LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES

Robin Brownlee
March 26 2013 09:49PM

I believe it was Momma Gump who said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get." Forrest's mom must have had the Edmonton Oilers in mind when she coined that bit of wisdom.

That about sums up what we saw tonight as the Oilers, coming off a stretch of games that's been spotty at best, waltzed into the Scott Trade Center and beat the St. Louis Blues 3-0 to win in the Show Me State for the first time since 2009. Who saw that coming? Not me. I thought Ken Hitchcock's team would chew up Ralph Krueger's bunch and spit them out.

The opportunistic Oilers, backstopped by Nikolai Khabibulin, who made 43 saves for his 46th career shutout – again, who called that one? – not only beat the Blues on the heels of a disjointed effort in Nashville, they hung together and showed plenty of jam when St. Louis finally got revved up and picked up the physical pace.

The Oilers had goaltending, to say the least. The rink was tilted toward the Oilers end all night, but Khabibulin refused to budge. Speaking of stubborn, and every bit as important as the score, the Oilers showed plenty of push-back when the Blues, led by captain David Backes, tried to flex some muscle.

They got virtuoso performances from Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, who looked as good as they have all season reunited with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between them. Feeble attack side, everybody looked engaged. Where was this in Music City or against the Blues at Rexall Place Saturday?

Tough read, this bunch.

THE WAY I SEE IT

. . . There's been absolutely nothing not to like about Khabibulin in relief of Devan Dubnyk this season, but that doesn’t mean I want to see him carrying more of the load in the games that remain. Khabibulin started out last season red-hot, then the wheels came off. At this point in his career, he's best spotted in without being overworked.

What I wouldn’t mind seeing, and I think it's something that GM Steve Tambellini should consider, is re-signing Khabibulin as Dubnyk's back-up for next season. The price has to be right, of course, and I wouldn’t be looking at more than one year, but if Khabibulin can still get the job done as a back-up with limited duty, I'd offer him a contract. That said, between now and then, I'd certainly accept calls from teams looking for a veteran back-up before the trade deadline.

. . . When Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins play together, the Oilers are a better team, period. I understand why it's tempting for Krueger to split them up in the name of a more balanced attack, but if the second and third lines are wanting, then tinker with those units and leave the top line alone.

ONE LAST THING

Jason Gregor has been talking for some time about the Oilers needing to unload one of their young core forwards to change the mix in the top nine. I happen to agree with him on that. The question is, who moves to land a player who brings experience and a different dimension?

Gregor offered a scenario to Jason Strudwick today, asking if he'd be willing to trade Nail Yakupov for New Jersey's David Clarkson, assuming Clarkson was signed to a new contract – he's a pending UFA.

I said I'd do it in a heartbeat, which I would. Not because I don't think Yakupov will turn out to be a very good player, but because I think Clarkson would bring exactly what the Oilers need – grit and skill capable of playing significant minutes – and because if I HAD to part with one of the kids, it would be Yakupov before Hall, Eberle or Nugent-Hopkins.

That, of course, drew a lot of razz from kooks people on Twitter, who seem to think the Oilers can land impact players for spare parts and the rights to Linus Omark. While I blocked them respect their opinions, I'd roll the dice and make that move.

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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#1 Citizen David
March 27 2013, 12:05AM
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In my opinion Yakupov will be much better than Eberle in a couple years. Also plays with more jam. No chance I'm trading him.

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#2 jadeddog
March 27 2013, 10:15AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:
I would like to point out, I to think the Oiler’s need to upgrade size with a little pugnaciousness, some truculence, but, This type of player (Clarkson) is not all that hard to obtain and certainly not worth a first overall pick or a possible franchise player, it far is too costly for a franchise to make these kinds of moves.

Not that hard to obtain, then how come the Oilers haven't got one for years.

Please name the players who can score 25-30 goals who are physical and can actually protect your skilled players, because they are good enough to play on their line.

Wayne Simmonds, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Jarome Iginla, Scott Hartnell and who else? Ryan Clowe was, not sure he is anymore. These players aren't easy to acquire.

I'd look at these guys before Clarkson...Brett Connolly - Chris Stewart – Ryane Clowe - Henrik Samuelsson - Brandon Dubinsky - Tyler Bozak – Troy Brouwer – Steve Ott -

You do know that Bozak is a small, skilled forward right, which is what the Oilers have. Brett Connolly hasn't played in the league and you think he's better than a 25-30 goal scorer. Same as Samuelsson. The only one of those who is as good or better than Clarkson is Stewart. I'd look at him, the rest aren't in Clarkson's class.

Ott is a great agitator, but he's an excellent 3rd line guy, not a regular top-six.

So because Clarkson has scored more than 17 goals in a season exactly once in his career, he is now a guy who is a 25-30 goal scorer? Right.

This idea simply couldn't be worse. It's one of the dumbest trade proposals I've seen in a long, long time. Embarrassing to be honest.

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#3 Thinker
March 26 2013, 10:33PM
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Top six going forward seems set Hall nuge ebs Pajaarvi gagner yakupov Now we just need a bottom six, defence and backup goalie.

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#4 Muji
March 26 2013, 10:39PM
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I agree that a Clarkson-type player is needed*

I DON'T agree that a signed Clarkson is fair value for Yakupov. NOT EVEN CLOSE.

I don't agree that we should keep Khabi next year. He's inconsistent and injury-prone. It's time to move on.

*a few Clarkson-type players are UFAs this summer:
- Ryan Clowe
- Dustin Penner
- Nathan Horton
- David Clarkson
- Raffi Torres

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#5 Serious Gord
March 26 2013, 10:41PM
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Then why the hell did the oil draft yak in the first place? The kid has the potential to be a hall of famer.

Gagner does not. Trade him (and hemsky) to fill the holes...

As for khabi - he can barely give your #1 a rest every five games without suffering an injury. We need a solid, reliable number # 2 , not one that hasn't had a healthy season for three years and counting.

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#6 Peter
March 27 2013, 08:36AM
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@morgie99

You need to stop taking differing opinions personally and learn from Struds how to communicate with strangers that don't see things the way you do, instead you get defensive and make it personal, grow the hell up, what makes you think you have all the answers and anyone else that thinks otherwise is a kook, ridiculous.

Do you see the irony in your post. You rant and rave because you don't agree with Brownlee and make personal attacks. If you don't like what he says don't follow him or tweet him. Seems simple to me. Media people don't have to respond to you. If you whined like this to me I wouldn't respond either. Maybe you are a kook.

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#7 Ducey
March 27 2013, 09:28AM
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Wow.

Have people gone of their meds?

Bulin for another year? If he had given up 5 goals last night you would not even suggest keeping him.

There are dozens of legitimate goalies out there. You want the 40 yr old who can't stay healthy? Trade him!

Clarkson will be a free agent. Why not just wait until he becomes one and then sign him? Giving up a Yakupov for him would be Mike Milbury insane.

The Oilers do not have to give up anyone from their young core. They are not the problem. Its the supporting cast and the defense.

Last year everyone would have traded Gagner and MPS for defensive depth players. How would that look now?

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#8 Spydyr
March 27 2013, 10:27AM
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You lost me at sign Khabby.

The team needs a number one goalie. At least someone Dubbies age to push him.

The scary part is Tambo is likely considering signing him.

Myself I would trade him today after that game for the best draft pick I could get.

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#9 HugThePost
March 27 2013, 10:34AM
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Spydyr wrote:

You lost me at sign Khabby.

The team needs a number one goalie. At least someone Dubbies age to push him.

The scary part is Tambo is likely considering signing him.

Myself I would trade him today after that game for the best draft pick I could get.

We can only hope Khabby is in there to be showcased and that last night caught some unsuspecting GM's eye. A 40-something goalie whose body is a ticking time bomb does not have any role in the future of this team, no matter what price he comes at.

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#10 Spydyr
March 27 2013, 11:16AM
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The Yak for Clarkson trade only makes sense on April 1.A few days from now.

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#11 Butters
March 27 2013, 01:14PM
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The Oilers are a team of the future, not the present. You might make the Clarkson trade if the Oilers are on the verge of winning now, they aren't, so trading present value; Clarkson for future value; Yakupov makes no sense.

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#12 Rocket
March 26 2013, 09:57PM
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Robin wrote:

"When Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins play together, the Oilers are a better team, period."

I agree completely with this for now but eventually they're gonna have to start playing well with other players.

I believe Hall has already done that. He is a beast that pushes the pace of play.

Also, please don't trade Yakupov. I live in Yak city not Clarcksonville.

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#13 Racki
March 26 2013, 10:22PM
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Maggie the Monkey wrote:

I don't understand - isn't Clarkson possibly going to be a UFA in a few months? Why consider giving up a teenage player that has the potential to be a franchise cornerstone for someone who might be signed for free (so to speak) in July?

As mentioned by RB, this scenario involves a SIGNED David Clarkson only... i.e., would you trade Nail Yakupov for a signed David Clarkson (presumably at a reasonable length and salary).

For the record, like the person above me, I'd only do it if NJ padded the deal. In a one for one, I'd be shopping Yakupov elsewhere even if Clarkson really addresses a key need.

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#14 steelymac
March 26 2013, 10:34PM
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How about a signed Clarkson and Larsen for a Yakupov and a signed smid?

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#15 jdrevenge
March 26 2013, 10:51PM
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I typically have nothing to argue about after reading your articles but Yakupov for Clarkson is Mike Milbury... We have to be really careful here..

I don't disagree that trading one of the youngsters will be a necessity... I just don't think we have to do it right now.

We've all agreed that the oilers need toughness... the kind that a second round pick and a top end prospect would garner... trading a first overall is a bit of a stretch.

I think having 3 on the everyday roster has made us a little ignorant. Now is not the time to move one of them.

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#16 jomha20
March 26 2013, 11:15PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"The kid has the potential to be a hall of famer."

Because he was taken first overall? Like, say, Sidney Crosby or . . . Erik Johnson? Or maybe he just becomes a really good hockey player, which Clarkson already is.

Or howbout the fact that the kid already has the hardest shot on the team... A shot that's supposedly stamkos like... Didn't stamkos win the rocket.... Oh... And he has speed to burn and throws the body, ALREADY!!! I guess trade is the first thing that comes to mind when a teen isn't given 16 min a game of the soft parade in every prime offensive opportunity like hall ebs and the nuge were .... How utterly sad.. Yes!! I did just sign up just to post this!!!

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#17 Oiler Al
March 26 2013, 11:19PM
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Forget Yak, when he matures, and gets some proper coaching, he could be a Datsyuk player.

I would suggest trading Hemsky,he's 10 years older.. and dosnt look like he's having fun out there.

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#18 Thinker
March 26 2013, 11:43PM
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If its me i trade everyone not on next years roster for as much as i can, and give some ahlers a cup of coffee, and draft high again. Players I like in this draft are jones, mackinnon, barkov, ristolainen, and monohan. If we can get one of them we are in good shape.

Hall nuge eberle Paajarvi gagner yak Penner horcoff hemsky Barkov Lander hartikainen Brown

Smid Petry Reghr J. Schultz Dekeyser N. Schultz Fistric

Dubnyk Ufa g

Not a perfect team. This next year will be the second infusion of youth. Hall ebs and gagner should be capable of holding their own. It's time to turn the lower roles to the kids. Lets see what they can do. That defense still scares me, but it will be on the rise at least. Next years goal is the eighth seed by my calculations.

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#19 27Ginge
March 26 2013, 11:55PM
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Yak for Clarkson is a great deal. If by Clarkson you mean Henrique and Larsson.

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#20 Jay
March 27 2013, 12:12AM
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@Citizen David

I agree! This kid is a stud. Once it clicks for this kid he's going to beast! Eberle and RNH play a similar game. I think in a couple years yak will be a better fit beside hall and RNH because he'll add a different dimension - pure sniper

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#21 Clarko
March 27 2013, 12:14AM
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I personally wouldn't even look at a Clarkson for Yakupov trade. If the question is "Who makes your team better today?", then sure, Clarkson would probably be the player.

But looking into the future, the Oilers realistically won't be competing for the Cup for another 3-4 seasons. Who is more valuable at that point? A 22-23 year old Yakupov who is in his 4th or 5th season and possibly a 30-40 goal scorer? Or a 33-34 year old Clarkson who may have more grit, but will probably score between 15-20 goals and could possibly be worn down due to his style of play?

Trust me, the fans will be all over management if Yakupov is scoring 40 goals in New Jersey and Clarkson is looking like an old tired veteran when this team is ready to make a push.

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#22 Dangilitis
March 27 2013, 12:50AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Not looking to trade Yakupov. But, in the scenario Gregor put forth, I would because I see Clarkson being exactly what this team needs in terms of ability, skill set and timing with this young group.

When fans go on and on and on and about needing more grit and compete level in the top six, and they do, then understand you're not going to get that kind of player for secondary prospects or spare parts.

If were talking specifically about Clarkson (signed) and not just a player "like him," then I'd do the move. If I could get him for less, sure, but that's not the scenario Gregor offered.

I am sorry, but losing for so long has made you and Jason hit the sauce hard today?

You want to trade a #1 overall or are even suggesting it is a clever move to get a UFA who is 28 y/o already and maxed out at 46 pts?? He is listed at 6'1" and 200 lbs (smaller than Paajarvi). He has 4 pts in the last 19 games. That's Clowe territory, but at least Clowe has a better track record and is playing injured this year. Clowe circa 2009-2010 for Yak, that's a good trade for the Oilers if they had all the other pieces together. Oilers 2012-2013 with patchwork defense, a subpar bottom 6, and no chance of a cup in sight, trading for a 28 y/o Clarkson at the top of his hill and trending down fast - that's worse than the Shattenkirk-Stewart for Johnson deal and multiply by an obscene number. That's a move so stupid we'd be talking about why Katz still hasn't fired the management (unfortunately, still intact) in 2020, kind of deal. Paajarvi and a 2nd (cogliano pick) for Clarkson signed - would be a very good trade, if the NJD were selling, which they're not. That's a trade scenario where a team who wants to win in the next few years goes and gambles, as its very conceivable that Paajarvi (who has RFA years remaining) surpasses Clarkson's production in the next 7 years. Add a 2nd rd pick in a deep 2013 pool for good measure. You don't trade #1 picks less than 1 year into their career, you just don't, unless its too good to be true. Like Lucic and Horton for Yakupov and Paajarvi kind of deal, one so good that even Tambo wouldn't deliberate over it.

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#23 Quicksilver ballet
March 27 2013, 01:46AM
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Only way i include one of the kids is if the guillotine on skates Shea Weber came back this way.

Yakupov, Gagner or Hemsky, along with Smid or the first in 2014. Pick 3, any 3.

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#24 Walter Sobchak
March 27 2013, 03:32AM
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I honestly mean no disrespect RB

Also, I apologize if anyone has mentioned this already (to many comments to read)

This is the kind of thinking that lead’s GM’s to infinity rebuilds.

If we’re going to” what if” this thing, then we need to think bigger then Clarkson for Yakupov, while I am sure Lamoriello would make that trade in a nanosecond, I doubt Tambellini is this stupid.

I would like to point out, I to think the Oiler’s need to upgrade size with a little pugnaciousness, some truculence, but, This type of player (Clarkson) is not all that hard to obtain and certainly not worth a first overall pick or a possible franchise player, it far is too costly for a franchise to make these kinds of moves.

The Oilers need size, skill, toughness, but certainly not at the expense of franchise type players.

I’m not going to throw Omark, plus a draft pick at you, but the Oilers have other assets.

Gagner – Hartikainen – Paajarvi – Belanger – Smyth – Hemsky – Horcoff - Jones – Lander – Smid – Whitney – Petry – Peckham – Petrel – Roy – Bunz – Moroz – Ewanyk – Omark - Rieder

Would a trade of Smid – Paajarvi and Ewanyk get you Clarkson?

I would think so.

Yakupov has already made Hemsky expendable.

The Oilers have draft picks they can move and most likely another elite player, What the Oilers dont have is depth a center.

I would be looking at these players first before Clarkson anyways.

Brett Connolly - Chris Stewart – Ryane Clowe - Henrik Samuelsson - Brandon Dubinsky - Tyler Bozak – Troy Brouwer – Steve Ott - Yakupov for even a signed Clarkson is a horrible trade.

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#25 Monkeyswan
March 27 2013, 06:08AM
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I disagree and think this was a silly question to begin with

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#26 oilers2k10
March 27 2013, 08:33AM
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David Clarkson. One time 30 goal scorer, never had more than 46 points in the NHL (Torres once had 27 goals in a 41 point season but unlike Clarkson Torres also has a 20 goal season on his resume unlike Clarkson)

This Seasons stats.. 33 games, 12 goals and 20 points..average time on ice 17:41, and 57 Hits..

David Backes has 111 hits this year, 19pts.. Lucic has 108 hits, 18pts.. Evander Kane has 109 hits, 25pts.. Nikolai Kulemin has 76 hits, 17pts.. Bobby Ryan 58 hits, 24pts Bryan Bickell 76 hits, 17pts Dustin Brown 103 hits, 19pts Jamie Benn in only 25 games has 36 hits, 22pts

Yakupov for David Clarkson and Adam Larsson? Maybe.. Instead of way overpaying for Clarkson by giving up a first overall prospect, find the next Clarkson..or the next B.Bickell and give up much less..

I just don't think you trade away a 19 year old first overall pick with unlimited potential for a 28 year old who has never cracked 50 pts, or more than 20 goals twice.

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#27 CopperBlueBalls
March 27 2013, 08:42AM
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That, of course, drew a lot of razz from kooks people on Twitter, who seem to think the Oilers can land impact players for spare parts and the rights to Linus Omark. While I blocked them respect their opinions, I'd roll the dice and make that move

This had me laughing hard. So true. Stupid couch scouts. Some hockey fans are just clueless.

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#28 Oil Change
March 27 2013, 09:54AM
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Dangilitis wrote:

I am sorry, but losing for so long has made you and Jason hit the sauce hard today?

You want to trade a #1 overall or are even suggesting it is a clever move to get a UFA who is 28 y/o already and maxed out at 46 pts?? He is listed at 6'1" and 200 lbs (smaller than Paajarvi). He has 4 pts in the last 19 games. That's Clowe territory, but at least Clowe has a better track record and is playing injured this year. Clowe circa 2009-2010 for Yak, that's a good trade for the Oilers if they had all the other pieces together. Oilers 2012-2013 with patchwork defense, a subpar bottom 6, and no chance of a cup in sight, trading for a 28 y/o Clarkson at the top of his hill and trending down fast - that's worse than the Shattenkirk-Stewart for Johnson deal and multiply by an obscene number. That's a move so stupid we'd be talking about why Katz still hasn't fired the management (unfortunately, still intact) in 2020, kind of deal. Paajarvi and a 2nd (cogliano pick) for Clarkson signed - would be a very good trade, if the NJD were selling, which they're not. That's a trade scenario where a team who wants to win in the next few years goes and gambles, as its very conceivable that Paajarvi (who has RFA years remaining) surpasses Clarkson's production in the next 7 years. Add a 2nd rd pick in a deep 2013 pool for good measure. You don't trade #1 picks less than 1 year into their career, you just don't, unless its too good to be true. Like Lucic and Horton for Yakupov and Paajarvi kind of deal, one so good that even Tambo wouldn't deliberate over it.

Couldn't agree more.

I really enjoy this site and reading about my Oilers, but this suggestion to trade Yak for Clarkson speaks to the hockey knowledge of the writers.

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#29 jadeddog
March 27 2013, 09:57AM
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You don't trade a guy who is going to be a 25-35 goal scorer in this league for the next 10-12 for a guy who's career PPG is 0.4. Wow, am I ever glad you have nothing to do with player management.

WOW. Just, wow. I can't get over how bad of an idea this is. Surely you're smarter than this?

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#30 jadeddog
March 27 2013, 10:09AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

You kind of blow your brains out including Dustin Penner in a list of Clarkson-type players. Not even close. Clarkson plays with fire in his belly. Penner prefers pancakes.

I'd take Horton off that list and maybe Clowe, although he's on the wrong side of 30 and might be slowing down.

Yeah Clarkson plays with fire in his belly... and that's about it. He has had exactly one good season (2011-12, with 30 goals) and other than that is essentially a career 25 points/season guy. Yeah, he's the answer for sure!!!

Again, you simply couldn't be more wrong about this. Not sure what you and Gregor are smoking, or if you're just trying to stir the pot for more page-views. I have to think it's the latter, because you can't possibly be this daft.

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#31 jadeddog
March 27 2013, 10:17AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Clarkson has to be one of the most overrated players in a long time.

3 goals in his last 21 games. 5 points in his last 21 games.

At 28 years old is this going to get better? Have to think he's the 18-32 point player he was for most his career not the 30 goal scorer seem to think he'll be.

Heck of a player, but I'm not investing 5 years at 5mil for him. Plus Yakupov.

I wouldn't give him the *contract alone*, never mind Yakupov on top of it.

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#32 tileguy
March 27 2013, 10:21AM
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Now form something more serious, Do we trade Khabby for a secon rounder? Yes, yes yes and then go after a Bishop/Bernier type in the off season. Oh I just can't wait for the offseason and teams trying to get under the cap, Tambo this will be your summer to shine!

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#33 HugThePost
March 27 2013, 10:27AM
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Trading Yak for someone like Clarkson would set the team back yet again. We can only use Clarkson if we are ready to contend and need that one final piece, which we clearly are not.

Yak is going to be something special, perhaps better than any of the other Wonder Kids; why trade a rising star now for someone who has likely plateaued.

I would be more open to trading guys like Hemsky or Gagner to get young-ish players who are established and on the rise and can help us at positions of need (AKA defence).

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#34 Hunter5
March 27 2013, 10:55AM
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Bring Khabby back... really, I mean really. You want to bring Khabby back. Why? Time to move on already. He's got his money. He's been hurt most of the time. He's not getting any younger. How about digging a new hole instead of jumping into the same one all the time. I dont care if you get him cheap. Wow, next time a veteran has a good game every 6 or 7 games, write an article and say let's sign him again. I am one of the kooks who you feel is somehow beneath you in the knowledge department regarding hockey. All you have is an opionion as I do. Your not an expert. Your theory has already been tested 29th and 30th. Keep drinking the old boys club (same veteran oiler players) kool-aid.

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#35 tileguy
March 27 2013, 11:10AM
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Dude, Tambo took a lot of heat staying the course, keep your ballcap on tight and watch what happens this summer and next year. There is a lot of positives happening now and more to come.

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#36 Quicksilver ballet
March 27 2013, 11:14AM
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So, the verdict is in. Even Gregor and Brownlee are entitled to have the odd off day.

Clarkson, is he a good player, or a player who just had a good year. Big difference between the two.

One could argue that Yakupov could be as good as or better than Clarkson during the immediate next five yrs or so, let alone factor in the 10 yr age difference. Keep in mind the objective is to put more biscuits in the basket than your opponent, not to outmanliness your opponent. We'd be fortunate to receive 5 productive yrs from Clarkson. What is yet to be determind, is how high the ceiling will be on Yakupov for the next 15yrs.

Nice try boys, you can do better than that..... any other goodies for us today?

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#37 Butters
March 27 2013, 12:17PM
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@Old Soldier Centers can learn to play wing imho, they might not need to move anyone. Nice option to have though.

Your RNH for Clarkson or Foligno trade proposal might tick off the nation even more than the Yak for Clarkson trade idea has.

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#38 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 27 2013, 12:26PM
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Old Soldier wrote:

I wouldnt touch Evander Kane with a 10 ft pole, hasnt this team had enough history with questionable players in the locker room, despite his talent.

I have a question

A little off topic, but if the Oilers continue to struggle, they will likely have a chance to grab a very very good center, Mackinnon, Barkov, Monahan or Nichushkin. One or more of these players may be NHL ready now. If they are, do we move a center, and if so Gagner or RNH.

On the surface I know it sounds silly, but Gagner has turned into a solid #2 center. RNH has incredible potential, but would get you a lot on the market. Definitely possibly a Clarkson or Foligno(Buf).

If you knew you were going to get Mackinnon for example, who would you move?

I don't know about that trade (Kane for Eberle) because I think it's a fantasy to think Kane would be traded...

But there's no reason to dump on Kane. He's a great young player who wants to win and adds some flash. Not sure when we decided these were bad things... seems like a lot of empty talk to fill the airwaves with narrative storylines to me.

also, if we get either Mackinnon or Barkov that is not a good enough reason to unload our already depleted centre depth... nor is it a good reason to trade valuable young talent for less valuable older talent.

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#39 Will
March 27 2013, 12:50PM
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On another note, would anyone here trade the make-up (mix of size, skill, goal tending and potential) of our team for the make up of anyone of: The New York Ranger, The Flyers, SanJose, or Tampa Bay?

The point I'm trying to make here is that their doesn't seem to really be a winning formula for a team year to year. Moreover, some teams that should be dominating due to their good 'on paper make-up' don't seem to have what it takes. Then there are teams that shouldn't be winning right now like Ottawa, who are. There isn't a team out there that looks at their roster and says, this team does not need an upgrade at any position. But at some point you have to look at a group and say, we can win with this group if we play a certain way. Though I don't think the Oilers are at that point yet, I think they are really close.

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#40 russ99
March 27 2013, 01:27PM
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Would Tampa have moved Stamkos in 07-08? No. We shouldn't move Yakupov either.

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#41 CdnMaDCoW
March 26 2013, 09:58PM
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I'd have to be the first to say it was all because Belanger wasn't a poison on the bench. It would be pretty tough to get rid of Yak, but if the price is right. Sign me up!!!

EDIT: If you weren't plodding of mind and keyboard, you could be first to say that. Alas, you are, so you aren't.

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#43 Racki
March 26 2013, 10:04PM
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I don't think trading Yakupov in a deal for a signed Clarkson is a bad idea, just think the Oilers could get more in addition to Clarkson for Yakupov.

You know what you get from Clarkson.. he won't likely get any better than he already is. He definitely addresses a need, but I think the jury is definitely out on what Yakupov's potential is.. and he's the type of player that should be able to thrive out East. So NJ should want to do that deal in a heartbeat, which tells me we should be asking for more than just Clarkson.

I realize fans typically overvalue their own players, but #1 picks don't often get traded (if ever) after a single year of hockey, never mind for someone who isn't racking up huge points (30 goals is nice, but it was only once, and outside of that year he hasn't put up big numbers).

Clarkson is definitely the right direction and type of player the Oilers need though, so before you pop a vein in your neck, I'm not saying it's a bad idea, just think the Oilers can get more in addition to Clarkson. If they're trading Yakupov, I bet a LOT of teams are listening. He'll be a ticket-seller for a lot of teams. But the Oilers need to move a good piece for a Clarkson/Stewart/Lucic (I wish) type, and Yakupov is certainly the most expendable because he hasn't trenched himself into the team like the other young "kids" have.

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#44 HardBoiledOil
March 26 2013, 10:05PM
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oh oh...now you did it Brownlee...you suggested what i have been saying to my friends all along...that Khabby is still better, when healthy, than anyone we have in our system right now, and likely just as good as any backup that will be a UFA this summer...the haters can't wait to get him off the books at the end of the season, and now you DARE say we should re-sign him? oh the horror!!

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#46 GVBlackhawk
March 26 2013, 10:10PM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

oh oh...now you did it Brownlee...you suggested what i have been saying to my friends all along...that Khabby is still better, when healthy, than anyone we have in our system right now, and likely just as good as any backup that will be a UFA this summer...the haters can't wait to get him off the books at the end of the season, and now you DARE say we should re-sign him? oh the horror!!

Just ignore his established injury history, down-trending save percentages, poor record, and age.

Contract extension!

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#47 Racki
March 26 2013, 10:11PM
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On Khabibulin, I agree there too... great goalie when you ensure he's well rested. The Oilers have been a lot better at managing that load this year, I think, although he still wound up in the sick bay a couple times. I particularly like that Dubnyk feels he can learn a lot from him and clearly has a good thing going with him. Maybe one day Khabibulin stays on the Oilers organization past his playing days.

That said, I'm not sure he can string enough games in a year to balance the rest of the load with Dubnyk, cause I don't think Dubnyk can be ridden as much as he has been this year either.

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#48 Racki
March 26 2013, 10:12PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Agreed. I'd try to get more, or to get Clarkson for less, but I was choosing between yes and no on Jason's what-if?

Yah I didn't get to hear his "what if", which is why I had asked you on twitter if the scenario included NJ padding their end of the deal a bit or if it was a one-for-one. But that type of deal is a step in the right direction even though I'd be unhappy about losing a young top prospect without seeing what they can do. But it would be for the better for the team.

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#49 Alsker
March 26 2013, 10:14PM
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@Rocket

Rocket wrote:

"eventually they're gonna have to start playing well with other players"

Something Ales has not been able to do, if we need to shake up the top 9 or top 6 for that matter Hemsky+ prospect/draft pick/whitney/pecks etc. for Clarkson would work for me, hate to sell 64 short before honestly knowing what he has to offer

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#50 Maggie the Monkey
March 26 2013, 10:19PM
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I don't understand - isn't Clarkson possibly going to be a UFA in a few months? Why consider giving up a teenage player that has the potential to be a franchise cornerstone for someone who might be signed for free (so to speak) in July?

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