It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything of merit involving my favorite sports team in all the universe. It’s not because I don’t care it’s more because I’ve become increasingly irritated by witnessing the same thing, over & over & over & over until I’ve become, well, sick of the overs. However, on April 15, 2013 there was one particular over that I was absolutely thrilled to hear has finally come to an end. The Steve Tambellini era is over, finished, kaput, nadda, finito. This 5yr blip is the end of an error by current president of Oilers hockey operations, Kevin Lowe. Hindsight is always 20/20 & this move should have been pulled off at least 1 year ago.
A lot has been made in drawing parallels from this season to last in regard to the Oilers & this woeful season. The SOG differential has actually gotten worse, from -5 last year to -5.8 this year. During Steve Tambellini’s tenure as GM, the Oilers have given up an average of 4.92 more shots against than shots for. Just 1 reason of many as to why this change is needed. As GM of the Oilers, Lowe was & had only 1 season out of 7 with a -4.9 SOG differential & in those 7 years his total was a +0.6 which isn’t a mindblowing figure but when compared to Tambellini’s -24.6 over less than 5 full seasons, its not hard to figure out who iced a better team.
Fun fact: The last time the Oilers had a positive SOG differential, 2006 with a +4.3. No coincidence this was the last time they made the playoffs.
In July of 2008, Steve Tambellini was announced as Oilers GM & the following spring on April 15, 2009 in his own words said he had relieved Craig MacTavish as head coach & oddly enough yesterday Lowe said publicly
“for the record, Craig stepped down…Tambi never fired him”.
On June 11, 2012 Craig MacTavish made his return to the Oilers & was hired on as Senior Vice-President of Hockey Operations which initiated rumors a plenty of him succeeding Steve Tambellini. Call it karma, call it fate or call it irony but exactly 4yrs after dropping the axe on Craig MacTavish’s coaching tenure in Edmonton, Steve Tambellini, with a 138-185-46 record as a GM was fired and then replaced by Craig MacTavish as the new GM. Say what you want, but I think Craig got the last laugh here.
What do we know moving forward? Well, we know MacT is a winner with multiple Stanley Cups playing with Kevin Lowe. Together as a management group they went 301-252-47 (ties)- 56 over 7yrs. Limited playoff success however with only 3 appearances including 2 1st round losses to the Stars & a magical 2006 playoff run that got the Oilers to play 1 game for the Stanley Cup. Many pundits will say that this is just the Oilers recycling day, the old boys club allowing more alumni back into the group, I think otherwise. If there’s one thing we know about MacT is his tenacity & his needing of more jam.
I think if you asked him what this current group looks like, I’d guess he’d say jelly?
Hopefully MacT will live up to his press conference billing & deliver the goods as needed for this team. A bold trade here & there to go along with some UFAs that actually resemble NHL players would be a fresh start & unlike the dirty underwear this team has been wearing the last 5yrs, I’m hoping the Wash. Rinse. Repeat theme of losing, turns into that of winning.
We can only hope.