Team Sites
Follow the BCHL

Tambellini Joins Tampa Bay Lightning


Tambellini Moves on to Tampa Bay Lightning

Trail, British Columbia (April 15th, 2020) – Jeff Tambellini, 36, moves on to the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning as NCAA Free Agent Recruiter and Pro Scout.

Tambellini who came to Trail two summers ago, made his second season one to remember for the fans, community and Smoke Eaters organization. Over his two seasons in Trail, Tambellini’s overall record was 70 W – 46 L – 15 OTL – 1 T, leading the team to multiple team records that had stood for 20+ years. As Jeff makes the incredible jump from the BCHL to the NHL he leaves a strong core and culture behind in Trail. As a junior hockey club it is our goal to develop and move players on. The same can be said for our coaches and staff and to have Jeff move forward in his career is a great thing for the Smoke Eaters and the BCHL.

From Jeff Tambellini:

“First, I would like to thank Rich Murphy and Craig Clare for hiring me as General Manager and Head Coach in April 2018.  I had two main goals when I came to Trail; first, build a championship team and second, to build the Trail Smoke Eaters into a top franchise focused on the development and advancement of elite players to the NCAA. I am proud to say that we were on our way to a Championship season in 2020. More importantly, the Trail Smoke Eaters are now regarded as one of the top development franchises in the CJHL.

Building and developing an elite group of players is very expensive, and again, I want to thank Rich and Annie Murphy for providing us the resources to build and acquire a top team for the 2019-20 season. I also want to thank my hockey staff and the entire TSE business staff. I was very privileged to work with an outstanding group of young passionate people who all wanted to see great things for our franchise.

Finally, I’d like to thank my players. In both seasons, the group of players that we went into the playoffs with were outstanding groups of young men. The 22 players in 2019 and the 23 players in 2020, were all willing to sacrifice for each other in order to win, and I truly thank them for that. In both seasons I had outstanding Captains in Braeden Tuck and Philippe Lapointe. Those two men helped us build the identity, work ethic and execution level I expected out of both teams and I am forever grateful to have worked with them.

It’s been an amazing two years in Trail, BC and I wish the players, staff, and volunteers of the Trail Smoke Eaters organization continued success!”

From Rich Murphy:

“Jeff Tambellini was everything Annie and I wanted in a coach for this organization.  He displayed confidence in our program as well as his players, and was able to get the most out of each and every player and push them to be their best selves, on and off the ice.  Our loyal fan base has come to expect great things and Jeff was a significant part in helping us get there.   Although we will greatly miss Jeff, we are absolutely thrilled to see him move to the NHL. This is great news for the BCHL, our organization and community.  We wish Jeff all the best in his new opportunity!”

From Craig Clare:

“It isn’t often a BCHL franchise can help move a player or coach directly to the NHL. To see the culture Jeff and his staff built here in the past 2 years makes me very proud to be a part of this organization. I look forward to following Jeff’s career in the NHL and keeping him close to the Smoke Eater family in our continued pursuit of a BCHL championship. This opportunity is very deserving and earned by Jeff.”

Information regarding current status and next hire:

Tambellini will continue as acting General Manger and work with Rich Murphy and Craig Clare to hire the next GM/Head Coach.

“My staff and I have recruited and acquired the majority of players for the next season and it is crucial that we find the right person to lead this elite group of players going forward.” – Jeff Tambellini

Role going forward:

Tambellini’s role going forward will see him stay on with the Smoke Eaters as “Special Advisor” for the 2020-21 season.

The Trail Smoke Eaters would like to congratulate Jeff on the career move back to the NHL and thank him for two wonderful years as our Head Coach and General Manager.