Friday, February 17, 2012
So What Is He Really?
So what is Tambellini really? Expert analyst? Crafty manager with patience? Or maybe a chronic hoarder?
I am leaning toward hoarder. The other day there was an interview with the Oilers GM where he stated yet again that he has no intention of moving Gagner or Smyth.When it is obvious the help is needed, there has been no effort toward fixing the holes in the defense. And even though the mantra this year was to play meaningful games by now the has been not a single shed of evidence that he has tried to throw this team a life preserver in any shape way or form.
He is already worse than Lowe ever was when it came to "falling in love" with his players. Like a hoarder that can't get rid of anything even if it is junk, he can't seem to find the balance between finding real talent to develop and weeding out the guys that don't have the tools to make an impact even once they have reached their full potential. In regard to Gagner I will admit that he has made strides in parts of his game. His faceoff % has started to climb. He is playing with more of an edge and he is being rewarded lately because of it. But Smyth is at the end of his line. He has very little left to offer and really if it is a matter of having him simply in the room then maybe they can offer him a contract to be Joey Moss's assistant. (ok, not so nice to a loyal Oiler, but you get my point)
I like Smyth, I like his style and I like the fact that he EATS, SLEEPS, and BREATHES Oilers. But just being loyal doesn't win hockey games and Smyth is on the decline. He has been a great mentor for the kids but there is a point where you get diminishing returns on that. At this point he will be teaching them how to lose graciously and that is NOT a lesson that should be forced on these kids. That's not to say that he isn't pissed off when they lose. I'm not in the room so its not like I have some sort of insider info. But we are all aware of how classy Smyth is and I doubt he is teaching the kids how to get down on themselves etc... about losing. Thing is, in my opinion there needs to be someone there to light a fire under their proverbial ass's in the dressing room and then that same person has to have the ability to back it up on the ice. Smyth has been losing that quality for a while. And as much as he DOES bring to the table he still isn't the same guy he was in his prime. He may be leading by example in the way of how to never give up and how to dig deep and give everything he has. For that I am sure those kids will be grateful as their careers continue, but at some point someone has to show results when they dig deep and we just aren't seeing enough of that.
There was a small shining light during that interview. I got the impression that Hemsky might be on the move. Its about time! Hemsky has reached his full potential here and he won't suddenly light it up. The Oilers have tried everything they can to get someone to fit with him and make some magic and the conclusion has to be that he is just too hard to play with. Hemsky is the reason Hemsky isn't a top flight goal scorer/playmaker. The excuse for years was that he needed someone to play with, but this team has the most talent Hemsky has ever played with and he STILL isn't doing much.
I hope they get something decent in return for him but I'm not holding my breath. What worries me is that if Tambi cant get a big enough return he will just hold onto him. And considering there has been no contract to date, it looks like Hemsky will walk via UFA in which case the Oilers get nothing. This is yet another sign that the GM simply wants to hold onto everything he can with the hopes that one day everything will fall into place.
So far, about the only thing Tambellini has been able to do really well is build a farm team that can compete. Not a bad quality but it's hard NOT to when there is that much talent already in the system. I attribute it more to the drafting of Stu Macgregor and the coaching in the minors than I do to the GM anyway.
I guess what I'm getting at is that his shelf life is up and it might be time to clean out the garage before it's too late. i for one would prefer having a guy at the helm that understands what pieces are needed to put together a team and then is willing to use his extra pieces to trade for the ones he still needs. Rather than someone that holds onto everything he can get his hands onto in the hopes that the pieces will eventually fit.
Any car only requires one steering wheel, having three doesn't make that car better nor is it worth it to hold onto them "just in case" the other ones break.
On a side note, I am glad to finally be putting a post up again. It's been far too long since I have had the chance to rant :) I look forward to putting more up soon.