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Tambellini out as Oilers GM

The SportsXchange

The Edmonton Oilers fired general manager Steve Tambellini and replaced him with Craig MacTavish, the team announced Monday.

MacTavish's former role as the Oilers' vice president of hockey operations will be filled by former Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson.

The Oilers have had the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft three straight years and continue to struggle. The Oilers failed to reach the playoffs in any season under Tambellini's guidance since 2008-09.

They currently are 12th in the Western Conference standings with 39 points.

"We believe our club needs a change in leadership," Kevin Lowe, the Oilers' president of hockey operation, said in a statement. "In February of 2010, led by Steve Tambellini, we began a complete rebuild with the emphasis on acquiring elite player talent. But, despite showing areas of improvement, the fact of the matter is we're not where we want to be, nor where we should be.

"We felt it was important to make changes right now."

MacTavish had previously spent eight seasons (2000-01 to 2008-09) as the head coach of the Oilers and was named the club's senior vice president of hockey operations last summer.

"I'm an impatient guy and I bring that impatience to this situation," said MacTavish. "We have to do some bold things and expose ourselves to some semblance of risk to move the team forward in a rapid fashion. The future is extremely bright, but we've got to add depth to help these young players and help our team grow. We've got to add competitiveness. We lack a true understanding of how difficult it is to have success at this level, and it's a difficult league to win in."
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