TRADE WINDS....

Jason Gregor
March 27 2013 12:45PM

The 2013 NHL trade deadline is next Wednesday at 1 p.m. MST, and the next week will be great for those who love trade rumours. One rumour got squashed yesterday when it was reported that Mikka Kiprusoff would not report to his new team if the Calgary Flames traded him, which of course was met by laughter amongst Edmonton fans.

Thankfully there are many other rumblings, rumours and potential deals floating around.

What will the Oilers do?

Nikolai Khabibulin made Doug Maclean's suggestion that he could fetch a 2nd rounder seem realistic after his 43-save performance last night.

The tougher question is are the Oilers better off having Khabibulin as a $1.2 million back up next year, or moving him for a draft pick?

So let's look at some of the options the Oilers have to trade. These thoughts are a combination of my views as well as what I've heard and read as far as pros and cons for each player from pundits and fans. I don't agree or disagree with all of them, but respect the differing views.

KHABIBULIN

  • Would he want to play for $1.2 million?
  • He turns 41next January, and age catches up with most players.
  • Unreliable due to injuries.
  • His history of injuries is the main concern. The interesting thing about Khabibulin is that he works incredibly hard to stay in shape. He's in really good shape, but you wonder if his body is breaking down. Maybe he pushes too hard, because he seems to tweak something every few weeks.
  • When he plays he's played very well. In six starts he has a sparkling 1.93 GAA and a .941SV%. Those numbers are unattainable over a long period, but we've seen that when he plays he can still win games.
  • He works well with Dubnyk. They have a healthy and respectful relationship.
  • I don't see the Oilers being able to overhaul the blueline in one summer. It would require three solid moves, and while it is possible, I'm not sure it is realistic. If the Oilers don't land highly touted college prospect Danny Dekeyser (who is good, but far from a saviour or lock to be a top-four), and another D-man via a trade of UFA signing (weak pool) then their D won't be much better next year and they will need a reliable back up.

RYAN WHITNEY

  • The free agent list isn't very good, especially for D-men under the age of 30.
  • Justin Schultz would be the only excellent puck mover remaining. The Oilers need D-men who can move the puck quickly and accurately to their skilled forwards.
  • The Oilers recent history of signing UFAs to come into Edmonton isn't great. There is no guarantee they will find a better replacement. There is also a good chance Whitney performs well in another environment. Being comfortable and feeling confident is a huge factor in how a player performs on the ice.
  • The advanced stats show he's struggled.
  • He will never be able to turn due to his surgeries.
  • It is clear the coaching staff doesn't have a lot of confidence in him. When that happens, usually it is hard to change it. If a player is worried about making a mistake and getting benched, usually they make more mistakes.

RYAN JONES

  • For a team that struggles to score ES, at least he can score 5-on-5.
  • He goes to the net regularly and scores garbage goals. Oilers don't have a lot of guys like that.
  • Jones is a complimentary player. He won't be a key cog in winning, but he's shown the ability to produce. While surrendering scoring chances doesn't look good on paper, scoring goals trumps that.
  • He is on the ice for way too many scoring chances against.
  • Teemu Hartikainen is bigger and can replace him.
  • He isn't physical enough on a team that desperately needs some guys who are harder to play against. He's a solid NHLer, but if needed they can find a veteran UFA to replace him.

I suspect those three would make garner the most interest, amongst players the Oilers would consider trading.

There are some other names that have been tossed around for the Oilers...

Ladislav Smid

  • I think the Oilers would be foolish to deal him. I outlined the available free agent D-men yesterday, and no one on that list looks like a potential upgrade to Smid. Smid knows his role and he's good at it. He plays hard and is the most physical D-man who plays every night. I still believe the Oilers and Smid will come to an agreement prior to April 3rd. If they don't we can chat about then after the 3rd.

Ales Hemsky

  • If you trade him at the deadline you are likely only getting picks and prospects in return. At this point in the rebuild the Oilers need to move him in a deal where you get a proven NHL player back in return rather than picks. He's played much better now that his shoulder issues are behind him and I suspect there would be more interest in the summer.

Sam Gagner

  • Gagner has been the lightning rod for years in Edmonton. He's had a great start to the season and will get a raise on his current $3.2 million contract this summer. His trade value is much higher now than it was last year, so the return would be better. Gagner is very popular in the dressing room, he has worked hard at improving his game and no one questions his desire. I don't see any reason to move him at the deadline, and if he they consider moving him in the summer they have to get a solid D-man of big, skilled forward in return. I don't trade Gagner for anything less than a proven player.

LOOKING AHEAD

No one knows what the future holds, but at some point the results have to match the "potential"and "patience" that has been talked about for years in Edmonton.

For me there is one obvious conclusion coming for the Edmonton Oilers. They won't be able to move forward with all six of their young 19-23 year-old forwards. They don't have the right combination of size, skill and sandpaper needed to succeed in the NHL. That doesn't mean they all won't be successful NHL players, it just means I don't see all of them developing with the Oilers.

Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle will make $6 million next year. Gagner is in line for a raise that will put him close to $5 million next year and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins likely gets a contract similar to Hall and Eberle starting in 2014.

The Oilers still haven't found a recipe to win, and when they do they won't be able to afford all of their young stars, even if you believe they can win with six skilled forwards.

The Oilers need to get some size down the middle, improve their blueline and get some productive veterans into their lineup. The issue is many think they can do this without trading any of their young skilled players. Reality check, that isn't going to be possible.

The way I see it the Oilers will end up moving two, maybe three players amongst Hemsky, Gagner, Magnus Paajarvi and Nail Yakupov. You might not like that reality, but I don't see any other way this team will be able to improve and afford their lineup if they don't make those types of moves.

There is a good chance that the Oilers trade those guys and they put up decent numbers on another team, and likely more than the players coming to Edmonton, but that doesn't mean the Oilers will lose those trades. If they acquire a strong, steady defenceman for one of them that makes them more competitive.

If they acquire a skilled forward who plays physical, scores, is a good puck retriever and goes to the net that will make them better. The Oilers will still have three very good skilled players remaining, in Hall, RNH and Eberle and one or two of 64, 89, 91 and 83.

You can't expect the Oilers to have six forwards score 55+ points regularly. It just doesn't happen in today's game. You need a good mix in your lineup. You need some some skilled players with size and grit. Suggesting you don't doesn't jive with teams that win championships.

Here are the top scorers, with at least 34 points, of the last four Cup winners: 

LOS ANGELES          
Player  Pos  GP  G  A  P
Anze Kopitar C 82 25 51 76
Justin Williams R 82 22 37 59
Dustin Brown R 82 22 32 54
Mike Richards C 74 18 26 44
Drew Doughty D 77 10 26 36
Jeff Carter L 55 21 13 34
           
BOSTON          
Player  Pos GP  G  A  P
Milan Lucic L 79 30 32 62
David Krejci C 75 13 49 62
Patrice Bergeron C 80 22 35 57
Nathan Horton R 80 26 27 53
Mark Recchi R 81 14 34 48
Tomas Kaberle D 82 4 43 47
Zdeno Chara D 81 14 30 44
Brad Marchand L 77 21 20 41
Rich Peverley C 82 18 23 41
Michael Ryder R 79 18 23 41
           
CHICAGO Pos GP  G  A  P
Patrick Kane R 82 30 58 88
Duncan Keith D 82 14 55 69
Jonathan Toews C 76 25 43 68
Patrick Sharp L 82 25 41 66
Marian Hossa R 57 24 27 51
Kris Versteeg R 79 20 24 44
Troy Brouwer R 78 22 18 40
Andrew Ladd L 82 17 21 38
Brian Campbell D 68 7 31 38
           
PITTSBURGH          
Evgeni Malkin C 82 35 78 113
Sidney Crosby C 77 33 70 103
Chris Kunitz L 82 23 30 53
Jordan Staal C 82 22 27 49
Bill Guerin R 78 21 27 48
Petr Sykora R 76 25 21 46
Ruslan Fedotenko L 65 16 23 39
Miroslav Satan R 65 17 19 36
Tyler Kennedy C 67 15 20 35

Do you honestly believe the Oilers top-six resembles any of those teams?

The reality is the Oilers will need to move some of their skilled forwards.

The difficult question will be when and who?

THINKING OUTLOUD...

Yesterday on my radio show, I asked Jason Strudwick if he'd deal Nail Yakupov for David Clarkson. Of course the deal would hinge on Clarkson having a new contract and the Oilers getting something else in return. It wasn't a one-for-one deal.

The point of the question was to point out  that the Oilers will need to trade away a skilled player; one who likely will produce points elsewhere. (Yakupov was just an example. Not saying he is the 1st one I'd trade) And by trading one or two of them away, that doesn't mean they are bad players. It just means the Oilers need to alter their lineup to become more successful.

The difficult decision for the Oilers GM, whoever that is when the time comes to trade one of them, is making the right move. The move won't be made solely on statistics. They will have to look at other things: contracts, attitude, competitive nature, size, etc.

It won't be easy, but it you believe it won't happen I think you are fooling yourself.

The reactions to the Clarkson topic ranged from "You're an idiot," to "Yakupov could be like Stamkos."

Both made me chuckle, but the latter really stuck with me. Stamkos is the best goal scorer in the game, so of course it is realistic to compare Yakupov to him because they were both #1 picks and because Yakupov has a good one-timer. I hope for Yakupov's sake he becomes like Stamkos, but Stamkos has more to his game than a great one-timer. Stamkos has incredibly high hockey sense, and he's excellent at anticipating where the openings are in the offensive zone to get himself in good scoring areas.

Yakupov might become a very good scorer, but suggesting he'll be like Stamkos is the ultimate best-case scenario. It is unlikely, however. Just like it is unlikely that the first overall picks taken between Stamkos and Yakupov, John Tavares, Hall and RNH, will score as often as Stamkos.

Many people want the Oilers to acquire good players, but they aren't willing to give up anything of substance. Instead they want to offer up spare parts, usually players you feel are junk, to get players like Clarkson, Lucic, Clowe or others.  

If the Oilers are going to improve moving forward they will eventually need to change the mix amongst their top forwards. It will be a difficult decision, and the organization has to ensure they have the right guy calling the shots. Based on recent decisions, it is fair to question whether the current regime is prepared and able to make the right choice.

This type of trade will occur in the near future, and when it does, the Oilers must make the correct decision and they need the right man calling the shots.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 baggedmilk
March 27 2013, 01:05PM
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If you trade a 1st overall pick 1 year removed from the draft you are getting pennies on the dollar.

I understand that the Oilers need a different mix in the top 6, but moving a guy 30 games into his NHL career is foolish.

If (and I say IF) the Oilers ever decide to move this kid, it shouldn't be until AT LEAST after his entry level contract is over. At least give the kid a chance to grow into something before you're ready to send him off.

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#2 westcoastoil
March 27 2013, 01:13PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Are you talking about the same Toronto Maple Leafs that are solidly in 6th in the eastern conference and 9 points ahead of the Oilers in the standings?

Looks like the Kessel trade isn't working out too badly for them.

Umm I think it's safe to say that Boston got the better end of that deal.

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#3 Spydyr
March 27 2013, 12:48PM
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This year has drove me to drink......more

Trading a young Kid like Yak for a player 10 years older is an Islander type move

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#4 Hayek
March 27 2013, 12:54PM
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A pretty balanced and informed argument which is nice to see.

I wouldn' trade Yakupov for Clarkson because this team isn't ready to compete for at least 2 years. It's kind of the equivelent of Toronto trading 2 firsts for Kessel. We have Yakupov, who is only an RFA after his entry level deal. These players can get a ton of return as they mature. Selling Yakupov for Clarkson is selling low, and buying high....and all at a time where we are not ready to compete.

That's why I am not a fan of trading young talent for older players at this stage.

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#5 Oilcan
March 27 2013, 02:41PM
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DSF wrote:

What a different conversation this would be if the Oilers had drafted:

Voracek

Kulikov

Ederle

Seguin

Huberdeau

Galchenyuk

Loaded at centre, a young top pairing D, and a couple of high scoring wingers.

Would make it pretty easy to trade Gagner + to fill any hole.

If we drafted Voracek we wouldn't have Gagner to trade...

I think the only hole to fill is between your ears....

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#6 Citizen David
March 27 2013, 07:11PM
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At what point do we stop saying Gagner is a kid?! Next season he'll be 24 years old and it be his 7th season. Sounds sort of veteran like... Or do veterans have to be 35, decrepit and useless before we must acquire them for their "experience"

Hall and Eberle will be entering their fourth year. Eberle's barely younger than Gagner.

Hall's a beast who can take the physical play, Nuge is 6'1 and defensively responsible, Yak throws hits, oozes passion. Gagner's got a fire in him. NHL.com has him listed as the same size as Mike Richards too... Paajarvi has lots of size, good defense, learning to use his size more and more. The problem isn't size (overrated) and it isn't heart, we have lots of that. It's youth. And youth becomes not youth. I think this is a fantastic core to keep. Each year they will get better. Gagner's playing the PK now too. If the cap starts to go up again then we will be able to afford them all for the next 6-7 years until their second contracts come up.

Trading Yakupov is quite simply silly.

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#7 Hayek
March 27 2013, 01:11PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Are you talking about the same Toronto Maple Leafs that are solidly in 6th in the eastern conference and 9 points ahead of the Oilers in the standings?

Looks like the Kessel trade isn't working out too badly for them.

Yep, the same Leafs.

Kessel has worked out for them pretty well, but you forget what they gave up. The picks turned into Tyler Sequin and Dougie Hamilton which are both playing pretty amazing for the Bruins. They could have had these guys on entry level deals, instead of Kessel who becomes a UFA before the Leafs are even a contender.

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#8 Spydyr
March 27 2013, 02:39PM
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DSF wrote:

What a different conversation this would be if the Oilers had drafted:

Voracek

Kulikov

Ederle

Seguin

Huberdeau

Galchenyuk

Loaded at centre, a young top pairing D, and a couple of high scoring wingers.

Would make it pretty easy to trade Gagner + to fill any hole.

Sure hindsight is always 20/20.

Another DSF cherry pick.

Should of took Lukic too.

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#9 jdrevenge
March 27 2013, 01:04PM
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No way Yakupov is moved in the next two years. I agree that there will come a time but trading away a first overall pick after his first season is Milbury.

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#10 speeds
March 27 2013, 01:21PM
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Jason,

The players those 6 forwards are now are not the players they will be in 2 or 3 years. It is way too early to decide the "mix is wrong", before waiting for the players to develop. Is the Paajarvi you see today the same player you saw a year ago? Well, 3 of the forwards you're talking about are even younger than him.

People talk about patience, but apparently they don't know where to apply it.

I have patience all day for the younger players, that doesn't mean the team has to sit around and be happy with the D and the rest of the forwards. Work on improving that for the next two years, and if things still aren't looking as you'd like among those 6 forwards, maybe you do something then. But now? Way too impatient.

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#11 Ryan
March 27 2013, 01:54PM
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So for years we bitch about not being able to sign skilled franchise players that are ufa's . Then we get some good skilled players and want to trade them for utility players and plugs ? Makes sense..... I read hockey buzz for a good laugh but this should be an Eklund article

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#12 speeds
March 27 2013, 02:12PM
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@Racki

EDM has Hartikainen in the AHL, perhaps they don't retain Jones and Petrell and replace them with Hartikainen and a UFA?

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#13 TYLER
March 27 2013, 02:52PM
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Would anyone be against what san jose did with Burns? I would like to see the oilers take on a pet projest with peckam, why not turn him onto a winger move him to the fourth line to play with brown? he hits,fights and i think he would be a great fit there, any thoughts?

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#14 Racki
March 27 2013, 06:56PM
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Can we convince some teams that Ryan Whitney's been scratched for several games this year because we were protecting an asset? ......... =|:)

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#15 The Soup Fascist
March 27 2013, 11:24PM
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DSF wrote:

Of course if the Bruins don't Iggy ....Calgary could.

How often does an escaped prisoner volunteer to go back to jail?

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#16 The Soup Fascist
March 28 2013, 12:10AM
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Holy curveball, Batman. Aaron Ward has some good size skates to pull out of his yapper.

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#17 grip it and rip it
March 27 2013, 01:01PM
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Jason....So these are cup winning stats right? Why dont we just wait until our young bucks grow up and then take a look at the stats, I am tired of hearing under sized, no grit etc. Lets get behind the core quit talking about trading them, cheer for than to keep competing for a playoffs spot (isn't that what we were expecting?) and 2-3 years look at these stats again

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#18 Bucknuck
March 27 2013, 01:59PM
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I remember in '06 when the San Jose Sharks were eating the Oilers alive in the series. up 2 games to nothing and getting pushed all over the ice. Then a remarkable thing happened.

Torres blew the wheels off of Michalek with a huge hit. You could almost feel the team take a deep breath and inflate. They started playing with some confidence and aggression. And they made it a LONG way.

This team needs that. Not Torres - his time is past, but someone who can put another team on their heels.

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#19 Muji
March 27 2013, 02:01PM
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Comparing rosters is mostly pointless imo. There's no single recipe to success.

It's interesting that you only went back 4 years. Go back the 5th year and you'll see that a skilled, non-truculent Detroit Red Wings team won the cup.

But hey, we don't have Nik Lidstrom. Nor do we have Crosby/Malkin.

We have some really good pieces here (Hall/Ebs/Nail/Nuge/JSchultz/MPS). I'm not saying that we shouldn't move any of them. We should if the deal is out there. But we shouldn't move them just because Boston's recipe for success has a "big mean powerforward" ingredient.

In the end, does it even matter? Tambellini makes the decisions. Not us. And, last time I checked, he's pretty bad at making decisions.

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#20 Bucknuck
March 27 2013, 02:18PM
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I really think the term should be Fab Five:

Yakupov, Eberle, Hall, RNH, and Gagner

Of those the heaviest and most tenacious competitor is Gagner. And that's the guy a lot of people want to trade?

It doesn't make sense to me unless you have something AMAZING coming back.

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#21 Oilfred
March 27 2013, 03:05PM
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I think most of us know what the answer would be if you where to ask NHL GMs what they think about Yakupov for Clarkson.

The Stamkos comparison goes way beyond a one timer. They played on the same junior team and Yak broke Stamkos' scoring record.

I know you feeling defensive but I have to say this come across as having as much grown up responsibility for ones actions as a 5 year old.

Weak dude.

Weak.

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#22 Butters
March 27 2013, 03:17PM
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Taylor Hall 21 Sam Gagner 23 Jordan Eberle 22 Justin Schultz 22 Rookie Nail Yakupov 19 Rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 19

Hmmm, why doesn't this team win more? We must be missing grit and sandpaper.

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#23 TigerUnderGlass
March 27 2013, 03:44PM
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So to be clear - you want us to compare the Oilers top six to the top six in Chicago, but you want to include CHI players who were not in the top six?

Ladd? Brouwer? Not in the top six.

Lets look at the top six based on how they were used instead.

Kane, Toews, Bolland, Versteeg, Hossa, Byfuglien.

I grant that Byfuglien was large and physical. Hossa and Toews are tallish but hardly "gritty". Bolland is one inch taller and 10 pounds lighter than Gagner. Versteeg and Kane are tiny.

Does this mean you would trade a future star like Yakupov for a guy like RW Byfuglien circa 2010 to have a top six that "looks like theirs"?

Why wouldn't you look for grit the way everyone else does? Nobody trades star players for grit, that's how you lose your job. It's crazy.

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#24 Archaeologuy
March 27 2013, 04:38PM
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@Jason Gregor

Jason, dont you think that's a problem for 5 years from now? It's way too premature to be worried about paying a kid who just began his ELC.

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#25 Newj
March 27 2013, 04:39PM
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@Archaeologuy

You said it Indiana...RNH, Eberle, Yak, Hall, and Schultz are Untouchable. Absolutely untouchable.

After that its up for discussion.

But its too early to trade any of the 5 youngsters until we know what they can or cant do.

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#26 Crispy
March 27 2013, 05:28PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Zack,

In five years you think the Oilers will be able to afford 4,14,93,89,64, 91, Schultz and this year's top pick?

And that they will win with all skilled forwards, with not much size?

How do you see the Oilers getting bigger in their top-six and wearing down teams, if you don't move any of the current players. I don't see them suddenly growing and getting bigger.

And I never said the deal happens today, but they will happen in the next two years.

I think we could afford all of those players. Paarvi should be relatively cheap. Right now we're paying Horcoff, Hemsky, Whitney, and Khabibulin 18.25 million. In 5 years those contracts will be gone. That money should be enough to sign 93, 64, and 19, and we will have to give Gagner about a 2 mil raise if he keeps playing like this. As far as size / grit, if we continue to suck this year we may have a shot at drafting Monahen, and hopefully Hartikainen will improve. Also 5 years is a long time, the cap will likely be higher than it is now in 2018.

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#27 GVBlackhawk
March 27 2013, 06:53PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

How does Yakupov project to be a better player?

More consistent effort than Eberle? Please elaborate on that comment.

I am shocked that you have to ask that question.

Yakupov projects to be a better player because he was putting up the same numbers at age 17 that Eberle was doing at age 20. Their age by age comps all favor Yakupov -- and it isn't even close.

Yakupov's skill set is at a higher level than Eberle's (if not everyone on the Oilers). Better shot, better skater, better passer, better vision. There is a reason why he was coveted as the 1st overall pick.

Eberle stepped into the NHL in his 21 year old season and did well on a sheltered line with cherry minutes. In his 22 year old season, he played lights out on a sheltered line with cherry minutes and an incredibly high shooting percentage. He is regressing now that he has to face tougher competition.

Yakupov is playing NHL in his 19 year old season, not playing sheltered minutes and doesn't receive the power play time that Eberle did in his rookie year.

Regarding the 'consistency of effort' comment, that is difficult to quantify, which is why I said 'by eye'. From what I have observed, Yakupov will engage the body at any time. Eberle rarely engages physically. Yakupov is also more inclined to backcheck and make a defensive play (versus Eberle in his rookie season).

Yakupov is the better player. Ignoring this is just blatant western Canadian homerism (and I was born and raised in Saskatchewan).

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#28 Johe
March 27 2013, 10:56PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

Has anyone considered maybe we should trade Dubnyk and keep Khabibulin?

Steve? Is that you? Steve? STEVE???!!!!

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#29 OilersBrass
March 27 2013, 01:08PM
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I think trading Jones is a good idea, Hartikainen is the better of the two. It's definitely going to suck being the GM for this team, there's a lot of tough decisions to make.

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#30 Tarus
March 27 2013, 01:17PM
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You don't trade recent 1st overall picks for non-elite 30 year old players, especially not impending UFAs. It's the type of deal you could take right out of "Don Waddell's Guide on How Not to run a franchise". It simply not logical, and most definitely not a reasonable scenario.

The Oilers have plenty of other players that should be moved before they look at trading part of the high potential futures(Hall/RNH/Yak), and the above 3 should only be moved if if we are talking elite or near elite players - not overrated, exiting their prime, 30 year old complimentary 2nd/3rd liners.

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#31 Maverick
March 27 2013, 01:20PM
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Wait till the summer for anything major, see who all the compliance buyouts are, and go from there.

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#32 HockeyBoss
March 27 2013, 01:20PM
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Gregor -

Whats the point of trading YAK now ??

Do you honestly think moving him now to bring in grit/size/Dmen/etc will do ANYTHING to improve the teams chances significantly to make a run for the playoffs next season ?

Sure you need size to compete but get "size" when the core kids mature and improve NHL play. This isnt a temporary band-aid solution.

If you're interested in trading away the future - start with the 1st round pick & add to that - rather than Yak..

You don't trade 1st overall picks - unless you cannot afford to keep them...Which is not the case - yet.

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#33 russ99
March 27 2013, 01:30PM
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The whole idea of "Trade Yakupov for grit" because the last few cup winners have size is foolhardy.

The league is both cyclical and copycat. If we copycat Boston, we'll be left behind when the game shifts back to the speed/skill teams winning cups.

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#34 Captain Obvious
March 27 2013, 01:32PM
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Worst. Trade. Ever.

Trading Yakupov for someone like Clarkson isn't simply a bad idea, it would be one of the worst trades in NHL history.

It would make the team both worse on the ice and more expensive, thereby making impossible to improve the team later. Incredibly bad idea.

Instead of trading emerging young star on value ELC and RFA contract, the Oilers should sign an underappreciated UFA forward like Matt Cullen or Vinny Prospal, for $3M or so and keep all their young stars. That's how you get better.

If you trade the best player in the deal you lose every time. If you trade the best player in the deal who also happens to be cheaper, you are committing suicide.

In today's NHL it is simply not true you have to give up something to get something. You can trade your bad players for good players (see Jack Johnson and Erik Johnson trades) and you can make good free agent signings vs. bad free agent signings. There is simply no need to sell the best player in the world of his age group for anything less than equivalent value.

If you trade Yakupov it has to be for a franchise defenseman on a RFA contract, someone like OEL. Anything less and you are giving away the farm for no reason.

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#35 Jon
March 27 2013, 01:33PM
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Another spin at this. If we are trading one of our top picks like Yakupov, it should be for a defenceman.

I say that because the free agent class this offseason is almost BARE in quality defenceman but is LOADED with big forwards.

David Clarkson Nathan Horton Victor Stalberg Brad Boyes Ryan Clowe Dustin Penner Brendan Morrow Eric Fehr Nik Antropov Bryan Bickell Clarke MacArthur Jarome Iginla

Now not all of those forwards are necessarily as physical as we'd like, or may not have as much of a scoring touch as we'd like, or may even be available come July 1, but they do all have size and most create room for their teammates and some will remain unsigned.

Seeing that they wouldn't be any cost to us as far as assets, I think it would be wise to preserve our valuable assets for accquiring a defenceman, and go the free agent route for some size in our top 9.

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#36 Smokey
March 27 2013, 01:35PM
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Tarus wrote:

You don't trade recent 1st overall picks for non-elite 30 year old players, especially not impending UFAs. It's the type of deal you could take right out of "Don Waddell's Guide on How Not to run a franchise". It simply not logical, and most definitely not a reasonable scenario.

The Oilers have plenty of other players that should be moved before they look at trading part of the high potential futures(Hall/RNH/Yak), and the above 3 should only be moved if if we are talking elite or near elite players - not overrated, exiting their prime, 30 year old complimentary 2nd/3rd liners.

Why theres any discussion on.trading Yakupov bewilders me. Yakupov for Clarkson don't happen unless Larsson comes with which of course doesn't happen. I am just making a point, this stuff is just speculation. Talk around the water cooler. The ol', "did u hear...?" There is no substance cause Tambo is asleep at the switch and even Garth Snow would not of traded Tavaras for Glencross straight across in his rookie year.

If you trade Yak its for a proven top 2 defencemanor top 6 center. Thats it, thats all, thats the end of this silly diatribe.

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#37 Ducey
March 27 2013, 01:35PM
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You know Gregor, I am usually hard on you but I think with good reason.

You have this notion that the one of the kids have to go because the team is too small/ not gritty enough.

How about getting some guys that are not too small and have grit? Its not that hard.

That last two summers they could have had Konopka (wins faceoffs, chips in some goals, fights, is a good 4th line C). There are plenty of other guys (most teams are floating in them) around.

Anyway, what is the rush?

They may have to trade of of their young forwards in the future due to the Cap or other needs. Why wouldn't you wait until you know what those needs are?

Yak and Hall will be able to handle the rough stuff once they get some meat on their bones. Nuge will be able to look after himself. That leaves Eberle and Gagner as the "small guys".

This summer you draft Barkov who is 6'2" and a #1 or #2 center. If he is not ready you wait until he is. Until then, you keep Gagner.

Sign Clarkson as a UFA, trade Hemsky for an almost ready D prospect, bring in a couple of guys who are checking forwards who can chip in 10 goals and who will fight/ agitate/ defend.

Next year you have:

Hall- Nuge- Eberle

Yak - Gagner - Clarkson

MPS - Horcoff - New winger #1/ Smyth

Brown - New C - new winger #2/ Smyth/ Hartikanen

On D you have Smid- Petry- Schultz x2- Fistric and the D prospect.

Two years from now you put Barkov in for Gagner (thereby saving money) and use Gagner and Schultz senior to bring in a top pairing defenseman. That will be a contender.

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#38 Muji
March 27 2013, 01:39PM
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I'm not convinced that we need more size/grit. GOALS win hockey games. Size/grit contributes to goals, but so does skill. Prove to me that size/grit > skill.

I also don't understand why Jason even brought up the Clarkson for Yakupov hypothetical.

David Clarkson is a free agent this summer. Ryan Clowe, Nathan Horton, and Dustin Penner are also FAs this summer. Just wait a few months and go after a power forward then.

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#39 jdrevenge
March 27 2013, 01:46PM
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Big fans of you guys but this is a ridiculous argument...

I think the intent was to prime fans for the trade off in the future of some of the young talent. That's inevitable but to toss out trade the current yakupov for the current clarkson in the near future wasn't the correct statement.

Also, asking the question if the Oilers top six resembled any of the top six on cup winners serves no purpose... Of course they aren't. Can they be in two years? Maybe.

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#40 John Chambers
March 27 2013, 01:47PM
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The Oilers need veteran, goal-scoring, sandpaper players in their top-9, and I'd like to see a move at the deadline that brought in a player like: - Steve Ott - Troy Brouwer - Teddy Purcell or Ryan Malone (if TBay consumed some salary)

Frankly I cna't wait for Hemsky to go. If you're able to parlay him into some good young assets, and then flip picks & assets for the above.

It's that simple. Right?

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#41 Thinker
March 27 2013, 01:48PM
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How bout we clear the crap off the roster, then see how incapable our big six really are. These are still kids, in a few years they will have their aha moment ala gagner. I truly believe that we can hold on to the core, as is and be successful. Sure we could use some more size, but I wouldn't trade my ace high for a pair of deuces before the flop. There are a very limited number of players who are big, physical, and able to score. Most big skilled forwards are joe thorton, dustin penner types who are about using their size to create space rather than murder faces. I would much rather bring back penner (or someone of his ilk) as a ufa, than make a dumbass trade. The other type of big player is a meathead like eager. This is why kesler, lucic, ect are so highly touted.

I'm starting to realize a little bit about edmonton fans. Number one, the media really manipulates what we think. Then we flip flop on issues all the time. Gilbert doesn't hit enough. We need a puck mover, we have too many N.Schultzes. Penner is too fat,slow, ect. We need a big forward who scores goals. Khabibulin is the worst goalie ever. We should extend him. Can we not just realize what we have, and add to it, rather than try to make someone something they're not, and running them out of town?

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#42 Sanaa Montana
March 27 2013, 01:55PM
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@Jason Gregor

How old do you think you average reader is? 10? 11?

First and foremost, you're trade proposal is ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is the fact that you just won't admit that is is a stupid idea to begin with.

If I was to consider your reasoning as truth, I would conclude that you never had a point to begin with. I can understand how some people would miss the point, and have you accuse them of that: it is very easy to do when no point exist in the first place.

You say that Oilers will need to get one of their young guns, I agree. Then, you don't include Gagner in your list(obvious choice) and go on to call him a lightning rod. Laughable.

If you were trying to make the point and come up with a scenario; why did you only come up with that asinine one? Why only consider Yakupov? Why not something more reasonable, like Gagner? Or for someone who might actually be available instead of Clarkson?

Jones good at 5v5. Again, laughable. He has one goal all in 14 games. Whattathreat.!.. The only thing softer than Jones on the ice during the game is Smyth's shots. Jones was a flash in the pan, at best.

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#43 Lochenzo
March 27 2013, 01:55PM
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Scour the leagues for big men with good pedigree that can be had for a decent price.

I'm going to throw this out there again. The Rangers would be crazy to move Chris Kreider even if he's had a tough year, but then again, they are supposed to be a Stanley Cup contender and right now they're struggling just to make the playoffs. That's a scenario that can be leveraged.

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#44 Bucknuck
March 27 2013, 01:56PM
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The oilers lack that one awesome player in the top six. The rock that steadily gets them where they need to go.

Toews in Chicago, Brown in LA, Lucic for Boston. The Oilers do need that player. I disagree that Clarkson is that player, but I get the idea.

You have to give up something spectacular to get a player like those three.

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#45 Racki
March 27 2013, 02:01PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I remember in '06 when the San Jose Sharks were eating the Oilers alive in the series. up 2 games to nothing and getting pushed all over the ice. Then a remarkable thing happened.

Torres blew the wheels off of Michalek with a huge hit. You could almost feel the team take a deep breath and inflate. They started playing with some confidence and aggression. And they made it a LONG way.

This team needs that. Not Torres - his time is past, but someone who can put another team on their heels.

I'm Racki, and I approve this message.

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#46 Dawn
March 27 2013, 02:01PM
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The only things we have in excess are wingers and D prospects. I think most of us (with the exception of Gregor of course) can agree that Yak, Ebs, & Hall are untouchable right now. Klefbom also sounds like the real deal. Of the rest, a deal involving an NHL winger, a D prospect, and/or a pick for an NHL centre or D man could improve the team now and free up a contract for free agency later.

Most of us also agree that this team is not 1 or 2 pieces away from the playoffs this year. Nor are we in the collecting picks part of the rebuild. For that reason, we should not be buyers or sellers this week. If an opportunity presents itself to make another step toward a contending team, good. Otherwise, patience please.

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#47 John Chambers
March 27 2013, 02:04PM
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@bored

Trading one of the Fab-4 up front for a sandpaper forward + talented defenseman is the book move.

Eberle for Carlson & Brouwer, or Yak for Marc Staal and Stepan would be nirvana.

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#48 bored
March 27 2013, 02:26PM
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@Klima's Mullet

Ya, but they won the cup. All that matters.

We live in a world where people think having superstars is all that matters, this isn't the NBA, ths sum of the parts is all that matters. That's why crappy teams like Phoenix make the conference finals...it's also why Ovechkin will never win a cup.

Having 50 goal scorers does not equal championships. Having good teams does.

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#49 Oiler Al
March 27 2013, 02:40PM
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Really wrote:

All this talk about getting Clarkson.....Really is Clarkson going to make us that much better?

My top priority would be adding a veteran Dman. Very few out there....so when you get a chance you might have to over pay.

Really, I am with you on this one... I think this guy is over rated and is having a decent season this year.

Over the last 5 yrs , Gagner's numbers are superior to Clarksons! Gagner is only 2 inches shorter, and close to the same weight.

Lets, not forget that Clarkson spents half of his hockey life in the penalty box. He registers' 120 min. per year. Gagner is less than half of that. Watch what you wish for.

There are hundreds of players in the NHL, who can be great players , playing at 185lbs and 5 ft 11, types... Look at Detroit.

Gagner was on a program last summer to improve his size, strength, etc. More Oilers need to get on those type of programes.. Look what it did for Stamkos with Gary Roberts a couple seasons back.

There are other ways to skin a cat..

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#50 etownman
March 27 2013, 02:47PM
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At this point I would never trade the high potential of Yakupov for Clarkson! Teams just shouldn't do that! You can filter into line ups physical players just like Pittsburgh does with Cooke & Kunitz & I can guarantee you those guys didn't cost a #1 overall pick! Hemsky, yes, I would make that deal if it were there! Paajarvi would be ok as well but never the pure goal scoring instincts that Yakupov has plus the compete level he seems to have!

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