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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#151 Gongshow
November 12 2013, 01:32AM
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Give the "brain trust " a smack for us fans, Igor !!!

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#152 john
November 12 2013, 03:53AM
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The problem is the coach, I see the players are not having fun there. The power plays are not clicking, they scores and they are happy, look at last few years they were among the top in NHL. Even strength they are not playing well also. These are young men not kids so Eakins are treating them like kids. Motivate them not punish them for mistakes by benching. So many coaches and new players coming in, they need to jell as a team and play for each other. Eakins are driving these players out of town.

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#153 Spydyr
November 12 2013, 04:43AM
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If I was MacT I would be calling every team with a top pairing defencman under 25.If that does not work a top 2C under 25.At least fix a hole here.

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#154 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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#155 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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#156 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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#157 Towersofdub
November 12 2013, 11:26AM
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@ Oil Can - why do you think Brent Sutter is the solution to this teams problem? How did his last NHL job go?

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#158 Jermiov
November 11 2013, 08:10PM
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For me, I feel the frustration of everyone on this and other Oiler sites. At this point in time, at least for me, the best case scenario is that Hemsky and Yak are packaged to a contending team, as they are my two favorite players. I would then be able to cheer for a new team while watching the Oilers develop or flounder. This is getting very frustrating hearing about how good we are playing night in and night out, meanwhile the losses keep coming. I say FMFN or some variation (FLFN or FEFN)! This is my first post, but I have read 99% of all articles since I found this site during the 2006 cup run. Whatever. I'm sure this post and all the other posts on these sites will fall on deaf ears, as they have for the past 5 years or so.

Signed Long time faithful fan, but at my wits end.

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#159 Harlie
November 11 2013, 08:11PM
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Waiting for Jasmine to pipe up and say that all of this is the fans fault.

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#160 James
November 11 2013, 08:22PM
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Another poster wrote about an on ice confrontation between Hall and Yak prior to Hall's injury on the Sutherby thread. Does anyone remember this? I seem to recall some people talking about it on a game day thread for some reason, but I can't remember what happened exactly.

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#161 James
November 11 2013, 09:52PM
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@RbabsYEG

Hall has never rubbed me the right way for some reason I couldn't pinpoint. He's an amazing player, but his off ice persona doesn't gel with me. I think it would have ended up being a big mistake making him captain. Not saying Ference is the best choice, but if Hall has the entitled attitude he appears to have, it could have been really bad. Worse than it seems to be now, and that's saying something.

I did notice the lack of twitter convos with Yak too. I saw Gagner interact with him on twitter, but he's really the only person that I've noticed tweet Yak. Yak seemed to enjoy Sam by listening to him speak about him, but I didn't notice the same references to others.

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#162 6 ring circus
November 11 2013, 09:53PM
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What a Sh*t Show this Oiler's team and organization has turned into,I hope Katz and K Lowe are happy how they ruined this franchise.What a bunch of idiot's.

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#163 Numenius
November 11 2013, 09:58PM
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BigBurgers wrote:

Agreed. While Hall and Eberle are talented players, their sense of entitlement is probably amazingly large for being part of the worst team in the league. Anyone who's seen them cruising around on Whyte after games can attest to this. Guess they can't afford to be late to the party. Ever since the core veterans of years past left, Hall and Eberle have likely been constantly told by higher-ups that the team belongs to them. Guess they took that advice in strides. It's no secret that they're shunning Yak.

If this is true, my enthusiasm for this team will take a big hit.

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#164 Bloodsweatandoil
November 11 2013, 10:03PM
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Just my opinion.....I think a lot of the in-house crap does boil down to bringing in the new guy and making him captain via a rookie coach who does not know his club yet. If Hall, Gagner, Smid even or any Oiler that was here before Ference was named captain, would we be looking at a more positive culture and results?

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#165 Stack Pad Save
November 11 2013, 10:05PM
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fig pucker wrote:

exactly how is this bigoted, most gm share exactly these concerns with using high draft picks on russian players. it's not a knock on their skill or race but a legitimate concern, just ask nashville or tsn who wrote an articale about how hard teams are going to have to work to keep these young russians in north america, is a russian a big risk with a first overall pick, your damn right it is.

Full Definition of BIGOT

: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

I could find more definitions on the internet to appease you.

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#166 RbabsYEG
November 11 2013, 10:07PM
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BigBurgers wrote:

Agreed. While Hall and Eberle are talented players, their sense of entitlement is probably amazingly large for being part of the worst team in the league. Anyone who's seen them cruising around on Whyte after games can attest to this. Guess they can't afford to be late to the party. Ever since the core veterans of years past left, Hall and Eberle have likely been constantly told by higher-ups that the team belongs to them. Guess they took that advice in strides. It's no secret that they're shunning Yak.

He is also a huge threat to their ice time. He should be a first line pp guy. It's in their interest to get rid of him. For their own reason. Not the teams.

Yak will get traded. I hope he does and he does well. Sad to say, but it's how I feel. All his stuff on the oiler auction goes higher than anyone else on the team. He's a fan favorite.

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#167 LOIL99
November 11 2013, 10:09PM
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I assume that Yak will have trouble fitting into many NHL dressing rooms. He is a devout religious guy that doesnt drink or chase girls. Thats pretty much the anti typical young NHL player.

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#168 ubermiguel
November 11 2013, 10:13PM
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LOIL99 wrote:

I assume that Yak will have trouble fitting into many NHL dressing rooms. He is a devout religious guy that doesnt drink or chase girls. Thats pretty much the anti typical young NHL player.

Could be worse; he could be a lineman for the Miami Dolphins.

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#169 Rod from Viking
November 11 2013, 10:18PM
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lenny wrote:

Is it a reach? Really? Did MacT drafted him? Did Dallas Eakins drafted him? Would they drafted him if they were there at the time?

Remember, Katz drafted him, his kid thought it would be cool, everyone else wanted Ryan Murray.

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#170 Numenius
November 11 2013, 10:26PM
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Stack Pad Save wrote:

This whole thread seriously reeks of man-drama. This is worse than high-school gossip. I feel like I don't like you because of your personality blah blah blah. Seriously talk about the game, it is a game after all. No one should care about off-ice personality, russian heritage etc. Unless you are trying to actually do something positive like get a bigot who has an affinity for pigs to not be a bigot...if that was possible.

I agree the discussion can degenerate in that direction.

I'm interested in it, though, because these things can directly affect the team and how they perform.

I don't care if Hall is a prick off the ice if he's not poisonous in the room with the guys. If he is, though, that's significant and deserves attention. Ignoring it is burying your head in the sand.

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#171 nrXic
November 11 2013, 10:27PM
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Stack Pad Save wrote:

This whole thread seriously reeks of man-drama. This is worse than high-school gossip. I feel like I don't like you because of your personality blah blah blah. Seriously talk about the game, it is a game after all. No one should care about off-ice personality, russian heritage etc. Unless you are trying to actually do something positive like get a bigot who has an affinity for pigs to not be a bigot...if that was possible.

If there's anything that the Seguin situation taught us, is that off-ice demeanor and attitude means something to on-ice performance, at least in the eyes of a Stanley Cup winning team.

If a Stanley Cup winning team sees it that way, I think it would be wise to treat it with a similar level of care.

There's professionalism, and there's the High School "favour my friends" atmosphere that has brought down companies like Yahoo! for example. It's a toxic environment that can destroy any business/team/endeavour.

I understand that you'd like to talk about the game and not this other stuff, but when you look at winning teams and organizations, feeling complete unity as a team is a big part of the game (and a big part of winning).

Teams can collapse in on themselves when faced with adversary. But what is troubling here is that there seemed to be a divide that exists independent of team success. That's a huge problem.

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#172 Robin Brownlee
November 11 2013, 10:27PM
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Next chapter in this Yakupov bit is likely to unfold Wednesday. I expect that will be the day Larionov will be in Edmonton.

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#173 Rob Gilgan
November 11 2013, 10:32PM
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sizzler wrote:

Igor is a smart man and he realizes that best thing for his client is to play top line or get out of this mess. And he is trying to make that happen.

Precisely. Igor's allegiance is appropriately with his client and he has to be thinking he's taken a world class talent and placed him with a bumbling, disorganized uncommitted team. No question he wants better for Yak and he's absolutely correct for getting out here and getting this straightened out.

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#174 Rob Gilgan
November 11 2013, 10:56PM
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Contrast Dallas Eakins coaching philosophy with Mike Babcock:

http://oilersnation.com/2013/11/5/tuesday-tidbitslearn-from-detroit

I think Babcock's approach would coax wins out of this talented group, where Eakins is trying to force things and meeting no success.

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#175 kale
November 11 2013, 11:32PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Ok, guys, here's the only scenario that makes sense to me......

Somehow, Darry Katz has got himself mixed up with the Russian mafia. They forced him to install Eakins(one of their operatives) as coach. As part of a match fixing scheme, they are forcing Eakins to make his inane line combinations, and knowing how explosive Yak is, are having Eakins break his spirit, all the while making millions betting against the Oilers.

Having Sam Gagner take the crucial draw in the d-zone in the last minute against Chicago was the final tipoff that blew the cover off this thing - no one who knows anything about hockey would be that stupid.....obviously Eakins is not a real coach....

I put it all together watching the Bourne Supremacy last night - has anyone noticed that Jason Bourne has more than passing resemblance with Taylor Hall? Coincidence? I think not.

That is funny because last night I was watching Moneyball and thinking hmm, maybe the Oilers are Moneyball 2, a new system coupled with a losing streak when the team wont buy in to a total buy in to 20 consecutive victories.. I quickly dismissed the thought though.

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#176 bazmagoo
November 12 2013, 12:18AM
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@Taylor Gang

Getting Seth Jones would be a major coup for our team. Trading Eberle would break up the party boys, I could be into this trade scenario.

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#177 TDSM31
November 12 2013, 12:21AM
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Hockey fan 1976 wrote:

What a freaking joke!!! And how pathetic that some fans here already turned on Yuk for wanting out of this mess if in fact is true. Do you blame him? Am surprised it hasn't happened sooner the way he's been handled in Edmonton. 4th line? Scratched several times while Schultz blows the big one on defence day in and day out before he was injured. When was the last time god almighty Hall or Ebs got sat for stinking so bad defensively which has happened more than once (hence their great record ). This organization is a joke, and I hope Yuk leaves and becomes an All-star at a time that actually knows how to develop talent. Done with the Oilers and all the geniuses here that think Yuk is the problem. BRUTAL MICKEY MOUSE OPERATION!!!

Yep. The Flint Tropics are a better run organization than the Oilers. Fire KLowe and bring in Jackie Moon.

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#178 6 ring circus
November 12 2013, 12:27AM
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Desperate times call for desperate measures,It's time we bring in Mr Burn's and Homer Simpson to replace Katz and Lowe.

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#179 Rheal1
November 12 2013, 04:19AM
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Larionov stated that Yakupov would be open to any team. Not sure how much he would fetch... Clearly this team requires immediate relief but the way forward seems to be more mediocrity if we rightly deduct the Smid for prospects trade was just that; no immediate relief.Smid should have fetched a comparable in my view. A stay at home type that blocks shots and can also hit hard, punishing blows. Yakupov will probably not fetch much. I would trade him for a bigger 6'4" 220lbs man, not a kid.

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#180 Rheal1
November 12 2013, 04:35AM
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I would also add to my last that I would package Yakupov, Gagner or another kid, a bunch of draft picks for 2014 & 2015 for what we need: a big, mean stay at home Dman, a big power forward and an enforcer. The Dman can be on the second pairing, the enforcer to play against opposition top lines as part of an Oiler 4th trio and the big power forward to play with a kid line.

The kids need stability, confidence and mentoring. Too late to change coaches at this point.... We are truly f@cked.

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#181 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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#182 oilbaron
November 12 2013, 09:31AM
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GET RID OF LOWE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#183 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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#184 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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#185 Manfly
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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#186 rob
November 12 2013, 09:55AM
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yaks plus a 2nd round for Coutourier!

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

you don't trade a first overall pick

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#188 rob
November 12 2013, 10:22AM
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@chris

tell that to Quebec/colorado

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#189 pkam
November 12 2013, 10:33AM
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sizzay wrote:

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).

I have no problem trading some of our young kids, including the fab 5 to fill some holes. My argument is not overpaying in trades.

The Smid trade is an example of bad trades. Even we have some depth in defense and Smid is expandable so I have no problem trading him, the problem is we were getting very little or nearly nothing back.

All I said is your suggestion of "Sam Gagner + 1st rounder this year likely gets you a pretty damn good 2nd line centre" is just worse than the Smid trade.

1st, Sam Gagner is more than a 45 pts player, more likely a 55-60 pt player. Second, our 1st rounder this year will likely a top 5 picks this year, with a small chance of 1st overall. It is a huge overpayment.

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#190 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 12 2013, 11:04AM
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rob wrote:

yaks plus a 2nd round for Coutourier!

puff puff pass good sir. not puff puff puff until your brain seizes.

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#191 Oil Can
November 12 2013, 11:05AM
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@Rama Lama

Although I really think that Ebbs, Gagne Shultz should be moved for bigger, more responsible players. (I believe Yak has a lot more offensive up side) I do totally agree with you that the common theme seems to be that the entire team is lost with the new coaching schemes (or lack of) As much as I hate to think of another coaching change, it might take a coaching change and moving a few key players to get this team to the next level. (Brent Sutter anyone?)

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#192 Manfly
November 12 2013, 12:12PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

People are making comments about Yakupov not wanting, or playing well with 4th line minutes. The problem as I see it is essentially the same as Monahan with Calgary. Feaster (Burke) told Bob Hartley if Monahan was going to stay with the big club, he had to play top six minutes. Because Monahan isn't a bottom 6 pick. Neither is Yakupov - he is much too talented, and much too high a pedigree player for the checking line. Yakupov should be either in the top six in EDM or the top three on the farm. He isn't going to develop otherwise.

Flames did the same thing with Max Reinhart, if he couldn't crack the top six, down he went. We'll see how the Flames rebuild goes, but I do think there is something to their theory on this.

MacT failed to get rid of Hemsky like he did Horcoff after throwing both under the bus. with Hemsky gone, it would have opened up a RW spot for Nail to play behind Eberle.

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#193 Walter Sobchak
November 12 2013, 12:13PM
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Towersofdub wrote:

@ Oil Can - why do you think Brent Sutter is the solution to this teams problem? How did his last NHL job go?

IIRC - Brent Sutter got a team full of cast offs to the Eastern conference final twice.

He then left there to be closer to home for family reasons, where again taking a team full of players well past there due date to 2nd in the North division, while not in the playoffs still better then the Oilers and better then expected.

He's won at every level he's coached and he's also a career coach, not someone who coached for four years and was given an NHL job......after winning SFA.

Brent Sutter should have been hired prior to Kruger.

That's the long & short of it.

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#194 Kirk Brakenberry
November 11 2013, 08:09PM
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Gong Show meets Let's make deal. Ahh the life of an oiler fan.

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#195 D
November 11 2013, 08:11PM
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"Anywhere is fine." That's the big tell RB.

Also, I like the reference to supply chain / inventory management (LIFO).

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#196 Mark-LW
November 11 2013, 08:47PM
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Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance 1h @HockeyOrDie @mc79hockey To be clear, when I said pretty unhappy, was referring to Larionov. Said he wants answers.

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#197 Hockey Problems
November 11 2013, 08:55PM
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I think I need an Oiler intervention. This is starting to hurt.

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#198 Reality Check to the head
November 11 2013, 09:06PM
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there is one problem with having the number one pick 3 years in a row. There is real pressure to ensure you get the best player...not exactly the one we need in the organization. I think the oilers felt they had to draft Yak, but may have preferred to have Grags or a big Dman with pic number 2 or below as deemed as an organizational need.

Just a thought.

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#199 6 ring circus
November 11 2013, 09:21PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I think that threat is greatly overblown.

It's my understanding that as part of a deal on Sochi and the ending of the lockout the khl would honor nhl contractual commitments by players. Thus nail could refuse to play but there is no way the khl will let him play there.

I am referring to his ELC,the Yakopov camp has the option of going to play in the KHL once his contract is up at the end of next season, if they want out and the Oiler's do not trade him.

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#200 #ThereGoesTheOilers
November 11 2013, 09:26PM
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At this point, as long as we get someone substantial back and the player leaving isn't named Hall or Nugent-Hopkins, I really don't care who gets traded.

I wish I wasn't so disillusioned, but there it is. To say this past month has been disappointing is a gross understatment.

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