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"Off The Post: Inching Closer to the Future"
Long Island, NY • United States • 25 Years Old • Male
Jeff Tambellini, who was one of the main reasons Chris Simon was moved which thus allowed him a full-time position, has been sent down to the Islanders Bridgeport affiliate once again this season.

I really have to wonder what the organization's feel for Tamby is at this point in his career. He was the first round pick of the L.A. Kings back in 2003, picked at 27th overall. He's now 23, entering his prime, and only has 4 points in 31 GP (1g, 3a). If the team was so intent on keeping him up here for the remainder of the season, why is he being sent back down to Bridgeport?

It's hard to say what the team may be really thinking. It was announced that he was sent back down to the minors in order to help Bridgeport push for the playoffs as they are just outside of the AHL Playoff picture. Being that he dominated the AHL while he was down there, it makes sense why the Isles would send down their proven AHL all-star to help their farm team.

But why only Tambellini? Nielsen comes back from an injury that sidelined him for weeks and has less GP in the NHL than Tambellini, and he gets right back into the lineup. I do understand why Tambellini was sent down, but I'm trying to read between the lines and I think I may see something here.

I have always been one of the Tambellini supporters, saying the kid was not given enough ice time and probably lacked any confidence within himself since he was being shuffled back and forth from Bridgeport. It reflects in his play, at least from my perspective. I've noticed him carry the puck and get in a prime position in the slot and instead of shooting, he'll pass to someone off to the side - that right there is a prime case of not having enough confidence in yourself. The following play he did shoot, but it was from the wall about five feet away from the goal line - a nearly impossible angle.

Maybe management is beginning to notice this and feel he's just not ready. Perhaps he'll never be ready, and that's the concern of most Islander fans. I've heard some predict that he'll be nothing more than an AHL all-star for the rest of his career. If that's what the organization thinks of him I have a feeling you may see him traded this summer. It's very hard to guess on this since the organization had committed to him playing up here but then send him back down to the minors with a legitimate reason.

All I know is that whenever he is back up here, if he wants a permanent place to stay, he has to start burying that puck or we may see him trying to crack another lineup elsewhere.
Filed Under:   Islanders   NHL   Tambellini   Nielsen   Snow  
March 31, 2008 10:13 AM ET | Delete
IMO Tambs will make a "good addition" to a trade next year. Right now, they want Bridgeport to have a proven AHL scorer to help them along. Plus, Nielsen didn't get enough of a look-see at the NHL level.
March 31, 2008 10:48 AM ET | Delete
Tambs is not worth writing an entire blog about. He's not built like an NHL forward which is why he has no confidence, he gets bullied around and is physically incapable of sticking up for himself. You can't constantly rely on your teammates to fight your battles for you, especially if you're looked at as a goal-scoring threat by the defense. Comeau gets destroyed by hits (dirty or not) two nights in a row and he gets right back into the play with nary a faltering step. He's strong, confident, and therefore *useful*. Comeau was given the same opportunity Tambellini was and that's why Nolan made the choice to utilize one over the other. Tambellini didn't rise to the (reasonable) expectations of the Isles staff, and so 'adios, amigo'. Okposo has rocketed through the levels from college to the NHL and has proven himself more in 6 NHL games than Tambs has in years worth of time with the AHL and NHL.
March 31, 2008 3:21 PM ET | Delete
I have said for the past year, Tambellini is a career minor leaguer, history is full of AHL All-Stars that cannot make that next step. At 23-24, he longer should be considered a prospect, his time is now, if he cannot make it, he never will, package him at the draft for whatever we can get...
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