On Friday last week, Mark Spector spoke to Oilers GM Steve Tambellini on a variety of topics. The one I’m most interested in is adding to the defense. Are the Oilers searching for veteran help even this late in the summer?
- Tambellini to Spector on Justin Schultz:“Once we got to that day where it was decision day for Justin, he started calling different teams. He was calling teams personally, calling people to thank them but he’d made a choice. You know what that feeling is like, you’re just thinking well the phone’s gonna ring and we’re one of the teams it’s gonna be ‘thanks but no thanks.’ It was a real interesting situation, he called when we had pro scouts, goaltending consultants and MacT and everyone was in the room, and we were actually going over free agency. He came in with that call and told us he had selected the Oilers. Well there was an eruption in the room, it was like a big weight off our shoulders.”
- Tambellini to Spector on adding after Schultz signing: “We continued to look for a veteran D if he was available but it was going to have to be through a trade with us. It’s just not there right now and it wasn’t there right then. We’re always looking for a way to maybe add (a defenseman).”
I feared they would overpay for Marc Methot, and the price as it turned out was way too dear. The Oilers have some good news (possibly) on the Ryan Whitney front but that’s not something they can count on. Tambellini did say that if the club entered TC with their current 8 all healthy (Smid, Petry, Whitney, the 2 Schultz men, Sutton, Peckham, Corey Power Potterplay) then they would have no problem proceeding into the season.
I’m encouraged they are still looking. I’m of the belief that a former coach now in the management triangle might be pushing for a reliable veteran who can move the puck. Can Steve Tambellini pull the trigger?