Saturday, February 25, 2012
Tambellini Doesn't Have A Clue
So the news came down yesterday that Ales Hemsky signed a new deal with the Oilers and will be a part of the club for the next two years. With a new cap hit of $5M he gets a pay raise to go along with his shiny new contract. This is all well and good for Hemsky and for the Oiler fans that can't seem to see past their favorite players but I fail to see how this was good for the team overall.
So far this year the team has played better when Hemsky was hurt. I attribute this to the fact that he doesn't have a real place on this team anymore. Then there is the idea that when Eberle, Hall, RNH etc... are looking for a new deal they are going to be crazy expensive as they can point to a 60 point guy and say "hey, I do better than he does and you paid him" or "I am more durable than he is so I am worth more".
I also don't like the deal because Tambellini had the opportunity to upgrade the team this deadline and he has now squandered the best bargaining chip he had. Sure there is talk that Khabibulin might have a market out there for him and it might be best to move him if they have the ability to, but there is NOT going to be a high return for him. The same can be said for Ryan Smyth (although the rumors are out there that they are working on a new deal as of right now) but even if he does get moved, there cannot be any expectation that there will be a return that will actually help the Oilers. If anything I see yet another AHL player that will languish in the minors for several years until he finally gets the boot and probably wont see more than a few games in the NHL and only as a call up.
A lot of people are saying how the Oilers are going to be busy at the deadline but I simply don't see the pieces that will garner a return the Oilers are looking for. Which means yet again Tambellini is going to sit back and "evaluate" the team for another year.
My prediction is that Tambellini is going to make up to 3 moves. He will move a decent prospect (Potter/MPS type player) to go along with Khabibulin and he will get a mid level pick and an AHL bound player. Then he will move a guy like Peckham for a guy that has "pedigree" but is a project because some injury occurred and said player hasn't been the same since. And lastly he will take that pick he got in the Khabibulin trade to get a defender that will appear to be decent but upon closer inspection he will be nothing more than a 7th D or AHL vet. Other than that if there are any more deals made they will be only for OKC and will have very little bearing on the Oilers themselves. I would hope that he moves Omark and gets SOMETHING decent in return, but I doubt Tambellini is done watching him and seeing if he will pan out yet. So again he will probably pass on any deal involving him too.
My worst prediction will be that on TDL with all the excitement going on, Oiler fans from all over will sing the praises about Tambellini with out even taking into account that anything he did was either a sideways step or a downgrade. Very few people will look back in the next few years and wonder why Hemsky wasn't moved when they had the opportunity and to me that's sad.
Tambellini needs to stop evaluating this club and start making moves that are going to benefit them longer term. The motto this pre-season was that they were going to play meaningful games by this point. Yet there has been NO effort on the part of the GM to help make that happen. What's worse is when I read the paper and I see Terry Jones writes this little gem and I wonder what the hell the owner is thinking. To think that Tom Renney is the problem in any manner is like wondering why you have a headache after smashing your head into a brick wall.
Renney is working with what he has. He has a weak defense (yes better than expected but still far from great) He has so-so goaltending from night to night. And his forward lineup, although skilled is still not even close to being built properly. He has made the best use of the pieces he can, heck seeing what RNH was doing before he was hurt, and how Eberle has broken out FAR beyond anyone's expectations. Smid has taken a giant leap forward in his own play etc... it all goes to show that as a coach he is the real deal. There is no reason to think that he is the problem.
Tambellini doesn't have the grapes to do this job. He is slow on the draw and he doesn't want to piss anyone off. So rather than making the deals that need to be done to make this team better, he relies on drafting alone and signing whatever spare parts he can entice to come here. Sometimes a team has to move a piece that most people don't want to see go if they are going to take a step forward. It might hurt and it might leave a sour taste in fans mouths at the time but if there is a vision then he should be moving toward realizing it. If there is NO vision and he want's to wait until we draft a team then I think his welcome has been used up and it is time to move on. Hell, even if there IS a vision he has already proven he doesn't know how to achieve that vision so it is time to go either way.
I have been an Oiler fan for a very long time and this is about the worst I have ever felt about a GM in the history of this team. Lowe? nah, even though he seemed to be hated by all I had very little problem with him. That guy was shrewd and he made due with the budget he was given. He had the balls to pull the trigger when needed and even if he got burned you could tell he was the type of GM the team needed. There was no indecision with him. Right now I am frustrated because the current manager is so ill equipped to do this job it's beyond sad, and even when he shows it again and again there is nobody out there pointing it out. The sheer lack of balls has me believing that the Oilers actually employ Martha Stewart in a suit.
Well, for now I guess I will wait and see. I honestly DO hope that I am proven wrong. I hope that the deal with Hemmer was a Sather move and all he did there was increase the value of the player by ensuring he wasn't going to be a rental and he moves him anyway (I have head nothing about a NMC). I hope that he finds a way to turn Khabibulin into a high pick and a decent prospect. I hope Omark is moved in a package that gets a younger goalie. I hope that there will be reason to look forward to next year and not only due to the top 1-2 pick that they will more than likely pull out this year.
But, I am getting real used to having my hopes dashed with this team.
until next time.