The Vancouver Canucks have signed free-agent left wing Jeff Tambellini, a British Columbia native whose father, Steve, is the general manager of the Edmonton Oilers.
Tambellini, 26, was an All-American while playing at the University of Michigan and the MVP of the 2005 CCHA tournament but he has struggled to secure an NHL job. His college exploits led the Los Angeles Kings to draft him in the first round, No. 27, in the 2003 Entry Draft. He played only four games for the Kings before they traded him to the New York Islanders on March 8, 2006 with Denis Grebeshkov and third-round draft pick in 2006 for Mark Parrish and Brent Sopel.
Tambellini split his first three seasons in the Islander organization between the NHL team and its AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, before spending all of last season with the Islanders. However, he played only 36 games and was a healthy scratch for the other 46 games. Tambellini had 7 goals and 7 assists for 14 points and was minus-8 with 14 penalty minutes.
In five NHL seasons, Tambellini has 18 goals and 28 assists for 46 points in 180 NHL games and is minus-30 with 70 penalty minutes.
Tambellini has deep roots in British Columbia hockey. Not only did his father played three seasons with the Canucks, Steve Tambellini was also publicity director, director of hockey operations, player personnel director and assistant general manager with the team before taking the helm in Edmonton in 2008. Jeff's grandfather, Addie Tambellini, was a member of the 1961 Trail Smoke Eaters that was Canada's last amateur team to win the World Championship.