Tambellini interviewed..

By , April 13, 2011 8:41 pm
I will figure you out one day, Mr. Tambellini....

I will figure you out one day, Mr. Tambellini....

So today Steve-O mentioned something to me that sent me in a bit of a panic. It was something along the lines of “Tambellini said that he isn’t going to be a player in free agency”. Our first thought was along the lines of “oh great, another year of abysmal failure.” But I dug up the interview (which I’m sure many of you have read now) and it’s actually a lot better than it sounds….

Tambellini actually said that he is not going to persue the big “$10 Million agent”. This is absolutely the correct thing for him to think. However, I would have to think that at this point, you’d have to be a complete moron (sorry to anyone out there that disagrees) to think that we should be pursuing a big name free agent anyways, at this stage. So, no bonus marks for Tambellini here.. just a simple check mark in the “isn’t being a dipshit for thinking we need a big money free agent” box.

So what else good did he have to say?

“Will we be looking for people to complement through free agency or player movement through a trade? Yes.” Check mark in that box…

“Would we like to increase our ability to win a faceoff? Yes.” Check mark in that box…

“Do we need some help on defence? Do we need some help at some of our forward positions? Yes, we do.” Check mark there too.

Now, I don’t think that they will address all those holes via trade or free agency. They’ll likely look within first for an immediate help, and then do what they can via free agency next, then trade if need be.

Really the one thing that Tambellini hasn’t acknowledged (and Renney disappointingly supports Tambellini on) is the need for a goaltender. Right now I can say that we’re probably right f—ed… stuck with Khabibulin because he and his large bag of money are going nowhere. Dubnyk has shown a lot of potential this year, much to my pleasure and even more to my surprise. But the combination of the two doesn’t get much done. And what I alluded to before with Renney was that Renney actually stated that the starter position next year belongs to Khabibulin. Yes, that is correct. Huge X mark on that one. There’s no spinning that one positively. Renney stated that Khabibulin has had bounce back years before, and that is why he is getting the nod to start next year. Ridiculous, if you ask me, when you have a guy like Dubnyk who has shown a lot of promise.

So, just when you think Tambellini has his head up his ass, he says some good things to get you thinking “great, this guy really does know what he’s doing.” But before you get too exited, you realize that there still are some glaring problems that he has no intention on fixing. I just don’t get this guy…

That said, it neither makes any sense to crown him a hero until he actually fixes the problems, or put the dunce cap on him for another year until he’s had a(nother) chance to fix things in the off-season. So I’ll see what he does before I completely judge… but 2010-11 gets a big fail mark, if he was actually attempting to pull this team out of the fire.

25 Responses to “Tambellini interviewed..”

  1. John says:

    I also agree that for this team to actually take the next big step (ala finishing in the 16-20 ranking) goaltending is the biggest key. We are definitely stuck with Krappybulins ridiculous contract but here is what I see, or at least hope, is what will happen next season; Dubbie plays 60 games as our #1, Boozin plays the other 22 as backup. Then we will get to see if Dubbie has it in him to be solid #1 potential, then the following season Roy can back him up & Khabbi can clean toilets or something…

  2. chucker says:

    We should take a run at Karlsson or a similar name like Toivenen. Bring back the three headed goalie monster. I honestly think Tambi is still hoping Khabbi pulls a miracle year out of his bag o’ tricks. Why? So he doesn’t look like he signed the terrible deal he did and doesn’t make the owner mad for another dud player at high dollars. We all know the best thing is to acquire a true starter and put Khabbi in Europe or someplace.

    I predict one tough guy D man signed, one centre like Belanger, one winger like Aashom signed or traded for, Fraser gone, Struds gone and a .0005% chance of acquiring a goalie.

  3. Racki says:

    I agree with your prediction chucker

  4. zackman35 says:

    The best thing about ST’s presser in my opinion was the fact that he mentioned he’s not looking to place/rush this years draft pick(s) into the line-up like last year (unless they put on a stellar performance in TC). He seems to have his head on right with the direction of the club and developing the compete within. That was the real hi-light for me, the fact that we will have drafted 20 sum young players who are all potentially going to be competing for spots soon in the actual organization.

    I think I read on TSN that Pitlick was signed yesterday too. Here are some numbers from Junior C’s…

    2011 Draft Class Top Centers QMJHL/OHL/WHL
    Sean Couturier 58gp, 36-60-96 (1.66)
    Ryan Strome 65gp, 33-73-106 (1.63)
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 69gp, 31-75-106 (1.54)

    In the System
    Tyler Pitlick 55gp, 27-35-62 (1.12)
    Ryan Martindale 65gp, 34-49-83 (1.27)

    Not quite at the same level as the top prospects of the draft class, however not bad for the 31st and 61st picks respectively, for last years picks. Both centers are at least 6’0 180lbs+

  5. Racki says:

    Yah I was actually going to post about the Oilers signing Tyler Pitlick to his ELC, but I kept forgetting about that. lol Really, that isn’t a huge deal, because we expected it to happen eventually, but it’s nice to see it done anyways.

    Also lost in the shuffle was that Eberle and Dubnyk were named to Canada’s roster for the 2011 World Championships.

    Anyways, I don’t want us to forget about Tyler Pitlick, and I almost did, if not for that signing. When I initially saw the first part of your post, that’s what I was thinking.. we have these guys and should be giving them a fair shot at making the team before we write them off and get that #1C. Chances are they are going to not be top line centers, but there is a chance… so let’s see what they can do.

    Pitlick is 6’2″, 188lbs, and Ryan Martindale is 6’3″, 190 lbs. Both have really nice size.

    Tyler Pitlick also has a reallllly nice write up on Hockeys Future. Take it for what it’s worth (I find that they know what they’re talking about, but sometimes when they like a player it comes across as though the player is EXTREMELY good), but here is the analysis there :

    Pitlick is highly ranked due mainly to his size and tremendous offensive skill set. He has great hands and sees the ice quite well. Pitlick could perhaps best be described as a pure goal scorer. He possesses excellent playmaking and finishing capabilities. One attribute that may be a bit underrated is his outstanding hockey sense. Pitlick understands the game very well and has the ability to make smart decisions.

    Martindale’s write up is not too flattering though. But that write up on Pitlick is pretty damn promising. Plus I thought he had a really good camp last year. He had 2 goals in 3 games in the Young Stars tourney and stood out for me.

    Anyways, he’s probably one of our least touted, better prospects.

  6. oilinblood says:

    Lander :)

    I want to see
    Magnum Lander Omark

  7. Racki says:

    Yes, Lander is definitely an option at C for sure, and I hope he’s here next year or the year after… but as even you noted in your mock line there, he wouldn’t be our #1C.

    I guess though if Lander is here, that doesn’t leave any room for Pitlick yet (and I wouldn’t want two more rookies in here anyways just yet.. maybe swapping back and forth a dozen or two games each). Unless more injuries hit, mind you.

  8. oilinblood says:

    If you are picking #1 overall you need to get a Franchise player. I feel Larsson is that guy but you know loyalty is going to be big with the Oilers and they will get a feel for that in interviews. I dont see issues with Swedes like we constantly do with Russians. Hall won me when pre-draft after the interview with Steve and Kevin and Stu he said something quietly like ‘I hope it went well. They are the team i want’ which kind of floored me. It was a nail on the head statement that was not very cool if you want to keep your options open. I wnt on the OMB and made a statement that i changed my pick that night. It was a close enough race that that interview (knowing so much about the oilers and wanting to win a cup again for the oil) combined with the hall way statement after was able to persuade me.
    This year picking #1 i only see 2 guys who state “FRANCHISE” to me. RNH is not one. If you dont pick a franchise player at #1 than trade the pick.
    Again i trust in Stu and co.

  9. Racki says:

    Odd how you don’t see RNH as the franchise player, as most of the scouts have him a decent amount ahead of Larsson and Landeskog.

    I personally have been flip flopping a lot. Really, I’ve got a guy I’m hoping for, but I’m no longer thinking “draft the d-man” or “draft the center”. Tambellini said it best in his recent interview – the Oilers and their scouts have a philosophy that they draft the best player available with their first 1st round pick (this year and every year) regardless of need or lack of need. So, things like size, having too many centers already… all that stuff doesn’t matter. The reason being, is because the thought should always be that our 1st rounder spends time in junior and the AHL for a bit before being brought into the team, and during that time spend developing, needs can change dramatically (of course of special note is that if these guys are on an equal plane, then of course you can draft by need).

    So, with that… I’m again leaving it in the capable hands of Stu MacGregor. The combine, the interviews, watching the games… all that will definitely play big parts though.

    My vote flip flops a lot between Larsson and RNH now, and occasionally Landeskog pops in there. But we’ve got two picks this year. As I’ve been saying along, I hope they can take that second pick and climb up the draft. Then really we can make two big picks.

    I haven’t heard a single thing about any goalie this year, which is too bad. But with Bunz playing well in the Hat, and Roy (who has been a bit of a question mark, granted), maybe we’ll be OK there in 3 or 4 years.

  10. Philip Chin says:

    Whoever the Oilers pick, I’m sure they have already done their homework on the right candidate, whether it be RNH, Larsson or Landeskog or someone else for that matter…….In STU, we TRUST….remember?

  11. Racki says:

    Agreed, Phillip… the Magnificent Bastard (et al) knows what he’s doing! Last year’s draft looks like it is going to be a great one.. I hope this one matches/beats it.

  12. Mark Loewen says:

    2003: Fleury(1st overall)
    2004: Malkin(2nd overall)
    2005: Crosby(1st Overall)
    2006: Staal(2nd overall)

    Oilers have Paajarvi, Eberle, and Hall(1st overall). This year will add RNH?(1st overall) and will place him back in JR’s for 1 more year of development. The Oilers will finish in the bottom 5-10 of the league again next year and will secure yet another Stud pick…. i agree with filling in needs here and there but there is no rush this year. I very good FO specialist and some help on D.. maybe a 2nd pairing guy? And let the chips fall for another high 1st round pick next year and this team will be a juggernaut for years to come. Patience is a virtue when it comes to the gameplan currently in place.

  13. Ktown says:

    So, not likely to be true to life, but I had a dream last night that the Oilers got RNH #1, and traded up to pick #17 to get Dougie Hamilton…

    Now, #1 – it was only a dream, and the other part included Reese Witherspoon (and I’m not sharing). #2 – the odds of Hamilton being available at pick #17 is slim-to-none (though Fowler taught everyone a lesson last year), but the Oilers picking at 17 is pretty easy to believe…

    Anyways, for no other reason than I could say, “you heard it here first thanks to my mutant powers of precognition”, just thought I’d share.

    Going for a nap now. Reese is waiting, and she’s a mean-spirited bitch if you don’t get on things asap…

  14. Racki says:

    Mark: I completely agree that the Oil should try and be patient with the prospects they draft this year. No need to bring them in just yet. However, as far as filling needs, I’d prefer that they really did do that. Nothing too spectacular though.. I’m not saying they should trade for or a sign a #1 center, or anything. Just saying they should get maybe a solid, defensive d-man to help out, the faceoff guy, and maybe add some bulk in there somewhere. All of this should come cheap though, and if not, then don’t bother. But Tambellini should really attempt to make this team much better this coming year.

    We really started this re-build in 2007, even if it wasn’t quite intentional at that point. While it isn’t always obvious, I think Tambellini and Renney have changed the culture here. Right now, it’s still a bunch of players losing, but it’s not what it was in the first couple years of the rebuild where guys were “passengers” (as Renney calls them). I think now they should start the winning culture. Surround these players with a good supporting cast. Once again, to be clear… that’s not the Heatleys, Hossas, and such… it’s the Konopkas, Vandermeers and Joneses I mean.

    I think a lot of other people always think that in order to flick the switch between lose-mode and win-mode we need to grab Mike Richards, or Jeff Carter, or Dany Heatley, or some phenomenal forward. For me, it’s always about collecting the right glue players.

    KTown: If the draft portion of your dream comes true and I don’t hear from you in a while, I’m just going to go ahead and assume you’re busy bangin’ Reese!

  15. chucker says:

    I’m going out into no man’s land and saying we should pick Couturier instead of RHN. The stats difference is not that big, but the size is. Both will dominate at the WJC’s next year. I don’t think you can go wrong with either, but I want the guy who’s big. I know a lot of people were not blown out of the water by Couturier’s play at this year’s WJC’s, but I think he was easily Canada’s best centre besides Schenn. Personal opinion based on the type of guy I think we need.

    Ideally, we can trade up and land in that top ten (possibly Atlanta’s pick as mentioned earlier) and land Couturier or Strome as well. I think if we are picking Larsson, and I can’t argue with that either, but if the second pick comes available, I’m looking at Couturier and Strome.

  16. MetalOil says:

    Ether way if we get another high pick or not I side with the Larrson camp 100%.

    Many ppl like to compare our young team with the Hawks of 5 years ago but I think we are the Tampa Bay Lightning minus 2 years. Both teams had/have top 2 picks in 2 consecutive draft years. Tampa took a highly touted forward one year and took a highly touted big Swedish Dman in Hedman(Who logged 22:40 tonight and looked solid doing it) the following year. We have the opportunity to follow suit and do the same now with a Larrson selection.
    Now I know that TB had better pieces in place before their recent top draft picks and I guess that is where Tambys work starts but if we can be in the Playoffs like the Lightning in 2 years time then the rebuild will be right on track.

    Now It’s hard to really give a valid argument as to why Larrson should get the nod as It is very hard for us to see him in game situations but if the “Larrson is ahead in his development then Hedman was at his age” statement is true and I will take their word on it for now then I don’t see how we can pass on him.

  17. chucker says:

    MetalOil: Ether way if we get another high pick or not I side with the Larrson camp 100%. Many ppl like to compare our young team with the Hawks of 5 years ago but I think we are the Tampa Bay Lightning minus 2 years. Both teams had/have top 2 picks in 2 consecutive draft years. Tampa took a highly touted forward one year and took a highly touted big Swedish Dman in Hedman(Who logged 22:40 tonight and looked solid doing it) the following year. We have the opportunity to follow suit and do the same now with a Larrson selection.Now I know that TB had better pieces in place before their recent top draft picks and I guess that is where Tambys work starts but if we can be in the Playoffs like the Lightning in 2 years time then the rebuild will be right on track. Now It’s hard to really give a valid argument as to why Larrson should get the nod as It is very hard for us to see him in game situations but if the “Larrson is ahead in his development then Hedman was at his age” statement is true and I will take their word on it for now then I don’t see how we can pass on him.

    Chicago had Barker, Keith and Seabrook all drafted at one point as well. Larsson is the guy they are picking. Book it. I think the question is who they pick after that should they be able to trade up.

  18. MetalOil says:

    Good feature on Ryan Strome up on the Oilers site right now, Really hoping that we can move up and select him although it is probably a long shot as moving into the top ten in a draft is hard to do and expensive.

  19. Racki says:

    Well, there are a number of good picks this year. The Oilers seem to believe that this is a very deep draft… and I’d tend to think so too given the names we’ve heard mentioned even in the mid-range of the first round.

    Even with LAs pick as is, I think we’ll be happy. But for sure it would be nice to move up. I am not on board with the suggestions to trade Hemsky to move up though (unless we’re talking top-3, or we’re trading him and not including a pick).

    Strome is a very well spoken kid, by the way.

    Here is the video:

    Link to artice.

  20. John says:

    My philosophy on this years draft is this will be the last time for a long time that the Oil will pick in the top 3. They should take advantage of this opportunity by doing just about whatever it takes to get another pick in the top 10. Two more high picks would pretty much put this team in a position to spend the next 2-5 years really developing a playoff contending product we can all be proud of. I see the Oil picking @ #5-#8 June 2012 (barring moving up by winning the lottery), then fighting for a 7th or 8th playoff seed in the spring of ’12-’13 if all goes according to plan. In my mind, the Oil really need a couple more young stallions in the stable to get this show on the road in as short amount of time as possible.

  21. Racki says:

    Yah the Oilers have a lot of competition for spots now from young players. That’s something we haven’t had in god knows how long. It gives a lot of options, and like Tambellini (?) said, it forces guys to push themselves if they want an NHL job.

  22. oilinblood says:

    I disagree with alot of people on here. The pieces for the rebuild should be here. 4 years of missing playoffs does that. You better have the pieces by the end of this draft, and the management skill to get the role players needed… or find a new job. That R word is fine to use for one summer and 2 drafts but it better be RETIRED and thrown away after this draft. They better compete or losing will be infectious.

    In the end i dont think we are far off. I think we will actually have a top 6 offensive threat, a solid checking line, and perhaps a good energy line. We should also have Whitney back and hopefully a stud like Larsson who san help complete a nice 6 D corps with Smid, Gilbert, Peckham, Foster and perhaps Petry/Chorney. I believe Foster would be a far better player with another skilled RHD in the lineup. Goaltending is the only question mark as long as we can get a PK/FO UFA.

    Ive seen too many years of crap hockey and “wait and see” to let this organization cost me another year of my life before they get serious. Losers accept losing, winners go out and do the best job they can PERIOD. If we put all the pieces together but cant do it fine. Khabi is stuck here etc. But if they dont get the gel players we need and make the minor tweeks to make our roster complete than they have no business having people watch them. I can tell from their statements that Hall and Eberle and Magnum dont want to be here if its another year of this…and who the hell would blame them. you get paid to turn things around. one year is acceptable. next year they better compete for a playoff spot or heads should roll. Expectations…the difference between winners and losers.
    Also i dont see many players making the jump next year to the NHL. Omark will be up. If we draft Larsson he has a good chance cause hes a big boy and playing 28 minutes a night in the SEL. Lander has a good chance for similar reasons…plus he was rediculous at the WJC proving he is fine on NA ice.
    Meh. They better make a run at it.

  23. John says:

    OinB; I think you & I are saying pretty much the same thing although I am preaching more patience. This team was 36 pts out of a playoff spot! Without finding a way to revamp our Dcorp in a big way as well as securing a bonafide #1 center, along with hoping one of our goaltenders catches lightning in a bottle, I just don’t see how this current squad could finish any higher than 20-25 next season. I know injuries were a big factor but you know what; they have been for something like 3 consecutive seasons now & until we can inject a number of big, gritty forwards with skill into the top 2 forward lines I see no reason why that would miraculously change either next season.

    It will take at least 2 more seasons for the young guns we have now to become solid, battle hardened impact players, solidify a competetive defence, & hopefully by then Dubbie will be able to show he is a true #1 goalie 😉

    P.S. If the Oilers are not in serious contention for a playoff spot by April of 2013 then I am buying a front seat ticket on your wagon of malcontent lol

  24. Racki says:

    Yah, I agree with what John said. Not everyone is saying we need to tank again. Some are just saying that it’s more likely this team will have a tough year next year. They may luck out, Avalanche-style and make the playoffs, but chances are they’ll finish in the range that John mentioned.

    Also, I don’t think Foster’s name should be mentioned in any “nice 6 d corps”, personally. lol Unless he ups his game, he was pretty awful and disappointing. He’s a liability defensively and couldn’t get it done offensively. Not what we need. I’d sooner have Vandermeer in the line up, even with his defensive flaws.

    But anyways, I don’t believe the Oilers need another rebuild year at all, and haven’t been saying that. However, I do have doubts that they’ll be in the playoffs next year. Tambellini should be changing his management style though. He should be very active in fixing team needs. We know what guys are capable of already. We know what holes this team has. Fill them. If the guys you fill the holes with don’t work out, fill them with some other player (a la Steve Yzerman and his goaltending issues this year). Don’t just say “well, I tried” and pack it in for the year. He should be busy all year, actively watching the Waiver line for players who can help, using the waiver line himself to move players who aren’t working here… orchestrating trades…. I think players are going to soon see that this is a good place to be.

  25. Bostonoiler says:

    I totally agree with OIB and John, the rebuild stage really should be over after this entry draft. This team should start going out and trying to win now. It really depends on what Tambi does, if he can fill the holes on defense and the grinders/PK hole we will see improvement in the standings, no doubt there. Just compete for a playoff spot, thats all I ask, just compete next season. Developthe youngsters another year and allow them to play gameswith meaning at least until late March, that will go a long way for them. Look at OKC, they added some vets on defense and 3rd/4th line and it made a difference. I’m not saying this is a playoff team next year, but it shouldn’t be a loto team, and should be fighting for a playoff spot. The rebuiding stage if you will is over, time to enter the development stage and get this thing rolling.

    I also ask of Tambi to try and move up in the draft and get another top 10 ick using the Kings pick and something else. I’d love a Larsson/Strome first round, or a Nugen-Hopkins/Defender first round. Tencer touched on that yesterday too. This is a huge summer for this team, can Tambi fill the holes with glue players up front and a few solid defenders on the back end?(which there is a good amount of in this year’s free agent pool)

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