So… Steve Tambellini got fired the other day, is anyone surprised? I am sure that there are people who are surprised, but honestly, I am not. The Edmonton Oilers under Tambellini never made the playoffs during his tenure and the best record was an 11th place finish in 2008-2009 with a 38-35-9 record. From 2009-2012 the Edmonton Oilers were last or second to last in the league each season, earning them the #1 lottery draft pick.
The Oilers with the three first picks drafted forwards; Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent Hopkins and Nail Yakupov. With Jordan Eberle as part of the new young Oilers the future looks bright, but there are still holes on the Oilers team, Devan Dubnyk is not considered an “elite” goaltender and the Oilers D is weak at best, missing a big top defensemen, (which they have not had since Chris Pronger) they managed to sign Justin Shultz the offensive defensemen and extended Ladislav Smids contract until the 2017 season. After Shultz and Smid this team is thin on defense. Tambellini never seemed to acknowledge this, but they are still a small team even with all the skill they have. There have been ideas thrown around on how to get some D and or other big young players on the team, but people feel it might cost one of the young forwards and that might be a harder trade to make.
The man replacing Tambelini is former Oilers head coach and player Craig MacTavish. MacTavish won three Stanley Cups with the Oilers as a player and was one of the last players to not wear a helmet in the NHL. As a coach he had a record of 301 wins, 252 loses, 47 ties and 56 overtime loses. In the 8 years behind the bench, he coached the team to 3 playoff births and one of those was the magical run in the 2005-06 seasons where the Oilers unfortunately lost the Stanley Cup in game 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes.
What kind of GM will MacTavish be, who knows? Only time will tell if he was the right man for the job, but one thing is for sure he has put in a much better position then Tambellini. His young stars are developing nicely and it is up to MacTavish to make sure he adds the right pieces to make this team a dominant force in the league. Depending where the Oilers are when they draft this year, I think they should draft a D-man the first round and not another forward. Hopefully he will acknowledge the goaltending too since the Oilers need a guy to steal games and I do not think Dubnyk can handle that kind of pressure. Good luck Craig, you might need it, Oiler fans have been waiting a long time for the playoffs and have been really patient. Hopefully next season will finally be their year.
The Calder Trophey is give “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the NHL” The Habs have had some interesting rookies this season and Alex Galchenyuk has a bright future ahead of him, but I’m not sure he would win the Calder mainly because of players like Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau, Ottawas forward Corey Conacher (played most of the season in Tampa) and ex Junior teammate Nail Yakupov. They have all had some pretty good seasons and have a good shot at the rookie of the year but so does Galchenyuk’s teammate Brendan Gallagher.
Gallagher currently has 13 goals 11 assists 24 points and is third among rookies in scoring. (as of Tuesday night) He has been a great addition to the Habs roster. Gally who are only 5’9 plays like he’s 6’7 crashing the net and using his size in a great way! He gets through the big guys and makes them think twice and then its too late he strikes. He is an aggressive little guy who gets under the oppositions skin and funny enough he opens up the ice cause the D has to keep an eye on him, or else!
Gally is going to be a great role model for kids of all sizes he plays with a lot of heart and has a good amount of skill. Montreal fans knew he was going to be good, but not this good so far, the guy has a great future and right now I think he deserves to win the Calder. Mainly for the fact that he’s proven size doesn’t matter as long as you try as hard as you can. He also puts tall people to shame, you know the ones who never go to the net and are scared of getting hurt, Gally makes it look easy and seems to be fearless. That is why B
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