Edmonton… And still lost the game. (Edmonton Journal)

A rare feat occurred yesterday: A double-shutout in the Coyotes shootout win over the Sharks. (NBCSports)

Paul Gaustad’s rarely-called penalty, in overtime no less, ended up costing the Preds the game. Don’t worry, there’s an explanation for it. (The Tennessean)

So far things are looking good for the NHL following the lockout as the damage many thought might happen hasn’t happened. (Denver Post)

Realignment talk is about to heat up as it’s being discussed again. (New York Post)

The Blue Jackets shook up their lines in practice. Will it help on the ice? (Columbus Dispatch)

Finally, check out Red Wings GM Ken Holland and Oilers GM Steve Tambellini having trouble working a remote control. (NHL.com)

Justin Schultz is Edmonton’s blue line hope for the future

Justin Schultz
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Justin Schultz was perhaps the most hotly pursued free agent defenseman of the summer not named Ryan Suter.

The unsigned Anaheim Ducks draft pick was courted heavily by teams and his desire to play back home in Canada won him over as he signed a two-year deal with the Oilers. After playing three years for the University of Wisconsin, he’ll now look to earn a spot in the Oilers top-six along the blue line.

The question people have now is whether or not he’s worth the hype. The numbers he put up in college certainly lead you to believe he is.

After playing in the national championship during his freshman year, Schultz broke out in a big way the next two seasons scoring 34 goals and adding 54 assists during those years. In each of those seasons he was a Hobey Baker Award finalist, college hockey’s top prize. Managing to do that in both his sophomore and junior seasons is rare.

Can those skills translate into the pro game? The Oilers and GM Steve Tambellini sure hope so. After spending the No. 1 pick three years running on forwards, Edmonton’s severely lacking defensive corps was lacking a young stud of their own.

If Schultz pans out the way many believe he can, he’ll have fans in Edmonton thinking he’s the Paul Coffey of a new generation of young Oilers stars.

Marc Crawford thinks he’d make a great head coach again

Marc Crawford

There are three head coaching positions still left to be filled in the NHL as Edmonton, Montreal, and Washington are still looking for help behind the bench. One guy who wants you to know he’d be a great candidate is Marc Crawford.

Crawford was the coach in Colorado, Vancouver, Dallas, and Los Angeles in the past and he tells Ben Kuzma of The Province he has all it takes to do the job the right way.

“I’m a really good communicator and a team player,” added Crawford. “You can’t be successful unless you’re a guy who collaborates and since the salary cap, you really have to be a problem solver because there’s not the ability to change you’re group like days gone by [hello, Mike Keenan]. I did a great job of making teams and players better.”

I wish I could take credit for the Keenan burn, but that’s all on Kuzma.

Crawford hasn’t coached in the NHL since he was let go by the Stars after the 2010-2011 season and after a full season away from the bench it’s clear he’s got the itch to get back at it. Plus with a statement like that, he sounds a lot like the guy in “Office Space” yelling about how he’s got great people skills and that’s always fun. Now Crawford will just have to hope GMs like Steve Tambellini, Marc Bergevin, and George McPhee aren’t like the Bobs and give him a shot.

Oilers GM Tambellini would need “significant offer” to part with No. 1 pick

Steve Tambellini

There are plenty of theories on what Edmonton should do with the first overall selection at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

One school of thought is to pick the consensus best player, Sarnia forward Nail Yakupov. Another is to draft based on need and select Everett defenseman Ryan Murray.

Another is to trade out of the No. 1 spot entirely — something that Oilers GM Steve Tambellini addressed today on Sportsnet’s Fan 590.

“I’ve had a few soft calls up to this point. I know there will be teams making offers,” Tambellini said. “We didn’t expect going into the lottery that we were going to win the lottery, but we got it and we’re happy with it.

“It’s a wonderful bonus, so you know that if we did do something, it would have to be a significant offer.”

Trading the first overall pick in the draft — prior to making the selection — has happened before, but not that often.

In 1983, Pittsburgh traded the first pick to Minnesota, who selected Brian Lawton.

Canucks GM Brian Burke was at the center of a hot potato No. 1 pick in 1999:

Burke started the process when Chicago won the draft lottery May 16. He immediately started talking with the Blackhawks in hopes of acquiring Chicago’s pick, No. 4. He did, trading defenseman Bryan McCabe and Vancouver’s No. 1 pick in 2000 or 2001 for the Blackhawk’s choice.

Then he moved that pick to Tampa Bay with the 75th and 88th choices overall for the Lightning’s pick, No. 1 in the draft. Finally, the Canucks traded the first overall pick and a conditional third-round choice in 2000 to Atlanta for the Thrashers’ choice, second overall.

The end result in ’99 was Patrick Stefan going No. 1 to Atlanta and the Sedin twins going No. 2 and 3 to the Canucks.

In 2002, Columbus GM Doug MacLean swung a deal with Florida to move up to No. 1 and select Rick Nash.

In 2003, the Panthers again traded out of No. 1 by sending it to Pittsburgh for a package including the No. 3. The Penguins took Marc-Andre Fleury first overall, the Panthers took Nathan Horton third.