Oilers, general manager Steve Tambellini agree to contract extension

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
OilersSteve Tambellini has been the general manager of the Edmonton Oilers since July of 2008.

In the four seasons he's been on the job the team has finished (in order) 21st, 30th, 30th, and 29th in the NHL standings. That's not exactly a great run, though the Oilers have been going through a (rather lengthy) rebuilding phase.

On Wednesday team president Kevin Lowe announced that the club has agreed to a contract extension with Tambellini so he can continue his rebuild of the Oilers.

"Three years ago we asked Steve to begin a rebuild which we all know hasn't been easy," said Lowe in a statement released by the team. "However, Oilers fans can take some consolation in the fact that Steve and his staff have acquired some amazing talent which will most definitely be the cornerstone to future sustained success for the Edmonton Oilers."

The Oilers have definitely added some talent over the years, including No. 1 overall draft picks Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Assuming they don't trade the selection before draft day, they will pick first overall once again later this month after having won the draft lottery for a third straight year, allowing them to become just the second team in NHL history to own three straight top picks (the Quebec Nordiques back in the early 90s were the first).

This is an accomplishment that was mentioned quite early (two of the first four paragraphs) in the team's press release about Tambellini's contract extension.

From the Oilers...
This past season saw Tambellini and the management team make Edmonton's second number one overall draft pick with the selection of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

After winning the 2012 Draft Lottery, the Oilers will have the opportunity to select first overall for the third consecutive time. Two years ago they chose Taylor Hall with their first ever number one pick.
You don't need me to tell you that picking first overall every single season isn't exactly the goal of a team. And it's not usually held up as a top accomplishment since it only comes as a result of your team finishing near the bottom of the standings.

With players like Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and another top pick coming in later this month (Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, or somebody else in the draft) the Oilers definitely have an impressive core of young talent in place.

Whether or not Tambellini is the person that can build around them and add the proper complementary pieces to help return the Oilers to the postseason remains to be seen.

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