Oilers GM Tambellini not interested in another lottery pick

Steve Tambellini looks at the standings and doesn’t like what he sees.

“Do I want to be a lottery pick again? No, I’ve said that from the beginning,” said the Edmonton Oilers general manager.

It isn’t his intention to be picking in the top three of the NHL entry draft in Pittsburgh this June. His game plan isn’t to be the fifth worst team in the NHL right now, with a club that looks an awful lot like last year’s version. The Oilers were 12-18-7 after 37 games in 2010-11, with 31 points. On Jan. 1, 2012, the Oilers are 15-19-3, with 33 points. That’s not a leap forward. Forget playing meaningful games in March. How about February? How about this month?

Tambellini does not want to be at TSN’s Toronto studio this spring for another lottery telecast as one of the league’s bottom feeders, even if that would give the Oilers a shot at Team Canada junior defenceman Ryan Murray, who might be the second coming of Scott Niedermayer.

That wouldn’t be progress, and that’s what this is supposed to be, right?

Right now Tambellini’s club is coming off three wins in 12 games in December. They’ve lost seven in a row away from Rexall Place and have the Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars next, on what is turning into more of a death march than a road trip. Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall — who was very good against the New York Islanders on Saturday with three goalposts and 10 shots directed at Evgeni Nabokov’s net — and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are a joy to watch. But they aren’t getting nearly enough scoring help. Or leadership help, in some cases.