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 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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#102 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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#103 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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#104 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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#105 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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#106 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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#107 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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#108 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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#109 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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#110 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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#111 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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#112 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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#113 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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#114 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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#115 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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#116 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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#117 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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#118 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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#119 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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#120 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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#121 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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#122 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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#123 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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#124 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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#125 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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#126 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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#127 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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#128 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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#129 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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#130 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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#131 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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#132 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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#133 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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#134 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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#135 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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#136 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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#137 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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#138 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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#139 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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#140 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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#141 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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#142 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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#143 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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#144 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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#145 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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#146 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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#147 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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#148 Butters
March 27 2013, 12:32PM
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@ Romulus' Apotheosis, Old Soldier

I heard Scott Taylor on the Team this morning. He was saying papa Kane took a trip out to Winnipeg to straighten his kid out a little.

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#149 thebiggestmanintheworld
March 27 2013, 12:36PM
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Signing Khabibulin and trading Yakupov for a signed Clarkson?

Those are two of the worst ideas I have seen in print in some time......

The Oiler way.......

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#150 Reid
March 27 2013, 12:49PM
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I understand the rationale that you need to give value to get value as well as I understand that the current blend of forwards likely isn't the one that makes the Oilers a contender in the short-term but come on... Nail Yakupov for David Clarkson? Let's have some perspective here.

Are you talking about the same David Clarkson that has a career high of 46 points and the same Nail Yakupov who would be on pace for the 46 points in an 82 season as an 18 year old playing limited minutes?

Yes, I know point totals aren't everything and Clarkson brings other intangibles to the table but the such qualities are far more replaceable than the raw talent, game breaker potential that Yakupov has.

If the Oilers trade one of the young, core players it has to be Eberle. His value is higher than Yakupov at the moment, he's significantly older, and he's about to be paid 6 Million a year. Now I know Oiler fans have an emotional attachment to Eberle (and deservingly so considering his contributions to TC) but, if you truly want to add that elusive young power-forward, it is crucial to objectively evaluate your talent and their corresponding value. It is clear that the Eberle is the one to trade, not Yakupov.

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