Softening the ground for a Yakupov trade?

Jonathan Willis
April 12 2012 10:59AM

There’s a lot to be said about yesterday’s 40-minute long press conference held by Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini. One of the things that stood out to me was how careful Tambellini was to emphasize that the first overall pick would be a boon to the organization – whether he kept it or sent it away.

From Tambellini, emphasis mine:

It presents options. It presents a lot of options to us. You get to be in control of the top part of the draft. You’re able to listen to other teams ideas of moving up or moving down… it just presents I think a wonderful opportunity with this time in the Oilers history when we’re accumulating some elite talented players that we know we’re going to add another significant piece or package when we leave the draft.

The phase, I think, that we’re just coming into, presents us with more comfort, I think, that we can listen to legitimate options. We’ve accumulated a good amount of high-end skill throughout our organization. A lot of it, most of it is not here yet, but it allows us to think about if you move down a pick, if you move down three picks, of adding a solid player and maybe a current player. I don’t know. I just feel more comfortable knowing that our stable is more accomplished than what it was a few years ago.

I’m really open right now. I’m leaving tomorrow night to meet Stu MacGregor at the under-18 world championships and I know that we’re going to go through our top end of our list here. I think we’re in a spot here where if the talent is equitable – you’re not taking an A player for a B player – but if you believe that the potential is similar and the talent and the characters are similar that we’re in a spot where we can discuss by position at this point.

Well when you’re speaking of attaining a player at that point in the draft you know that quality is there. So adding that level of player to your organization, regardless if he plays next year or the year after or the year after that, you know that you’re adding a significant piece. Whether it’s through just the single player or the package that you entertain to possibly also complete. So you know that this is another significant piece to the organization in getting better and everything’s pointing to our organization that things are getting better. That’s a good sign.

Now, those hints are a long way from saying “yeah, I’m going to deal the first overall pick, so you’d best get used to the idea.” However, I can’t recall Tambellini going out of his way to drop these sorts of comments when he was talking about Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Certainly, he didn’t repeat the point as frequently then as he did yesterday.

As an interesting counterpoint, Bob Stauffer wrote a piece for the Oilers website advising the team to keep the number one pick. I tend to think he’s right, particularly after looking at various studies on the value of draft picks. There’s tremendous value in top-five picks, than a steep decline that gets gradually less steep as one gets further into the draft. Put another way, moving from 1st overall to 6th overall is probably a bigger drop in terms of likely return in an average draft than moving from 15th to 30th would be. If that trade’s going to be made, the return had better be spectacular and history shows us that it typically isn’t.

It's probably also worth remembering the last time this happened. Florida owned the first overall pick in 2002, and wanted to draft Jay Bouwmeester. Columbus owned the third overall pick and were scared Rick Nash wouldn't last that long. So the teams made a trade - Columbus moved up to first overall in exchange for granting Florida the option to swap first round picks next year (an option they never exercised. Florida then sent a third and fourth round pick to Atlanta to make sure the Thrashers didn't take Bouwmeester second overall.

Ultimately, at this point we don’t know what Tambellini is going to do with that first overall pick. If and when he trades it to move down in the draft order, we won’t know if the deal panned out until years down the road. One just hopes that if he does trade down he makes sure that he’s getting more than a second round pick for his troubles.

One Last Thing

It's been suggested to me that I was something of a rube for believing that Steve Tambellini was sincere back in January when he said he wanted his team to avoid the draft lottery.  Tambellini is sticking by his story - asked about drafting first overall, he quipped, “Well we weren’t supposed to this year.”

Now, possibly, he's keeping up the story to make it clear that his plans for the team fell through.  It seems simpler to believe, however, that he keeps saying this because he's telling the truth.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 12 2012, 11:04AM
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I don't mind trading #1 in the right deal, but Tambillini is the last guy I'd want making that deal.

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#2 Quicksilver ballet
April 12 2012, 11:11AM
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To even think of re-gifting what you've been given is surreal. Yakupov has seperated himself from the rest of the pack and he's yours for the taking. To even think of trading this pick must only confirm incompetence.

After seeing what has taken place here during the last 3 yrs here. I have little doubt that the regime/management group here is just what the other teams need, in order to fleece this player from the Oilers grasp. The Oilers wouldn't be this stupid....would they?

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#3 FastOil
April 12 2012, 11:14AM
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I can accept Tambellini is being truthful, but I find it hard to buy that Lowe isn't aware that the efforts made would amount to much. He has shown more acumen in his history. Certainly he can't think Barker is a great defenceman. It doesn't make sense.

It is possible Lowe has lost it, but to me seems more likely things are going as he hoped. If I am right, poor Steve and likely Renney will take the fall for this. And perhaps some day soon Lowe will catch up with his rival Burke and be Pres and GM.

Which all seems unnecessary. Oiler fans don't need to be misled about tanking. Of course the team can't publicly say that's the plan, but I think many fans would be on board for "accumulating elite talent" as you said, and at the end of the day, the seats will still be full, as long as oil flows, costs a lot, and gives Edmontonians a lot of disposable income.

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#4 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
April 12 2012, 11:14AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

To even think of re-gifting what you've been given is surreal. Yakupov has seperated himself from the rest of the pack and he's yours for the taking. To even think of trading this pick must only confirm incompetence.

After seeing what has taken place here during the last 3 yrs here. I have little doubt that the regime/management group here is just what the other teams need, in order to fleece this player from the Oilers grasp. The Oilers wouldn't be this stupid....would they?

Reading your comments, I don't always agree with you. This comment is an exception, though.

Keep the damn pick. This kid's going to be special, and the top 2 lines for next year should make it easier for Renney (or his replacement) to give some of the kids sheltered minutes if need be.

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#5 BSchambz
April 12 2012, 11:16AM
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I highly doubt he would trade the pick- likely his comments are just to appear open to the idea, to encourage other GMs to give him offers. This year, more than ever, it's apparent the Oilers need a top pairing D making it more likely to trade the top pick. However, no one is going to call up Tambi and offer OEL, Pietrangelo, or Karlsson for the top pick, so Tambi will (hopefully) keep it.

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#6 Pizzy
April 12 2012, 11:16AM
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I believe the Oiler's should hold on to the number 1 pick this year and draft Yakupov. (unless they receive a spectacular package to move down -which I dont think will happen). Someone mentioned the idea of swapping picks with Toronto with Schenn coming our way, and then the Oilers using this pick for a (Reinhart/Dumba) as I doubt Murray would still be there. I would take the potential exciting BURE type player over having the latter. defenseman are two hard to predict and Schenn or a NHL equivalent type player (young D prospect) is not enough in my opinion. Unless a ESTABLISHED top 4 defenseman comes the other way, even as far as ESTABLISHED top 2, I dont think it is worth it. Obviously I havent seen much of Yakupov, but from what I have read he could be a franchise player. He may be small, but the "Mini Ovechkin" type physicality and going into the tough areas is not the same as comparing to our other small skilled forwards (gagner, Eberle, Hemsky).

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#7 steelymac
April 12 2012, 11:19AM
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I have no faith in this man.Anyone ever notice when asked a tough question he looks like he is trying to swallow a mouth full of thumb tacks.His record speaks for itself and for no more reason than that he should be gone.

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#8 Dipstick
April 12 2012, 11:21AM
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I he doesn't get good value for this asset, he should be strung up from the rafters and left there to rot.

I'm not emotional about this at all!

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#9 titanrich
April 12 2012, 11:26AM
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IMO, Winning the lottery means keeping the #1 pick and choosing the best player. Usually the best player in a draft year stands out above the rest and this year is no different. Had the Oilers stayed at #2 or further down, I wouldve been quite open to trading down for a solid Dman (Murray, Dumba, Reinhart. Now I would take the Yak and trade another asset(s) for a solid Top 2-4 D. Hopefully they can also bolster the D by signing a few key FA's, like Schultz, Garrison, Suter(unlikely), Carle, or Jackman.

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#10 bazmagoo
April 12 2012, 11:35AM
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@Pizzy

I'd go as far as saying you don't trade the pick unless it's for an established #1 defenceman. The last 5 #1 picks are RNH, Hall, Tavares, Stamkos and Kane. I wouldn't trade any of those players unless it was for an established #1 defenceman.

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#11 bazmagoo
April 12 2012, 11:37AM
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The more I see interviews of Yakupov the more I think the Oilers will draft him. I don't think Tambi knows enough about him at this stage, which is why he's dithering in interviews about possibly trading the pick. The guy just screams competitive winner who is super driven to be the best he can be.

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#12 They're $hittie
April 12 2012, 11:37AM
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What is the point of trading down. If you do this you obviously want a dman. But if you get a dman than why would you need to draft one. The only way this gets moved is for a signed weber at a good contract and nashviles first pick next year and maybe another pick.

Do not add a roster player to trade down to get a dman. Yakupov will help us more next year than that roster player.

All Tambo has to do is say we draft from the sarnia sting, Nail Yakupov, than send out a video to all pending UFA and RFA dmen with videos of hall, eberle, rnh, yakupov, and to some extent gagner, hemsky and paajarvi lighting the lamp and say, want to pass the puck to these guys?

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#14 WheresYourTowel
April 12 2012, 11:41AM
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1 Alexander Ovechkin (Left Wing) * Russia 2 Evgeni Malkin (Center) * Russia 3 Cam Barker (Defenceman) * WHL

I think you see where I'm going with this.

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#15 Dan the Man
April 12 2012, 11:42AM
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The Oilers MUST hold on to this pick unless some team is willing to ridiculously overpay. In Lowetides blog yesterday he mentioned that he could see the Oilers doing something like swapping picks with the Leafs and also acquiring Luke Schenn. (Just to be clear, he wasn't suggesting it should happen but he thought it was a possibility.)

Luke Schenn may never even be a top 4 guy so that type of deal would be horrible. Unless they are getting a defenseman with the potential to be a number 1 or 2 plus a high pick there is no way they should consider making a deal.

I am really afraid something stupid is going to happen....really really afraid...

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#16 Lexi
April 12 2012, 11:49AM
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Yakupov had more points per game in 2010-11 than RNH. I just watch the Oilers only score more than 3 goals twice in the last month and a half and that was when Mason and Rinne played like a drunk Khabibulin. Having 2 high end scoring lines will feel like paradise to most Oiler fans. A line of Hall-PRV-Yak could be the fastest in NHL history. I can't imagine how many penalties they would draw and we have the best pp player in the league.

We've got 7 years before Hall is a UFA and we just went from waiting two years for Murray to become a top 4 D to a probable 30 goal scorer next year.

The only trades they take are;

Tavares

OEL and Hanzal

Seguin

Maybe Kane/Bogosian and the Jets pick.

Otherwise I want the "Yak Attack"

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#17 Wes
April 12 2012, 11:52AM
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If they don't take this gift and draft him and never look back then I might just be done. They better not get ahead of themselves and screw this up. The one thing Tambi is good at is going up to the podium on draft day and calling out the correct name. If he starts screwing that up too then there is no hope for him.

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Please don't trade the pick!!!!!

I put 5 exclamation marks at the end, I'm serious bitches.

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#19 Oilcan
April 12 2012, 11:58AM
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Trading the first overall pick after winning the lottery is like slapping the hockey gods in the face...and they don't like getting slapped in the face!

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#20 Ted Sheckler
April 12 2012, 11:59AM
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Trade down,pick Dumba.

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#21 French Toast Mafia
April 12 2012, 11:59AM
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If they trade this pick every person working in the organization that had any influence on making that trade should lose their job. RNH, Hall, Stamkos, Tavares, Kane, Crosby, Ovi is all that needs to be said about recent first round picks. Make the pick, no questions asked.

On a side note, the PK Subban talk makes me sick. Sure he would be top 2 on the oilers, so would Ryan Murray. Subban is not an elite D man to the point where you trade a number 1 pick, regardless of how much people like his flashy out of control style. you are basically trading Subban for a player that will be at least Kane, Hall, RNH level. Brutal

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#22 Oilcan
April 12 2012, 12:01PM
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Lexi wrote:

Yakupov had more points per game in 2010-11 than RNH. I just watch the Oilers only score more than 3 goals twice in the last month and a half and that was when Mason and Rinne played like a drunk Khabibulin. Having 2 high end scoring lines will feel like paradise to most Oiler fans. A line of Hall-PRV-Yak could be the fastest in NHL history. I can't imagine how many penalties they would draw and we have the best pp player in the league.

We've got 7 years before Hall is a UFA and we just went from waiting two years for Murray to become a top 4 D to a probable 30 goal scorer next year.

The only trades they take are;

Tavares

OEL and Hanzal

Seguin

Maybe Kane/Bogosian and the Jets pick.

Otherwise I want the "Yak Attack"

Agreed Yakupov has the ability to help immediately, he is NHL ready and could potentially be the best goal scorer on the Oilers in a couple years.

In my opinion the Oilers were not expecting first overall and therefore didn't scout Yakupov very much and really don't know much about him. Lets hope that changes and Yakupov is in the Copper and Blue next year.

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#23 They're $hittie
April 12 2012, 12:10PM
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maybe someone could acquire three top ten picks. than maybe we trade for that and draft murray, dumba and reinhart.

Not likely to happen so lets Yak away.

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#24 Lexi
April 12 2012, 12:11PM
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Does anyone know when Russia announces their World Champ roster?

I'm hoping Yak will be on the team.

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#25 DieHard
April 12 2012, 12:16PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

To even think of re-gifting what you've been given is surreal. Yakupov has seperated himself from the rest of the pack and he's yours for the taking. To even think of trading this pick must only confirm incompetence.

After seeing what has taken place here during the last 3 yrs here. I have little doubt that the regime/management group here is just what the other teams need, in order to fleece this player from the Oilers grasp. The Oilers wouldn't be this stupid....would they?

Tambo should immediately tell all the other GM's that he's taking Yak so don't bother him with any trade details. Not going to happen.

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#26 FMS
April 12 2012, 12:30PM
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I have never been this terrified after a Tambellini press conference. We desperately need this pick, and I feel like we're about to trade an Ace for a pair of 7's

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#27 Gitagrip
April 12 2012, 12:31PM
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Fist and foremost, I'm surprised some of you are genuinely terrified Dithers will trade our treasured #1 pick. When have you ever believed anything he has ever regurgitated? Even though he can't play poker worth a spit, he's merely fishing. Can't blame him if he's trying to find a stupider or more desperate GM than him out there. Calm down, relax. We won't repeat the VCR barbeque if it happens....will we?

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#28 Soccer Steve
April 12 2012, 12:32PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

To even think of re-gifting what you've been given is surreal. Yakupov has seperated himself from the rest of the pack and he's yours for the taking. To even think of trading this pick must only confirm incompetence.

After seeing what has taken place here during the last 3 yrs here. I have little doubt that the regime/management group here is just what the other teams need, in order to fleece this player from the Oilers grasp. The Oilers wouldn't be this stupid....would they?

What shows more incompetence?

Analyzing and considering any and all offers.

or

Not being open to any offers whatsoever.

In a hypothetical dreamworld the Pens offer Malkin for our 1st overall, straight up. Tambellini would say yes. You, however, according to your comment, would say no.

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#29 oilerman53
April 12 2012, 12:33PM
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This one is a no brainer, Yakupov is electrifying! Period! For a team thats on the verge of greatness having Yakupov being set up by Eberle, Nuge, Hemsky and to some extent Gagner is too good to pass up. He plays in the OHL which to me suggests Russian Defection is not an issue. The Oilers should keep the pick and trade parts like Omark, Pajaarvi and maybe Gagner to round out this team.

These guys are going to fly high and score goals at will, we saw the emergence of Eberle and Hemsky will be looking to silence critics. Getting a mini Ovechkin along with all of these horses has me foaming at the mouth for next season. Thank you hockey gods.

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#30 Digger
April 12 2012, 12:36PM
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Personally, I think this is a situation where Tambellini will find that the trade offers he receives for this pick will not quite measure up to what his perhaps pie-in-the-sky expectations are.

And once he sits down with his amateur scouting staff and gets filled in on how much better Yakupov is in comparison to the rest of his draft class, and especially after he goes through the interview process with Yakupov and sees first hand the kind of attitude and drive to be the best that this kid has, he'll warm up to the idea of keeping this potential superstar and using other means to fix this team's weaknesses.

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#31 Jeetz
April 12 2012, 12:38PM
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Oilers take Nail, and with the team they have in place, and the new arena being built, they will have no trouble attracting top talent on defence.The Oilers shouldn't have to trade for it.

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#32 Sparky
April 12 2012, 12:40PM
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All I can say is that if he trades the pick, the return better be a huge overpayment. Like a poster above said you don't trade a potential star player for a couple of ok ones. Quantity does not equal quality.

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#33 Lochezno
April 12 2012, 12:40PM
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I love Yakupov's attitude. Maybe gotta teach him to tone it down a little, but you have to like where his heart is.

Many of us have criticized Tambi and the job he's done this past year. I think he's positioning himself correctly when it comes to this pick. The opportunity to draft Yakupov is a bonus when we already have lots of skill at forward. If nobody knocks your socks off with an offer that includes a mid-20's top 2 Dman, then draft Yakupov.

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#34 Quicksilver ballet
April 12 2012, 12:41PM
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DieHard wrote:

Tambo should immediately tell all the other GM's that he's taking Yak so don't bother him with any trade details. Not going to happen.

Champaign dreams and a beer budget for most managers i'm sure. I can see why the Oilers go through this process with other GM's. Stuff gets started here and can lead to so many other possibilities. Players whom you felt teams weren't willing to part with suddenly become available in a deal like that. Maybe the Oil can still get said player without involving that first selection. Every inquiry/call is probably noted/filed away for further possible opportunities.

Nothing out of the normal going on here, JW is just whipping the masses into a frenzy.

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#35 They're $hittie
April 12 2012, 12:42PM
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If there are a lot of teams quoting the russian factor and thinking Murray is the safe pick than me thinks the offers wont be so good.

Im not sure if I would do it but would anyone take two firsts and a second from Burkey and the leafs. Thats what he gave up for a 5th overall pick to a team that had there hands tied with salary issues and more than likely could not sign him. Maybe he gives us his next 3 first picks.

LOL, Toronto has gotten worse since burke. Why does anyone think he is a good GM. He inherited the Getzlaf Perry team.

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#36 RexLibris
April 12 2012, 12:46PM
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If the general concensus amongst people who argue that the Oilers should trade the pick is that they need defensive help right now then how about this strategy: keep the pick and draft Yakupov. Then with having added him to this already attractive group of young talent, use the group assembled to attract a UFA defenceman who fits into the age category and to whom management could promise a fair amount of ice time as well as power play time (yes, I'm thinking of Justin Schultz). Then you would have added both a defenceman to help with immediate needs and an exciting RW that, due to organizational depth, you can afford to play on either the second or third line, sheltered, in the upcoming season.

You get more flies with honey, so why not make the team as attractive as you can.

And if Yakupov achieves enough or appears to not be a fit for the organization in the next three years trading him then will return far more than trading him today. If he isn't meant to be an Oiler then perhaps he could play the role of Kessel to our Bruins.

Just a thought.

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#37 Rich
April 12 2012, 12:48PM
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OT: Shocked that Shea Weber was not suspended.

Suspensions must be defined by reference to the threat of injury by the player and not by the harm it has produced.

Weber clearly with intent tried to inure Zetterberg.

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#38 CC
April 12 2012, 12:51PM
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The only way you deal Yakupov is unless you get an elite level dman that is currently playing in the NHL.

If you look at the draft trends for the last 30 years, there is 50% chance you get an elite level forward (multiple all-star, HoFer or potential HoF talent) with the first forward picked in the draft. There is only a 20% chance that you will pick a similar type defenseman with the first dman picked in the draft. There should be no way that they trade down to draft, Murray, Dumba, Reinhart or whoever.

There are so many different ways you can acquire defensive help; i. trade with teams that have cap issues (Pens, Hawks, Sharks, Flyers, Sabers) ii. trade with teams that have abundance of Dmen (Coyotes 6 dman + Gormley, Rundblad & Goncharov ready, Leafs 7 dman + Holzer is ready) iii. FA; Of course we want Schultz. But there are capable top 4 dman; Carle, Colaicovo, Jackman, Zannon, ect .. iv. If a team like the Sharks loses in the first round they might want to blow it up. Dan Boyle has a huge contract 6.667 Mil for two more years.

Always, draft the best prospect available. As per your article yesterday Quebec picked 3 forwards first overall and were able to turn them into additional assets, that helped land them a Stanley Cup. Worked for Quebec err I mean worked for Colorado right?

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#39 merfer
April 12 2012, 12:56PM
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Don't worry. Mr. Dithers will not trade the first spot and he will take Yakapov. He knows that he would never be blamed for taken the top choice, however trade Yakapov and he could end up with a large amount of egg on his face. He is just too scared to take a chance so everyone should relax. He will however look at trading Paajarvi, Hemsky and Gagner for some serious players. We need a big strong center for the second line and that should be a priority. Could we trade Gagner and Paajarvi and a draft choice to Toronto for their 5th over all this year and Schen. Then use their pick to take a center, Galenychuk ( not sure of spelling)

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#40 Quicksilver ballet
April 12 2012, 12:57PM
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@Soccer Steve

Not to worry Soccer Steve. Sometimes i like to run in circles flailing my arms in the air and enjoy others responses. The sky isn't falling.

Still wouldn't do that Malkin deal. The kids are the future 3,4,5 yrs from now. Malkin is the peaking now.

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#41 Showerhead
April 12 2012, 12:59PM
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CC wrote:

The only way you deal Yakupov is unless you get an elite level dman that is currently playing in the NHL.

If you look at the draft trends for the last 30 years, there is 50% chance you get an elite level forward (multiple all-star, HoFer or potential HoF talent) with the first forward picked in the draft. There is only a 20% chance that you will pick a similar type defenseman with the first dman picked in the draft. There should be no way that they trade down to draft, Murray, Dumba, Reinhart or whoever.

There are so many different ways you can acquire defensive help; i. trade with teams that have cap issues (Pens, Hawks, Sharks, Flyers, Sabers) ii. trade with teams that have abundance of Dmen (Coyotes 6 dman + Gormley, Rundblad & Goncharov ready, Leafs 7 dman + Holzer is ready) iii. FA; Of course we want Schultz. But there are capable top 4 dman; Carle, Colaicovo, Jackman, Zannon, ect .. iv. If a team like the Sharks loses in the first round they might want to blow it up. Dan Boyle has a huge contract 6.667 Mil for two more years.

Always, draft the best prospect available. As per your article yesterday Quebec picked 3 forwards first overall and were able to turn them into additional assets, that helped land them a Stanley Cup. Worked for Quebec err I mean worked for Colorado right?

CC: What is your source on the 50%/20% bit? I assume it's the articles JW linked..?

I ask because I want to tell anyone and everyone that will listen.

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#42 Clyde Frog
April 12 2012, 01:01PM
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@CC

Yeah at a time when you could just pay whomever you want, whatever you want.

Quebec trades don't happen when you need to balance salary restraints against the cap...

Any team with an elite Dman we want probably isn't in a position to trade him for a futures. Only really Boston and Philadelphia have shown any inkling to do this, Boston's hand was forced by cap issues and Philadelphia's by off-ice issues (Rumor only).

But guess what, who won those trades? Right now the team that got the highest pick as both Toronto and Columbus were killed in those trades... Why would we want to repeat their mistakes?!?

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#43 CC
April 12 2012, 01:08PM
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I'm sort of a draft geek have been since I was a kid. Anyways every year I look through the drafts and put together a list of the top players from years past. Here's an example of of the 80's drafts. Haven't posted it anywhere, alot of this is subjective. But you can definately see a pattern where forwards are the safer pick in the top 5. 1980’s Draft: 1980 Best Forward: Denis Savard (3) Highest Drafted Forward: Doug Wickenheiser (1) Best Defenseman: Paul Coffey (6) Highest Drafted Defenseman: Dave Babych (2) HoF: Larry Murphy (4) HoF: Jari Kurri (69) 1981 Best Forward: Ron Francis (4) Highest Drafted Forward: Dale Hawerchuk (1) Best Drafted Defenseman: Al McInnis (15) Highest Drafted Defenseman: Joe Cirelli (5) HoF: Chris Chelios (41) 1982 Best Forward: Doug Gilmour (134) Highest Drafted Forward: Brian Bellows (2) Best Defenseman: Scott Stevens (5) Highest Drafted Defenseman: Gord Kluzak (1) 1983 Best Forward: Steve Yzerman (4) Highest Drafted: Brian Lawton (1) Best Defenseman: Gary Galley (100) Highest Drafted Defenseman: Bob Dollas (14) HoF: Pat Lafontaine (3) Cam Neely (9) Claude Lemieux (26) 1984: Best Forward: Mario Lemieux (1) Highest Drafted: Mario Lemieux (1) Best Dman: Gary Suter (180) Highest Drafted Dman: Al Iafrate (4) HoF (Should be) Gary Roberts (12) HoF:Brett Hull (117) HoF: Luc Robitaille (171) 1985 Best Forward: Joe Nieuwendyk (27) Highest Drafted: Wendel Clark Best Dman: Calle Johansson (14) / Eric Weinrich (32) Highest Drafted Dman: Craig Wolanin HoF: Igor Larianov (214) 1986 Best Forward: Vincent Damphousse (6) Highest Drafted: Joe Murphy (1) Best Dman: Brian Leetch (9) Highest Drafted Dman: Brian Leetch (9) 1987 Best Forward: Brendan Shanahan (2) Highest Drafted: Pierre Turgeon (1) Best Dman: Eric Desjardins (38) / Mathieu Schneider (44) Highest Drafted Dman: Glen Wesley (3) 1988 Best Forward: Mike Modano (1) Highest Drafted: Mike Modano (1) Best Dman: Rob Blake (70) Highest Drafted Dman: Curtis Leschyshyn (3) Likely HoFs: Jeremy Roenick (8), Rod Brind’Amour (9), Teemu Selanne (10) Mark Reechi (67), Alex Mogilny (89) 1989 Best Forward: Mats Sundin (1) Highest Drafted: Mats Sundin (1) Best Dman: Nic Lidstrom (53) / Adam Foote (22) Highest Drafted Dman: Adam Bennett (6) HoF: Sergei Fedorov (74) (I think Fedorov is the best forward but Russian transfer agreement wasn't in place)

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#44 Sliderule
April 12 2012, 01:09PM
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The oilers better give their head a shake because other than Yak this is an extremely weak draft.

Last year the draft had three forwards with over a 100 pts and one with 96pts in the top 10.this year none!!.Yak didn't even make it to a 100 because of injury.

Last year on defence we had Larsson who was touted as the next coming and Hamilton who put up better boxes than this years crop.

This year we have Murray who is the consensus number one defender who if he was two weeks older would have been in the 2011 draft and probably taken around the same time as our Klefbom who is only two months older.The other top defender Reilly has missed most of the season because of injury.

If the oilers trade down they will be drafting players who last year would have been mid first rounders

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#46 Evilas
April 12 2012, 01:14PM
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I expected to be picking #2, that would have made it so much easier to use in a trade, given all the questions surrounding Grigorenko. Yakupov has been the best Jr player the past two seasons. You cannot pass that kind of talent up. This year was not indicative of his potential, due to his injury situation. This guy should simply not be traded.

I agree that now is the time to move Gagner, I like the idea of trading for Dubinsky. I guess time will tell, but my hope is that faster players are added with Yakupov, so the Oilers can ice the fastest team in the league.

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#47 DieHard
April 12 2012, 01:24PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Champaign dreams and a beer budget for most managers i'm sure. I can see why the Oilers go through this process with other GM's. Stuff gets started here and can lead to so many other possibilities. Players whom you felt teams weren't willing to part with suddenly become available in a deal like that. Maybe the Oil can still get said player without involving that first selection. Every inquiry/call is probably noted/filed away for further possible opportunities.

Nothing out of the normal going on here, JW is just whipping the masses into a frenzy.

If only Tambo were so clever. Wonder if Florida has someone they could dangle?

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#48 Showerhead
April 12 2012, 01:25PM
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Quoting Jonathan Willis:

"There was some suggestion the team could trade down on RNH, virtually none at all on Hall. This is the first time that Tambellini's been this focused on the possibility publicly."

As Lowetide would say, the problem is that you develop a past.

With Edmonton finishing with #1 in the draft three times in a row, we have some recent history to compare Tambellini's quotes with. It's only natural and definitely worth discussing.

I hope he makes the pick.

Tambellini has also been awfully quick to state that it's not just about talent but character as well. Yakupov strikes me as more overtly cocky than Hall/RNH and a bit less charming about it upon first impression. That said, he also conveys a very honest drive in his interviews that makes me think the Oilers would be making an awful mistake to skip on Yakupov based on a dinner date with v4.

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#49 Dman09
April 12 2012, 01:42PM
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@Showerhead

You need some players with that cockyness. I could see him being that kind of player that does some of those little dirty things to win and thats something that is needed on this team.

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#50 neojanus
April 12 2012, 01:44PM
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I certainly see how Willis has interpreted this press conference and he's not alone at all.

Tambo did in no small way suggest that his door is wide open to sucker...uh... work with another team to possibly trade down.

I think Yakupov will be an Oiler come this fall.

You can't have enough high level fire power and Hall's loss this year proved that the Oilers need more than one dynamic winger to sustain offence.

Saying that, if the Oilers get a maniacally amazing Number 1 D-Man from a team desperate for Yakupov, I'm not saying no.

An honest to nature 25 minute a game shut down man could almost get this team into the playoffs on his own.

Still, I think Button hit it on the mark, finding proficient d-men is easy once you have a team ready to really compete.

Having Yakupov on the team gives us options down the road if we run into an excess of talent.

Keep Yakupov.

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