SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers done dealin'?

Oilers GM Steve Tambellini will listen to every offer made to him before the trade deadline. (QMI...

Oilers GM Steve Tambellini will listen to every offer made to him before the trade deadline. (QMI Agency/Ken Armstrong)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

One and done?

Not necessarily.

Steve Tambellini is famous for taking his time on the trade front, but he says there’s still time enough left to make another move or two.

With 80% of the NHL in buyer mode, the Oilers remain one of the few teams that are guaranteed sellers, putting them at the top of everyone’s speed dial this week.

“Things were kind of flat for the last month or so because people were still trying to make sense of things, most teams didn’t know if they were buyers or sellers,” said Tambellini, speaking from the Oilers war room in Chicago. “But based on discussions over the last couple of days, the climate has become much more intense. A month ago people would throw things out there to see if they could steal something, but when you’ve only got two days until the deadline, you have to make deals that you think are going to be good for both sides.”

Tambellini is in a tough spot, though, because rivals can smell weakness and there aren’t many clubs in a weaker position than Edmonton. They’re 30th, in a city screaming for change, and the market value of most Oilers is rock bottom.

He’s already 1-for-1, getting decent return (Nashville’s second round pick) for defenceman Denis Grebeshkov, who’s minus-16 with 19 points and was going to walk away for nothing this summer anyway (it’s hard to imagine Edmonton making a qualifying offer on the struggling blueliner’s $3.15 million salary).

So far, so good. And there could be more to come.

“In the last couple of days the questions have become a lot more direct,” said Tambellini. “It feels like people are getting closer to getting things done. We got one done, so that’s encouraging. I think we will probably be presented with a few more things before the deadline.”

This is not a fire sale, though. Change for the sake of change is never smart, so even though Tambellini is acutely aware of Edmonton’s appetite for new everything, he’s says patience is still a valuable weapon.

If not Tuesday and Wednesday, there’s still the summer, when more time and money will have ticked off some of those hard to move contracts.

“If we don’t get all the things accomplished (by Wednesday) then the next stage is in and around the draft.”

And no, there aren’t many untouchables on the current roster.

“I wouldn’t say everyone is on the block, but given where we are I’d be crazy not to listen to everything,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to do it, but I’ll listen to everything.”


Photos