by PuckStopsHere on 04/16/13 at 12:34 AM ET
Today the Edmonton Oilers fired their general manager Steve Tambellini today. I'm not sure how much power he actually held as a general manager. Tambellini was hired as the Oiler GM in 2008 but he served as somewhat of a frontman for Kevin Lowe, their previous GM who had been promoted to president. Lowe had run the Oilers into the ground and would not have survived as general manager much longer. Instead he found somebody else to use as a shield while he and his cohort ran the team. Tambellini never really showed much of a plan as Oiler GM other than collecting top draft picks and it isn't clear how much of the plan was actually his.
The new general manager Craig MacTavish is a former Oiler head coach. He was fired in 2009 but remained in Kevin Lowe's braintrust. I think his major qualification is being a longtime friend and teammate of Kevin Lowe. MacTavish is the new shield for Lowe's run of the Oilers. Perhaps he will take more control of the team than Tambellini did. Perhaps he will be able to succeed as Oiler GM. They have a good group of young offensive players who will likely be a strong core in the future but they are in need of goaltending and defence. It is possible to make something out of this team but that is unlikely if Lowe continues to unsuccessfully pull the strings from behind his puppet GM.
Also added to the Edmonton Oiler braintrust is Scott Howson the recently fired Columbus Blue Jacket GM. He was hired by the Blue Jackets out of the Oiler system, where he had been thought to be quite competent, although the team had begun its trip downhill when he was working with the Oilers. I guess he isn't any worse than the existing Oiler braintrust and if he is kept from being in a position over his head like he was in Columbus he could be successful.
I am not sure how big a change this will make for the Edmonton Oilers. Steve Tambellini was Kevin Lowe's frontman and Craig MacTavish is the new frontman. As long as neither is really in charge nothing changes and there is a limit to how high the Oilers can climb with their incompetent management. The amazing thing is that Kevin Lowe remains employed in Edmonton.
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