Setting the Tambellini Time Line

I had a conversation this weekend with an Oiler fan in a social situation. We discussed training camp (this gentleman believes Lander will be a huge revelation and I bet he’s right) and then talked about Oiler management.

The general thrust of the argument from his end: five years of awful under the Katz-Tambellini umbrella.

I wonder how many people agree with that? Five Years of pure stink with Katz as owner and Steve Tambellini as GM?

For fun, let’s place things in factual timeline:

  1. That beauty Oiler team loses G7 SCF to Carolina.
  2. Chris Pronger’s trade request is granted. Kevin Lowe adds prospects and picks and does not address a blueline that recently lost Pronger, Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom.
  3. Lowe does not pursue a long term contract with Ryan Smyth but signs everyone else.
  4. The first “new era” is launched with Gagner, Cogliano, Smid and others who don’t yet shave.
  5. 07-08 Oilers win 35 games under MacT–4th in the NW, no playoffs. Team leaders include Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff, both 20 goal scorers.
  6. Summer 2008: Katz gets the keys to the Oilers.
  7. In July of 2008–after the transactions of summer have been completed, Oilers hire Steve Tambellini as new GM.
  8. 08-09 Oilers win 38 games under MacT–4th in the NW, no playoffs. Team leaders include Ales Hemsky and Sheldon Souray, both 20 goal scorers.
  9. April 2009: Tambellini fires MacT after seasons of 35 and 38 wins.
  10. Tambellini signs Nikolai Khabibulin to a 4-year 35+ contract.
  11. Summer 2009: Oilers chase Dany Heatley like he’s Scarlett Johansson and this is the last night on planet earth. He says no.
  12. 09-10 Oilers win 27 games under Pat Quinn–5th in NW, no playoffs. This season features items like JF Jacques on the top line and Lubomir Visnovsky’s puck moving ability discouraged by the coach in favor of “moving the puck up to forwards” like Jacques. Leaders include Dustin Penner, who posts 32 goals–an amazing season while lost in the second division.
  13. 09-10: Owner Katz suggests and agrees to rebuild.
  14. Taylor Hall is selected at draft.
  15. 10-11 Oilers win 25 games under Tom Renney, 5th in NW, no playoffs. This season features 2 20 goal scorers (Taylor Hall and Dustin Penner before he was dealt) and a plethora of young talent–especially on the wings. The Oilers have what might be the strongest collection of rookie wingers in their history–Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi and Omark. Hartikainen rising.
  16. RNH is selected at the draft.

Steve Tambellini’s record as GM is flawed and this is not a defense of his term. However, it’s important that we place things in their proper order. Steve Tambellini has been the GM during three summer’s: 2009, 2010, 2011.

The decisions that began with the waiver claim on Steve MacIntyre fall 2008 are Tambellini’s. What came before–the Pronger trade, the decision to pass on Ryan Smyth’s renewal, the 35 and 38 win seasons, all of the transactions and ground work took place before Tambellini’s arrival.

The decisions made afterward have Katz and Tambellini behind them, with Kevin Lowe also in the room. Khabibulin, Heatley, Quinn, 27 and 25 win seasons, “rebuild” Hall and RNH are on Tambellini’s watch.

We need to remember the timeline.

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