We’re Through The Looking Glass Here, People

Let’s agree that this will be Steve Tambellini’s last hiring of a head coach, at least in this rebuild. I have no idea what they’re going to say to us about requirements of the new coach, it looks for all the world like they’re firing people until Mike Babcock’s contract runs out and they can go after him.

What will be the requirements of the new coach? Do we know? What did Tom Renney do wrong? I have about 40 questions I’d love answers to, but will settle for the answers to three:

  1. Is Craig MacTavish under consideration?
  2. At what point does the GM begin to be accountable?
  3. Will this coach get a balanced roster to start season one?

 

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87 Responses to "We’re Through The Looking Glass Here, People"

  1. Mr DeBakey says:

    1. No
    2. Next March
    3. Are kidding?

  2. dawgtoy says:

    As per Darren Dreger : @JasonGregor. MacT will coach again in the NHL. Won’t be in Edm…at least that’s what I’m told.

  3. regwald says:

    1. No
    2. No
    3. No

    Faceplant

  4. dawgtoy says:

    1. An interview at least.
    2. If he has to fire another coach, he has to be accountable.
    3. By the hockey gods I hope so.

  5. Henry says:

    1. No, unfortunately.
    2. End of 2016 season, according to President Lowe.
    3. Come on.

  6. Downright Fierce says:

    1. Yes.
    2. Yesterday.
    3. REVERSE VAMPIRES?!

  7. dawgtoy says:

    dawgtoy,

    The Response from Gregor @DarrenDreger Yep, was told the same, I just feel he’d be a good option. The organization doesn’t want to risk the optics of him returning.

  8. Matt.N says:

    I don’t necessarily disagree with letting Renney go. I don’t think he was the long term guy, but he did ok with what he had. I really hate the way he was treated. Classless move by a classless organization. Why not let him go after the season?

  9. stevezie says:

    I think I feel the same way about most on Renney: did some things well, other things not so well, probably doesn’t deserve all the blame, definitely deserves some… wasn’t pushing for the firing but fine with it.
    To me the important part is that it doesn’t make sense to fire your coach unless you think there is a better one out there. Clearly Steve Tambellini does. So to answer the questions:
    1. Apparently not
    2. This point forward. His coach and his team. Could have maybe bought himself some time by keeping Renney around. Bold call. Fired his last excuse.
    3. He had better, because Tambi’s married to whoever gets the job.

  10. gd says:

    1. Yes. I wouldn’t mind a MacT with Nelson as his top assistant, with plan for MacT to move to front office eventually and bring Laxdal to OKC.

    2. It better be on July 2nd

    3. They should have no problem getting two legit NHL dmen and if DD is a legit top 20 goalie than I think they can be at least 10th in West.

    I don’t think this is for sure ST last coach hire (though it should be). I look at New Jersey and they go through coaches pretty quickly and they might be the most successful team in the past 20 yrs. I hope if Vignault, Tippett, Babcock, Quenville or MacCellan become available they do at least think about getting them no matter the optics.

  11. Acumen says:

    1. Nope
    2. Don’t hold your breath. I would imagine that if the playoffs are an impossibility with 10 games left this coming season that his seat warms up. Katz is obviously a shrewd business man. At a certain point the business model has to yield positive results or Katz puts on his shark hat (it’s got a big fin) and starts getting a little more cut throat with the employee that is driving it. Right? RIGHT!?
    3. Almost definitely not. But the kids will be a year older and that much better, and Hemsky should be better. For the love of God, the new coach better get some better defensemen to work with though.

  12. Crooked says:

    1. Should be, but won’t be.
    2. The end of the 2012-13 season if the Oilers miss the playoffs again.
    3. Not with Tambi in charge.

  13. regwald says:

    My biggest issue with this firing is optics. How many coaches does Tambo get to fire before someone realizes it reflects on his hiring decisions.

    Good organizations have stability, Tambo fired his 3rd coach. How can you not question the GM.

    The best coach in the world could not make this unbalanced team a winner. The problem is the team makeup and one of the poorest defence corps in the league. That lies at Tambo’s feet.

    Sure, fire Renney, but i think he should be pointing that gun at himself. The clocks starts ticking on his reign as Oiler GM.

  14. wunderbar says:

    1. No, but I’d love to see him as the GM
    2. Heaven and Earth would have to move first
    3. Balanced Roster and Edmonton Oilers are not things that go well together.

  15. wunderbar says:

    regwald:

    Good organizations have stability, Tambo fired his 3rd coach. How can you not question the GM.

    To be fair, Coach #1 (MacT) was an inherited coach. That one is a freebie since he didn’t make the hire.

    However, this is still 2 in 3 years instead of 3 in 4. That isn’t much better.

  16. SpotTheLoon says:

    At this point, who knows what will happen in the future.

    1. MacT may be under consideration but, if I were him, I would have significant concerns about rejoining the team, given the shape of the current defensive roster.

    2. Tambi should be accountable. I get the impression he is on the clock starting now. After all, this will be the fourth coach during his term and he will be responsible for three of those hires. As Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

    3. If Tambi is now being evaluated himself for the job he is doing, I would suggest that he will have to be more aggressive to address the roster imbalance. His fate should now be tied to the outcome of next season. He has spent two years dealing with a rebuild (tanking) and has been able to acquire talent. He has overseen the development of a good minor league affiliate for the team. Now, it is about results at the NHL level. Imploring the defense, goalers and veterans to play better doesn’t quite cut it. Otherwise, the only strategy I can see if to develop young high end talent at the forward position and hope to play 52 minutes a night in the other team’s zone to offset defensive breakdowns. Not very likely.

    I get the sense that Tambi is on notice that things have to improve marketed for this year. If not, he will likely be shown the door. I would think that this increases the likelihood of a trade or free agent signing for at least one top 2 dman. I just hope that he doesn’t panic and made a bold but foolish move in the name of self preservation.

  17. bill needle says:

    1. MacTavish won’t even consider Edmonton. Why leave AHL in Chicago and go to a worse organization?
    2. Accountable? Tambo’s terrible at math; that’s why he got into hockey.
    3. Sure Oilers are balanced. Three players have as much talent as the other 47 combined.

  18. sliderule says:

    1. MacT will not be hired as coach.The .next year look to him being hired as GM
    2 accountability,you want accountability?
    3.this question just perpetuates the misconception that our forwards are better than our defense.They are not.

  19. fuzzy muppet says:

    Whomever the next coach is, do they take this opportunity to put letters on the kids? Make Hall Captain??

  20. regwald says:

    wunderbar,

    Sure, only two of his hires, but the point is turmoil and more bad decisions on hires. He wears it.

  21. SpotTheLoon says:

    If they want a coach with experience, how about Don Shula. I hear he isn’t working these days.

  22. Cactus says:

    1. Doesn’t sound like it, so we might as well give this option a rest.

    2. I think a few of the folks around here need some clarification on how accountability works for an NHL GM. The GM is, at no point, actually accountable to fans. We can all hate Tambellini’s guts and it doesn’t matter because he’s only accountable to the owner (who is the only member of the Oilers truly accountable to fans by way of revenues). In this particular case, whether it was Katz’s idea, Lowe’s or Tambellini’s, once the idea of a total rebuild was chosen, he bought himself a number of years. More improvement has to happen, but this is probably the first year where Steve will sweat at all.

    3. Some people seem to be certain that Tambellini is utterly incapable of acquiring players to make this team better. I simply don’t see that we have enough evidence to think this yet. Looking purely at his offseasons, excluding the draft, here are the situations that have existed:

    Summer, 2008: Brand new GM with brand new owner. Gets Visnovsky (who works out) and Eric Cole (who doesn’t).

    Summer 2009: Goes whale hunting, likely on the instructions of Katz (though this is purely speculative). Heatley and Khabibulin were both bad ideas, and the team fell apart during the season, but this could easily have been an ownership decision.

    Summer 2010: Full Rebuild, no need to really do much except prepare to lose.

    Summer 2011: Wanted to get a few extra complimentary parts, but still not going all out to make the playoffs (regardless of PR). Heralded for the Belanger pickup – but then he had a mediocre season. Took a lottery ticket on Barker which was unlikely to pay, but this was not the difference between 16th and 29th. Avoided overspending on a shallow market for D.

    From this, I see only two years where we can really evaluate Tambellini’s offseasons: 2008 and 2009. 2008 wasn’t all bad (not great though) and while 2009 was a mess, it’s entirely possible that this was driven by ownership.

    I’ve been saying for a while that this offseason is pivotal as this team as both the motivation and opportunity to improve its place in the standings. We’ll have a much clearer picture on the GM in 12 months.

  23. Rebilled says:

    ‘We’ve went through a difficult phase here, through this rebuild.’ -ST

    It’s over?

  24. gogliano says:

    dawgtoy:
    dawgtoy,

    The Response from Gregor @DarrenDreger Yep, was told the same, I just feel he’d be a good option. The organization doesn’t want to risk the optics of him returning.

    You know how we know this is pretty well from the horse’s mouth?

    “Optics” is and always will be Oilerspeak.

  25. Gret99zky says:

    1. Not as coach.
    2. Depends on the new arena.
    3. Depends on the new arena.

    Occasionally I have this tin foil hat I like to put on and it changes everything. For instance:

    Katz: Well Kevin, old buddy, friend, crony, peer, colleague, haha, here’s what I need. I need about 5 years to get a new arena built. I also need to change the culture and identity of the team as well as improve the on-ice product. But I want both to happen simutaneously over those 5 years.

    Lowe: I know just the guy. Steve! C’mon in. Did you hear what Mr. Katz was saying?

    Tambi: Yes, I was assessing through the key hole and heard everything perfectly.

    Lowe: Excellent. So what’s the plan?

    Tambi: Well first I am going to fire the coach. That will provide a change immediately. Then I will hire a film crew to make a documentary about how the rebuild is going. It will show the audience exactly what they need to see.

    The draft, the dressing room, the trade deadline. Fans will eat it up. Then I am going to kill the roster with fire. And built it with reclaimation.

    I will sign a famous goalie to a contract that will meet your deadline Mr. Katz, and make Shawn Horcoff captain. This will ensure that your team will make the first selection at the NHL draft 2 maybe 3 years in a row, building slowly, with high profile players that will need time to develop. Every fan understands that.

    I will fire and hire a couple coaches along the way and I will take a firestorm of criticism for it but that will not matter to me nor will it dissuade me from the plan. I will take my time. As much as I need. I will wait. I will dither.

    But I guarantee you this Mr. Katz, the Oilers will be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the same year your new arena opens. And not a day earlier. Both will happen at once.

    Katz: Kevin, he’s our man. See you guys in 5 years.

  26. Jesse says:

    Maybe it was just me, but ST looked downright devastated in that press conference. Hard to tell why. Maybe it wasnt his decision, maybe it was and he was just nervous about having to defend it to the media. Probably the latter. I know he’s not the best public speaker but this seemed a little worse than usual.

  27. stevezie says:

    You know, I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, but it never made any sense to me why it is in Katz’s best interest to have the team suck leading up to the new arena opening. Anyone who can effectively explain that to me is entitled to $200 of Steve Smith’s money. Shucks, make it $205.

    (Let me cut off one argument right now: If you’re saying that we need to suck so that we’re awesome when the new arena opens, well that would be the case even if we were staying at Rexall. My confusion comes in when people argue that Katz wants every game played at Rexall to be a bad one. Why?)

  28. Gret99zky says:

    stevezie,

    We need to suck at RX1 for now. Develop. Build. Balance.

    We need to make the playoffs in the new arena. Timing is everything. And it’s a few years away.

    Maybe Katz doesn’t want to provide an example of how Rexall place is a suitable arena because the Oilers won a playoff round in 2014.

    Maybe Katz wants to show Northlands and the City of Edmonton that the Oilers have been reborn out of the ashes of Northlands Coliseum and have arrived at a new Alter.

    Most conspiracy theories don’t make sense. Otherwise they would be more believable, more accepted.

  29. Gerta Rauss says:

    Tambo

    Tambellini is a poor public speaker,it’s not just you Jesse.

  30. "Steve Smith" says:

    …although you are also a really lousy public speaker, Jesse.

  31. Lowetide says:

    AND we’re back. :-)

  32. Gerta Rauss says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Weren’t you dead or something?..or did you get better?…:)

  33. russ99 says:

    1. No way. Been there done that. Why go backwards?

    2. As of last summer when he was allowed to make actual moves. Since the team had to be torn down in order to rebuild, the Hall pick is the start of his current non-puppet GM position. I’d say Dithers has 2 more years to really turn things around, but based in today’s nervous pressed, not enough improvement next season would cut that short.

    3. Depends what you call a “balanced roster”. With the additions of Yakupov, another bigger winger with some talent to replace Smyth, at least two NHL defenseman, one defensive prospect knocking in the door in the AHL, a bigger role for Hartikainen and maybe a new second line center if we get Horcoff amnesty after the lockout, I’d say a guarded yes. But not a Red Wings-like set of four perfectly balanced lines and 3 defensive pairings that some think is possible before we play hockey in October, November or whenever the lockout is over, that’s just not possible in one summer.

  34. "Steve Smith" says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    The rumours of my death, like those of my being a Bay Street lawyer, are greatly exaggerated. Verdict’s still out on the ones of my being $200 poorer.

  35. Gerta Rauss says:

    1.I think it’s time to move on-find somebody else.

    2.Right now,as far as I’m concerned. Tambo’s extension will be announced shortly so they’ve made their choices moving forward-we need a good draft and first week of July.If this team is in a lottery position at the trade deadline I’m not sure I want Tambellini leading this org anymore.

    3.He better get a balanced roster.The procurement phase is almost completed,it’s time to win hockey games now.They have the assets to make trades (and hopefully attract a couple UFAs),we’re out of excuses now.

  36. "Steve Smith" says:

    They could do worse than MacTavish. They could also do better. I’m concerned they’ll take the first option.

    Gerta Rauss: we’re out of excuses now.

    There are fans who won’t consider the team to be out of excuses until it loses its first member of the class of 2010 to free agency. I’m hoping they’re in the minority.

    A propos nothing (where by “nothing”, I mean “the Los Angeles Kings”), anyone know offhand the modern era record for fewest playoff games lost by a Cup winner?

  37. Gerta Rauss says:

    "Steve Smith",

    Without googling ,the Oilers went 16-2 in the ’88 playoffs…that’s gotta be up there.

    *edit-quick wiki search confirms 16-2 record in 19 games played.

  38. Lowetide says:

    I thought they’d win forever. That summer kicked the daylights out of Edmonton.

  39. Gerta Rauss says:

    Oh,and I wanted to pass on some breaking news from Dreger during the 1st intermission:

    The Oilers are in no hurry to find a new coach,they will take their time with this decision

    I just wanted to pass that along to you guys.

  40. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide,

    I remember spring of ’88 being particularly difficult on the liver.

  41. Jesse says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    …although you are also a really lousy public speaker, Jesse.

    That was actually pretty funny. Lol.

  42. DSF says:

    Marlies 5 Barons 0.

    Final

  43. misfit says:

    This post should be titled “Edmonton Oilers: Ever revolving, never evolving”

    When Tambellini let MecTavish go, he brought in Quinn because he was supposedly a “motivator”. That lasted all of one season before he replaced him with his #2 apparently because he’s more “Xs and Os”. Renney didn’t do any better and now he’s gone as well and we’re back to looking for another “motivator”.

    How about the man building the team taking some responsibility for its performance? Not that I’m overly upset about Renney not being behind the bench next year. I don’t think it matters much either way, to be honest.

  44. Gerta Rauss says:

    DSF: Marlies 5 Barons 0.Final

    Was that on TV anywhere…?.I couldn’t find it on Shaw in Squamish….maybe a regional thing..?

  45. fuzzy muppet says:

    Boy L.A. is getting every call…It’s tough to beat em without terrible officiating.

  46. regwald says:

    Just watched the presser again … I listened to it the first time on the radio.

    Here’s my bet about the Renney situation was he was kept hanging in limbo because the Oilers wanted to hedge their bets by offering him only a 1 year extension. So, making him a lame duck coach. Renney thought about it and then finally turned the Oilers down.

    Based on how strained Tambo looked at the beginning, I think that was what happened. It would partially explain the “Tom needed time to think and then come back with a plan … blah blah blah”.

    Just some thoughts.

  47. speeds says:

    Lowetide:

    Is Craig MacTavish under consideration?
    At what point does the GM begin to be accountable?
    Will this coach get a balanced roster to start season one?

    1. No idea, but I’m not sure if there’s any harm in keeping him in mind.

    2. It’s tough for us to really assess what’s going on here. We can concoct any number of scenarios, but I don’t know that we have the necessary info. How much involvement does Lowe have? How much responsibility and freedom does Tambellini have?

    3. Again, tough to know, but taking this off topic a bit, what exactly is meant by balance? Is it important, and if so, how important?

  48. Lowetide says:

    speeds: By balance, I mean a roster that has a variety of player types. Offensive guys, defensive guys, men who can do both and then two goalies the coach can count on. Not too many rookies, enough of those old vets to do the dirty work and maybe an extra forward who is useful and with experience.

    Basically, a roster that can not only compete every night but also withstand injuries. An example from the olden days: when Pisani had to earn a roster spot, eventually did and then kept moving up to the point where Daniel Cleary lost his job.

    And a team that has enough complete players so that they can mix and match. Tom Gilbert was imo that kind of player. You could put him with Smid, but also with a riskier player and even with an inexperienced hand like Peckham and he’d perform.

    That kind of balance. And I do think it is important. The Edmonton Oilers under Renney had too many one dimensional players. I blame Renney some, Tambellini and Lowe some more.

  49. DSF says:

    Gerta Rauss: Was that on TV anywhere…?.I couldn’t find it on Shaw in Squamish….maybe a regional thing..?

    I watched it online..didn’t play close attention as I was watching my boy Dustin…but the Barons looked pretty mediocre.

    Paajarvi with 7 muffins.

  50. speeds says:

    I guess I just wonder which was the bigger problem – the one dimensionalness or the not enough good players, regardless of type.

    Well, not really regardless, I mean if your team has 3 all star goalies and your offense is 30th in the league, it’s not hard to see the argument in favor of moving one of them for a F or two, but just generally when you don’t have a huge disparity like that.

  51. bookje says:

    Steve, first of all welcome back, second I am not fully that convinced by our CBA interpretation, we are making a pretty good leap in logic with regards to contract temporal order (including retroactive time and occurrences) and actual time…

    Look forward to your assessment.

  52. DSF says:

    speeds:
    I guess I just wonder which was the bigger problem – the one dimensionalness or the not enough good players, regardless of type.

    Well, not really regardless, I mean if your team has 3 all star goalies and your offense is 30th in the league, it’s not hard to see the argument in favor of moving one of them for a F or two, but just generally when you don’t have a huge disparity like that.

    The Oilers are developing that disparity…great wingers, weak centres, AHL level defense and below average goaltending.

    Might be time to act on that.

  53. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    I guess I just wonder which was the bigger problem – the one dimensionalness or the not enough good players, regardless of type.

    Well, not really regardless, I mean if your team has 3 all star goalies and your offense is 30th in the league, it’s not hard to see the argument in favor of moving one of them for a F or two, but just generally when you don’t have a huge disparity like that.

    Yeah, but you CAN have too many of one thing even if they’re veterans. I’d say that with Smid and Schultz and Sutton, the need for a pure defensive defenseman is almost zero on this team–unless we’re getting a very good upgrade on one of them. However, with Whitney, Petry and Potter this team could use a Sergei Zubov in a big way.

    Especially if Whitney is hurt again in 12-13.

  54. speeds says:

    DSF: The Oilers are developing that disparity…great wingers, weak centres, AHL level defense and below average goaltending.
    Might be time to act on that.

    The Oilers were:

    20th in GF (70 behind the highest scoring team and 35 ahead of the lowest scoring team)
    23rd in GA (74 behind the team with lowest GA and 42 ahead of the team with the highest GA), and I’m not entirely sure how people want to split that 23rd up between the D and the G?

    Off topic, but I don’t see how the disparity is great enough to justify drafting a D for need with the #1 pick (not that you said that anywhere in your post, just a general thought).

  55. speeds says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, but you CAN have too many of one thing even if they’re veterans.

    I don’t know if I agree with that. If the Oilers could get 3 more each of Eberle, Hall, and RNH, is that too many?

    Lowetide: I’d say that with Smid and Schultz and Sutton, the need for a pure defensive defenseman is almost zero on this team–unless we’re getting a very good upgrade on one of them. However, with Whitney, Petry and Potter this team could use a Sergei Zubov in a big way.

    Especially if Whitney is hurt again in 12-13.

    I don’t think the D is as bad as most think*, I said that in the fall on your show (I think) and I’m not sure I’ve really changed my mind. That’s not the same as saying the D is great, by any stretch, but if they can upgrade Peckham and Barker with 2 D, I think that’s passable IF they upgrade the F and G as much as I’d like to see for them to take a run at the playoffs (whether that be external upgrades or internal improvement, or both), but I’m not sure that seems like likely to happen.

  56. speeds says:

    DSF: The Oilers were:

    20th in GF (70 behind the highest scoring team and 35 ahead of the lowest scoring team)
    23rd in GA (74 behind the team with lowest GA and 42 ahead of the team with the highest GA), and I’m not entirely sure how people want to split that 23rd up between the D and the G?

    Off topic, but I don’t see how the disparity is great enough to justify drafting a D for need with the #1 pick (not that you said that anywhere in your post, just a general thought).

    The Oilers were:

    20th in GF (70 behind the highest scoring team and 35 ahead of the lowest scoring team)

    23rd in GA (74 behind the team with lowest GA and 42 ahead of the team with the highest GA), and I’m not entirely sure how people want to split that 23rd up between the D and the G?

    Off topic, but I don’t see how the disparity is great enough to justify drafting a D for need with the #1 pick (not that you said that anywhere in your post, just a general thought).

  57. Lowetide says:

    speeds: I don’t know if I agree with that.If the Oilers could get 3 more each of Eberle, Hall, and RNH, is that too many?

    Lowetide:I’d say that with Smid and Schultz and Sutton, the need for a pure defensive defenseman is almost zero on this team–unless we’re getting a very good upgrade on one of them. However, with Whitney, Petry and Potter this team could use a Sergei Zubov in a big way.

    Especially if Whitney is hurt again in 12-13.

    I don’t think the D is as bad as most think*, I said that in the fall on your show (I think) and I’m not sure I’ve really changed my mind.That’s not the same as saying the D is great, by any stretch, but if they can upgrade Peckham and Barker with 2 D, I think that’s passable IF they upgrade the F and G as much as I’d like to see for them to take a run at the playoffs (whether that be external upgrades or internal improvement, or both), but I’m not sure that seems like likely to happen.

    Well, you can get another three of Eberle, Hall and Nuge but by the time you get 6 someone will be headed out the door and you’ve been rebuilding for a decade. I don’t think that’s a realistic goal, do you? Six lottery quality picks? I guess if people are willing to hang in there, but man that would be a brutal day for the city when Hall walks without much to show for it.

    The D has a major question mark in Ryan Whitney. If he’s healthy, then things look better. If not, we’re back to zero. I think Smid, Petry and Schultz is a nice trio, and a healthy Whitney has them in the conversation.

    But you can’t count on that imo. Oilers need a guy who can play in all three disciplines with plenty of experience.

  58. speeds says:

    Lowetide: Well, you can get another three of Eberle, Hall and Nuge but by the time you get 6 someone will be headed out the door and you’ve been rebuilding for a decade. I don’t think that’s a realistic goal, do you? Six lottery quality picks? I guess if people are willing to hang in there, but man that would be a brutal day for the city when Hall walks without much to show for it.

    I’m just talking in the abstract about optimal roster construction, not about how EDM gets there.

    Lowetide:The D has a major question mark in Ryan Whitney. If he’s healthy, then things look better. If not, we’re back to zero. I think Smid, Petry and Schultz is a nice trio, and a healthy Whitney has them in the conversation.

    But you can’t count on that imo. Oilers need a guy who can play in all three disciplines with plenty of experience.

    I don’t disagree with any of that, I think Ideally I’d like to see the Oilers go with 8 D next year, and start with the idea in their minds that Whitney isn’t going to be written in ink as a member of their top 4, based on his uncertain health. In fact, in their mind maybe they try to construct their 7 D without Whitney, with him as the 8th. If you go to camp, and he’s ready, healthy ,and bumps someone from your top 4, great! Depth! If not, you have 7D.

  59. Lowetide says:

    speeds: Ah, I understand (it’s late, brain slow). I agree with your premise. I remember we talked at the beginning of the year–might have be on Nation Radio after the July 1 free agency–about the fact that the Kings had added some good components and would be a strong team.

    Is that the kind of team you envision for the Oilers?

  60. Ribs says:

    Tambellini would make my summer if he snatched Larsen out of Dallas and signed a Rozsival type defender. If he found a decent backup for Dubnyk to split time with I’d owe him an internet beer.

  61. speeds says:

    I hadn’t really thought of it, LA has nice depth at F, which I really like but there F’s seem to be quite a bit bigger than EDM’s.

    I do think they were probably a better team than they showed this regular season, but on the other hand right now they have a #1 goalie with a 0.951 sv %.

  62. Ribs says:

    I completely forgot about Schultz. I guess there’s no need for a Rozsival type. Just get Larsen and you’ll get your internet beer, Tambo. I really need to go to sleep.

  63. Traktor says:

    I didn’t care if they brought Renney back or not but Tambellini basically said that the veterans didn’t perform in his press conference. I hope that’s not the reason they fired Renney. They need better veterans not a coach that will magically turn them into players.

    Aside from Hemsky I’m not counting on any veteran to bounce back. Bulin, Belanger and Horcoff are likely to regress even more.

    I would would hate to see another strong season by the kids be canceled out with underperfoming vets again.

  64. Maverick says:

    Tambellini admits the veterans need to be better…..SHOCKER!! Its been like that for two years, where would this team be without the young guys pouring their guts out. Still finishing near the bottom of the league but at least watching the kids playing with pride and emotion is entertaining. I still believe that this team has leadership issues, and in that cause it’s some of the veteran core. Hemsky – last on, first off for practice, Horcoff leading a team that comes out flat much too often. Is there a rift between the young leaders and the veteran leaders??

    As for Tambellini’s accountability, he is already on the clock for some of his decision making. I have stated my opinion on that too many times already. Let’s all hope that he doesn’t mess up the draft, this could set everything back a few years if the wrong decision is made (like picking a D 1st overall)

    It will be interesting to see if any of the underachieving veterans will have a new address before Oct 5th. (fingers crossed)

  65. Ryan says:

    Bhulin was done when I signed him… Whitney was done after his ankle injury which I knew there were issues when I traded Lubo… Horcoff was done two or three years ago… Smytty was on his last legs when I caved to our fan’s nostalgia when I traded for him…. Hemsky’s shoulders are done…. Holy shit those vets underperformed under Tom Renny, I better find a new coach.

  66. Ryan says:

    Speaking of Whitney, stauffer interviewed him last week. It was pretty clear that Whitney knows his ankle is done. Too bad for Whitney, was a heck of a dman.

    Speaking of balance, how bout that third line? A hyperbaric oxygen chamber for Smyth and the second coming of pisani won’t make it an effective shut down line with Horcs.

    No chance the oilers can make the playoffs next year unless they cut bait on Horcov or get a serious upgrade on Gagner. Nuge-Gagner-Horcov…. That look like a recipe for success down the middle to anyone? Bueller?

  67. russ99 says:

    Lowetide: Well, you can get another three of Eberle, Hall and Nuge but by the time you get 6 someone will be headed out the door and you’ve been rebuilding for a decade. I don’t think that’s a realistic goal, do you? Six lottery quality picks? I guess if people are willing to hang in there, but man that would be a brutal day for the city when Hall walks without much to show for it.

    The issue is we could have 6 someone if the coach gives talent icetime and has some patience to correct mistakes of the young players without looking like the angry headmaster.

    It’s criminal what Renney did to Gagner (the first half season) Paajarvi and Omark. That’s 2 first rounders and a 3rd rounder there (because he was going to Russia, not 3rd round talent).

    Wasting young assets and giving underperforming veterans icetime because they have the right “attitide”, that’s the failing of Renney’s time as head coach.

    Now, it’s probably too late for that, and we’re likely going to ship kids out for coke machines who may or may not have actual hockey talent and drafting for 2012 need not 2015 strenghts in a vain short-sighted lunge for the 8th spot, when we should be shooting much higher.

    (rant over)

  68. Cactus says:

    Ryan:
    Bhulin was done when I signed him…Whitney was done after his ankle injury which I knew there were issues when I traded Lubo…Horcoff was done two or three years ago…Smytty was on his last legs when I caved to our fan’s nostalgia when I traded for him….Hemsky’s shoulders are done….Holy shit those vets underperformed under Tom Renny, I better find a new coach.

    This team has enough wrong without resorting to vast hyperbole. Khabibulin was an overpay, both in term and number to be sure, but those other players have value. Whitney wasn’t done when he was acquired and while his recent injuries may have been exacerbated by previous harms, they were not caused by them. Horcoff’s a fine NHL player – he’s just overpaid by about $2-2.5M. Smyth was a gift that came at no cost to the team, other than a bit of money (and let them offload the underperforming Fraser). Hemsky’s on-ice shooting % was crap this year – expect it to rebound.

  69. Woodguy says:

    1) Yes, but he’s already been discounted due to optics. Standard Oilers

    2) Kevin Lowe has never been accountable since Katz bought the team. The GM in charge of recommendations is on his last coach though and a finish of 23ish or less gets him canned.

    3) Yeah right.

  70. Bruce McCurdy says:

    speeds: I do think they were probably a better team than they showed this regular season

    Oiler fans got an eyeful of the playoff Kings in those 2 games very late in the season. Oilers were competitive in quite a few games down the stretch, but just got the crap kicked out of them in both of those games. Scoreboard, shots, scoring chances, right across the board. After the first one I thought maybe the Oil had just had a bad night, but by the second I was going “holy crap, these guys are going to be a handful and a half in the playoffs.” Wouldn’t have guessed 10-1, though.

  71. Truth says:

    On the bright side we should never see Horcoff on the first unit PP for anything other than a faceoff ever again. Man was that frustrating.

    I’ve heard Oklahoma is similar to Alberta in landscape and culture (cowboys and whatnot), Khabibulin should adjust well. I can’t see any coach or accountable GM allowing this team to have a severe liability sitting on the end of the bench as insurance if the”starting goalie” goes down. He was Tambellini’s MVP in respect to earning 1st overall picks, the goal has now changed.

    Tambellini; please DO SOMETHING.

  72. Lowetide says:

    That’s the thing that kills me about his PC. He says we need to compete and then says Nik will be back. How do we marry those two statements together and have confidence in 12-13? HOW?

  73. Cactus says:

    Lowetide:
    That’s the thing that kills me about his PC. He says we need to compete and then says Nik will be back. How do we marry those two statements together and have confidence in 12-13? HOW?

    LT, the problem is that you’re trying to glean truth from Tambellini’s public statements. This is PR and little more. It serves his purposes to both declare that the Oilers will be more competitive and that Khabibulin will be back. They may be 90% sure that Khabby will be gone in a few months, but it does them almost no good to publically admit that right now.

  74. regwald says:

    Lowetide,

    But don’t you think Tambo has pretty much eliminated any confidence this fan base has in his ability to make a difference in player acquisition after the debacle of 2011-12 ?

    Things like:

    1. Ignoring Whitney’s health concerns and assuming he would return to #1 status ?
    2. Signing Barker
    3. Not cutting lose Khabi.
    4. Continuing to support the overplaying of Khabi when the organization should be developing DD ?
    5. The only other significant add on defence (besides Barker) was an AHL vet.
    6. Trading for a 6-7 dman in Sutton but not getting another 2 or 3 or 4 dman
    7. Lack of go to vets resulting in overplaying Smyth and Horcoff

    Things that looked okay, but turned out bad:

    1. Belanger – horrific season except on the face-off dot
    2. Eager – poor season
    3. Hordichuk – good to see that prevented injuries to the top 4 young players
    4. Magnus debacle
    5. Lander debacle

    There’s probably more, but that’s off the top of my head.

    in 2012-13 (if there is even a season), will only show a bump in the standings if the kids continue to grow and improve. Tambo has already proven he does not have the ability to improve the roster except through 1st round draft picks.

  75. regwald says:

    Wow, first time ever my comment awaiting moderation … didn’t know Tambo bashing would get moderated on this site … LOL

  76. Traktor says:

    russ99:

    It’s criminal what Renney did to Gagner (the first half season) Paajarvi and Omark.That’s 2 first rounders and a 3rd rounder there (because he was going to Russia, not 3rd round talent).

    Gagner had 10 points over his final 25 games while playing with good players. Is that Renney’s fault too?

    Gagner needs to take responsibility for his play. He is the most inconsistent player on the team and he has been in the league for 5 years.

  77. Lowetide says:

    Sorry, Regwald. Have no idea why your post got caught up in the system.

  78. regwald says:

    Lowetide,

    No worries … thought it was pretty funny … guess being too verbose will get you every time. LOL

  79. regwald says:

    Traktor,

    Yes, cause we all know that 22 year players should be the most consistent in the best pro league in the world.

  80. Cactus says:

    regwald,

    I’ve put this question to a few other people, re: 2011-12 offseason: what would you have done differently, other than not acquiring Barker? Barker may have been the difference between 27th and 29th, but he wasn’t the difference between playoffs and not.

    Oh, and if you do respond, please don’t simply say “get another top 2-3 d-man”. I’d actually like to hear some names and the terms (either in trade or money) that would lure someone to the 30th place team.

    There are way too many people here who think this is way simpler than it is.

  81. Traktor says:

    regwald:
    Traktor,

    Yes, cause we all know that 22 year players should be the most consistent in the best pro league in the world.

    He’s been in the league for 5 years and has made no improvements in his consistency. You are fine with that?

    Is that Renney’s fault?

  82. DSF says:

    speeds: The Oilers were:

    20th in GF (70 behind the highest scoring team and 35 ahead of the lowest scoring team)

    23rd in GA (74 behind the team with lowest GA and 42 ahead of the team with the highest GA), and I’m not entirely sure how people want to split that 23rd up between the D and the G?

    Off topic, but I don’t see how the disparity is great enough to justify drafting a D for need with the #1 pick (not that you said that anywhere in your post, just a general thought).

    Two things to bear in mind when looking at those numbers.

    The Oilers were 29th in shots for per game.

    It’s also exceedingly unlikely they get .965 goaltending again for the first 12 games of the season.

    The actual disparity could be much larger than it appears on the surface.

    Given the choices, I think you have to draft Yakupov but, if Tambellini really wants to be competitive, he needs to find not one, but two, top pairing defensemen PDQ.

    LT stated earlier that he thought Smid, Shutlz and Sutton were fine as the shutdown types on D but, really, rather than looking at them as 1, 3, 5…on a good team they would be 3, 5, 7.

    Petry is obviously (given Whitney’s health) the #1 offensive D but, really, where would he be on a playoff calibre team?

    I’d suggest he’s your #4.

    Still too many small forwards, well below average D and shaky goaltending…just like the last two off seasons.

  83. regwald says:

    Traktor: He’s been in the league for 5 years and has made no improvements in his consistency. You are fine with that?

    Is that Renney’s fault?

    He has the second most points in the NHL in his draft class, only exceeded by the #1 overall pick. He has more points than Voracek who was picked one spot later.

    Yes, I want him to be more consistent, but to me he is covering expectations at this point in time.

  84. regwald says:

    Cactus,

    Your #1 dman is coming off of major ankle surgery and your plan is to sign Barker and trade away last year’s disappointing signing in Foster for Sutton and sign an AHL dman.

    A GM who is interested in improving would make a trade and get someone to improve the defence. Maybe you can’t sign a top name dman – I wouldn’t have paid the $$$ for Wisniewski. However, if it is the weakest link on your team and your best dman you need to do more than what he did.

    Sorry, don’t have time to research all the additions that could have been made, but my point is you have to do a lot more than he did.

  85. Cactus says:

    regwald,

    You’re suggesting that Tambellini is a bad GM because he didn’t do enough to shore up the defence. Fine, but I think that view is a bit myopic.

    My argument is not that Tambellini is a fantastic GM. My point is simply that last summer, there were very few UFA d-men that would have helped AND not ruined the Oilers’ salary cap situation. As for trades, what would he have offered up? There’s no point moving a young, improving player on a team that just finished 30th.

    It’s easy to look at these things in retrospect and play Monday Morning QB. I’m tired of losing too, but the roots of this are much deeper than possible missed opportunities last offseason. Let’s see what they do this year.

  86. Truth says:

    I know I am probably wrong but I am going to assume that Tambellini was attempting to accrue lottery picks the last few years and therefore assembled the team the way he did. He now must show improvemen, lets see how good he is at building a winner. His job truly relies on it this time.

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