The hiring of Steve Tambellini to run the Edmonton Oilers represented a new day. He had no connections to the boys on the bus, he did have a real resume that included most of the things we associate with the general manager’s job and he seemed (unlike Kevin Lowe) able to do business without making it personal.
These are all good things.
Tambellini’s track record has been solid since arriving: he traded a soon-to-be-ufa Erik Cole and acquired the useful shooter Patrick O’Sullivan. He dealt a second round pick in an effort to both save the coach and audition another NHL shooter for the role of Hemsky’s Shutt.
However, this summer represents the period of time in which the rubber hits the road. When Tambellini held his media event to announce Craig MacTavish had been flushed, he was very specific in terms of the work that needed to be done:
- There were to be changes, the players would be held accountable.
- Grit and size would be addressed, they would look internally and then outside the organization for solutions.
- He wanted at least one top six player.
- He was shopping for players who were difficult to play against.
He’s hired his coach (Quinn) and possibly his next coach (Renney). He had a nice run at the draft, and he’s hired a goalie the coach and fans can get behind (not so much the blogosphere who are still writing about it).
He’s also traded Kyle Brodziak, which tells us the Oilers are going to commit at-bats to both Marc Pouliot and Gilbert Brule. He’s attempted to trade for sniper Dany Heatley, and made offers to ufa’s Chris Neil and Ales Kotalik.
The “grit and size” in-house list probably includes JF Jacques, Steve MacIntyre, Ryan Stone and Geoff Paukovich up front, and possibly Theo Peckham on the blue although the top 7D look pretty much set at this time.
Which means the Oilers shopping list is still pretty long:
- veteran center as Pouliot/Brule insurance
- Grit and size along the wing
That’s a lot of work left to be done, best start pdq. We’re an impatient bunch, Steve.