Oilers fire Tambellini, name MacTavish new GM

The Edmonton Oilers have fired general manager Steve Tambellini and named former player and coach Craig MacTavish to the post.

Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe said he told Tambellini of his decision on Sunday and made the announcement Monday in a press conference.

"Steve's a very good man, worked hard for the Oilers and I want to thank him for his contributions to the hockey team for the last five years," said Lowe on Monday.

The Oilers are 16-18-7 and sit 12th in the Western Conference with seven games remaining in the truncated 2013 season.

"Despite showing improvement in areas this season, we are not where we want to be right now, nor where we should be," Lowe added. "We feel strongly we need to make changes right now.

"We need to get better immediately. That starts today with this announcement."

Tambellini was in his fifth season as Oilers GM. He was hired in July 2008 and the club's 38-35-9 mark in his first season of 2008-09 was its best during his tenure.

The Oilers haven't reached the playoffs since the 2005-06 season, when they made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals under MacTavish.

MacTavish guided the Oilers to a record of 301-252-82 in eight seasons behind the bench. He was dismissed after the 2008-09 campaign and returned to the organization last summer as a senior vice president of hockey operations.

"It's not about yesterday," said MacTavish on Monday. "I look forward to the challenge of adding something to the future of this club."

The last player to skate in the NHL without a helmet, MacTavish totaled 213 goals and 267 assists in 1,093 career games with the Bruins, Oilers, Rangers, Flyers and Blues. He won four Stanley Cups, three with the Oilers (1987-88, 1990) and one while in New York (1994), before retiring after the 1996-97 season.

Scott Howson was given MacTavish's role.