Friday, August 1, 2008

Oilers hire Tambellini

When I first heard about the hiring of Tambellini as GM of the Oilers I was surprised to hear about it and instantly a couple questions came to mind.

Is Tambellini the replacement of Kevin Lowe or a compliment to Kevin Lowe?

Every quote I find indicates to me that its more of the latter.

Quote from Tambellini (per
"This is a management team". "We're going to work together as a group. I don't want Kevin Lowe going anywhere. He's one of the reasons that I came here. He'll be involved as much as he wants to be involved and I look forward to that."

Kevin Lowe
"We all like to think that titles are irrelevant," says Lowe. "We want to just get the job done collectively as a team so that the Oilers organization can be successful."

"Steve will end up doing more of the day-to-day stuff of the General Manager's role, which is a lot. That's what was wearing me down personally. The major decisions are going to be made collectively with the management group with me ultimately having the final say."

Based on these quotes, to me Katz wanted to add a top-end NHL mind to the management team and the shuffle of positions was done to allow Tambellini to come on board. To me, KLo still has the power but will be less involved in negotiations and more involved in decisions (with the input of Tambellini and the team). This is Katz' second stamp on the team and a good one. Not that I'm an expert on this but you dont become a billionare by working for yourself. There just isnt enough time. You make decisions (alone or as a group) and have capable people implement them. Running an NHL team is an increasingly harder job each year and a cohesive team is a more effective than one person. A management team can self destruct quite easily but given that KLo and Tambellini have worked together before (as shown in the photo of the 2002 Olympics) the risk of this happening should be minimal. Overall, I see this as a positive.

How good is Tambellini as a GM?

This one will have to be answered over time. My preference was to add Doug Armstrong who had a proven record but he was hired by St Louis months ago and I never considered Tambelli an option. The Canucks have been unable to make the right moves to take the next step as a franchise. Before the lockout, the Canucks were unable to add the pieces to make a push when the had a strong team led by Naslund-Bertuzzi-Morrison. More recently, they've had the best goaltender in the league but been unable field a decent lineup in front of him. Is that a reflection of Tambellini? I dont think you can fairly pinpoint that on him if he isn't the man in charge. I wonder if the name Rich Winter ever entered discussions ...

One of the reasons I started blogging was so that I could help track my opinions and changes in Oilers direction. This is a fairly significant change and it will be interesting to see how it pans out.


Jonathan said...

Yeah, it's kind of interesting to chart how your opinion shifts over time, isn't it?

Sean said...

Ya its amazing at how wrong you can be. Although you can just delete the post ... kiddin