WHAT WOULD IT TAKE?

Robin Brownlee
June 02 2012 10:00AM

The odds of it happening are about as likely as me ending up on the cover of GQ Magazine, but I can't help but wonder if there's a way that the Edmonton Oilers could come away from the 2012 NHL Entry Draft with Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk of the Sarnia Sting.

Not one or the other, but both. The daily double. The one-two punch. The package deal. A longshot? Obviously. Doable? Anything is doable, and one need only look back at Brian Burke's maneuvering to pluck Daniel and Henrik Sedin for the Vancouver Canucks at the 1999 Entry Draft. The question is: what would it take?

Going into the 2010 Entry Draft, I pondered the same scenario -- pie-in-the-sky stuff, as readers pointed out – when the Oilers were stepping to the podium with their first overall pick in franchise history with Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin sitting atop the prospect rankings. Back then, I asked: "Why not both?" I ask it again.

Why not both? Because it takes the kind of brass Burke showed in 1999 to waltz away with two top picks in your pocket. Because teams with the first half of the equation in hand still need to find a dance partner to pull off the back end, and that's something the Oilers and GM Steve Tambellini weren't able to do with Peter Chiarelli and the Boston Bruins in 2010.

PACKAGE DEAL?

Yakupov is already on his way to Edmonton for a visit after the NHL Combine and he's the odds-on favourite to be back in September for training camp after the Oilers take him with the No. 1 pick in Pittsburgh. Landing the dynamic Sarnia winger is the easy part. Tambellini has already said a team would have to knock his socks off to prompt him to part with the pick.

What about Galchenyuk, the talented centre who missed all but two games last season with a knee injury? Galchenyuk, of Russian heritage but born in Wisconsin, finished second among OHL rookies with 83 points in 2010-11. Yakupov, with 101, was the only freshman who was more prolific. We don't know how high Galchenyuk would be ranked going into Pittsburgh had he not been injured, but most people think he'll still go in the top five.

I can't say for sure if Tambellini and the Oilers have discussed what it would take to land both of them, but I see it as a scenario with merit and one worth pursuing. Yakupov and Galchenyuk aren’t only linemates and teammates with Sarnia, they are friends. The benefits of having each other around to ease the transition to the NHL seem obvious.

With Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ales Hemsky locks for top-six jobs up front, that mix could be something approaching formidable a year or two from now if Tambellini could find a way to add Yakupov and Galchenyuk in Pittsburgh. A longshot, I know. While I'm on a what-if tangent, how far does the rebuild move along if Tambellini pulls this off and IF Justin Schultz end up in the fold on the back end?

If Galchenyuk is destined to go in the top-five, that means Tambellini will have to do business with Columbus, Montreal, the New York Islanders or Toronto, where 1999 wheeler-dealer Burke is running the show. The question is: does Tambellini have the brass to pursue the possibility?

Why not both?

FROM THE COMBINE

If you're not familiar with Yakupov and Galchenyuk outside what you've seen statistically or on the evening sportscasts, there's a bunch of clips worth looking at on both from the combine. You see Yakupov here and here. Take a look at Galchenyuk here and here.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 john
June 02 2012, 01:50PM
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I'm not so sure that Columbus is in blow-up the team rebuild mode. That might make them a good dance partner for this kind of a trade. Same with Montreal, but Columbus makes more sense if you're going to be sending a lot out to get another top pick.

Gagner, Omark and Whitney + this year's second rounder should be more than enough IMO to get the 2nd overall, if you can, you try and hang on to the pick. Instantly makes Columbus a better team, even with Nash on the way out. If they have no interest in Whitney, then offer next year's 1st rounder instead.

But, if I'm Tambellini, I don't pick Nail and Gal, I take Nail and Murray. I don't put a lot of stock in needing a friend for Nail. Eberle is friend enough for the whole team.

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#53 Bucknuck
June 02 2012, 02:04PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Do you feel the same about taking Yakupov and Murray (I like them both) if the Oilers can land Schultz as a free agent this summer or would that change things?

Murray will be going second, and I don't think there is a trade to be made to get him unless the Oil are trading down.

You nailed the most interesting combo (in my mind) with those two linemates. Yakupov is flash and Galchenyuk is substance. I would love to see those two together in Oilers silks.

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#54 Westcoastoil
June 02 2012, 02:19PM
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Love the idea, but I'd be disinclined to include Gagner in the deal. We'd be trading away a centre we've spent 4 years developing for a player who may only be marginally better - and it will take ? years to know the answer. It's worth finding out for certain this season whether Gagner has turned himself into a second line centre who can help you win games. If he hasn't established himsel by Feb. then it's time to trade and move on from the player.

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#55 Butters
June 02 2012, 02:23PM
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I would love the Oil to get both, but I can't see it happening. Teams in the position to select Gal are in the same boast as the Oilers, they have to trot out their pick to the fans and sell hope for next year.

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#56 john
June 02 2012, 02:48PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Do you feel the same about taking Yakupov and Murray (I like them both) if the Oilers can land Schultz as a free agent this summer or would that change things?

I'll answer this as though you were asking it of me...

I do. Murray is projected to be the shut down type of D the Oilers really need, is he not? He's got far more upside than Tuebert, who isn't a sure thing to make a go of it in the NHL, and the experts say he's probably capable of playing right away.

Schultz would be awesome to have, but he's another Petry/Gilbert type player isn't he? I'd love to see a top four over the next few years made up of Smid, Petry, Schultz (if we can get him, which is a big if), Murray with Nick Schultz plus any combination of Potter, Peckham, Plante or Tuebert rounding out the bottom pairing going into the 2013/14 season.

I'm not at all convinced that the Oilers have a hope in the Schultz sweepstakes. I suspect Detroit or Vancouver will likely nab him. The dollars aren't an issue for cap teams as he's going to be on a rookie contract and I don't think there's a kid out there who wouldn't want to go to an established league power house with a Stanley Cup chance almost every year.

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#57 Saytalk
June 02 2012, 02:49PM
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Just what we need, more injury-riddled players. To add a second pick in the top 5 this year would mean giving up next year's first round pick, but next year's draft looks better than this year's. So why not let some other GM get caught up in the hype and try this? Let them overpay instead of the other way around.

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#58 oldhippy
June 02 2012, 03:48PM
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Just out of interest, ISS has Galchenyuk rated at #14. If we get past #10, and he is still available, I would be inclined to make a pitch to Tampa or Washington. Button has Toronto taking him at #5. He might be right, but I don't think Button could find his butt with both hands, in the dark.

@john...I would think if any of the D available, are comparable to Gilbert, it would be Murray. My opinion, he will be a strong positional player. Not too big and not too physical.(conflicting reports at 6' and 6'1", and 200 lbs.) Not saying Teubert will pan out but he is big and a buttload of nasty.

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#59 oilers2k12
June 02 2012, 03:56PM
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I love this, Galchenyuk and Yakupov, our top six would be set..minus a left winger(possibly) I would contact Islanders or Columbus, but it would be pricey..

To Islanders OR Blue Jackets: -Oilers 2012 2nd round pick -Oilers 2013 1st round pick -Sam Gagner -Ales Hemsky -M.Marancin

To Oilers: -2012 1st round pick -2012 3rd round pick -2013 3rd round pick

Reason I would want to get those third round picks is for insurance, I think getting only one asset is too risky, you should always try to stock up picks incase something doesnt go right with the center piece you have some backup.

Yes, not having a first rounder next season hurts, and who knows where it would land..but you gotta try..maybe put a condition on it of some kind, if it lands lower than tenth then add an 2013 2nd rounder..

I woukd throw this out there, if it doesnt work then aim for a second first rounder at around 20, wonder what that would take.

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#60 Bucknuck
June 02 2012, 03:57PM
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I would not support any trade that involves parting with any of:

Eberle, RNH, Hall, Petry, Smid, and Dubnyk.

That is the young core of the team. The only way that Gagner should be moved is if you are getting a better centre back in trade, and in that case I think he would be part of a package.

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#61 @NateInVegas
June 02 2012, 03:58PM
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If the Oilers take Galchenyuk 1st they could possibly get Yakupov 2nd if CBJ doesn't want the Russian...

Columbus is in a decent spot actually. They can easily go with Johansen-Galchenyuk at Centre and trade Nash to Toronto for #5 + to get their defenseman..

If Grigorenko slips to 6-10 in the draft should Edmonton trade for him?

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#62 Thinker
June 02 2012, 04:01PM
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I would taget a team in the 8-12 range. I see a draft class thats very equal after numero uno, and I would take advantage of that. If we got say ninth overall, we could look at sliders. Possible sliders/ availabe in the range: galchenyuk, grigorenko, dumba, murray, reilly. If grigorenko is this years couturier, we might be in good shape. Trade option of gagner (if russian centers are there),choice (of all of)of peckham plante omark martindale, plus belanger and eager, maybe barker too (if we are being greedy).

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#63 Bucknuck
June 02 2012, 04:06PM
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Do you think Boston would trade Seguin for first this year and next? It worked alright for Kessel?

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#64 db7db7db7
June 02 2012, 04:14PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Do you think Boston would trade Seguin for first this year and next? It worked alright for Kessel?

I doubt any GM would have the balls to repeat that one, except maybe Burke again.

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#65 Kevin
June 02 2012, 04:32PM
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Great read RB- this would take a proactive GM not a reactive one. a GM that makes calls and targets people not one that waits for the phone to ring. well, if only to dream but your bang on ! it took some balls and a few phone calls for Burke to land the Sudins and good on him. A little vision and some gonnies would go a long ways. What would it take to get that second pick ? do we have the pieces that would entice a GM in the top 5 to make that happen. I guess a couple of starting points might be Gagne Hemsky Pajarvi , picks what combination would get it done ? The big centre does fit a long time need. Dare to dare- well at least for a NHL calibre GM.

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#66 DoubleJ
June 02 2012, 04:48PM
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It would take this years second pick and next years years first and an actual player( gagner?). Seems like a big price to me.

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#67 Wanyes bastard child
June 02 2012, 04:52PM
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I would think that next years first, this years second and a prospect such as MPS/Klefbom (maybe both) should be enough to grab you the second first rounder we want this year, especially if Galchenyuk does fall as far as some are saying.

Mind you, I only do this if I'm serious about a play off push next year, or improving in leaps and bounds over the last few years. I'd hate to give up a lottery pick next year.

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#68 Bucknuck
June 02 2012, 06:48PM
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@Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat.

This is pure speculation, and that is the FUN of it. It's not about whether or not it would happen, but rather what would it take in a world where this did happen?

I love this kind of thing. it creates lots of discussion and brainstorming and thinking about the future. It's like playing NHL 12 in your head, except better.

So how about some speculation? If someone other than Tambellini was Gm, then what would it take?

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#69 @Oilanderp
June 02 2012, 08:34PM
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@Maverick

Excellent point that I don't think anyone has brought up yet in this thread. I think one of the ON writers wrote an article about it last year sometime. One thing the Oilers have right now is cap space, so why not use it? Taking a horrible contract back might go a long way to bringing this fantasy into reality.

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#70 Stocc
June 02 2012, 08:45PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat. wrote:

Not going to happen. I'll eat my hat, if it does.

You are not wearing a hat. Perhaps you could eat those colourful feathers in your hair.

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#71 Wäx Män Riley
June 02 2012, 10:04PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

I would love to move up, but honestly the problem is teams CAN ask for kids like Eberle, Hall or RNH which means they will.

It may be more of a case that teams will draw a line in the sand that we just can't pay, simply because they can.

We might end up being a victim of having too much young covetable talent to make a move at the daft. It might have been easier to make this move 4 years ago, before we had A++ prospects.

In the same way that every single MTL trade includes PK Subban or Pacioretty and every Columbus trade involves Johanson; there is almost no fan that would look at a package without those names, so really why would we expect other teams to entertain packages without our kids?

It will probably cost too much for the Oilers to get a team to part with their top 10 pick...

Booo!

'e' not 'y'

Wanye will snap if he sees that. It would be like typing Beeber

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#72 K_Mart
June 02 2012, 10:13PM
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no question the price would be sky high. Next year's first rounder would have to be part of the package I bet. Hemsky, Gagner, and MPS are all available for sure, but my guess is that the trade would require someone in the "not available" category. Obviously we wouldn't give up hall, ebs, or nuge, but Petry? Dubnyk? Klefbom? Smid? all possible

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#73 Clyde Frog
June 02 2012, 10:59PM
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@Wäx Män Riley

Tell that to my phones auto-correct :) Must be some sort of Toronto media conspiracy...

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#74 Westcoastoil
June 02 2012, 11:36PM
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Props to Wayne's BC & S-K. It's agreed the Oil are at a time when packaging multiple assets for an upgrade on a single player is a good move and could fast forward the cause. IMO 3 of: salary back, next years first, PVR/Peckham/ Harski & Omark (whichever they like) plus one of the Marancin/Musil/Gernat tree for Galchenyuk would be a great deal and potentially one that can help boh clubs in the short and long term. Anything more would be too much

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#75 Westcoastoil
June 02 2012, 11:39PM
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Acknowledged young core and Klefbom intentionally exuded

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#76 Bucknuck
June 03 2012, 12:13AM
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I just watched Eberle, RNH and Hall highlights for half an hour... and then I watched Hemsky highlights... and it really made me think. We really do have four offensive stars on this team... not three. Whoever the Oilers draft should make five... and that should have everyone plenty excited.

if they manage to get a sixth somehow, secondary scoring should not be a problem for a decade...

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#77 Rob
June 03 2012, 12:21AM
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When asked in an interview last week about the Russian factor affecting team's decisions vis a vis the KHL factor Yakupov quickly pointed out he was not Russian but Muslim and his desire all along was to play in the NHL. He made the point to separate himself from the decisions of certain other Russian players who bolted to the KHL. That is somewhat reassuring but no guarantee of his future choices.

Hoping Tamby can engineer such a deal is almost titillating to contemplate. However, based on past performance I would say it is like hoping to win the Edmonton Indy with a motorized wheelbarrow. Exciting prospect alright but it is the longshot of all-time. Tamby hasn't the guts to even try much less pull it off.

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#78 Crash
June 03 2012, 12:22AM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I just watched Eberle, RNH and Hall highlights for half an hour... and then I watched Hemsky highlights... and it really made me think. We really do have four offensive stars on this team... not three. Whoever the Oilers draft should make five... and that should have everyone plenty excited.

if they manage to get a sixth somehow, secondary scoring should not be a problem for a decade...

The 6th will be PRV......just be patient....

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#79 Reg Dunlop
June 03 2012, 01:23AM
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Maybe it's time for a leap forward. We need to flesh out our top 6 with a centre and we need minimum 2 defencemen and a backup to DD. We have lots of D coming along and Bunz or Roy look promising. Trading a bunch of players/prospects/picks for Galcheniuk has potential but seems, I don't know, generic. Lets go big. The Isles as trade partner: lets go Gagner, 1st this year and 1st next year for Tavares.

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#80 Asian on Oilers Nation
June 03 2012, 02:12AM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Do you think Boston would trade Seguin for first this year and next? It worked alright for Kessel?

I suggested this before and I'll suggest it again: EDM 2012 1st rounder, one of Hemsky/Gagner to BOS for Seguin. Might need to throw in a 2nd or a 3rd rounder to sweeten the pot. I'd do it. You got RNH and Ebs on one line, Hall and Seguin on another.

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#81 Pouzar99
June 03 2012, 02:24AM
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Fun to think about but almost impossible to do. Fantasizing concretely about possible trades is a waste of time. The only chance is to sit tight with some kind of offer in mind that you would be willing to make and if he remains available though the first five picks, start fishing. I think they should go in with the mindset of taking Yak no matter what, with a plan for trying to move up and take a defender by trading the first pick in Round 2 and some folks off their roster. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. Maybe there is no defender who will remain available through the early picking that Stu thinks highly enough of to justify an offer. If I recall correctly Eberle was part of the package offered to Boston for the Sequin pick. I love Seguin but I'm so glad they said no.

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#82 John Chambers
June 03 2012, 07:34AM
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I like Galchenyuk, but i dont think we can wait the 4 years for him to mature into a true #1. After the draft the Oilers should focus on trying to obtain Jordan Staal. We need a top line Centre to take the heavy minutes now.

Perhaps in July when Pittsburgh and Shero are having a tough time getting a deal done we offer up Gagner, Klefbom, and next year's first.

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#83 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
June 03 2012, 08:22AM
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I think a move like this by Tambo is akin to solar eclipse. It happens like once a decade and all the people in the know will see it coming well in advance.

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#84 michael
June 03 2012, 09:26AM
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@Maverick In real dollars how much would it cost to buy out Gomez if you had too?Or flip him to Columbus so they can reach the floor. They are going to lose 13-14 million dollars after the Nash deal is done. You add Carter and Mason and thats a bit of cap space.Could be a florida situation in Columbus where Howson goes looking for a contract someone wants to dump.

How good would that look on Montreal's GM if he could get assets and get rid of Gomez's contract. The only fly in the ointment would be the amnesty clause. Then they really wouldn't care if they traded him or not. They would buy him out themselves.

Yakupov is in Edmonton this week? Should be a fun week for all of ON.

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#85 michaael
June 03 2012, 09:41AM
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If you get Galchenyuk without having to give up Gagner there is an overload at center in a couple of years. Belanger would be on my list of gotta go's. RNH-Galchenyuk-Gagner-Horcoff. The thing that makes me think that the Oilers won't trade Gagner is that Lander and galchenyuk will both need time in the minors. How scary would that OKC team look?

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#86 Clyde Frog
June 03 2012, 10:42AM
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B@Michaael

Galchenyuk would have to play back in the CHL, he is too young for AHL the year after his draft.

Fun Fact! That was the argument they used in throwing Gagner into the NHL instead of giving him another year of development.

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#87 fuzzy muppet
June 03 2012, 01:09PM
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Judging from this picture, it doesn't look like the "big center" is bigger than the "small winger"

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#88 Tony Montana
June 03 2012, 01:57PM
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I think a top 5 pick could be had for a roster player (hemsky or gagner), our first rounder next year and a prospect, Musil, Gernat or Marincin.

My list of untouchables are Eberle, RNH, Hall, Petry, Dubnyk, This years First rounder and Klefbom.

Here is my trade proposal

To The New York Islanders Ales Hemsky, David Musil, 2013 first round pick, 2012 2nd round pick, 2012 3rd round pick and a conditional 2014 second round pick (conditional upon Hemsky missing fewer than an aerage of 12 to 15 games due to injury)

To the Edmonton Oilers 2012 First round, pick 2012 2nd round pick and Kirill Kabanov

Why this trade works for the New York Islanders

It gives them a potential upgrade on the second line at right wing immediately and help on the power play. It gives them a better defensive prospect than they currently have in the system outside of the NHL. They also move up to what amounts to the first pick in the second round (assuming NJ forfeits their 2012 first rounder) They get 2 picks (quite likely both in, or close to the top 10) in what is purported to be a very good first round in 2013.

Why this trake Works for the Oilers

The get the fourth overall pick which they can use to draft one of (Galchenyuk, Forsberg, Grigerenko, or the best available D-man)

They get a young russian prospect who is likely bound for the AHL or KHL next year no matter whose prospect he is, but with plenty of upside and energy if he realizes his potential.

You open up a Roster spot on the Right wing for Yak by moving Hemmer, and you also get either a potential future second line center in Grig or Glachenyuk or a potential second line left winger in Forsberg.

Either way your top 6 is in great shape for years to come and your top 9 has most of the pieces within the organization.

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#89 Team Hall
June 04 2012, 09:37AM
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Why not both? Because you've got to give to get. And what do we have to give that would fetch a top 5 pick? Hall, Nuge, Ebs. So we'd be going in circles.

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