What do you mean what did I say? (Photo by Abelimages / Getty Images for NHL)
Via our good friend Jimmy Hamrin of http://blog.st.nu/tikare/ comes this story from Sundsvalls Tidning, the media source (outside of Jimmy, of course) most closely associated with Timrå IK, the home team of Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson and Anton Lander.
In it, Gunnar Svensson, father of and agent for Pääjärvi, expresses concern that he has not received a clear indication from the Oilers as to their intentions with his client and son. According to Jimmy, the crux of the issue is the double-sided message being sent by Tambellini when he says "We want to bring them over as soon as possible but we want them to be ready." Svensson told reporter Maria Nordström "Tambellini does not speak clearly," which is surprising considering that this season "presented great clarity" to Tambellini. Svensson said that he hopes the Oilers will give him a clear message as to their plans for Pääjärvi in the coming days.
Not that we like to flog dead horses around here, but it's yet another example of communication breakdowns by the Oilers' front office. From Ben's article:
As much as it infuriates us, the ridiculous way the Oilers organization handles communications is mostly harmful only in how it affects what happens on the ice. Unfortunately, though the thin copper and blue line has kept us mere basement-dwellers from investigating too closely, there are some alarming indications.
Look at some of the interviews we've done with our prize prospects, for example. There are little things: Anton Lander not knowing where the Oilers want him to play in the coming season. Robby Dee bluntly saying that "I haven't spoken with Edmonton at all". One of our very best prospects, Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson, also apparently having no clue what the organization wants from him, speaking of the AHL as if it would be a nice opportunity if it ever came up. One such anecdote from a prospect, it's a misunderstanding. Three, it's a trend. Even Teemu Hartikainen, whose rights the Oilers would lose if he's not signed this summer, told our own Derek Zona after his series with Tappara that "hopefully they like my game in Edmonton and want to sign me."
And either Steve never read my post, or the message never got through.
Every one of these kids that I've talked to on and off of the record want to learn. They want guidance. They want to get better. They want to make it to the NHL. Why aren't the Oilers helping them? If Tambellini wants to show the fans of this team that he's serious about what he's saying, he can get the organization to stop worrying about bloggers posting from the press box or using Zambonis to block in those that don't toe the company line and start talking to these kids right now.
What we're asking for aren't high-level, advanced management techniques. Open lines of communication and support for your prospects should be priority number one, especially considering that Tambellini said this during that statement:
Going into this year's draft, you know that there will be potentially more change. We're going to try to do some things there, as far as moving bodies. And it becomes very clear to us. And the nice thing on a positive side is that the organization gets to see, you get to see the fact that this has to take place.
The change starts with you, Steve. Pick up the phone. If you're unable to perform the tasks associated with communicating with these people, hire someone who can. The communication situation has presented great clarity to the fanbase that something is wrong in the front office.