I don't know about you, but I'm pretty excited about the upcoming season. So excited that I figured I needed to write about it. Ok, I am excited but I'm really only writing this right now to prove to Oilersnation stalwart commenter "Buck75" that my blog is indeed still active. I was planning on writing something about the upcoming season in the next week or so, but he just kicked my butt into doing it. No problem. I blog in my sleep.
So lets get started, shall we?
The topic of discussion I want to talk about is how Tambo's summer went from my point of view.
Short Answer: Great.
He started off by firing/reassigning the training staff. Awesome. I didn't like the way that one guy tossed Hemsky towels during a game last season. I'm no physiologicalist, but I think that towel toss may be the reason Hemsky bowed out of the season early with a shoulder injury.
He reassigned the great Pat Quinn higher up the ladder and stripped him of his coach-ship. Really, it's just a fancy way of firing without all the optics of a "firing". Renney has the reigns now. That's cool. I think Pat is a good hockey mind, but it was quite evident last season that he had no real pulse of his lineup - not that it was much of a lineup. Really nobody, except Penner, excelled during his reign. That should say something. Renney brings a more scientific approach to coaching, as well he seems to be more dialed in with his players. That being said, Renney doesn't scare the fuck out of me like Quinn does. Maybe that was part of Quinn's problem...who knows. Only time will tell I guess.
Tambo also unleashed his wrath on the roster. Nilsson, O'Sullivan and Moreau all were placed on waivers. Good riddance. I don't necessarily champion the idea of waiving your Captain...but, in my opinion, Moreau shouldn't have been named Captain to begin with. So...yah, that's a whole other blog. Moreau was picked up by Columbus off waivers, O'Sullivan was traded to Phoenix for Vandermeer (and then released by Phoenix - OUCH!). Nilsson signed in the KHL. Good stuff.
Tambellini also added a few peeps to the roster by acquiring some players via trades, free agent signings and re-upping some existing Oilers:
|SAM GAGNER||C||21||SIGNED 2-YEAR CONTRACT AUGUST 29|
|LIAM REDDOX||LW||24||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT AUGUST 9|
|MARTIN GERBER||G||35||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT AUGUST 6|
|JEFF DESLAURIERS||G||26||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT JULY 31|
|GILBERT BRULE||C||23||SIGNED 2-YEAR CONTRACT JULY 27|
|RYAN O'MARRA||C||23||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT JULY 16|
|GREGORY STEWART||LW||24||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT JULY 16|
|THEO PECKHAM||D||22||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT JULY 15|
|J-F JACQUES||LW||25||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT JULY 14|
|DEVAN DUBNYK||G||24||SIGNED 2-YEAR CONTRACT JULY 13|
|SHAWN BELLE||D||25||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT JULY 13|
|BEN ONDRUS||RW||28||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT JULY 9|
|BRAD MORAN||C||31||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT JULY 7|
|TAYLOR HALL||LW||18||SIGNED 3-YEAR ENTRY LEVEL CONTRACT JULY 5|
|ALEXANDRE GIROUX||LW||29||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT AS A UFA JULY 3|
|STEVE MACINTYRE||LW||29||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT AS A UFA JULY 2|
|JASON STRUDWICK||D||34||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT AS A UFA JULY 2|
|RICHARD PETIOT||D||27||SIGNED 1-YEAR CONTRACT AS A UFA JULY 2|
|KURTIS FOSTER||D||28||SIGNED 2-YEAR CONTRACT AS A UFA JULY 1|
|JIM VANDERMEER||D||30||ACQUIRED FROM PHOENIX FOR PATRICK O'SULLIVAN JUNE 30|
|COLIN FRASER||C||25||ACQUIRED FROM CHICAGO FOR 6TH ROUND CHOICE (151ST OVERALL) IN 2010 DRAFT JUNE 24 & SIGNED TWO-YEAR CONTRACT WITH OILERS JULY 1|
|MAGNUS PAAJARVI-SVENSSON||LW||19||SIGNED 3-YEAR CONTRACT JUNE 2|
|LINUS OMARK||RW||23||SIGNED 2-YEAR CONTRACT APR. 6|
|CHRIS VANDE VELDE||RW||23||SIGNED 2-YEAR CONTRACT APR. 6|
As you can see, plenty of depth/role players, some key re-signings and of course: Taylor Hall. There's also a plethora of, presumably, AHL players that were picked up over the summer. Good stuff. Setting up shop in Oklahoma over the summer was a catalyst to build a team that can at least compete. The shitshow in Springfield last year was atrocious. Come to think of it - the NHL team wasn't much better. It did get us Hall though. YEAH!
The only RFA waiting to be re-signed is Cogliano. From what I've read there is a deal on the table and it's pretty much in Cogliano's hands at this point. Obviously there's a bit of a gap between the two sides. I'm sure it will be agreed upon in the near future.
What else did Tambo do? Oh yeah...He let Pisani go out to pasture (signed with Chicago) and he also will apparently let the newlywed Comrie have an extended honeymoon by not re-signing him. It's probably for the best. Sad to see both of them go, but there's a lot of young talent bubbling under the surface here that the team needs to have a good look at.
Tambo also had plenty of drama to deal with this summer. There's the Souray thing and of course this whole Khabibulin thing. Tambo has been trying to deal Souray since the end of last season. As you can imagine, there's not much of a market for an oft-injured, old, high salaried player that doesn't have that "team player" aura. Tambellini waived Souray...nobody wanted him...even at half price. That's a kick to the junk from Souray's point of view. Well, I suppose it's a kick to the junk to the Oilers too. :(
Khabibulin just got his sentence the other day for his DUI trial in Phoenix. His lawyers appealed the sentence, further delaying any real resolution. This seemed to catch Tambellini a bit off guard. The plus to all this is that by appealing the sentence it makes Khabibulin available for training camp and the beginning of the season. From what I've read the appeal process can drag on forever - perhaps even to next summer.
That's pretty much it for the major news hits from the Oilers over the summer. It's hard to believe summer is almost over. Rookie camp kicks off in a couple weeks and main camp is shortly after that. Unreal.
So, back to the beginning of all this rambling. Why am I excited?
Mostly because of these beauties: (nohomo)
Who saw this coming?!? Not Buck75...that's who didn't see this coming.
P.S. Don't click here.