Tambellini quits Canucks to join Oilers as GM
For the past 17 seasons, Steve Tambellini has been a part of the Vancouver Canucks organization in one form or another - until now.
Just hours after the Canucks vice president and assistant general manager announced he resigned from his position, Tambellini was introduced as the Oilers' General Manager. He succeeds Kevin Lowe, who is moving into the newly created post of president of hockey operations for Rexall Sports.
The 50 year-old from Trail, B.C. first joined Canuck management as director of media relations before moving into player personnel. Tambellini was most recently assistant general manager to Dave Nonis and continued in that position under Mike Gillis, who replaced Nonis when he was fired in April..
While many in the hockey community were surprised by today's announcements, several critics felt it was just a matter of time before the Aquilini ownership group got rid of Nonis's right-hand man. Landing the gig in Edmonton is a dream come true for Tambellini.
"There's lots to do, there's lot to talk about," he said. "I'm extremely excited and proud to be here."
The Oilers are a team stocked with young talent, led by forwards Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano. Horcoff, Moreau, Staios and Souray are among a veteran core while bolstered by the summer additions of Erik Cole, Lubomir Visnovsky and Jason Strudwick.
Lowe has worked with Tambellini on the Olympic level and knows exactly what to expect from his new GM.
"In my estimation, and many people in hockey feel the same way, Steve's the strongest candidate in hockey at the executive level who wasn't a general manager," said Lowe. "It was a real easy choice."
Kevin Prendergast, the Oilers' longtime vice-president of hockey operations, was named assistant general manager.
Tambellini said he had no ill will toward the Canucks, who thanked him for his service via a press release and followed up later in the afternoon with a conference call from Gillis.
"On behalf of the entire Canucks organization we would like to thank Steve for his many contributions to our club as a player and manager over nearly 20 years," Gillis said.
"This is an opportunity that Steve could not pass up and we are in full support of his decision to advance his career."
With a report by The Canadian Press