Canucks VP and Assistant GM Steve Tambellini moved north Thursday morning joining the division-rival Edmonton Oilers as General Manager.
Tambellini joins the Oilers after 17 seasons as a member of the Vancouver Canucks management team, most recently the Assistant General Manager and Vice-President of Hockey Operations.
“I have the utmost respect for [the Canucks] organization,” said Tambellini. “I’ve worked with so many great people in that organization from my early years with Pat Quinn to now with Mike Gillis and Dave Nonis, Brian Burke. I have a tremendous amount of respect for what they accomplished and what we accomplished.”
“[The Canucks] have a new ownership group there that’s very aggressive and wants to win… I can’t say enough good things about the people there that I spent a lot of time with.”
For the past several summers Steve Tambellini’s name has surfaced in rumours swirling around most of the vacant general manager positions in the NHL, and for good reason. Tambellini not only has vast experience at the NHL level, but as Director of Player Personnel, Tambellini helped put together the roster that won the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah and served as the General Manager of Team Canada at the 2003 and 2005 IIHF World Hockey Championships, winning gold silver respectively.
“I had promised myself that in regards to a GM position, that I was not going to move just to move for theta position and I was public about that for some time now. I promised myself and my family, that when I did move to that position, it was going to be the right one, and this is the right one.”
Mike Gillis, who has worked with Tamebllini not only a player agent, but as Canucks general manager for the past three months, issued an official statement Thursday morning congratulating Tambellini on his new role.
“On behalf of the entire Canucks organization we would like to thank Steve for his many contributions to our club as a player and manager over nearly 20 years. Since his days as a player and continuing through his time spent in our front office, Steve was a committed member of our team and community.
This is an opportunity that Steve could not pass up and we are in full support of his decision to advance his career. We wish him, his wife Denise and their entire family the best of luck in the future.”
During his tenure with Vancouver, which began in 1990-91, Tambellini has served in roles ranging from Vice-President of Business Operations to Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations. In August 1998 he was named the Vice President of Player Personnel and served in that role until being named Vice President and Assistant General Manager in June 2004.
A member of New York’s 1980 Stanley Cup championship team, he played 553 career NHL games with five NHL teams between 1978-79 and 1987-88. After scoring his first NHL goal with the Islanders in 1979-80, he went on to score 160 goals and 150 assists for 310 career points with 105 penalty minutes with New York, the Colorado Rockies, New Jersey Devils, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks.