Tambellini Media Event

Steve Tambellini held a “Friday before the long weekend” press conference to talk about the soap opera that has become the Dany Heatley trade.

Tambellini said Ottawa has been informed that the Oilers are no longer involved in any trade participation for Heatley. He stated their #1 priority was goaltending and their #1 name was Nikolai Khabibulin. They are moving on.

Jim Matheson asked the “Heatley holding you hostage” question, and Tambellini said (apparently they were using the Pizza Hut order center phones) it was never a problem with regard to the player. He did say that they told Ottawa after last weekend about the opt out.

Bob Stauffer spent time asking and then answering a question that felt like “what the hell do people want from us?” and Tambellini said “our job is trying to find a way to make this club better. We said we were going to take an aggresive approach and we did.”

Tambellini responded to a Dan Tencer question about the names of the Oilers players getting released by saying he was very displeased. Terry Jones asked a question about timelines and when players were informed about the deal. The GM said they’re negotiating with Ladislav Smid about contracts. Terry Jones apparently asked a followup that may or may not have involved timelines again.

“Dany and his people were not ready to make a decision.”

  • Terry Jones: “Is the door (on the Heatley deal) closed, closed, closed?”
  • Tambellini: “There’s nothing on the table.”
  • Terry Jones: “Do you anticipate a big deal before training camp?”
  • Tambellini: “There’s potential, but it seems like teams are waiting now. I don’t know that anything will happen prior to training camp, Terry.”

He went on to talk about the sheer number of contracts and the fact that they needed to make a trade (contracts out, contracts in) as opposed to signing a free agent.

To sum up:

  • The Oilers are out of the Heatley chase.
  • Nothing else is out there at this time.
  • This may be the roster we see at training camp.
  • Blair Betts is out there (and probably others) but they need to move players in order to make room.

Bottom line:

  • Should the Oilers find room for a veteran center without moving out a major part I think they are going to be in the chase for 8th. It might not be what people want, but the last thing this team should be doing is dealing off youth.

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