Skip to content

Oilers fire GM Tambellini, promote MacTavish

Apr 15, 2013, 11:39 AM EDT

Steve Tambellini Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers have reportedly fired general manager Steve Tambellini, according to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug.

Tambellini, 54, has been the GM in Edmonton since 2008.

The team has failed to make the playoffs during his four seasons on the job, and he’s been in the unique position of having the first overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft three years in a row, selecting Taylor Hall (2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and Nail Yakupov (2012).

This year, the Oilers seemed primed to make a run at the postseason but have faltered badly of late, losing five straight, including a disappointing 4-1 loss to provincial rival Calgary on Saturday.

Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe has announced he’ll hold a press conference later this morning, at which time the news of Tambellini’s firing is expected to be made official.


According to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, Tambellini will be replaced by former Oilers coach Craig MacTavish who, ironically enough, was fired by Tambellini in 2009…but was hired back by Tambellini in 2012 as part of the club’s Hockey Operations department.

Friedman also reports former Columbus GM Scott Howson, who had been working in Edmonton’s scouting department, will also be promoted to an “expanded role” in the front office.

Update 2:

Oilers make it official…

  1. 19to77 - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Craig MacTavish and Scott Howson. These are the names they’re hoping will fix this franchise. SCOTT. HOWSON.

    • biasedhomer - Apr 15, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      Scott Howson is not as bad as some people think.

      • 19to77 - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:11 AM

        Look at your screenname, and tell me why I might be inclined to be… a little skeptical.

  2. mikebel11 - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Howson’s expanded role includes scouting the popcorn machine at the concession stand so that everyone in the press box always has the freshest popcorn. He’s also in charge of scouting incoming hot dogs to ensure they’re covered in the right toppings.

    • mikebel11 - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      More breaking news: the popcorn at today’s morning skate was stale and the hotdogs were actually just leather shoes that he filled with orange juice. “Ya that’s about what we expected. That guy’s a tard” said Oilers water boy Joey.

  3. tfaltin - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Breaking News: Howson’s team is battling for a playoff spot, and is on an upward trajectory with another couple first round picks, and Ryan Murray not even in the lineup yet. Admittedly it took a while, but I think they won the Nash trade getting the grit and depth the Rangers gave up.

    • barkar942 - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      Only after they got half of the NY Rangers team there using all of the things they learned from the coach everyone loves to hate, Torts!
      Personally, I think both teams have won from the two trades between the two.
      Nash is happy and playing well, Gaborik is back with his old pals from NY that were already exiled from NY for underachieving there, but are prospering in Columbus with all that they learned in NY, and thus far Brassard and Scott are playing well in NY.
      Here’s hoping both teams make the playoffs.

      • tfaltin - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM

        I agree I hope both teams make it. The Rangers are finally coming together, (I am a diehard Rangers, and bandwagon-permanent Blue Jackets fan). I think the Rangers addressed a need in that trade, but didn’t realize the magnitude of what they gave up in other areas. They addressed that in the most recent deal, and I think it works for both sides at this point. My point in the above statement being that while Howson was wrecked for that trade, it has set the table for a run and established a real identity in Columbus.

  4. steverolley - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    and Kevin Lowe stays,

    sorry Oilers fans

    • nobandwagoners - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      and McTavish as GM – mmm, ok. I can understand it from the ‘former player and coach’ PR point of view and I suppose a GM always has to get a first shot at being a GM sometime and somewhere but if I were an Oiler fan I think I’d be more comfortable with someone with a bit more experience dealing with the stable of young talent on the roster.

  5. swizzler16 - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    The City of Champions indeed.

  6. govtminion - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    I’m on board with firing Tambellini- with the kind of opportunities he’s had to improve the team, continuing to fail like this eventually can’t continue. But… how does an NHL organization let Scott Howson anywhere within 50 miles of their arena?

  7. sjsharks66 - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Scott Howson….. Lol

  8. luz56 - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    As a Calgary Flames fan… This is great news! We are saved from the bottom of the basement. Recycling only works with paper, glass and plastic goods.. Keep Kevin Lowe forever

  9. buffalomafia - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Sabres should do the same!!!!

    Like NOW!

  10. sens101 - Apr 15, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Funny how most ppl hate on Scott Howson because of last season, yet the moves he made and the players and picks he acquired are the major reason why the CBJ are in the playoff race. I’m not going to lie I also thought Howson was an idiot last year, but you can deny he made some good moves…whether they make up for the bad ones, is really the question. The oilers need two top 4 dman, and a goalie before they will make the playoffs

  11. canucks30 - Apr 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    ” I’ll say that there’s one other guy in hockey today that is still working in the game that has won more Stanley Cups than me. So I think I know a little bit about winning, if there’s ever a concern.”

    “I would, uh, I think it’s safe to say that half the general manager’s in the National Hockey League would trade their roster for our roster right now”

    – Kevin Lowe

    Wow is this guy full of himself

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 15, 2013 at 9:12 PM

      And clearly has no idea of reality, most organizations prefer to build teams rather than loading up on undersized forwards.

      One could also point out to Lowe that his last cup ring came 23 years ago, maybe he’s forgotten a little bit about winning?!

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1884)
  2. P. Kane (1684)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1374)
  4. M. Richards (1371)
  5. N. Backstrom (1228)