I think we can agree that Steve Tambellini plays his cards closer to the vest than Kevin “is it me?” Lowe did during his time as Edmonton’s General Manager. I’m heartened by this knowledge and would hope that two recent items on the various hockey sites and blogs are just examples of misquotes and bizarre free thinking.
The first item came from a Dan Tencer interview on CHED radio in which Pat Quinn was quoted as saying “you’ve got a great talented center here that never distributes the puck. Is he a great talent? Yeah. But he’s like playing with the Lone Ranger.” The quote is courtesy David Staples blog at the EJ. David thinks it’s a shot at Hemsky, which would be an incredible statement based on the fact that Hemsky has averaged 54 assists per 82 games since the lockout. I’d also suggest Pat Quinn update the reference points, as “Lone Ranger” is a tad obscure for much of the buying public.
My own feeling is that Quinn probably does mean Hemsky and (as he’s implied himself) hasn’t a fricking clue about the team he’s taking over. It’s also possible Quinn is merely parroting what he’s heard behind closed doors, but that doesn’t strike me as being a Tambellini-era slip. Either way, if the Oilers plan on dealing Hemsky they better be getting a very nice return or all hell will break loose.
Also today, this item from Lyle Richardson at Spector’s: The Edmonton Oilers are rumored willing to part with defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky ($5.6 million per season against the cap until 2012-13) or Sheldon Souray (cap hit of $5.4 million per season until 2011-12) in hopes of landing offensive depth.
I think it’s a completely reasonable assumption that the Oilers are in fact shopping a big blueline contract. If they’d prefer to keep Gilbert (younger, making less money) then shopping one of the big contracts would be the obvious next step. This could also be laying the groundwork to make a pitch to Jay Bouwmeester but I’m getting ahead of myself here.
One thing is certain: based on the names (Hemsky, Lubo) being discussed here I’m not terribly encouraged by the new era in Oiler Nation. Here’s hoping Steve Tambellini hasn’t uttered a word and that these are the idiot jibberings of the Al Gore.