I know it sounds silly, but I think the Oilers have been trying to sell Khabibulin as our “MVP” not to us fans, but to GMs around the league. That contract is heinously bad, but it seems like the Oil have been making efforts to try and bring another goaltender here, and may have been trying to move Khabibulin too. I know we all figure Tambellini to be pretty bad. I have given my share of criticism too. But I think he’s a little smarter than we think and this MVP business is just a ploy to trick other GMs into wanting him.
The 2009/10 speech would go… “Wow, we finished 30th this season because our “MVP” was hurt for so long…”.
The 2010/11 speech… “We finished 30th this season but thankfully we had Khabibulin there to keep us in it.. I can’t imagine if he wasn’t there!”.
Those are far from direct quotes.. not even close. But that is basically what it seemed that Tambellini was trying to convey, and it can only be for the reason of convincing other GMs to take Khabi on. Maybe I’m giving the guy too much credit… but I think he can see now that Khabibulin needs to go in order for the winning to start here.
Renney’s comments at the end of this year are different than the quote above, but he still supported Khabi saying “he’s bounced back from bad years before”, almost to sell Khabibulin to others. Renney stated emphatically at that point that Khabibulin would start the season as our starting goaltender. I am very doubtful that this was anything more than just a smoke screen tactic.
Let’s be clear though… Tambellini screwed up royally with the Khabibulin contract. There is no erasing that one from his record. It’ll always linger around and be brought up when people talk about how Tambellini performed as a GM here. I’m just saying that perhaps now he realizes the err of his ways and is trying to fix it.
The Latest on the Rumor MillAnyways, everyone’s new favorite rumor whore is saying that the Caps contacted the Oilers about trading a goaltender to us. Who’s left? Neuvirth? I’m guessing they’d try to move Braden Holtby to us.
Holtby’s scouting report reads quite well:
Has the size every National Hockey League club covets from the goaltending position. Handles the puck very well. Is very athletic in the crease area.
Needs more work on his lateral mobility and general quickness in the crease area. Also must learn better rebound control in order to maximize potential.
Athletic goaltender with upside.
NHL Central Scouting’s Al Jensen
“He has unbelievable athleticism and quickness. He was able to keep his team in games and keep them competitive throughout the year. His recovery was exceptional as well as his ability to get his body in front of shots. He battled very hard and was strong. He is a flashy player – he has a very good glove hand and very quick hands and his play improved throughout the year.”