The Edmonton Oilers, NHL affiliate of the Triple-A Oklahoma City Barons, fired general manager Steve Tambellini on Monday, announcing former coach Craig MacTavish will replace Tambellini.
The change won’t affect the Barons. In fact, Kevin Lowe, the Oilers president of hockey operations, pointed out during the press conference the Barons are on the brink of making the playoffs for the third consecutive season. He added the organization is encouraged about the future based on players that have made progress in Oklahoma City the past three seasons.
Edmonton has seven games remaining during an 48-game abbreviated season that was delayed by the NHL lockout which ended in early January. But after losing their past three games it appears the Oilers will miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year.
Lowe reiterated the organization’s young nucleus has a bright future, including several players that played with the Barons three months during the NHL lockout, young stars like Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Justin Schultz.
MacTavish played in the NHL for 17 seasons and coached the Oilers from 2000-2009. MacTavish was hired last summer as vice president of hockey operations.
“We are not where we want to be or should be,” Lowe said at the press conference. We felt it was important to make changes right now.”