“It is a fourth round pick. And, the condition was, if we did make the playoffs this year, it would be a third. If not, it’s a fourth in 2014.”
-Steve Tambellini, explaining the Mike Brown trade at the time that the Oilers acquired him.
“We’ve offered Anaheim’s second. How would you feel if we kept that and added a third, next year? Or do you think that’s too much?”
“No, it’s like I’ve said to you before. If this guy is a guy you feel can be your [word clearly deleted from broadcast] for the next couple of years, that’s not expensive.”
-an exchange between Steve Tambellini and Stu McGregor on April 3, 2013, as seen in Oil Change
“What if I gave you, with Anaheim’s second, I gave you a third the following year?”
-Steve Tambellini, in a phone call to an unnamed GM
I would bet a lot of money that the word McGregor was saying that was deleted from the broadcast was “goalie.” Anything more than that would require a phrase (ie. “number two centre”) and would probably not be prefaced by “your.” This would also fit with the widely reported news that the Oilers were trying to get Ben Bishop:
Tambellini did say he had been “into some significant discussions” — the Oilers were said to be among the teams pitching for giant-sized goalie Ben Bishop, who was traded from Ottawa to Tampa Bay. No other deal was made. nor would the GM speak about the ones that got away.
Basically, Tambellini lost out in the Bishop sweepstakes, having reportedly offered Ryan Jones and a second-round draft pick. Ottawa GM Bryan Murray opted for young forward Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick. Win some, lose some.
Twitter’s speeds was the one who pointed out the obvious problem for me: the Oilers had no third round pick to give. As hilarious as it would have been if the Oilers were trying to trade their already encumbered third round pick and as sad as it is that, because of such incidents as “Gilbert Brule Doesn’t Require Waivers” and “We Accidentally Got Paajarvi Stuck in OKC”, you have to carefully review what people are saying and can’t just dismiss the possibility as being insane, I doubt that that was the case.
In both exchanges shown on Oil Change, Tambo refers to “a third” as opposed to “our third.” I suspect that that’s a bit of a tell and he had a deal in place to move Nikolai Khabibulin for a third round pick. The Oilers would have needed to move a goalie anyway if Bishop had been coming to town. (Curiously, the Oilers’ guy on Hockeybuzz said that Bishop for Anaheim’s second and Jones plus Khabby for a third was exactly what he’d do if he was Oilers GM on the morning of the trade deadline. Huh. Odd coincidence, that.)
Assuming I’m right, can we take anything from this? I’d be curious to know whether Devan Dubnyk watched this and what he makes of it. Rumours that you won’t talk about that you were trying to trade for a goalie is one thing; video of your head scout telling you that the price is low if the “…guy is a guy you feel can be your [goalie] for the next couple of years” is another, if you happen to be a guy who thought that the Oilers thought that you were their goalie for the next couple of years. I’m all for the Oilers giving us more access but (again, assuming that I’m right) releasing video of a clumsily disguised trade attempt kind of seems like a bad idea when one of those guys is theoretically your long term goalie.
If the Oilers could have got something for Khabby and didn’t…well, I said my piece about that at the trade deadline. Dumb.Email Tyler Dellow at firstname.lastname@example.org