Today Oilers GM Steve Tambellini held a conference call to announce that the Oilers have finally ended the grovelling, begging, pleading, and video-sending. The Oilers have moved on and will no longer pursue Dany Heatley.
Good news, yes? Well, whether you were wanting the Oilers to land Dany Heatley or just wanting the team to move on, most fans recognized that the Oilers need to do something to make this team better. So far the Oilers are plus Khabibulin, and a new coaching staff, and minus Roloson, Brodziak and Kotalik. There is still a question mark on the top line left wing (and possibly center, although I stand by Horcoff), size issues in the top six , and a lack of faceoff depth beyond Horcoff.
Disappointingly, Tambellini also commented during the phone conference that he feels this team is a playoff contender as is. He also alluded earlier in the off-season that if negotiations with Heatley didn’t work out, there wouldn’t be any other changes in store for the Oilers. It would be Heatley or bust. Pouliot and/or Brule are likely going to get a big opportunity this year to fill in with the checking center role. And while I do like their offensive upside (albeit somewhat limited, at the moment) I don’t think either of these guys can replace the faceoff abilities of a Brodizak, or Reasoner or Stoll.
But hey, it’s a new season, and a new coaching staff. We’ll just have to be patient and wait and see.