Oilers’ Tambellini faces growing expectations

Steve Tambellini welcomes the challenge.

Having been put in place to clean up the mess made when new ownership took over of the club and bad contracts were awarded based on an unlikely playoff run, the Edmonton Oilers general manager is ready for the next stage in the team’s evolution.

It’s one that comes with expectations of winning, something the Oilers have not done since Tambellini took over the reins prior to the 2008 season.

“There’s a couple of years now that our young players – with the exception of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – have in experience,” said Tambellini. “Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle have had a couple of years in the league. Jeff Petry is getting more comfortable. Ales Hemsky is probably the healthiest he’s been in some time. He’s a key component. Devan Dubnyk looks like he’s taken a step and we’ve acquired some help on the blue line with Nick Schultz and we look to add to that if possible.”

Until now, there really haven’t been any expectations on Tambellini, other than getting the team out of those bad contracts and rid of underachieving players.

There was little question as to whether the Oilers were going to bring him back for another term, having succeeded in re-stocking the shelves and brining some credibility to their farm system.

The length and condition of the new deal — purported to be three years — where what delayed the announcement until Wednesday.


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