Are the Columbus Blue Jackets a good trading partner for the Edmonton Oilers?

Jonathan Willis
June 18 2012 09:20AM

They own the second overall pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft, a surprisingly deep group of NHL defensemen, and their general manager learned his trade as an executive in Edmonton. Are the Columbus Blue Jackets a good trading partner for the Oilers?

I’d argue that the Blue Jackets are a legitimate trading partner for the Oilers, but that there’s at least one problem: the team has a couple of other pressing items on its plate.

They’re in the middle of trying to move the face of their franchise, Rick Nash. In a year with a weak free agent crop, Nash is bound to appeal to teams – he’s a 6’4” power forward with 30+ goals in seven of his last eight seasons. At last report fully one-third of the league was in discussing a trade with the Blue Jackets for his services, despite the fact that his contract runs until 2017-18.

Nash was the Jacket’s first overall pick back in 2002; might the first overall pick this year appeal to Columbus? According to Red Line Report, probably not:

If [the Blue Jackets are] going to lose Rick Nash, they’ll probably want to sell their fans on a talented young forward. But their recent history of drafting Russians at the top of the draft – Nikita Filatov and Nikolai Zherdev – might make them understandably leery of taking even Russians like Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko who have come over to play junior in North America.

Red Line goes on to suggest that the Blue Jackets might rather move down rather than up, and on Friday general manager Scott Howson confirmed that they had discussed moving down in the draft with other teams.

Between trying to move the most important player in the history of the franchise and trying to move down from the second overall position – a pair of deals the Oilers will have no interest in – Scott Howson is going to be plenty busy. Aside from the fact that he’s busy, the simple truth is that the return on those trades is going to alter the dynamic of his team in a significant way; Columbus might have very different needs coming out of those deals than they had going in.

If there is a trade between the two teams, it would likely see the Blue Jackets send away an excess blue-liner in exchange for help up front (a lengthy rebuild does not seem to be the intention in Columbus right now). The team may well add a good defenseman in the Nash trade, and they already landed Jack Johnson – while I’m personally not bullish on Johnson, Jackets’ beat reporter Aaron Portzline described the club as “smitten” with his work – and the surprisingly impressive Nikita Nikitin in trades last year. Those players join a defense corps that already features reliable veteran Fedor Tyutin, James Wisniewski, Nikita Nikitin, Marc Methot and 2009 first round pick John Moore. The Oilers were reportedly interested in Methot in the period leading up to the trade deadline, though with the acquisition of Nick Schultz that presumably is no longer the case.

Still, the Blue Jackets have a logjam on defense, and one that might get bigger if and when Nash gets dealt. If the Oilers are trading with them to alleviate that problem, the logical target is Fedor Tyutin. Lowetide wrote about Tyutin two months ago on this site, and his wrap-up then is equally applicable now:

Fedor Tyutin is perhaps the most attractive option we've looked at so far in this series. He has good size for an NHL defenseman, is mobile and adept at moving the puck. He's been healthy (this season aside, he broke his right hand earlier this month and is out indefinitely). He is signed to a long contract, could come into the organization and serve as a legit top pairing option and he could also mentor some of the youngsters coming along. The price tag would be heavy, but the Oilers have picks, prospects and young NHL players in abundance. This might be a very good match for both sides.

Tyutin would be an ideal fit for the Oilers in all areas. His cap hit is a very reasonable $4.5 million, he brings things to the table that the Oilers need in their organization, and above all else he’s a very good NHL defenseman. Columbus may not be willing to move him – and if they’re only interested in dumping their depth defenders it’s hard to believe the Oilers would be interested – but given what the Colubmus blue line looks like right now and their obvious needs up front it only makes sense for the Oilers to ask.

If Tyutin isn’t an option, James Wisniewski or Nikita Nikitin might be. Neither is as ideal a fit for Edmonton’s needs, but both would represent an upgrade on what’s currently in the system.

This week by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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 Spydyr
June 18 2012, 09:25AM
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let me be the fist to sat no Nash

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#2 Bob Cob
June 18 2012, 09:45AM
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The Oilers should only trade with the Jackets if they can get the 2nd overall. Would Paarjvai, Gagner, and the Oilers pick at the beginning of the 2nd round be enough to get the 2nd overall or an overpayment? Thoughts.

This trade I can see would benefit both teams equally. The Oilers could get Yakupov and Murray, or possibly Galchenyuk, who I would take ahead of Murray, thats another discussion, and give the Jackets two young forwards and another high prospect from the 2nd round.

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#3 Archaeologuy
June 18 2012, 09:45AM
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I'd rather take my chances on Yakupov at the Rookie Max for 3 years than Nash at inflated numbers until the next Ice Age.

I dont think they'd give up any of the other players I covet in their system and on their team. I think it's destined not to happen.

I think the Habs have a better shot of being a trading partner.

Out of Conference, still in the Lotto, New Management, Fan base clamoring for something to happen.

I just want them to keep the pick and choose Yak.

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#4 madjam
June 18 2012, 09:47AM
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Only consider trading first round pick for a marquee player , which leaves out Jackets defencemen . Nash is the only marquee player they have , and the only name on that team worth considering . Swapping with Colombus and tweaking on our part could land us Nash and Murray . Not bad , but passing on Yakupov is iffy even at that .

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#5 Oiler AL
June 18 2012, 09:52AM
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Tutyin, would ge a good choice as a trade. Skill, age, and salary would fit the bill.Hemsky would have to be going the other way? Weisnewski,is a bit older,bigger salary and brittle. Would not chasing Ericcson , Carle or Wideman for similar money, without giving up assets make more sense. Tutyin as a NMC , but would probably pay to leave Columbus as this point.

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#6 vetinari
June 18 2012, 09:55AM
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Would Paajarvi and Omark's rights spring Tyutin away from Columbus? Or is Columbus generally avoiding Europeans right now? If so, what about Eager and a sweetener (our 2nd rounder, Jones, Plante or Peckham)?

It's not like we can spare all of our physical players, but we need to give something to get something back and checkers are generally easier to replace than scorers, defencemen or goalies. And I'm sure that Columbus is sold on the idea of using Nash and their 2nd overall pick to restock their offense and secure a reliable goalie.

I've always liked Tyutin and think he would be a great compliment to Smid on the backend. He's got a physical edge, plays the game with "calm feet", and can move the puck.

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#7 RossCreekNation
June 18 2012, 09:58AM
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Jonathan,

What do you think of Erik Johnson, his price tag & his availability? I'm not sure he's going to become what everyone thought (franchise d-man), but he's likely still going to be a really good d-man long-term.

Friedman has mentioned in the past that he sees Colorado potentially dealing Matt Duchene. While he would interest me, maybe there's a deal with the Leafs there revolving around Duchene/5th OV...? Then... maybe a flip of 5 & Johnson for 1 & 'x'?

Crazy talk?

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#8 DieHard
June 18 2012, 09:58AM
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Mr. Willis: Would Tyutin for Hemsky work for both teams?

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#9 RossCreekNation
June 18 2012, 10:00AM
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madjam wrote:

Only consider trading first round pick for a marquee player , which leaves out Jackets defencemen . Nash is the only marquee player they have , and the only name on that team worth considering . Swapping with Colombus and tweaking on our part could land us Nash and Murray . Not bad , but passing on Yakupov is iffy even at that .

Pretty sure there was NO mention of moving the 1st in a deal for a Columbus d-man here. Nor trading the 1st for Nash. Maybe read the article before commenting.

$0.02

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#10 Oiler Al
June 18 2012, 10:03AM
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Wild idea on a 3- way trade:

Edm to Col. - Hemsky, Jones, and Belanger Col to Edm. - Nash

Edm to Tor. - Nash, and Potter Tor.to Edm - Gardiner, Colborne/Kulemin

I am banking on the fact that COL. is more in need of forwards , therefore Gardiner being the key player from Tor would not be as attractive to Col. Tor. is dying to get Nash and would probably give up Gardiner to get him via Edm.

Edm. getting Gardiner might be the ticket to also get Schultz.

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#11 admiralmark
June 18 2012, 10:05AM
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I'd rather see a deal with Toronto for Schenn + Franson. And swapping 1st rounders. I would then take Galchenyuk or Grig's whoever was still available at the 5th slot. Although this does not address the need for a top 4 d man.. The talent pool just bubbling under the NHL level is D heavy. And I believe our 2nd line center slot needs an upgrade for us to eventually compete for a stanley cup.

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#12 The Soup Fascist
June 18 2012, 10:12AM
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What makes Tyutin a better option than Wideman, Carle, etc who could be UFAs that could be picked up without giving up anything, other than cash? Will either of these guys be a lot more than $4.5M?

I realize you may not be able to sign either them in good old E-town, but I would wait for a "whiff" on July 1st before offering up a good roster player and / or a higher draft pick for Tyutin.

Not that I mind Tyutin, just saying I would prefer to get that type of player without giving up an asset of value - all things being equal.

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#13 Quicksilver ballet
June 18 2012, 10:15AM
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There's been a whole lotta nothing but top 10-15 picks for the Bluejackets for 20 yrs now. Obviously they haven't done well at the draft table. I can't believe they'll knock it down and start from scratch again in Columbus.

If the Oilers could land another pick somewhere in that 8-12 range in exchange for Gagner and Peckham, you might have a shot at netting that second overall pick from Howson.

Somethings going to happen this week. Tambo will finally move heavan and earth to get Murray as well as Yakupov. Spice it up a little and give Scott the right to swap 1 firsts in 2013. This is the year NHL 2K12 becomes reality boys.

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#14 Dave P
June 18 2012, 10:17AM
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Let's look at the Big Picture here in Edmonton.

To get to the playoff promised land, Oilers will need 6 (top 6 forwards) 4 (top 4 defence) and one goalie (with a pretty good backup)

If we take Yakapov, the Oilers will have 5 of the top 6 forwards without tading anyone. Hall, Ebs, RNH, Yakapov and Hemsky) These are top 6 forwards on almost every team. and all are under 30. Without a trade, there are Gagne, Harty, and Magnus are possible top 6 for the 2012 - 13 year.

IMO we have four Top 7 defencemen on our roster. (Smid, Petry, Shultz, and Whitney) with a few banging on door from the outside. Petry maybe the only potential top 2.

I don't expect a top 2 defenceman to land in Edmonton this year. Not unless some team is willing to take a flyer on Edmonton's 2013 first round pick.

IMO the Oil only have 2nd teer prospects to trade - I am especially Sorry to Magnus, Gagne and Harty or any of our defencive prospects, but IMO you aren't quite there yet.

So, I believe the CHANGE should be in goal.

Again in my (less than highly educated opinion), Dubnyk is a pretty good #2 goalie who may become a #1 in a couple years.

My hope is that Edmonton trades for / or picks up a UFA Goalie and offer a 2 year contract.

The team (as I've listed) will be better, score more goals and improve in the standings.

But 2012-2013 won't see a playoff run... BUT watch out for 2013 -14!!

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#15 EL PRESIDENTE
June 18 2012, 10:17AM
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For the FISTteenth time take Yak and don't look back!

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#16 Bucknuck
June 18 2012, 10:37AM
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If the Oilers fix the goaltending situation, and add a good defender I believe they are in for the playoffs. And anything can happen in the playoffs. Columbus might just have that defender, which would be great.

If Tambellini doesn't fix the Goaltending situation, then no amount of tinkering in the rest of the lineup will make a difference great enough to make up for it.

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#17 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 18 2012, 10:45AM
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I'd be interested in trading one of our secondary forwards/prosepects for one of their defensmen.

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#18 VK63
June 18 2012, 10:46AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Pretty sure there was NO mention of moving the 1st in a deal for a Columbus d-man here. Nor trading the 1st for Nash. Maybe read the article before commenting.

$0.02

Read the article before commenting?

A novel idea! going to be complete hell on the comments section volume but worth a shot.

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#21 madjam
June 18 2012, 10:51AM
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Paajarvi likely to develop into a top 6 forward and dynamic role player in our future . He should remain untouchable for at least another year . Only Yakupov could garner anythng close to, a "knock your socks off offer "this draft . We do not have much in the way of draft choices after first to deal with (32,63,91,123,153 ). Next years draft is to risky to deal away at this stage . We have many questionable veterans that could fetch us some additional players or draftees , however . Buffalo with 12,21,42 and 44 might be a target . Columbus defence unlikely , as trade probably would have been done before now .

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#24 Dman09
June 18 2012, 11:00AM
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Well if we are throwing out some trade options Have a look at this.

From Edmonton: Hemsky, MPS, Omark(rights), Peckham(rights)+ possible draft picks, not 1st rounders.

From Columbus: 2nd overall and Tyutin.

The Oilers pick 1st and 2nd bringing both Yakupov and Galchenyuk. Or if the jackets get a top 5 pick in the Nash trade say a 5th overall. It could be worked into a 5th overall and Franson to Edmonton. Just some things to keep in mind.

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#25 RyMosh4
June 18 2012, 11:06AM
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Is there any concern that Tyutin's contract is a little long? I love the idea of having him at that cap hit for the next three seasons (when he is 29-31), but am less sold on the next three years.

That said, I still like him better than overpaying for an FA.

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#26 RossCreekNation
June 18 2012, 11:12AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Is Johnson available? I haven't seen his name popping up with any particular frequency in rumours, and with Quincey gone I don't see why the Avs would move him so soon. I could be wrong on this, but I'd be surprised if Colorado had much interest in moving him.

As for Duchene, I wonder. Colorado would be nuts to move him, but with Stastny and O'Reilly maybe they feel they have enough up the middle. Still, in Colorado's shoes if I started the day with Duchene and Johnson and ended it with Yakupov I really wouldn't be that happy. It's possible but I think that sort of scenario isn't especially probable, personally.

No, I haven't seen anything specific about him being "available". But I'd think he'd be an interesting target, RFA and all (be it by trade or by offer sheet). How much do you think Johnson gets, and would you be willing to overpay him to get him?

Obviously, this particular scenario would depend on how high they are on Yakupov & if they're actually considering moving Duchene. But say you could get 5 & Schenn for Duchene & something & then Yakupov & Gagner/Paajarvi/Petry for Johnson & Galchenyuk/Rienhart/Murray. Is it worth considering on any end? Would 1 & Petry for 5 & Johnson make any sense to you? Just spitballing here. Also, as an aside, I would have the Avs in on former Pioneers D Matt Carle. Point being, with no 1st & plenty of moveable young assets, I could see the Avs pulling off some major shockers... or not.

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#29 Reg Dunlop
June 18 2012, 11:38AM
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I have no doubt oil mgmt has learned it's Cap't Ahab lesson. No more chasing the white whale, no more persuing pipe dream free agents like Suter and Carle and certainly no trading for big fish like Nash. There will be no big moves from the oil, no major FA signings and likely a Dman taken 1st round this year. Unless training staff spikes Khabbi's vodka with HGH, dianabol and Terry Sawchuk urine we are fated to groundhog day this scenario in 1 years time.

signed,Buzzkill

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#30 pelhem grenville
June 18 2012, 11:46AM
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my good friend Dark...our GM is incapable of moving his bowels let alone heaven and earth...he will cozy up to the podium and do as he's told by Kevin and draft the Nail and that's it til he goes back for the 31st overall...then MacT will take over just prior to training camp and move this team from hell to right next to heaven...can't wait to order Centre Ice in late September to watch this team START their two year journey to make the playoffs...

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#31 dawgtoy
June 18 2012, 11:47AM
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"Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger Expect San Jose Sharks to announce an agreement with veteran D-man, Brad Stuart today or tomorrow. 3 year term."

@Jonathan Could San Jose be a likely decent trading partner given they'll likely be signing Stuart today?

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#32 Dman09
June 18 2012, 11:57AM
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If the NHL was the wild west and Tambo got into 10 gun fights he would have been killed ten times. The guy has no clue how to pull the trigger and when he finally gets forced to it ends up being far to late.

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#33 WhattaMike
June 18 2012, 12:01PM
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Columbus is an excellent trading partner right now for the Oilers.

The first thing is the Oilers definitely keep their first overall pick and choose Yakupov.

Then immediately begin the dealing with the Blue Jackets for that 2nd overall pick.

The Oilers can offer Gagner or Hemsky easily enough, along with other players (Peckham, Eager, etc), and or prospects such Lander, Martindale, etc).

The Oilers are at a point too to even offer other draft pick rounds and/or their 2013 or 2014 upcoming #1 pick as I believe those to then be of a higher/later round choice than in the Lottery section like today.

This deal/trade of which players and prospects to go to Columbus would now depend on whether the Oil want Galchenyuk, Murray or even Reinhart at #2.

For example, with the 2nd pick overall, if the Oilers really want Galchenyuk bad enough then you move Gagner for sure and if instead it's for Murray then move Hemsky to make room for Yakupov.

The the Oil can go next with trying to get Schultz (as of June 24 in deal with Anaheim or then on July 1st) and/or trading for other top defencemen along with signing another goalie for 2012 season. Also, see what's available now as to what's left for July 1st as well.

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#34 The Soup Fascist
June 18 2012, 12:06PM
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@ Willis

We are on the same page. I left Garrison off based on a link to Staples article in ON last week.

I realize getting a solid veteran D via free agency is far from a slam dunk and you are correct, with every UFA that gets signed by his team, ala Jackman, the number of fish in the pond goes down.

I guess the question is - would waiting until after July 1st to look at a deal for Tyutin, or someone of his ilk, be compromised or make it considerably more "expensive"? Or would it be a wash once all but the successful of the Nash Hunters are disappointed? ie Hemsky's trade value would presumably be higher as well.

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#35 Hammers
June 18 2012, 12:08PM
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At last I see people on the Tyutin trail . I said to go after him months ago (trade deadline) but for Hemsky straight up .He is the type of "D" we need right now and not in 3-4 years . Love Hemsky but you have to give to get and it might take someone like Plante with Hemmer to get him .Then you just pick Yak and you have Gags , Hall & Yak ; RNH , Eberle & MPS or Smyth . Getting Tyutin takes away need of Murray and we await Klefbom , Marachin , Musil ,etc .

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#36 Dman09
June 18 2012, 12:09PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

Columbus is an excellent trading partner right now for the Oilers.

The first thing is the Oilers definitely keep their first overall pick and choose Yakupov.

Then immediately begin the dealing with the Blue Jackets for that 2nd overall pick.

The Oilers can offer Gagner or Hemsky easily enough, along with other players (Peckham, Eager, etc), and or prospects such Lander, Martindale, etc).

The Oilers are at a point too to even offer other draft pick rounds and/or their 2013 or 2014 upcoming #1 pick as I believe those to then be of a higher/later round choice than in the Lottery section like today.

This deal/trade of which players and prospects to go to Columbus would now depend on whether the Oil want Galchenyuk, Murray or even Reinhart at #2.

For example, with the 2nd pick overall, if the Oilers really want Galchenyuk bad enough then you move Gagner for sure and if instead it's for Murray then move Hemsky to make room for Yakupov.

The the Oil can go next with trying to get Schultz (as of June 24 in deal with Anaheim or then on July 1st) and/or trading for other top defencemen along with signing another goalie for 2012 season. Also, see what's available now as to what's left for July 1st as well.

I hear ya. I don't think picking a defenseman high(first round) in the draft makes a whole lot of sense unless its a pick in the bottom ten. I think they should be trying to get another top pick to try and land either Gregorenkio or Galchenyuk. I still think Gagner would make more sense as a third line center than a second. If he wants to stay in the top 6 I think it will have to be as a winger or on a team that has a big #1 center already. Gagner could be really good trade bait for another top 5 pick.

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#37 RossCreekNation
June 18 2012, 12:14PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

In the Oilers shoes, I wouldn't consider any offer sheet that included a first round pick, so I don't see that as a viable route (plus, Colorado has virtually unlimited cap space).

I like Johnson a lot, but I can't see Colorado trading him in-division; there's just way too much potential of that coming back to hurt them.

Really? You'd be hesitant to do an offer sheet with Johnson giving up 1st, 2nd, 3rd a la Penner? Even if Oil had a pick in the 5-15 range, chances are Johnson's better. And having Johnson likely means that pick will be lower than it would be without him. Would you not trade the 10th overall pick for Johnson right now if you could? I understand the scenario is a longshot within division and all.

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#38 Quicksilver ballet
June 18 2012, 12:30PM
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Hey Paul..

You're right about Tambellini, his lack of ability to make tough decisions could be his downfall during his time here. He must be looking over his shoulder now with MacT looking over everything he's doing. Can he really be this short sighted, or is he just waiting for the right time to punch that accelerator?

How's the new digs, is it everything you hoped it would be?

Hope the weather's fine, enjoy the summer.

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#41 a lg dubl dubl
June 18 2012, 01:37PM
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off topic, and previously talked about, but if Evander Kane is on the block, Id be on the phone with Hemsky or PRV, Hamilton, and the 2nd round pick as bait to get him here.

The guys on the Score were talkin about Kane and possibly wanting out of Winterpeg, got me thinkin.

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#42 BurkeTheTurd
June 18 2012, 01:43PM
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@ OB1

What do you think about Scott Hannan coming here?

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#43 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 18 2012, 01:47PM
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@ BurkeTheTurd

That's a good question Turd. I know some people would turn their nose up to him because he wouldn't single handedly turn our defense (let alone our team) around.

But I'd certainly extend an to him, because I'm confident he'd be better then at least a few of the guys we have now, and he'd be nice insurance for if/when Whitney goes down.

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#44 BurkeTheTurd
June 18 2012, 01:53PM
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@ OB1 & Crash

I have to agree. He won't be an all star but having depth in a position a team is weak at can't be a bad thing.

He is no saviour but nothing wrong with Oilers D fighting for roster spots.

What do you think Crash?

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#45 TigerUnderGlass
June 18 2012, 01:55PM
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@Jonathan Willis

@RossCreekNation

More spitballing.

3 Way:

To EDM: Tyutin, Gardiner, #2

To TOR: Nash, #1

To CLB: Hemsky, MPS, Kadri, Colborne, Teubert, #5,

Burke gets to make his big splash. CLB gets a decent package and retains a good pick and Edmonton gets immediate help on the blue and could draft Galchenyuk.

Edit: I changed it so Toronto had to give up a bit more. Sorry if anyone is responding in the meantime.

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#46 Walter Sobchak
June 18 2012, 02:16PM
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I'm optimistic that Tambellini will get something done, I tend to agree with Quick on this.

Time Is running out on Tambellini, he knows this. He also knows he cant trade the first pick. He's going to try really hard to land Murray.

I wouldn't be surprised to see, Jones-Bunz-Gernat-Hemsky and Paajarvi available to the jackets for that 2nd pick and Tyutin.

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#47 Walter Sobchak
June 18 2012, 02:28PM
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I like TUG's trade except I think you can do it without giving the first.

Just spitballing here.

CBJ to TOR - Nash.

TOR to CBJ - #5 pick plus Kadri and Scheen, plus a prospect.

EDM to CBJ - Hemsky - Paajarvi - Gernat - Jones and possible Bunz.

CBJ - Scheen or Tyutin plus # 2 pick or # 5 pick.

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#48 Dman09
June 18 2012, 02:37PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I like TUG's trade except I think you can do it without giving the first.

Just spitballing here.

CBJ to TOR - Nash.

TOR to CBJ - #5 pick plus Kadri and Scheen, plus a prospect.

EDM to CBJ - Hemsky - Paajarvi - Gernat - Jones and possible Bunz.

CBJ - Scheen or Tyutin plus # 2 pick or # 5 pick.

I don't like Gernat being in there and personally if they are getting a Defenseman in the trade and can somehow land Schultz they should be taking a center with that #2 or #5.

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#49 a lg dubl dubl
June 18 2012, 03:03PM
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@mantooth

can we replace Bunz with Roy.

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#50 TigerUnderGlass
June 18 2012, 03:34PM
Trash it!
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@Walter Sobchak

Mine gets you Tyutin, Gardiner, and Galchenyuk for less than yours gets you Yakupov, Tyutin, and Murray, so I guess it depends how you value those players.

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