Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I don't have a high opinion of Steve Tambellini. I think if he fell out of a boat he'd have a hard time hitting water, he is such an incompetent. But he's lucky.
He's lucky he's fallen into a situation where the media, for the most part, either acts as Pravda and Tass for the Oilers or actually thinks that a guy like Cam Barker is a quality NHL defenceman (Stauffer/Spector) or, even better, think that a random group of WJC teenagers would be better suited to play NHL defence than, you know, six fully grown men who are actually seasoned NHL defencemen.(your 'hall of fame' reporter Terry Jones) He's also lucky that much of the fanbase believes that the best thing for the franchise is to lose badly year after year although with the talent that the Oilers are accumulating who can argue with them?
lol well that's a story for another day, right?
So while the majority of moves other than the annual trip up to the podium seem to point to Tambellini and Lowe's incompetence the fact is that the guy has a lot of rope apparently. Plus he is lucky.
I have talked about luck a lot in these parts. Luck isn't everything, its not the only thing but its a big thing. Being in the right place in the right time, right, although in my experience when you talk about luck its bad luck that you have to worry about. Good luck may happen when you play a game or if you win the lottery but generally good luck refers simply to the fact that your genes are what they are or the fact that you are Canadian and not in a country where poverty and starvation and war run rampant. Its bad luck that can effect you, that can turn your world upside down, that is a lot more common. The drunk driver, the fall down the stairs, the ankle catching in a rut in the ice shattering a leg, the cancer that spreads unnoticed before its too late.
When you are younger you tend to dwell on luck a lot and, because generally younger people are dumber (!), they tend to think that good luck is just that, luck.
I certainly did. And yes that statement about young people is a generalization but really its mostly true. And that's fine. When you're young you lack experience and its when you make mistakes and do shit that's wild and crazy. I was a madman and while it still lurks below in some dark, murky, stinky place down there, that part of me is largely in the past. And its a good thing, right? A wife, three kids, a career, a mortgage and all that. Its best that I got all of those benders and sleeping around and bad decisions (oh god I made more than a few) out of the way.
Now here is the funny thing. I remember as a young dude lamenting my bad luck with women and the reality is it wasn't bad luck. I was a dink. I was immature and foolish and the odd time I found someone I almost immediately blew it. My bad luck was not bad luck but deserved.
And so as I got older I found a beautiful spirited girl and I got a chance at a career and I did something with that. Maybe I got an opportunity but I shoved the door wide open and used my head and worked hard and as a result I am where I am today.
Now having said that I know that I am lucky that I won the genetic lottery (so far) and was born in Canada and that my kids were all born healthy and I am also quite aware that it could all tumble down today or tomorrow when something happens that I have no control over. I don't have that much hubris. I have enough friends and family members who have had their lives turned upside down to know that things can turn on a dime.
So this is the important thing to remember while we celebrate that the Oilers will pick first for the third time in a row and, for the third time in a row, there is a consensus number one guy to pick.
While the drop of the ball this year was lucky in that we got that first pick and that that pick is an easy one the reality is that its not luck that got us here. Its sheer incompetence. The incompetence that gives an over 35 goalie a four year deal, that spends to the cap thinking you have a contender and finishes dead last, that sheds quality players year after year without adequate replacements, that wastes a year of development for the three Swedes, that trades their best defenceman for a guy, who while quality, is a type that could easily be had for less, that misunderstands the little ins and outs of the CBA.
Watching TSN last night Jennifer Hedger remarked out quickly things can turn, referencing the Oilers being a goal away from the Cup and now picking first overall for the third year running.
That's not luck folks or a sudden downturn in fortune. That's a special and historic level of incompetence.
And while I am excited that this club is going to feature four forwards who are astounding talents, wonderful and dynamic, the idea that Tambo is the man to build around these guys leaves me cold. After all he is the guy who got us here in the first place. And neither he nor his lucky tie nor this feat should be celebrated in any way.
Because building around Hall and Eberle and Ted and Yakupov is not going to require dumb luck, a dopey grin and platitudes mouthed when a ping pong ball falls the right way. Its going to require a shrewd and tough negotiator with a plan for the short term and long term.
I'd fire Tambo today honestly. But its not going to happen. Keep your fingers crossed that what has passed so far is not a true indication of his ability and, failing that, that he truly is the luckiest man to have ever walked the earth. Because if he's not then we could be truly fucked.
Posted by Black Dog at 12:01 PM