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Oops: Every player from start of Oilers rebuild now elsewhere

Jul 20, 2014, 1:08 PM EDT

Steve Tambellini Getty Images

When the Edmonton Oilers officially began their rebuild in the 2009-10 season, hope ran high. Since that season they’ve added guys like Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, and Nail Yakupov to provide hope they’ll return to the playoffs for the first time since the Stanley Cup Final fun in 2006.

But the team that started it all that first season under GM Steve Tambellini? They’re all playing elsewhere now.

Jonathan Willis of the Edmonton Journal highlighted this fact showing when each player from that team left or was moved out of the organization and what they got in return for them. Teddy Purcell, Oscar Klefbom, Matt Hendricks, and Nikita Nikitin are the NHL-ready remnants of those moves.

The final few who departed this summer included Ales Hemsky, Devan Dubnyk, Sam Gagner, and Ryan Jones. Only Jones hasn’t found a new home as Hemsky signed with Dallas this summer and Gagner was sent to Tampa Bay for Purcell (then later moved to Arizona). Dubnyk was moved to Nashville last season in the Hendricks deal.

Tambellini’s history as GM in Edmonton was an awkward one. While the team was able to land tremendous talent with all those first-round picks and sign Justin Schultz as a free agent, the team never improved and has missed the playoffs eight seasons in a row.

Now with Craig MacTavish entering his second year as GM, the roster is clear of everyone Tambellini attempted to start the road to recovery with. You have to think that’s a good thing given how things have gone for Edmonton.

  1. clayman61 - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    What happened to Steve Tambellini?

    • tuberippin - Jul 20, 2014 at 7:47 PM

      Faded into obscurity. A lot like his son, Jeff, did after leaving the Islanders. (Steve was a much more productive NHL player than was his son, though)

      Steve is now a scout for the Ducks, while Jeff is now a member of the ZSC Lions of the Swedish League, which iirc is where the elder Tambellini finished up his career.

  2. gbatap - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    And yet Kevin Lowe and all his good ol’ boys are all still employed and keep getting promoted.

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 20, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      Lowe and friends, it’s who you know that counts. Obviously tambellini didn’t have the right connections. None of the eighties oilers has a clue off the ice.

  3. bcisleman - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen are all that remains of the pre-Snow Islanders (and they were prospects when he started–Milbury hadn’t gotten around to trading them yet). That’s why they call it a rebuild. The point is what you come out with on the other end and it seems to me that the Isles are a LOT further along than the Oilers.

  4. drewsylvania - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    How is this an oops? Every team changes drastically, and deliberately, from the start of a rebuild.

    • Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 20, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      I think the oops is that the team didn’t get any better.

  5. djshnooks - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    That’s why Buffalo won’t be Edmonton.

    • tuberippin - Jul 20, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      Buffalo is the USA’s Edmonton. Frigid, snowy, rather dreary, nobody desires to move there (sports or otherwise, for the most part). Critical difference is that the Oilers have won Stanley Cups, whereas Buffalo has yet to do so.

      • kaptaanamerica - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:07 AM

        Sabres have a better future cuz they don’t have an ingrained losing culture over the past years always looking for a top 5 overall pick

      • tuberippin - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:46 AM

        If there’s one thing Buffalo sports teams do have, it’s a critical lack of success.

      • kaptaanamerica - Jul 21, 2014 at 3:48 AM

        Edmonton is the USA’s Edomonton… Can/ US are one unit for hockey or for economic purposes…

  6. dumbassgreg - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    he had too cleanup decades of lowe and sather mess. he left the team in much better shape then the one he got from lowe and sather. if you listen to most oilers fans though tambellini is reason for all the wrongs in oilerland .now of course it is Eakins fault till he fired. they do just keep blindly drinking the kool aid. guess sather left lowe the secret recipe. lmao

  7. JoeAvg - Jul 20, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Really wish this team would get it together. Sad to see what’s happened to this once proud franchise.

  8. billiam55 - Jul 20, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    lol “rebuild”

  9. luz56 - Jul 20, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Yup…. and it will be a continual rebuild with Lowe and Killer MacTavish moves along… I feel for the diehard fans there. As bad as Calgary has been there is talent and effort

  10. buffbry - Jul 20, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Dubnyk and Hemsky moved last season not this summer

  11. malinpaul - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    it is hard to win in an NHL with so much parity, but they should make a run in a couple years.

    the oilers have a very strong crew of young D coming up the ranks (Klefbom, Marincin, Nurse, Schultz). Ideally they will be NHL D near the end of the Taylor Hall/Nugent Hopkins/Eberle long term contracts. Sprinkle on Nail and Neon and you have to think they will get a sniff.

    MacT has been making steady moves – nothing “bold” yet, but Perron, Purcell, Pouliot, Nikitin, Fayne etc.

  12. hockeyfan117 - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Having the draft picks is one thing, making the right picks with them is another. Edmonton has failed to put any talent around their young core. They should really deal Nail before he has zero value. I doubt they are a playoff team this year either.

  13. blomfeld - Jul 22, 2014 at 12:31 AM

    “Edmonton is doomed until the ‘criminals’ who run this franchise are dealt with” … Josef Stransky

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