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Oilers announce new Hockey Ops structure

by Edmonton Oilers Press Release / Edmonton Oilers
Steve Tambellini (left) was named Oilers General Manager and Kevin Lowe (right) was named President of Hockey Operations today. (photo: Andy Devlin/EOHC)

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The Edmonton Oilers have announced significant changes to their Hockey Operations Department, naming Kevin Lowe as the team’s President of Hockey Operations.  As President of Hockey Operations, Lowe has named Steve Tambellini as the team’s new General Manager.  In addition, long-time Vice-President of Hockey Operations, Kevin Prendergast, has been named Assistant General Manager.

Lowe, the Oilers’ first NHL draft choice in 1979, has been an integral part of the Oilers, as a player, coach, Executive Vice-President and General Manager for over 25 years.

On the ice, he was instrumental in all five Oilers Stanley Cup championships during his 15 seasons in Edmonton. After retiring from the game following the 1997-98 season, Lowe joined the Oilers coaching staff as an Assistant Coach under Ron Low and in 1999-2000, he became the Oilers seventh head coach, guiding the Oilers to a second place finish in the Northwest Division.

On June 9th, 2000, Lowe was named General Manager. Considered as one of the NHL’s top executives, Kevin most recently helped guide the Oilers to the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals.

Steve Tambellini joins the Oilers after 17 seasons as a member of the Vancouver Canucks management team. The 50-year-old native of Trail, British Columbia served as the Canucks’ Vice President and Assistant General Manager for the past three seasons. In his role with the Canucks, Tambellini was involved in all aspects of the team’s hockey operations, including contract negotiations, scouting and minor league affiliates.

During his tenure with Vancouver, which began in 1990-91, Tambellini served in several positions within the organization. He was the Vice-President of Business Operations for several seasons before being appointed the Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations for the 1997-98 season. 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.

Tambellini and Lowe have previously worked together as members of Team Canada’s management team, helping lead Canada to success on the international stage. 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 he was also a member of the management team for Team Canada’s gold medal triumph at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He also served as the General Manager of Team Canada at the 2003 and 2005 IIHF World Hockey Championships, winning the gold medal in Finland in 2003 and silver in 2005.

Inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004, Tambellini played 10 seasons in the NHL after being selected 15th overall in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft by the New York Islanders. 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.

Besides his outstanding hockey resume, Tambellini has also been a contributor to the Canucks’ off-ice activities. He served as the President of the Canucks for Kids Fund for 12 seasons and was awarded the B.C. Humanitarian of the Year Award by the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006. He was also awarded the Jake Milford Plaque in 2004 for his significant and lasting contributions to hockey in his home province of British Columbia.

Kevin Prendergast moves into the role of Assistant General Manager after serving the last nine seasons as Vice President of Hockey Operations. Entering his 19th season with the Oilers since joining the organization in 1990-91, the 57-year-old native of Verdun, Quebec will work closely with Lowe and Tambellini in all aspects of hockey operations and will continue to oversee the team’s pro and amateur scouting staffs.
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