Tambellini Gets a New Contract

We knew it was coming. It should be no surprise to anyone that officially the Edmonton Oilers have announced a contract extension for current General Manager Steve Tambellini.

Here's where it gets a bit foggy for me. According to a statement by Kevin Lowe on the Oilers website, one of the reasons for Tambellini's extension was as follows.

Kevin Lowe says, "Three years ago we asked Steve to begin a rebuild which we all know hasn't been easy. However, Oilers fans can take some consolation in the fact that Steve and his staff have acquired some amazing talent which will most definitely be the cornerstone to future sustained success for the Edmonton Oilers."

I really don't have an issue with Tambellini. But I do feel giving him credit for things he really didn't do (or at least have a huge hand in) is the wrong reason to reward someone with an extension. If you want to say "hey, we're curious about where Steve can take this team now that it's time to be competitive" or "Steve has a great international and NHL background and we're confident he can take us the next step" then fine... say those things.

But to give Tambellini credit for building depth that should mostly be attributed to Stu MacGregor and his scouting staff, or to say he's made great draft picks when drafting first overall should be the easy part is hard to swallow. Tambellini's trades have been suspect and his UFA dealings less than sufficient. What we don't know is the mandate Tambellini had going into these decisions.

I'm prepared as likely many fans are to see what Tambellini can do now that the pressure is on and the excuse of a "rebuild" is pretty much over and past it's initial stages. For me the jury's out though on whether Tambellini is the right guy and can make those decisions now.

Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Oilers offices that last couple years and to know if finishing last was on purpose or not.


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