Back in late May, we talked about the holes in Edmonton’s roster and discussed what a strong summer might look like. How did it go for Steve Tambellini?
The original post and comments are here. During the period leading up to free agency, our discussions refined the list and we arrived at the following:
- A top pairing defenseman capable of delivering big minutes at evens and at least one of PK and PP. 20+ overall. Oilers did not address this area, although some may feel the positive news re: Ryan Whitney will suffice. A major item.
A better Renney.Tom Renney is out, Ralph Krueger is in. Based on what we know, and the verbal from all corners, this appears to be a positive move. I expect we’ll see some form of the trap, especially when this young team is in a close game. Justin Schultz or similar. Won the Schultz race, incredibly. I know that old timey guys like me ramble on about this, but winning the day on Justin Schultz is historic for the Oilers. Crazy, man, crazy.
- A reasonable goaltending option for the Khabibulin free fall. I think Yann Danis is a suitable “replacement level” solution to the problem, and would suggest that the Oilers feel comfortable moving forward with their goaltending group. I know this is an area of worry for many, and the lack of quality behind Dubnyk is extremely likely to cost points. Anyone arguing the Oilers are not serious about making the second season in year three of the Hall era need only point to the goaltending position.
- An established 2-way winger to mentor the young players who will compete for bottom 6 roles (Lander, Hartikainen, Pitlick, etc). The Oilers quickly re-signed Lennart Petrell and haven’t looked at anyone else since then. I think they are making a mistake, but as this is a very under-reported area of need pretty much worldwide, I’ll assume that others feel Edmonton has enough in this area.
Ryan Smyth or similar. Smyth did return, and possibly to the role mentioned in point #5. I don’t think he’ll be placed in the offensive situations of the past, but make no mistake: bringing back Smyth for such a young team was a key item. Get the rfa’s signed.Got ‘em all done, the major ones too. The Petry contract is extremely likely to be high value, the Gagner contract probably means he’s going to get squeezed by all of the other contracts that need to be signed in the next 12 months.
Steve Tambellini covered it all of but:
- The veteran defender
- The strong backup
- The 2-way winger (and that might be covered off by Smyth in a new role)
He did some
good great things, and the club drafted Nail Yakupov.
One question remains: why did he stop?