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.


20 Responses to Oilers GM Tambellini not interested in another lottery pick

  1. reinjosh says:

    Jordan Eberle. Dude is killing it. Overshadowed by two former first overalls, he is quietly leading his team in goals and points and is on pace to be a PPG player in his 2nd season. Hall is only on pac for 25 goals and 61 points and is on his way to become injury prone. RNH has been spectacular but Eberle is on pace for a 30 goal, 80 point season. He's been amazing. Only thing Edmonton needs now is a stud dman that can stay healthy. They should be able to grab one in the upcoming draft as long as they stay bottom ten in the league. 

    How much do you want to bet that Calgary is merely biding time till next season so Sven Baerscthi can step in beside Iginla. He almost the team this year and the way he's tearing up the WHL, he really shouldn't be there next year. He has unreal vision and his playmaking is by far the best the Calgary organization has seen in a very long, long time. Plus adding him makes the team a whole lot deeper on offense with Iggy, Baerstchi (assuming he makes the transition smoothly), Tanguay, Bourque, Glencross as top 9 wingers. Put Jokinen in the 2nd line spot (assuming he resigns) and you just need to find a top line center (I don't think Backlund is the answer). I'd be interested to see if Baerstchi could step into the center spot. It would help the team a lot. Then the team just has to find a way to rid itself of Stajan. A mini rebuild/retool would be a much better option but Feaster seems determined to do things this way. If the Flames can someone pick top 10 and get Galchenyuk, Forsberg, Girgensons or Gaunce then that top line center issue has a potential fix. Things could potentially be a lot better next season if Feaster is smart about things. With 16 million in space and only 5 – 7 spots to fill, things could be looking up for the Flames so enough. 
    Ron Wilson should be fired if the Leafs miss the playoffs. He's had multiple player changes, multipel coaching changes ands till no playoffs? If the PK keeps up being this bad he should just get fired anyways. The Leafs have 41 PK goals against. The next WORST TEAM HAS 30! #%@#@$
    Nashville should really consider moving Suter at the deadline. I personally believe his is the most replaceable between Weber and him (Nashville has PMD's up the wazoo with Ellis, Oliver-Roussel, Josi all near NHL ready) and he might bring the most in. Considering the price Boston paid for Kaberle last year, you ahve to think Nashville could at least get a 1st rounder, top prospect and NHL ready player. Either way, Nashville should consider moving one of the two, if not both. The return could set them up for a cup run in the coming years if Poile handles things right (and as one of the best GM's in the league I would expect no less). I would imagine that if Pronger's career is in doubt, than Holmgren would target either one. JVR and a 1st would be a hell of a starting point for Nashville. I could see Chiarelli being interested in Suter as well. Hamilton is a nice prospect but Suter is essentially everything they need (I would assume that Chiarelli would want a healthy discussion period with Suter's agent). Hamilton would be a nice consolation prize for Suter. More would be need for sure but I'm sure chiarelli would give it for Suter. Getting Suter would make Boston scary in teh future. They would virtually have no weakness. 
  2. palindrom says:

    i know its off topic but…Remember my comment last summer:


    ''I really dont think brizgalov would sign for that much, considering Nabokov didnt find any taker at 5 000 000$ after he had one of the best season of his career.

    If anything it would be a mistake to pay so for a goalie, even if he is elite when you can have a theodore for 1 100 000$

    Money is best invested elsewhere, the flyers is a good example of this as they had success in the pas few years.

    Give them a brizgalov, remove a carter, and they will be a less successful team.''


    They did in fact trade carter, but added Bryzgalov + Couturier + Voracek. (thank to the cap increase.)

     So far The flyers have similar success than last year (ironically, thank to Brobovsky).

    Its interresting as well to watch Florida, who chose as i suggested to sign a cheap Theodore over a more expensive goalie.  Last year Florida was the team allowing the most % (14.2%) of their budget on goalie, this year they are among the team who allow the least (4.9%). So far the formula seem to work for them.

  3. mapleleafsfan says:

    You have a point for sure, but I'd still rather pay more for a proven goalie. The thing people have to watch out for is the system the goalie plays in. Phoenix has smith looking like a winner, maybe bryz just isn't as good as people thought..

    Either way, if I can have lundqvist, thomas, rinne or price at a significant portion of salary cap, I do it. I think there are a pretty even amount of teams who succeed with weak goalies and who fail with weak goalies but if look at the real competitive teams this year (florida isn't going anywhere), they all have solid goalies that they are keeping for a while.  
  4. palindrom says:

    The Team impact on goalie stats have been calculated before, even if the study is not final, its believed to be at a maximum of .006. At least this study try a scientific approach and is more credible than common wisdom.


    Smith and Bryzgalov variance in stats this year is more likely to be about luck than about team system. Especially with this small sample of games played.

    Everyone seem to forgot that last summer the media consensus was that Bryzgalov will at last shine behind Philadelphia strong defense. Wasn't Bryzgalov trhe only reason Phoenix was competitive night after night?

    I still hold my main opinion: the difference in skill between goalies nowadays doesnt warrant to have as large a difference in their Salary. Im waiting at the end of the season to compile data, but so far this season the correlation between a goalie salary and his performance on ice seem only slightly positive.

  5. reinjosh says:

    I think spending money on a goalie needs to be controlled. You can't overspend but you can't underspend either. Columbus is getting murdered because they went the cheap route and yet Boston, New York and Vanouver are doing very well because of heavily paid goalies. 

    Its all about cap management. You can make a winning team a bunch of different ways but you can't overpay on one specific thing. You need depth at every position and you need elite skill almost always at every position.
    I still don't buy the "pay for a cheap goalie over an expensive one" method. I just can't see any good reason why trading away a good goalie makes any sense. If I'm th eRangers, Lundqvist is the one player on my team that is untouchable. He's the rock for that team. You don't just trade that kind of goalie, even if he has a large salary hit.
    I will admit that overpaying for a goalie is not a smart thing. But overpaying for any player isn't smart. I just can't agree with you argument. Paying for a goalie isn't a bad thing as long as its done smart. Yeah it would be great to get a goalie cheap that plays well but the reality is not every team can do that. 
    Washington's cheap goalie thing isn't working out. I think it goes both ways. 
  6. reinjosh says:

    I still disagree with you. 

    On a numbers basis, of the top ten teams in the league for GA's, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, San Jose and New York are paying more than 5 million dollars a year for that goaltending. St Louis is paying more than 4 million. They all fit into the top 15 of cap tied up in goalies. 4 of them are in the top 10. 
    Only Detroit, Los Angeles and Phoenix are in the bottom 10 of salary paid and have a top ten defense. 

  7. palindrom says:

    First Boston and Vancouver arent in the top 10 teams allowing the most of their budget on goalies! (they are 11, 12th) You can barely take them as an example to show it worth to invest in goalie.

    Colombus is the 9th team who allow the less on goalie.

    You should not use picked teams to make a point, but use entire league stats instead.
    The six teams spending the less of they budget in the goal are:

    1 – WAS – 19th
    2 – LAK – 12th
    3 – TOR – 21yh
    4 – FLO – 9th
    5 – DET – 5th
    6 – CHI – 2th

    The teams spending the most of their budget?

    1 – CAR – 28th
    2 – NYI – 27th
    3 – NYR – 1st
    4 – MIN – 7th
    5 – CAL – 22th
    6 – SJS – 18th

    The season is still young, im waiting at the end of the season to compile stats, but as last year the average trend seem to continue this year. There is a negative correlation between how much a team allow on goalie int heir budget and their ranking.

    The teams who overpay for forward/defenseman doesnt seem to have a negative correlation with their ranking.

  8. mapleleafsfan says:

    But they also have their goalies on the contracts they earned while unproven (for the good teams)… Like Quick/Howard/Crawford will all get extended for more than they are making now… Do you suggest they let them walk and roll the dice on another young goalie? Are you for letting Price walk/trading him?

    I think the biggest issue with big goalie contracts is the term.. I'd happily spend more on lundqvist than anyone else on my team as long as it's not for the next decade. 
  9. palindrom says:

    Crawford got re signed last summer to a reasonable deal of 2 700 000$.

    Howard signed last january at 2.25 millions$

    They already got their increase after they proved themselves.

    About letting a goalie go….

    Vokoun did exactly that..let Vokoun go and signed Theodore

    San jose let Nabokov go and signed Neimi.

    Im all about trading price if he want more than 5 000 000$ for his next contract. (but a new CBA/cap increase could affect this amount!). I really think Nashville made a mistake with Rhinne, unless they have insight about the next CBA. We will see how well they will do in the future…

  10. reinjosh says:

    There are examples for you side but there are some for the paying big for a goalie side as well. Vancouver is looking pretty good paying Luongo his 7 million a year or whatever he gets, same with New York (who has the largest cap hit for a team and its goaltending) and they are 2nd in goals against. Boston even is paying around 5 million and they are doing spectacularly. 

    Arguments exist for both sides and you can't conclusively determine which is better at this point because both are working. Really what this shows is that you can do it both ways as long as your smart about it. 
  11. palindrom says:

    Since the season is still young i will wait until the end of the season and compile data. We could reopen the debate then.

    For now i just wish you an happy new year and wish the best for Toronto (i actually cheer for them this year!)

    P.S. as i says before and last year Vancouver and Boston are example of teams who DOESNT OVERSPEND (nor underspend) in goal. they are 11th and 12th in the league for % of budget allocated on goalies. (Caps hits, thats what matter).

  12. reinjosh says:

    Happy new year to you as well. I always hope Montreal does well but they aren't this year. It's a shame really.

    Anyways, so Boston and Vancouver don't constitue overspending? 
    They spend 9.5 percent and 10.2 percent of the cap on goalies respectively. Every team above them SAVE ONE, spends between only 0.1 and 2.7 percent more than Boston, and between 0.7 percent and 3.3 percent more than Vancouver. Only one team in the entire league spends more than that (and still only spends a mere one point two million more than Bostona and Vancouver on goaltending). 
    I honestly can't see how spending a whole 0.5 percent to 3 percent more on goaltending is hurting a team. I can't see how taking that 3 percent (which is 1.5 million for a team spending 50 million, and 1.95 million for a team spending 65 million) is going to help that much more spending it somewhere else. 
  13. mapleleafsfan says:

    I'd be interested to see the stats at the end of the year if you keep up with them… I do believe ultimately the teams who spend more will do well (I see florida sliding)… With the howard etc resignings, I think their future contracts will consistently increase (assuming their play remains solid) as they become more proven. 

    I'm surprised to hear you wouldn't resign price over 5 (I think you're looking at 5.5 at least).. He carries the habs big time, although I guess that's meaningless seeing where they are now.. Still, he's a franchise goalie, I'd pay what ever it takes to get him. I feel hoping for a good, cheap goalie is just relying on a lot of luck.  
    Can't believe you cheer for toronto, I'm impressed haha. I personally could never cheer for the habs, and I live in montreal lol
  14. palindrom says:

    Did you took into account the fact that Thomas and Luongo was both vezina candidate last year and among the top 5 of the league while they are not among the goalies with the greatest cap hits? Thats what i mean too by not overspending.

  15. palindrom says:

    (sorryfor my poor english.. im trying my best…)

    I use the % of the budget allowed in goal for comparison because of this:

    Team who spend the most money overall usually have more success (positive correlation between the money spend and team success). Its kind of unfair to compare the success of teams who spend near the cap floor to the one who spend to cap limit. Usually the most paid goalies sign with the teams spending the most money overall and it give them a great advantage.

    Considering this, Florida with a 55 m$ caps hits is not in the same league than the teams who spend the whole 65 m$ So i like to compare the success of Florida with a cheap goalie in comparaison with team with similar cap hits but spending more on goal (Car, St-louis, Ana, Min for example.)

    In he same way will the flyers, Rangers, Buffallo, Calgary have more success in average than team spending to the cap limit with cheap goalie like LAK, TOR, WAS ? we will see……

    As a Toronto fans, do you think the 6$ Giguere caps hits is better invested elsewhere? it allowed Toronto to add a player like Liles or Connolly in the off-season?

  16. mapleleafsfan says:

    Your english is great, and definitely better than my french lol.

    Yea that's the smartest way to do it, and it's interesting.
    For the gigeure thing, no way I'd want to sign a goalie of his caliber to that contract (we took him as a salary dump to move blake/toskala – which I was fine with).. But if its a younger goalie who has proven time-in time-out that he can carry a team (lundqvist, price etc) I'd be willing to shell it out. Giguere in his prime I'd pay a lot for too. 
    Take toronto spending to the cap limit for example. I'd MUCH rather have lundqvist than connolly and armstrong (I think those two equal approximately his cap hit).. Now those two are overpaid, but considering every team has an overpaid player(s) on it, I'd rather spend more on a goalie than players on my 2nd/3rd/4th lines. The only position I'd for sure spend more than my goalie is 1st line Center.
  17. palindrom says:

    What about Goalie like Ward, Kiprusoff or Miller? They make top dollars,  at the time of their signature it sounded like a sure bet. They was example of your definition: ''proven time-in time-out that he can carry a team''. But since 2010-2011 they doesnt deliver enough performance to warrant their money. Not while goalie like Nabokov, Vokoun or Theodore can be found for cheap!

    Summer 2010 I was the first who wanted Price over Halak (against because price was cheaper$ to re sign). Price at 2 700 000$ is a good deal, but i would not be ready to give him 5 000 000$ next summer  yet. I would be looking forward to 2014 to think about giving him this kind of money.

    Would you take Ward over Reimer + Connoly (or Liles)?

  18. mapleleafsfan says:

    Hm. I think I would. Josh has swayed me into not thinking all that much of miller now, but kipper (in his prime) and ward are goalies I would sacrifice a decent player for. 

    We're paying armstrong 3 million right.. He's there for some grit/pk ability and leadership.. You can replace grit for fairly cheap (Shawn Thornton etc) and use the 2-3 million extra for an upgrade in goal (2-5 million in net)… 5 million would pay any of thomas, hiller, lehtonen, price… Free up only 1 million extra and you can grab fleury, backstrom or miller (and probably prices next contract)..
    So basically, if price resigned for 6 million. I'd be more than willing to trade Reimer, armstrong and steckel for him (1.8+3+1.1).. Obviously that isn't fair value for price, I just mean salary cap wise. I would easily downgrade my 4th line C and a 3rd/4th line grinder for an upgrade to price in net.  
  19. MystifoLeafs says:

    If we could land a Cam Ward for Reimer and Connolly then yes I would be happy. I not sure everyone else would be up for it but that would seem like a steal to me. 

    Connolly is a nice piece but I am not sold on him being apart of the build moving forward. 

    Now with J.M.L I would also consider it because I am not sold on the whole we can sign him to a similar contract this time around. With the likes 
    of Ehroff and Wiz making 5 million+ then Liles can demand that same amount for sure. 
    If Komisareak money can be taken off the books then 5 million for Liles is 
    alright. With Komi it's just a horrid decision.
  20. palindrom says:

    would you be happy to lose Armstrong on waiver if you could use the money to sign the average summer UFA?

    I prefer to use reannable contract like connolly or lies to make the comparaise.

    Reimer + liles or connolly, or Ward, price, kiprusoff, Miller? Fleury?

    well, thats open for a debate.

    I enjoy discussing the topic with you, i invite you at the end of the season when i will wrote an article about the goalies performances according to their contract.

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