In the great many posts about the departure of Liam Reddox to Sweden it is fairly clear that most fans believe Reddox is a dependable player on the fringe between being a full time NHL player and an AHL player. Fans like the effort he puts in every night but his decision to jump to Europe for next season isn't really a big deal because the skill set that Reddox brings is easily replaceable. There isn't a single bit of that logic that I can disagree with. But as easy as Reddox can be replaced I doubt the Oilers will manage to do so.
Coming out of training camp the Oilers sent Reddox to Oklahoma City, a clear indication that, despite all evidence to the contrary, he slots behind both Jean-Francois Jacques and Steve MacIntyre on the Oilers depth chart. Therefore, rather than replace Reddox it’s more likely that Tambellini will simply resign those players that he already fells were better options for his club than Reddox. The biggest upside with this strategy is that it will again give Tambellini a good shot at having the tallest fourth line in hockey, which of course balances out having a lot of smaller players on your top lines.
And even if Tambellini is smarter than I think he is, realizing that Jacques and MacIntyre can’t play hockey, I still doubt that he’ll manage to actually sign a useful replacement for Reddox. He may try, but his track record in almost three full years as the Oilers General Manger is ugly to say the least and doesn't give me much confidence that he can identify talent at the NHL level. Want proof? Take a look at the transactions he has made during his tenure (thanks to Oilfans.com for the list).
|9/30/2008||Steve MacIntyre claimed off of waivers from Florida.|
|11/11/2008||Jesse Boulerice claimed off of waivers from Colorado.|
|11/21/2008||Jesse Boulerice claimed on waivers by Colorado.|
|1/17/2009||Mathieu Garon traded to Pittsburgh for Ryan Stone, Dany Sabourin and 4th round pick in 2011.|
|3/4/2009||Erik Cole traded to Carolina with 5th round draft pick in 2009 (Matt Kennedy) for Patrick O'Sullivan and 2nd round pick in 2009 (Jesse Blacker (Toronto)).|
|3/4/2009||Ales Kotalik traded by Buffalo for Carolina's 2nd round draft pick in 2009 (Jesse Blacker (Toronto)).|
|6/27/2009||Kyle Brodziak traded with 6th (Darcy Kuemper) round pick in 2009 to Minnesota for 4th (Kyle Bigos) and 5th (Olivier Roy) round picks in 2009.|
|7/1/2009||Nikolai Khabibulin signed as a free agent (formerly with Chicago)|
|9/10/2009||Mike Comrie signed as a free agent (formerly with Ottawa).|
|9/29/2009||Rob Schremp claimed on waivers by NY Islanders.|
|11/10/2009||Steve MacIntyre claimed off of waivers by Florida.|
|3/1/2010||Denis Grebeshkov traded to Nashville for 2nd round pick in 2010 (Curtis Hamilton).|
|3/3/2010||Aaron Johnson traded by Calgary with 3rd round pick in 2010 or 2011 for Steve Staios.|
|3/3/2010||Ryan Jones claimed off waivers from Nashville.|
|3/3/2010||Lubomir Visnovsky traded to Anaheim for Ryan Whitney and 6th round pick in 2010 (Brandon Davidson).|
|6/24/2010||Colin Fraser traded by Chicago for 6th round pick in 2010 (Mirko Hofflin).|
|6/30/2010||Ethan Moreau claimed off waivers by Columbus.|
|6/30/2010||Robert Nilsson remainder of contract bought out.|
|6/30/2010||Patrick O'Sullivan traded to Phoenix for Jim Vandermeer.|
|7/1/2010||Kurtis Foster signed as free agent (formerly with Tampa Bay).|
|7/2/2010||Steve MacIntyre signed as free agent (formerly with Florida).|
|8/6/2010||Martin Gerber signed as free agent (formerly with Moscow, KHL)|
|2/28/2011||Dustin Penner traded to Los Angeles for Colten Teubert, 1st round pick in 2011, conditional pick (2nd or 3rd round) in 2012.|
How many good moves do you see in that list. How many would you even consider decent? That list of moves is what has allowed Tambellini to "manage" the Oilers from 19th overall before he got here to 21st, 30th, and 30th in the seasons after he arrived. I really think that if the Oilers do manage to acquire a useful player to replace Reddox on their fourth line it'll be more blind luck than an indication that they know what they're doing.
Holes in the bottom six have been painfully obvious for multiple seasons now. As have problems winning faceoffs and killing penalties and yet no help has come. Othe teams sign players to fill hole and yet the Oilers do nothing. Why? Because management can't identify NHL level talent already playing in the NHL. If this team is ever going to actually benefit from the rebuild we better hope that the draft continues to turn up nothing but gold because it looks unlikely that management doesn't has even the slightest clue about what they're doing when looking for help in the form of players already playing in the NHL.