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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#101 James
March 27 2013, 08:49AM
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I normally agree with you Robin but holy cow!!! Trade a number 1 overall who was drafted less than a year ago for a guy who's barely broken 30 points? I understand there are other intangibles he brings to the table but don't you think that that would be a massive overpay to fill a need? We'd be the laughing stock of the league even more so than we are now.

I hate to say it, but patience is required here. Find out what we have in Yak before we just peddle him off in a knee jerk reaction trade for a guy who's about to be unrestricted. Who knows, maybe he reaches free agency and we can entice him to come here for free.

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#102 Evan
March 27 2013, 08:49AM
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Gregor and Brownlee, trading Yakupov for Clarkson would be akin to the Niewendyk for Iginla trade. Dallas got Joe for 2-3 decent years and Iginla has been a powerhouse in the league the last 20 years.

The concensus by almost all scouts last year was that Yak is an absolute gem with a shot and the the dynamics that we have not been seen since Bure.

Brownlee, if they need grit then Hemsky is the one to go. Yes he will not fetch as much as yak but he would get us something pretty nice.

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#103 Evan
March 27 2013, 08:52AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Interesting that you say last year was a fluke when he has 12 goals this year, (prorated to 30 goals in 82 games season) which would be tied for the lead on the Oilers.

And because he's in a slump now he's brutal. Aren't players evaluated on their entire season, not specific stretches. Cause if you go on stretches, Yakupov has 1 goal in 22 games.

The proposal was a question I asked. The facts are the Oilers need to move someone in their top-six. They won't win with six kids, who all play the same way.

Of course you wouldn't do the deal straight up, you'd ask for a D-man as well, but the reality is that the Oilers will need to move likely two of their young six forwards...

The question is who and when.

Jason, it has been said a thousand times, whoever gets the better player in the trade wins the trade......this one would not be even close. Can you imagine looking for the next 20 years and everyone in the hockey world wondering how the Oilers could trade Yak who will be a star for the next 20 years for some guy that they will not remember the name of in 5 years.

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#104 Minister D-
March 27 2013, 08:56AM
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Trading Yakupov for Clarkson is the kind of move the Islanders would've made a few years ago. It didn't work for them and it wouldn't for us. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have Clarkson, but if he's a UFA next year, why not throw our hats in the ring and see if we can get him that way, rather than trade a number 1 pick? That route wouldn't risk any more of an overpay than trading Yakupov.

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#105 Evan
March 27 2013, 08:57AM
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Gregor and Brownlee,

This is not meant to be sarcastic, but I really challenge both of you to write down this proposal you made and the fact you would do it and in 5 years or less please revisit it to see what your reaction would be then. I think it will be a lot of head shaking in disbelief that you even wrote that.

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#106 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
March 27 2013, 08:57AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Interesting that you say last year was a fluke when he has 12 goals this year, (prorated to 30 goals in 82 games season) which would be tied for the lead on the Oilers.

And because he's in a slump now he's brutal. Aren't players evaluated on their entire season, not specific stretches. Cause if you go on stretches, Yakupov has 1 goal in 22 games.

The proposal was a question I asked. The facts are the Oilers need to move someone in their top-six. They won't win with six kids, who all play the same way.

Of course you wouldn't do the deal straight up, you'd ask for a D-man as well, but the reality is that the Oilers will need to move likely two of their young six forwards...

The question is who and when.

What did you tell me once before? Don't say I said something when I didn't? Where did I say fluke?

I'm not saying Clarkson is brutal by any means, but he's been a 3rd liner for most his career who can step up to the 2nd line from time to time. He's battling consistency he's whole career. There have been numerous guys that have had career years and then fall back.

Yes I'd love to get him, but what is that plus? Larsson? Doubtful. After that there really isn't a d-man on NJ that I'd take with Clarkson for Yak. Then do you really want to invest the coin that he's going to ask?

I rather go after Kane who's been mentioned a few times out of WPG. At least he has potential and is somewhat proven. Why settle for the older versions when we have the big pieces that can acquire the younger versions? And no I have no issue with making the hard trade. I too figure we deal one of the kids eventually. I just thought we'd wait another year or two when we realize we can't make that next step.

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#107 Eddie Shore
March 27 2013, 08:57AM
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@Jason Gregor

I would rather see what it takes to pry Stewart out of St Louis. Im not sure why they would move him but I keep hearing on TV that he may be available so I would be kickin' those tires for sure.

I would also be calling Hortons agent 12:00 AM on July 1 to see what type of $$ he is looking for.

I think both those players are a better option than Clarkson. He'd be the 3rd option for me.

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#108 Rick
March 27 2013, 08:58AM
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It's frustrating to watch this team "develop" at such a glacial pace, recognize that most of the problem is the mix of players, listen to the incessant crying and complaining that results from it all and then listen to why the difficult choices should be avoided at all costs when it comes to player decisions.

Yakupov for a signed Clarkson, you would have to seriously consider it.

Although the preferrence would be to go shopping with Gagner and Hemsky first in order to see what you could shake outta the trees with them before you pull the trigger on one of your sacred bullets.

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#109 ed in mexico
March 27 2013, 09:00AM
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Evan wrote:

Gregor and Brownlee, trading Yakupov for Clarkson would be akin to the Niewendyk for Iginla trade. Dallas got Joe for 2-3 decent years and Iginla has been a powerhouse in the league the last 20 years.

The concensus by almost all scouts last year was that Yak is an absolute gem with a shot and the the dynamics that we have not been seen since Bure.

Brownlee, if they need grit then Hemsky is the one to go. Yes he will not fetch as much as yak but he would get us something pretty nice.

True enough, but Niewendyke was also a key to the Stars one and only Stanley cup. Without him they may never have had won one, or maybe they do some time later if Iggy was with them.

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#110 James
March 27 2013, 09:07AM
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@Jason Gregor

Clarkson has scored over 20 goals once in his career and he's about to turn 29 years old on Friday, what you see is what you get. That's a lot of potential to give up for a guy who's more than likely to start to decline during the next 3-5 seasons. Besides, are we to believe that if he wanted to come to Edmonton the only way it happens is if he is traded to us? If he wanted to leave New Jersey, why wouldn't he just play out his current contract and hit the market?

Imagine at the 2012 draft if Gary Bettman had stepped up to the podium and announced that the Edmonton Oilers had just traded the first overall pick for David Clarkson. You would have led the charge in mocking that move and rightfully so.

I'm not saying getting Clarkson is a bad idea, just that you're offering a kings ransom to do so.

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#111 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 27 2013, 09:08AM
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That Clarkson for Yakupov trade has "Truculence! Good Canadian Kid! Grit!" and other bs written all over it.

Bad GMs want to make love to that string of meaningless words.

There's a good chance KL and ST go for it!

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#112 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
March 27 2013, 09:09AM
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To add to your list of players that play big with skill

Wayne Simmonds, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Jarome Iginla, Scott Hartnell and who else? Callahan, Kunitz, Dubinsky, Umbgerger, Kulemin, Brouwer, Ladd, Dupuis, Antropov.

Now while some aren't as good or probably aren't available maybe we should look at names that don't get tossed around as often. And you probably don't have to have Yak on the table for anyone except Callahan from that group.

As a side do we need that size up front or do we target a mean d-man if we are trading a young kid?

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#113 Mike Krushelnyski
March 27 2013, 09:15AM
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On Khabibulin: it's more of an indictment on Dubnyk than Khabi that I wouldn't take him back on a one year deal. I'm comfortable with Khabi playing 10-15 games, the problem is that leaves Dubnyk playing 65-70. Realistically we need a backup/1B/potential #1 who can play 25-50 games next year.

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#114 Lochenzo
March 27 2013, 09:18AM
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What's your read on the Rangers wanting to unload Gaborik? They want to move that fat contract but want value in return. Now, if we were to offer Hemsky, another body, and a Dman for Gaborik and Kreider. Rangers get a softer cap hit and more productive player in Hemmer, plus add the Dman that they need. I'd guess that they would ask for Petry, but I'd be reluctant to part with him. If Tambo can do it without moving him, I'd be game.

Oilers get an albatross in Gaborik on contract till next year. If he returns to form, fantastic. If not, well, the crown jewel for me is actually Kreider. A big body kid, just 20 years old, former 1st rd selection. Was explosive in the playoffs last year, but has had his struggles this year.

This is a buy low, sell high scenario we talk about.

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#115 Rick
March 27 2013, 09:18AM
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@Mike Krushelnyski

I agree, Dubnyk's been around long enough to move beyond any need for a mentor.

They have to get someone in that will push him through the season, not hold his hand through it.

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#116 Chirp26
March 27 2013, 09:21AM
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would a guy like Kyle Beach fit our cluster better than Clarkson? Would that be close to the Hodgson for Kassian trade?

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#117 morgie99
March 27 2013, 09:23AM
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Peter wrote:
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.

I do see Irony, so is your response to me how ironic! LOL

BTW

I would suggest I wasn't ranting and raving, I know that may sound "kooky" to you so be it

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#118 GOILERS-TEED
March 27 2013, 09:33AM
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Hall Nuggent-Hopkins Eberle _________ _________ Yakupov Pajaarvi Horcoff ________

________ J.Schultz Smid* Petry N.Schultz Fistric/Peckham/Klefbom

*If Smid signs for less than 3.5m

Trade Hemsky, Gagner, Jones, Whitney, Smid, draft picks (any pick but this years first) to fill in the blanks.

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#119 Lochenzo
March 27 2013, 09:34AM
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I don't think those guys were talking Clarkson for Yakupov straight up. If Adam Henrique were part of the conversation of a larger deal, that'd be interesting. Ability to re-unit the two Windsor Spitfires gives Ralph a lot of options up front.

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#120 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 27 2013, 09:45AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

I don't think those guys were talking Clarkson for Yakupov straight up. If Adam Henrique were part of the conversation of a larger deal, that'd be interesting. Ability to re-unit the two Windsor Spitfires gives Ralph a lot of options up front.

Except that nowhere is another player like Henrique mentioned, the wording of the article makes it clear it's a straight up deal and there's no way NJD sends Clarkson and Henrique back for Yak.

this speculation is all insane.

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#121 Butters
March 27 2013, 09:52AM
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Why would the Oilers consider trading their youth away now? Who knows what Yaks upside is? Moreover, this team is more than 1 gritty skilled player away from doing anything. Trade the kids? Pish posh I say.

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#122 Shredder
March 27 2013, 09:56AM
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Yak has played half of a shortened season and people are already throwing out trade rumors. Trade rumors for Clarkson (who?)...That is just nuts. Credibility for anyone who says that just goes out the window. Guys like Clarkson may not come around all that often, but guys like Yakupov are even rarer. Yak has the best shot on the team (well, maybe Eberle has that honor), he hits, skates fast...he's still learning, but IMO he should be an Oiler for life.

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#123 Maverick
March 27 2013, 09:57AM
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Wow! I usually listen to Gregor and Brownlee on team 1260 and really enjoy when both are on the air together, very informative, entertaining,great Wednesday/Thursday drive home.

However, I have to totally disagree with them concerning trading Yakupov. I understand as do many of us that the Oilers are in need of bigger players etc, but trading Yakupov, no thanks!

He is a Russian who has played 2 years in North America, is in the NHL at 19 years old, has a large tool box of skills plus has a great attitude towards the game. In a calender year he has played in Sarnia (not the best development environment), flown to Edmonton (wine and dine)/Toronto(draft combine)/Edmonton(media #1 reveal)/Russia(KHL)/Canada(Tournament)/Russian(KHL)/Edmonton(NHL) that is alot of teams/systems and travel for anyone never mind a 19 year old kid!!

We had patience with Eberle when he was 19 in the WHL, Edmonton media defends Hemsky to ad nauseam, cut the Yakupov some slack as he may become better than Hall/Eberle/MPS and Hemsky. Look at Gagner, 6 years in the NHL and now he is starting to show some value. Yakupov is not the kid to trade, yes he has value but when Eberle and Hall were 19 and playing in North America would we have traded them?

Trading one of the young wingers should not be entertained for at least 2 years and then a decision can be made. Yes, trading value gets you value but it is way too early to look at Yakupov just because he is the new addition to the core.

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#124 Will
March 27 2013, 09:57AM
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If the Oilers have been one thing this year it's unpredictable. I just have no idea how they play a certain way one night, then play a complete opposite way the next. Is this to do with coaching or?

As for trading Yak, I see why you make that pick because you have to trade someone. I imagine in reality you don't make that trade. But like everyone says, the kid is 19, in the NHL in his first year, and the first year we don't need to rely on shiny new rookies to get the job done .... at forward anyway. So a little patience with Yak is going to pay off in a huge way.

I really liked the counter attack game the Oilers played last night. Forcing the team to pinch in, then breaking out. Some size the top six would definitely help with puck recovery, but if last night showed anything, it's that compete level and passion might be more important than size (I'm looking at you Dustin Penner).

Having said all that, the team was badly outshot and it is clear where they need a real upgrade is still first and foremost on defence.

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#125 Rama Lama
March 27 2013, 10:15AM
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Yea I would trade Yaks.........but not for Clarkson. THere has to be a another player out there who is younger ( maybe in the 22 to 25 range) who can bring the physical element as well as skill.

You have to give up quality to get quality........I'm suggesting that this trade scenario is way beyond Tambys abilities. He likes the one for one fourth line type trades.

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#126 closetgm
March 27 2013, 10:18AM
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I think everyone agrees that there needs to be changes but trading yak is not one of them. Do we have some assets that could be moved in the right deal? of course we do. I think that with the new cap coming in there might be an oppurtunity to steal a player or two from a team that is close to the cap. Buy low sell high this is something that seems to be lost on the oilers. Look at what we got now for stoll and green, a broken down whitney that we are going to flush for a draft pick and not even a good one. Those two would look pretty good in oilers silks right now. I know no one wants to wait and i am getting as impatient as the next guy, but we need to be smart and make the right moves. Yakupov for Clarkson is not it. They need skill in NJ why not Hemsky for Clarkson. I know it does not improve the team leaps and bounds immediately but they are the same age and close to the same size just play a different brand of hockey.

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#127 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
March 27 2013, 10:21AM
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The time to get Clarkson was after 10-11 when he had a real bad year and was making 2.67mil and the team was looking to move salary.

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#128 Mike Krushelnyski
March 27 2013, 10:33AM
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Clarkson's birthday is in 4 days FYI. He's 29.

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#129 geoilersgist
March 27 2013, 10:34AM
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@jadeddog

You do realize that he is on pace this year to score 30 again if it were an 82 game season right?

Also, did everyone forget this was hypothetical and a yes or no answer. Everyone needs to take it down a notch and take it for what it is.

Did they say anywhere that this was something management was going to do? Have all you people that are getting so upset never thrown out a ridiculous trade to a buddy and make him say yes or no? Thats what I thought

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#130 Sanaa Montana
March 27 2013, 10:41AM
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I'm having a hard time figuring out who is stupider: people who come up with these articles and suggestions or the people who believe and entertain them.

Looks like Yak is the new Hemsky when it comes to MSM and needed hits and topics. I look forward to trade deadlines in the years to come and the 50 articles and stories of why the Oilers should trade him and where.

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#131 Butters
March 27 2013, 10:45AM
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I don't think it is all us fans pushing for size and grit in the top 6. Nice to have, but I am fine with top-end skilled Lilliputians. I just want the Oilers Dmen to be giants if possible.

Also, I know that Backes was running the kids last night, but how did that work out?

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#132 oilerjed
March 27 2013, 10:46AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

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.

I know I always hit the gagne drum but lets look at his numbers if stretched out over a 20 year career(barring injuries) 352 goals (and he is just ramping up his game to a new level, very well may be higher) 992 pts Im betting he gets his silver stick in year 17-18 though and finishes with over 1100. This would put him in 80th all time! that is pretty freaking good. I would project him higher then that as he is finally getting players around him that can score. DO NOT Trade Gagne!

992 pts = 80th 1100 = 58th

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#133 Sanaa Montana
March 27 2013, 10:53AM
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geoilersgist wrote:

You do realize that he is on pace this year to score 30 again if it were an 82 game season right?

Also, did everyone forget this was hypothetical and a yes or no answer. Everyone needs to take it down a notch and take it for what it is.

Did they say anywhere that this was something management was going to do? Have all you people that are getting so upset never thrown out a ridiculous trade to a buddy and make him say yes or no? Thats what I thought

You do realize that if Yakupov was given a fair chance, proper ice-time and solid linemates from the get go, he would be on pace for 30+ goals in a 82 season?

If the question was already presented, why not get some fresh material? Something original?

There is a difference between a buddy and an employed writer. If you judge by these articles, maybe not. These suggestions/topics are very shallow and definitely not worth the pu$$!es they sit on.

I don't know why they would try to throw a young kid under the bus just to create conversation. There is lot of holes in the Oilers, Yak is not one of them and Clarkson won't fix most of them.

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#134 Milli
March 27 2013, 10:58AM
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tileguy wrote:

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!

Dude, the only thing Tambo better be shinning this summer is his shoes........for job interviews!

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#135 Milli
March 27 2013, 11:03AM
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I know we need to move someone, and I am glad I do not have to make that decision. The thing with Yak is that shot, I would hate to move him this year, maybe next at the deadline, I am not sure! I know someone needs to be moved in order to get us some balance, I just wish we had a competent GM making those decisions!!!!!

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#136 Jay
March 27 2013, 11:08AM
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Haha clarkson for yakupov, you guys are funny. Glad to see the fans jumped all over brownlee and Gregor for even the thought of it.

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#137 Will
March 27 2013, 11:12AM
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Hemsky for LW with size, some skill, and physicality. How about... Mikkel Boedker (6g 13a 48 hits and only 6PM). He probably won't be fighting, but he'll be playing physical, and he's about the same size as Magnus.

Just saying, I know we are waiting for either Magnus or Harti to become this big physical LW that can play with a skill line, and Magnus has played so much better lately, but having someone legit in the top six on the LW means Gags can still centre, and Yak moves over to his natural at right.

Ideally, and I know everyone's already said this, I'd be great to get one of the big physical centres in the draft this year, and trade Gags for a big upgrade on D. I know that sparks a huge don't trade Gags debate, but this fills two big needs while only losing one good player.

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#138 tileguy
March 27 2013, 11:31AM
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From NBC sports In seven appearances this season, Khabibulin is 3-3-1 with a 1.93 goals-against average and .941 save percentage. Who might be interested in adding a rental goalie at the deadline? Well… St. Louis has the worst team save percentage in the NHL (.883). Free-falling Carolina may want to make a move. Like, right now. Toronto could use a veteran to guard against another late-season collapse. And as hard as Blackhawks fans try to convince themselves it’s not, Chicago’s goaltending is still a question mark heading into the playoffs. It was great in January and February; it hasn’t been fantastic in March. Tambo, are you listening, get a second rounder today and go after somebody (Bishop/Bernier) to push Dubby. (hey dude, how do you like that word dubby?)

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#139 andrewmk20
March 27 2013, 11:35AM
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Personally I like Yakupov. He's physical, has an unbelievably quick release, and plays hard. He's only 19 and has pretty much all the time in the world to grow. If a deal was swung to acquire a proven commodity the one I'd look to is Eberle/Gagner/Hemsky. I know I'm going to get ripped for suggesting Eberle and I actually really like him as a player. But Hall drives and tilts the rink the other way, Hopkins is the skilled center the Oilers have been waiting for since the departure of Doug Weight, and Yakupov brings a skill set that is pretty distinctive on this team. If the writers on this site truly are talking about good return Eberle would fetch more, much more than Yakupov. He is a lady byng candidate already in his young career and has shown an ability to produce at a high level. If the Oilers found a way to deal 2 out of the three or even all three I am sure they could acquire some significant pieces to balance out this small and skill heavy forward group and maybe even find another d man.

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#140 HockeyBoss
March 27 2013, 11:47AM
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Long time reader/listener - 1st time poster.

Suggesting Clarkson for Yak is AWFUL...

Sure, we might see a day where ONE of the young guns requires to be traded - for size/goalie/DMan whatever..

I would definitely not contemplate moving one of the kids for the next 2 years...Instead, I would do everything possible to land size via trade, free agency, draft, getting a GM who has the balls to be creative etc..Sure Tambo has "tried" - but does he seem like a guy who can pull off a blockbuster - no - instead he smiles when he signs junk like Eager.

2 years from now, I would be willing to bet that Yak is head & shoulders above Clarkson - who will likely be on the "decline" by then due to age).

I know these are "what-if" scenarios - but the Oil are going nowhere fast..face it - Even if you add size today (aka Clarkson) - there are too many holes to fill (Dmen, small Center, Goalie) to become a playoff team that can contend against real teams like Pitts/Philly/Boston/Chicago...

Katz needs to pull out the checkbook, sign guys who can play and get a GM who can make a smart deal.

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#141 Butters
March 27 2013, 11:51AM
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Yakupov even has a laser for a pass. Too hot to handle for some of his linemates it seems. He is a keeper.

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#142 EHH Team
March 27 2013, 11:53AM
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Spydyr wrote:

The Yak for Clarkson trade only makes sense on April 1.A few days from now.

Couldn't agree more.

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#143 westcoastoil
March 27 2013, 11:54AM
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If you really want to change the mix and go quality for quality, how about a package that involved Eberle for Evander Kane?

Would you do that?

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#144 HugThePost
March 27 2013, 11:55AM
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westcoastoil wrote:

If you really want to change the mix and go quality for quality, how about a package that involved Eberle for Evander Kane?

Would you do that?

Without a 2nd thought.

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#145 Wendy01
March 27 2013, 11:59AM
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@Serious Gord

Oh Gord, c'mon now. Such negativity! Put those glasses back on and have another drink of this yummy kool-aid.

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#146 They're $hittie
March 27 2013, 12:02PM
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Eberles comments in his interview were not alternate captain material. How do you think the other 4 possible top six forwards or for that matter any of the other forwards feel when that is said.

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#147 Old Soldier
March 27 2013, 12:06PM
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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?

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#148 Virtual_Xi
March 27 2013, 12:10PM
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Having guys give a crap every single game is sadly, a rarity in this new NHL. Yakupov is one of those few....I would never trade that kid. Yak City saw Eberle get crushed and next shift Yakky Boy goes out and throws a huge hit to answer! Kid is unreal! He's a goal scorer first, and he's never going to be amazing in the defensive zone, but he's an extremely coachable kid.

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#149 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 27 2013, 12:22PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Eberles comments in his interview were not alternate captain material. How do you think the other 4 possible top six forwards or for that matter any of the other forwards feel when that is said.

what did he say that upset you?

that he likes playing with hall and rnh? who would that upset?

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#150 Butters
March 27 2013, 12:25PM
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@Virtual_Xi

Well said. This kid has an the right attitude. He is a team-player and would be the second to last kid I would move, Taylor "C14" Hall being the last.

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