YAKUPOV: LAST IN, FIRST OUT?

Robin Brownlee
November 11 2013 07:41PM

Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish said just last week he isn’t trying to trade Nail Yakupov, but agent Igor Larionov has tongues wagging across the NHL today, saying his client is open to a trade. Anywhere is fine.

Two Tweets from the Twitter account of ESPN Magazine senior hockey writer Craig Custance are again fuelling speculation that the struggling Yakupov could be on the move out Edmonton just 65 games into his NHL career with the Oilers, who picked him first overall in 2012. Just after 6 p.m. Edmonton time, the following:

A couple of hours prior to that, just before 5 p.m., Custance posted:

So, according to Custance, a seasoned scribe not prone to passing along baseless hearsay or making things up, and in direct quotes, Yakupov is open to and OK with being traded by the Oilers and Larionov plans to swing into town for a sit-down with MacTavish and maybe coach Dallas Eakins to discuss how his client is being used. That about cover it?

Is that trouble with a capital T or entitlement with a capital E?

EARLY SPLIT OR HISSY FIT?

It's completely understandable why Yakupov wouldn't be anything close to happy right now. Aside from the Oilers being off to a horrid 4-13-2 start, Yakupov has struggled mightily through the first 17 games of his sophomore season.

After finishing his rookie season like a house on fire with five goals in his last two games and totals of 17-14-31 in 48 games, Yakupov has scored just 2-2-4 in 17 games this season. He's been a healthy scratch. He's been moved up and down the line-up by Eakins. He's got every reason to be frustrated.

Is that all this is? I'm not sure. Players struggling during a difficult stretch or through a frustrating set of circumstances – diminished ice time, offensive droughts -- will often vent to their agents. Sometimes, it's a one-off. Then, the puck goes in the net, as it did in Chicago Sunday. Ice time increases. The team starts to win again. Cooler heads prevail. It's not often the crux of those conversations is passed on to media types.

Now, this from Larionov about Yakupov, the third and last of three first overall picks over the past four seasons after Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Wasn't it, like, just six or eight weeks ago that Oiler fans and some media types were thinking out loud about how Yakupov's next contract might stack up to those inked by Hall, RNH and Jordan Eberle?

This, just after MacTavish went out of his way to stifle speculation the Oilers were shopping the talented 20-year-old Russian winger: "When we drafted Nail it was because we believed he’d be a dynamic, electric, exciting player and that hasn’t changed. We were not expecting him to become all that in the first 70 games of his career," he said.

"We very much believe Nail will evolve to become that dynamic, electric player — become one of the most entertaining guys in the game. I told that to Igor. And I told that to Yak. Development is very rarely a straight line. It has ups and downs."

SO, WHAT NEXT?

So, what to make of this? Whatever conclusion you draw, it's difficult for me to believe Larionov didn't know exactly what he was saying. I'm guessing he said it with the blessing of his client. Leverage? Sending a message? Or is something already broken that can't be fixed? I don't know.

While "open to a trade" doesn’t necessarily equate to "I want to be traded," it's just a degree or two short. Demanding a trade now, given how poorly he's played, would be the epitome of entitlement -- blaming everybody else but himself for the situation Yakupov finds himself in.

Whatever the case, and despite what MacTavish said last week, I'm guessing what Larionov said today will get MacT's cell phone ringing just as surely as it has people talking already. Stay tuned.

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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#201 DrunkGuyTy
November 12 2013, 06:10AM
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Wow - has this ever gotten everyone in a frenzy! The gossip, and catty-ness on here sounds like bunch of junior high school girls. Somehow an obscure and stock comment by an agent to a 2nd tier reporter about Yak has turned into Hall and Ebs being a couple of b!tches that have poisoned the dressing room.

Please. Listen to yourselves.

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#202 Rob Gilgan
November 12 2013, 06:53AM
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DrunkGuyTy wrote:

Wow - has this ever gotten everyone in a frenzy! The gossip, and catty-ness on here sounds like bunch of junior high school girls. Somehow an obscure and stock comment by an agent to a 2nd tier reporter about Yak has turned into Hall and Ebs being a couple of b!tches that have poisoned the dressing room.

Please. Listen to yourselves.

These unwarranted and unrelenting attacks on junior high school girls must STOP!!!

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#203 HardBoiledOil
November 12 2013, 07:05AM
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maybe we should trade Yak to Ottawa for Curtis Lazar and perhaps a pick?

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#204 Eulers
November 12 2013, 07:07AM
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Yak is my favourite player precisely because of his attitude and dedication to the team. He and the team will get better if we ride out the current mess. If the Oilers trade both him and Smid, I'm through with his team.

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#205 Eulers
November 12 2013, 07:08AM
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The double standard against Yakupov by the media and the organization is just criminal.

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#206 season not played
November 12 2013, 07:13AM
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I was going to run down a list of reason why, but that is played. I'll keep it short and sweet.

The Oilers are a joke.

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#207 Loweblows
November 12 2013, 07:15AM
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Don't trade yak!

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#208 Spydyr
November 12 2013, 07:26AM
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lenny wrote:

And you know that exactly how? I guess Katz called you personally and informed you of his decision! Now I am mad at him because he did not call me!

You must not be a tier 1 fan.

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#209 michael
November 12 2013, 07:27AM
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Why not trade Yak? We have a plethora of forwards who are of the same mold. Why not use Yak to acquire what we need to improve this team.

Buffalo has a truckload of picks and they have got Tyler Meyers.

TBay has an injured Stamko's. Would a swap for J Drouin be palatable?

Would St Louis be willing to part with Shattenkirk?

The Rangers would give their eye teeth for a sniper of Yak's quality. Especially if Nash's coconut is going to be an issue.

The Flyers. Simmonds and a pick or 3.

The Isles. Griffin Rheinhart. Strome. Picks.

The possibilities are out there. Whether you want help now or in the future. Just saying it would not be the end of the world. Heck our play off hopes are a wash once again. I'll be stunned if were not picking top 5 once again.

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#210 non descript
November 12 2013, 07:43AM
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this was a comment a day after yakupov was drafted.

interesting how tambo has gone from saying he wants to add one, possibly two top 4 defencemen to wanting to add a depth defencemen to the big club. looks like it could be another year of winning games only when all the stars line up and losing the rest. tough to win consistently in the nhl trying to run and gun every night with a group of undersized forwards. once again, does tambo have a clue what it takes to assemble a hockey team that can compete on a nightly basis? i find it disturbing that almost the first words out of the mouths of the tsn guys was, better get this guy signed in case there is a lockout because the khl looms. wonderful, that will always be hanging over this guy. further, what happens when this cocky prima donna starts griping about his pp minutes or ice time in general because hall or ebs is getting the extra shift. how long till there is a rift in the dressing room because this is taylor halls team and yakupov has no interest in playing second fiddle to anyone? does this russian seem like a hometown discount guy when the time comes? who is more likely to bolt as soon as ufa status is available to be the man somewhere else? a management team and fanbase mesmerized by some speed and fancy stickhandling once again. this player might help us score a few more goals, but the right player to take in order to make our TEAM better was a solid character leader from white city saskatchewan.

first big oiler headline of the summer - yakupov hesitant to sign with the oilers due to pending labour dispute, wants to keep khl option open.

better be prepared for alot of drama with this guy.

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#211 fig pucker
November 12 2013, 07:52AM
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lenny wrote:

I don't think this is your only problem! Belov was a pleasant surprise ah? You expected something bad did you, after all he is pure russian.

lenny, the only intolerant guy in this discussion is you. i never said i hated russians or didn't want them on the team. i said i don't like using high draft picks on them (1st or 2nd) round because it's to risky. your trying to turn this into somthing it's not. get help my friend.

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#212 HardBoiledOil
November 12 2013, 07:56AM
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maybe the Oilers can trade Yak to Dallas straight up for Nichushkin similar low production this year, but bigger winger at 6'4" and 200.

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#213 camdog
November 12 2013, 08:12AM
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@michael

Don't know if Yak should be the one traded, that said a skilled guy needs to go:

In regards to your list

Tyler Myers is in the same spot Luke Schenn was when the Leafs traded him to Toronto and signed him to too much money, not worth the risk, you don't trade a number 1 pick for picks unless you have given up on them.

Drouin another small skilled forward, Yakopov is 2-3 years from being any good, just like Drouin, looks like a lateral move.

St.Louis doesn't want Yakopov and are not trading any of their d - man for him, they already have Tarasenko and are in win now mode, Yakopov wouldn't even make their team this season, he would be riding the pine. Hitchcook has no patience for these type of distractions.

The Rangers are in win now mode, Sather is getting ready to retire, he's not going to give up roster players for potential, not now, might have 5 years back. Might take a poke at a Hemsky, but only for prospects and dead weight off of his roster.

The Flyers anythings possible

Isles are still hurting from Yashin still paying him off,those players would be awesome to see in the Oilers depth chart, may be a possibility/

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#214 Norm
November 12 2013, 08:32AM
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Could MacT's 'bold' move be to hand 'He of the 6 rings' his resignation. Is itt just me or is the entire Oiler organization on fire?

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#215 sizzay
November 12 2013, 08:50AM
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Here's a thought:

Instead of worrying about the 20 year old rookie who has played under 70 games, why don't we try and trade the 7 year veteran Sam Gagner.

We know Gagner's upside, it's 45 points. We know that he is not a strong skater which makes it difficult to play a 200 ft game. We know he won't become taller and can only put so much more weight on. Cut the ties.

Sam Gagner + 1st rounder this year likely gets you a pretty damn good 2nd line centre. Or if we want to remain with Arco as our centre on the 2nd line, trade Gagner and the pick for a top 4 dman.

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#216 Oiler Al
November 12 2013, 08:54AM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Sure, trade a very young player for an even younger player.

Next

Oilers need help on D and besides age has nothing to do with it,,, its how mature one is.

The end result is if you want quality you have to give up quality...Eberle and Hall are that.AT the same time you would be forced to change the mix up front.. too many of the same players , playing soft hockey..

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#217 HardBoiledOil
November 12 2013, 08:55AM
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Norm wrote:

Could MacT's 'bold' move be to hand 'He of the 6 rings' his resignation. Is itt just me or is the entire Oiler organization on fire?

the entire organization should be! we should be at least a bit further ahead than 4-13-2 since the rebuild REALLY started in 2010.

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#218 HardBoiledOil
November 12 2013, 08:58AM
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sizzay wrote:

Here's a thought:

Instead of worrying about the 20 year old rookie who has played under 70 games, why don't we try and trade the 7 year veteran Sam Gagner.

We know Gagner's upside, it's 45 points. We know that he is not a strong skater which makes it difficult to play a 200 ft game. We know he won't become taller and can only put so much more weight on. Cut the ties.

Sam Gagner + 1st rounder this year likely gets you a pretty damn good 2nd line centre. Or if we want to remain with Arco as our centre on the 2nd line, trade Gagner and the pick for a top 4 dman.

the Oilers should NEVER use their 1st rounder as a throw in in any deal, especially at the moment when we are picking so high. and especially if you are saying our 2nd line center and high 1st rounder for another 2nd line center...that's just too much and we need to protect our assets and not just give them away!

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#219 Newj
November 12 2013, 08:58AM
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non descript wrote:

this was a comment a day after yakupov was drafted.

interesting how tambo has gone from saying he wants to add one, possibly two top 4 defencemen to wanting to add a depth defencemen to the big club. looks like it could be another year of winning games only when all the stars line up and losing the rest. tough to win consistently in the nhl trying to run and gun every night with a group of undersized forwards. once again, does tambo have a clue what it takes to assemble a hockey team that can compete on a nightly basis? i find it disturbing that almost the first words out of the mouths of the tsn guys was, better get this guy signed in case there is a lockout because the khl looms. wonderful, that will always be hanging over this guy. further, what happens when this cocky prima donna starts griping about his pp minutes or ice time in general because hall or ebs is getting the extra shift. how long till there is a rift in the dressing room because this is taylor halls team and yakupov has no interest in playing second fiddle to anyone? does this russian seem like a hometown discount guy when the time comes? who is more likely to bolt as soon as ufa status is available to be the man somewhere else? a management team and fanbase mesmerized by some speed and fancy stickhandling once again. this player might help us score a few more goals, but the right player to take in order to make our TEAM better was a solid character leader from white city saskatchewan.

first big oiler headline of the summer - yakupov hesitant to sign with the oilers due to pending labour dispute, wants to keep khl option open.

better be prepared for alot of drama with this guy.

Again, perhaps another example of Oiler mis-management?

Tambo et al stated they drafted the BPA rather than by need.

I'm not sure they even got that right - Galchenyuk?

As was stated in that post, Oilers could have drafted a character dman (Murray) or any of the following dmen - Trouba, Reilly, Lindholm, Reinhart.

Things are not heading well with Yak right now but certainly its too early to give up on a 20 year old prospect.

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#220 Truth
November 12 2013, 09:05AM
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This is being blown way out of proportion. Does Larionov believe that Yak would be getting better ice time and opportunity on another team? Maybe, but he is on the worst team in the league that already struggles with goal scoring. If he could put the puck in the net consistently Edmonton would be the best spot for him.

What would Yak be doing if he was in Detroit? Playing in the AHL.

How about under Tortorella in Vancouver? Hitch in St. Louis? Nashville? Boston? Toronto? etc.

The simple fact is he's not playing well and that is totally on him. Yak (and Larionov) needs to wake up and see that if he competes every single shift and commits to defense he would be used a lot more. A sit down between MacT, Eakins, Yak, and Larionov could be a blessing. Watch some tape, every one in the room will see Yaks shortcomings, and hopefully Yak begins to mature.

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#221 sizzay
November 12 2013, 09:09AM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

the Oilers should NEVER use their 1st rounder as a throw in in any deal, especially at the moment when we are picking so high. and especially if you are saying our 2nd line center and high 1st rounder for another 2nd line center...that's just too much and we need to protect our assets and not just give them away!

How do we improve then? We keep drafting high and keep throwing rookies in. It's not always the answer. I'm not saying trade teh 1st for a 35 year old. Gagner and the 1st could get you a Jordan Staal type player. A 6'3 220 2 way centre is what we need. We will not improve until we get someone that can cover our wingers defensive deficiencies rather than expose it.

Yakupov will never be a defensive first guy, that's not why we drafted him. It just goes back to the Oilers having a terrible... TERRIBLE mix of players.

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#222 Zamboni Driver
November 12 2013, 09:13AM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

maybe we should trade Yak to Ottawa for Curtis Lazar and perhaps a pick?

That's funny stuff.

Make a three-team trade and see if we can get the Musil kid as well.

Also Harold Snepsts.

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#223 HardBoiledOil
November 12 2013, 09:22AM
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sizzay wrote:

How do we improve then? We keep drafting high and keep throwing rookies in. It's not always the answer. I'm not saying trade teh 1st for a 35 year old. Gagner and the 1st could get you a Jordan Staal type player. A 6'3 220 2 way centre is what we need. We will not improve until we get someone that can cover our wingers defensive deficiencies rather than expose it.

Yakupov will never be a defensive first guy, that's not why we drafted him. It just goes back to the Oilers having a terrible... TERRIBLE mix of players.

but you suggest we always have to overpay to get better, and i say good on the Oilers for not doing it for every trade or teams will never ask for a fair deal, always an over payment. sometimes you have to stand your ground or you will never have any assets or picks left, then what? i was listening to TSN 1260 toady and one of the radio guys was making an off comment about how Anaheim apparently wanted Klefbom for goalie Viktor Fasth but the Oil said no and good on them! i hear you though, we could use a Jordan Staal type for sure at center and say bye bye to Gagner. do i have an answer? not really, you keep searching i guess for a good, FAIR deal that doesn't involve Klefbom or Nurse.

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#224 HardBoiledOil
November 12 2013, 09:23AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

That's funny stuff.

Make a three-team trade and see if we can get the Musil kid as well.

Also Harold Snepsts.

you mean Oiler prospect David Musil? OK, let's make a deal!! ;-D

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#225 Zamboni Driver
November 12 2013, 09:25AM
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@HardBoiledOil

Damn.

Seriously? We have HIM too?

I wonder if the Oilers 'scouts' have a travel budget?

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#226 Oil Can
November 12 2013, 09:29AM
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Keep Yak and teach and utilize his skill, shot and play making ability. Philly was suppose to have interest in Ebbs. So why have we not been trying to move Ebbs and Gagne for Simmonds and Couturier. That solves us of our second line centre problems, with a good young, two way second line centre with size, and a winger with size and at least a little grit. It also gets two under sized forwards off the team. The value to Philly would be mostly with Ebbs, and the Oilers would move some over priced players and free up some pay roll for a more balanced team payroll. If the Oilers have to through in a good prospect (Marincen) or a second pick, then get it done.

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#227 oilbaron
November 12 2013, 09:31AM
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GET RID OF LOWE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#228 sizzay
November 12 2013, 09:33AM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

but you suggest we always have to overpay to get better, and i say good on the Oilers for not doing it for every trade or teams will never ask for a fair deal, always an over payment. sometimes you have to stand your ground or you will never have any assets or picks left, then what? i was listening to TSN 1260 toady and one of the radio guys was making an off comment about how Anaheim apparently wanted Klefbom for goalie Viktor Fasth but the Oil said no and good on them! i hear you though, we could use a Jordan Staal type for sure at center and say bye bye to Gagner. do i have an answer? not really, you keep searching i guess for a good, FAIR deal that doesn't involve Klefbom or Nurse.

I agree on some of your points, for sure. However, the weak spot we are in, the desperation other teams smell means we will have to overpay to improve. It's not what I want, but it's the reality of the situation.

Of course you don't overpay for the sake of overpaying. I also would not have traded Klefbom for Fasth, hell no. However, if Klefbom was required in a package deal to get a Dman like McDonagh or a centre like Staal, then yes I part with him.

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#229 madjam
November 12 2013, 09:39AM
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We have the fab five and Gagner and Arcobello to surround them . Is this a problem playing a system that demands physicality ?

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#230 pkam
November 12 2013, 09:42AM
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sizzay wrote:

Here's a thought:

Instead of worrying about the 20 year old rookie who has played under 70 games, why don't we try and trade the 7 year veteran Sam Gagner.

We know Gagner's upside, it's 45 points. We know that he is not a strong skater which makes it difficult to play a 200 ft game. We know he won't become taller and can only put so much more weight on. Cut the ties.

Sam Gagner + 1st rounder this year likely gets you a pretty damn good 2nd line centre. Or if we want to remain with Arco as our centre on the 2nd line, trade Gagner and the pick for a top 4 dman.

I thought the Smid trade was horrible, until I read your proposal.

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#231 rob
November 12 2013, 09:42AM
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the only oilers that are safe are Hall,Perron,Gordon,Petry and Rnh(and nurse).They need to right the ship so ebs,yak,jschultz,ganger,hemsky and our first round pick in a few trades to fix this team!the sooner the better,lets salvage what we can this season so next is much better!

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#232 ubermiguel
November 12 2013, 09:43AM
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madjam wrote:

We have the fab five and Gagner and Arcobello to surround them . Is this a problem playing a system that demands physicality ?

Is Eakins trying to fit square pegs in a round hole (insert juvenile joke here)? Does he need to build the system around the parts he has?

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#233 HardBoiledOil
November 12 2013, 09:45AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Damn.

Seriously? We have HIM too?

I wonder if the Oilers 'scouts' have a travel budget?

lol, well they didn't have to go too far to scout this guy....Vancouver! they drafted him #31 in the 2011 draft, then he got traded to the Oil Kings. guess the scouts could only charge for gas mileage to scout this guy here? :-D

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#234 sizzay
November 12 2013, 09:45AM
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pkam wrote:

I thought the Smid trade was horrible, until I read your proposal.

Than you are blinded between reality and being a typical Oiler fan that overrates his/her players.

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#235 pkam
November 12 2013, 09:47AM
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sizzay wrote:

I agree on some of your points, for sure. However, the weak spot we are in, the desperation other teams smell means we will have to overpay to improve. It's not what I want, but it's the reality of the situation.

Of course you don't overpay for the sake of overpaying. I also would not have traded Klefbom for Fasth, hell no. However, if Klefbom was required in a package deal to get a Dman like McDonagh or a centre like Staal, then yes I part with him.

Are you telling me that there is not one team other than the Oilers that have weak spot? Why didn't we make them overpay?

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#236 Hockey Problems
November 12 2013, 09:48AM
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MacT... Your move. I don't really care if it's BOLD or not. Right now I want the SMART move ! Time to earn your money bud.

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#237 Smokey
November 12 2013, 09:51AM
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Are we officially running Yak outta town...everyone take a big breathe...

All these pseudo opinions about Yak not fitting in, not in pics, Hall talking to him on the ice are STUPID. JUST PLAIN STUPID.

Who cares if its true or not. The assertion that players have to be bunk buddies and chase girls together is silly. Even if he did not hang out with the boys it doesn't mean anything. The kids from another country, and has a different world view. How does his Muslim faith effect where he likes to hand out or what to do. Maybe he doesn't drink...I dunno. His problem probably has more to do with having his role defined, then having to do whether he is in twitter pics.

We're Jordan, Rodman, Pippen, best boosum buddies? All had strong personalities, and were cordial, but none of them were tight. They won three championships.

The struggle with Yak is he is young and not sure of his place or role.

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#238 Benhur
November 12 2013, 09:51AM
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Even though your article is pretty level headed...it's pretty disgusting that some reporters use common sense statements and twist them into all kinds of conjecture and inuendo! I guess you all need some print to survive. As Dallas and MacT said they don't expect his developement to rocket...he's got to learn how to play a NHL caliber game. They have stated "no trade"...why don't they write about that instead of the sensationalist drivel!

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#239 sizzay
November 12 2013, 09:51AM
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pkam wrote:

Are you telling me that there is not one team other than the Oilers that have weak spot? Why didn't we make them overpay?

Do those other teams have players we want?

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#240 HardBoiledOil
November 12 2013, 09:54AM
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sizzay wrote:

I agree on some of your points, for sure. However, the weak spot we are in, the desperation other teams smell means we will have to overpay to improve. It's not what I want, but it's the reality of the situation.

Of course you don't overpay for the sake of overpaying. I also would not have traded Klefbom for Fasth, hell no. However, if Klefbom was required in a package deal to get a Dman like McDonagh or a centre like Staal, then yes I part with him.

well, let's put it this way....if the Oilers make some kind of comeback this season, and i think inevitably they will, and they want to trade, say their 1st rounder and a roster player to try to upgrade somewhere, the they should do it, but only if the pick isn't in the top 5 or 6....i really don't like kissing those high picks away no matter how bad this team is because you never know when you might get the next Duncan Keith or Taylor Hall.

would i like to see the Oilers trade Klefbom for McDonagh? perhaps as long as McDonagh can commit to staying here and not demand a trade in a year and i imagine these two would be part of a larger deal between the Rangers and Oil....other players/prospects and picks likely? same with a big center like Sean Couturier in Philly. Klef as part of a multi player/prospect/picks deal with the Flyers? perhaps as long as the d-man we want...Brayden Coburn...doesn't want out of here at the end of the season.

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#241 rob
November 12 2013, 09:55AM
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yaks plus a 2nd round for Coutourier!

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#242 pkam
November 12 2013, 09:56AM
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sizzay wrote:

Than you are blinded between reality and being a typical Oiler fan that overrates his/her players.

Does it matter if I overrate our players or not?

If our players aren't good enough, how can losing trades make us any better? Wouldn't it make us even worse?

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#243 pkam
November 12 2013, 09:58AM
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sizzay wrote:

Do those other teams have players we want?

What is the chance that we are so bad but we have players other teams want, yet other teams doing better than us don't have players that we want?

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#244 HardBoiledOil
November 12 2013, 09:59AM
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rob wrote:

yaks plus a 2nd round for Coutourier!

sorry, too much. Couturier only has 3 measly assists this year and no goals in 16 games. even Yak is out producing him at the moment, but you want to throw in a 2nd from our end too?

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#245 sizzay
November 12 2013, 10:01AM
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rob wrote:

yaks plus a 2nd round for Coutourier!

lol. no.

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#246 sizzay
November 12 2013, 10:04AM
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pkam wrote:

Does it matter if I overrate our players or not?

If our players aren't good enough, how can losing trades make us any better? Wouldn't it make us even worse?

Not exactly. If we get players that aren't as flashy that fill a need to add a different dynamic to the team, I think we improve.

For instance:

Is Jordan Eberle better than Wayne Simmonds? Most would say yes, he's more skilled. Do we need someone like Wayne Simmonds more than Eberle? I would say yes because he can hit, win board battles, score, and fight.

Now I'm not saying trade Eberle straight across for Simmonds, but holding out for Simmonds, Couturier, 1st round pick, and Coburn isn't in the cards (exaggeration I know).

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#247 chris
November 12 2013, 10:11AM
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If nails's agents comes crying about ice time, kick his ass to the curb, nail has had lots of opportunity to succeed, send him to the farm to learn the game, let him earn his ice time.

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#248 chris
November 12 2013, 10:18AM
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@sizzay

you don't trade a first overall pick

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#249 Smokey
November 12 2013, 10:19AM
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nrXic wrote:

I mentioned this earlier, ie. trade the problem away, but I'm going to eat my words a bit, here.

With the right management, these situations can be solved with a solution where you can retain your talent, build friendships & team comradery, and heighten the level of professionalism within your whole organization (rather than with just a few 'troublemakers').

This would be the ideal situation, but do we have the right management to make it happen? Do we have a management that even sees it as an issue?

What is clear is that the Edmonton Media doesn't see it as an issue worth reporting. This is discouraging because then Oilers management will passively deal with the issue by trading a player like Yakupov away, without addressing a core issue with the team.

Part of it is not airing dirty laundry in a newspaper piece and I completely get that. But hey, after having a new coach every year, near last place finishes (with another on the way, if things don't turn around), I say it's fair game.

There's something screwed up about this team. Maybe being an Oilers fan in Calgary is taking its toll on me, but I say the Edmonton media should air out anything rotten so they fix it. "Disunity in the Locker Room" is hard to convey without throwing people under the bus, I understand that, but man, maybe that'll get them to smarten up.

Also, my apologies for posting so much on this issue. I could very well be making a big deal out of something that is less significant in reality.

But there's something screwed up about this team and I abhor the idea of sending away a #1 draft pick for nearly nothing after he's played less than a full season. I just know a divided team will never succeed in any capacity, and that management should fix it instead of brushing it under a carpet.

The Yakupov issue is indicative of a complete mess from the top. Larionov is a turd too, but there is disconnect between some players and management. We have seen this over and over again.

The media has been tip-towing I have found around the Oiler management. Its time they call a spade a spade, and write opinion pieces on the ineptitude of the Oiler management.

Richaug this morning talked about the Yakupov and Bryzgalov and Smid gong show. But what about the management just not having the ability to build a winner...That's the heart of the issue, concentrate on that. Talking about the peripherals keeps them in good graces, and gets their questions answered. Sports guys want their job to be easy, I get that. But easy is not what the fans want.

The writers in the blogosphere are taking over because these writers don't hold these guys to account. I don't want sidestepping, I want feet held to a fire.

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#250 sizzay
November 12 2013, 10:20AM
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chris wrote:

you don't trade a first overall pick

Tell that to Quebec, St. Louis, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Boston, etc etc

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