"I think our team knows they have the skill, but the mental toughness to bring it every night is a lot of work," he told the National Post earlier today. "I certainly want to see the group commitment back (from the 8-2-2 start). I want to see our veteran players express themselves and contribute. I think they've worked hard, but we can be better."
While he's indicated that he has no trades currently in the works, Tambellini has some assets to move before the Feb. 27 trade deadline.
Veteran right wing Ales Hemsky was almost dealt last season, but the Oilers decided to hold on to him. There's a good chance the 28-year-old will be moved this season, as the Oilers look to strengthen their blueline.
If the Oilers slip further down the standings, or fail to make ground on a playoff spot, Tambellini could sell some players like defenseman Andy Sutton and tough guy Darcy Hordichuk, both of whom are in the final year of their respective contracts.
However, it's Tambellini's preference to improve his roster, rather than being one of the first teams to select in this June's NHL Entry Draft.
"Do I want to be a lottery pick again? No. I've said that from the beginning," he said.
There has been plenty of trade talk -- more than usual in the early portion of the season -- which could lead to a move manifesting in the near future.
"I think trade possibilities might heat up the middle of this month," said Tambellini. "Lots of teams were calling around prior to Christmas to get a sense of where people thought they were or where they might go. I'm not giving up our future, for sure, but if I can help us now, I will do it."