Forget about a reno! Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini swung the wrecking ball at the foundation of his club today, knocking off salary and beginning the rebuild in earnest.
In fact, Tambellini was cleaning up a mess on this, the NHL’s Trade Deadline Day, left for him by his predecessor, now Oilers’ Director of Hockey Operations, Kevin Lowe.
And when all was said and done, at 1 p.m. MST, the Oilers GM had shipped out two more defencemen (three including Denis Grebeshkov who was traded 48 hours earlier).
Tambo’s Trade Day looks as follows:
Ryan Jones, F – Claimed winger off waivers from Nashville.
Lubomir Visnovsky, D –Traded to the Anaheim Ducks for D-man Ryan Whitney and a sixth-round draft pick.
Steve Staios, D – Trade to the Calgary Flames for defenceman Aaron Johnson and a third-round draft pick.
Tambellini’s primary objectives were to gain some salary cap flexibility and draft picks. He accomplished both, shedding more than $7M in salary, while stockpiling third and sixth-round draft picks.
Throw in the second rounder Nashville paid for Oilers’ blueliner Grebeshkov Monday, and the Oilers GM seemingly made the best of the dubious contract situation left at his doorstep by outgoing GM Kevin Lowe.
Trading your best D-man for a larger and similarly soft defensive replacement in Whitney will do little to address this club’s meek defensive corps.
It does, however, get Tambellini out from under three contracts that shouldn’t have been extended to begin with. The same can’t be said about $2M underachieving captain Ethan Moreau, who the Oilers were hoping to cut bait on today – a task that will now have to be addressed on or before July 1st.
For Oilers Nation, there can be little satisfaction in watching the architects of your team tear it down, thus admitting multiple mistakes were made in its initial construction.
Unquestionably, Tambellini has a tall order to fill, and he began that process today, swinging the wrecking ball with abandon.
While the dust is flying today, Oiler fans should sleep well tonight, knowing the bricks and mortar process of building a healthy NHL franchise in a modern salary cap world is now, well underway.
And dream: “With the first overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers select….”
So, how do you rate your GM’s moves today? Drop us a line on the “Crude Talk” Message Board.
In the meantime, keep your sticks on the ice Oiler fans!
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.