Welcome to the third line, Nail Yakupov

Jonathan Willis
June 23 2014 03:20PM

Nail Yakupov2

In a long, wide-ranging interview with the Edmonton Jouranl’s Jim Matheson, Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish described Nail Yakupov as a third-line player.

This will doubtless be controversial. It shouldn’t be, because that’s exactly where the player should slot in on the organizational depth chart today.

The Quote

Craig MacTavish3

Matheson: “From the outside, it looks like you have good top-six forwards and excellent character guys like Matt Hendricks and Boyd Gordon, who were maybe playing a little higher up in the batting order than they should have been. Could you use some third-line guys with some offensive touch?”

MacTavish: “Yup. That’s fair. Much like Chicago’s got where they have three lines of offensive guys and a fourth line that can play against anybody. That’s what we’d really like to do. We need (Anton) Lander to step up and (Mark) Arcobello, or add a free-agent forward or two who can compete for those jobs. Maybe somebody who could come in and be a good fit with Yak (Nail Yakupov on the third line). We have the first line (Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle). If we can draft a guy at centre who can play, then we’d have that guy, Perron and Sam or some form of that.”

The Chicago Model

Joel Quenneville

MacTavish mentions Chicago specifically, which is interesting because the Blackhawks really had the blender running game-to-game in 2013-14.

  • The first line was a constant, featuring Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa together, with Patrick Sharp the regular third on that line.
  • The middle six was in constant flux. Patrick Kane played 150-plus minutes with eight different forwards, shuffling through the top nine depending on the night and the game situation, and his most regular linemate (Brandon Saad) spent less than one-third of the season with him.
  • The fourth line of Brandon Bollig, Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith featured two good faceoff men (Kruger and Smith) and was used as a defensive zone specialty line, occasionally even when tough opponents were on the ice.

It’s easy to understand why MacTavish picked Chicago. Aside from the Blackhawks being a great team that plays a style suited to the Oilers’ players, there are definite similarities in roster construction. The Oilers have a steady top line (Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle), and a pair of players (Matt Hendricks and Boyd Gordon) perhaps suited to playing the role of Kruger & Smith.

20-Gazdic-2

What we don’t know is whether MacTavish envisions using Luke Gazdic in the Bollig role (prior to this season, Bollig had zero points in 43 career NHL games and was a perfectly wretched AHL player too). The trouble is that in that case all three players on the line would be left-handed shots, with none of them especially suited to right wing. A better solution might be to employ Mark Arcobello on the right wing of the line, which would add the offensive creativity that Smith brings to Chicago’s fourth line as well as a right-handed faceoff man and a designated right winger (in Kruger and Smith, the Blackhawks have the combination of RH/LH faceoff men), but Edmonton might not feel comfortable with Hendricks being the line’s designated physical player.

We can also include Steve Pinizzotto, Tyler Pitlick, Anton Lander and Jesse Joensuu in this conversation.

The Mushy Middle

64-Yakupov-3

In Chicago’s case, the gap between second and third line was pretty difficult to determine at times, except that the Kane/Saad duo were generally on the ice against better players than were Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell. Other than that, both lines were primarily used in offensive situations and expected to score.

On a team with a power-vs.-power line, a defensive zone line, and two auxiliary scoring units, there is absolutely no question as to where Nail Yakupov should slot into the mix. He’s not ready for employment in a power-vs.-power role (and like Kane, that may never be his calling) and he’s certainly not getting wasted on the defensive zone line. That leaves the two other scoring lines, and sticking Yakupov in the one that gets slightly easier minutes is a no-brainer if ever there was one.

Assuming Sam Gagner sticks around – and it sort of sounds like he will – he, David Perron and Yakupov would fill three of those slots, likely with Gagner and Perron holding down the second unit and Yakupov on the third. That leaves three slots open for one or two free agent additions, the player Edmonton lands at the draft, as well as Arcobello and Lander, with the latter two likely the Oilers’ fallback options if all doesn’t go well in free agency or if Aaron Ekblad somehow falls to third overall.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 2004Z06
June 23 2014, 06:11PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Signed gagner, signed a few other stiffs, ran with dubnyk and now has a starting goalie duo that has 109 games in the nhl combined - is there another team with less experience in that position?

And now wants to keep gagner and make him a winger where he has been a serial failure?

I thought he was a bad hire - and I have seen on balance more evidence to support that opinion than to reject it.

Gord, I am not a fan of keeping Gagner either, but his value is at an all time low and his most successful year was as a winger. Who knows maybe he plays well and is then tradable at the deadline. Seemed to work for Cogliano.

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#52 2004Z06
June 23 2014, 06:15PM
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Markov re signs. FA defenseman list thinning out.

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#53 Fresh Mess
June 23 2014, 06:20PM
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He should be playing third line in the AHL.

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#54 Spydyr
June 23 2014, 06:44PM
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BaconWrapped wrote:

Doesn't the coach usually determine the lines? Is MacT overstepping his bounds a bit here?

Come on, Katz picks the lines.

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#55 Spydyr
June 23 2014, 06:46PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

I think its too early to say signing Gagner was a bad move. He very well could have a turnaround season and you could eat your words.

Sportsnet listed the top goalies available last year as. Bryzgalov, Emery, Nabokov, Thomas, and DiPietro. Not exactly like he was loaded with options. I am glad he waited.

Bottom line, I didn't love our team last year but I like it a lot more this year.

I'm sure Gagner will bounce back like his previous seven seasons.

It is now officially summer and kool-aid season.

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#56 Taylor Gang
June 23 2014, 06:46PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Oilers have 28+ million in cap space.

Grabovski 5, Kulemin 3.5, Moss 2.5

Shultz 4, Petry 5

Your looking at 20 million, still leaves us with 8 million to upgrade the defence(Nikitin 4, Boychuk 4)

We have more than enough cap to grab Grabo, Kuli and Moss - while upgrading the defense.

Ha! Schultz getting paid 4? Petry getting paid 5?

Schultz' realistic value is about 3.25 imho, Petry I'd peg at 3.75

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#57 Fresh Mess
June 23 2014, 06:51PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Ha! Schultz getting paid 4? Petry getting paid 5?

Schultz' realistic value is about 3.25 imho, Petry I'd peg at 3.75

You're both over. My guess is 1 dollar, Bob.

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#58 pkam
June 23 2014, 06:55PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Oilers have 28+ million in cap space.

Grabovski 5, Kulemin 3.5, Moss 2.5

Shultz 4, Petry 5

Your looking at 20 million, still leaves us with 8 million to upgrade the defence(Nikitin 4, Boychuk 4)

We have more than enough cap to grab Grabo, Kuli and Moss - while upgrading the defense.

According to capgeek, the Oilers have 26.5M in cap space, not 28M+, and that is assuming we start the year with both Marincin and Klefbom where both of them are less than 1M salary.

Now neither Nitikin or Boytchuk is top pairing defense. So your plan still has no top pairing defense. I hope to start the season with 1 top pairing defense, even if he is a #2 so everyone only plays one spot instead of two above the head.

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#59 David S
June 23 2014, 07:03PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

If gagner is indeed not going to be traded but instead moved to the wing and yak plays third line with grinders then BOTH MacT and Eakins should be fired as this is a recipe for failure all the more galling because they saw the same failure LAST season.

Crazy incompetence.

MacTavish: “Yup. That’s fair. Much like Chicago’s got where they have three lines of offensive guys and a fourth line that can play against anybody. That’s what we’d really like to do.

Speaking of incompetence, "Serious" Gord, if you spent a bit more time on reading comprehension and less time on fabricated faux anger you might have realized MacT plans to have Yak on a scoring line (read: "no grinders") and Gagner on the wing (something alot of guys around here have been calling for). Good thought on Gagner too as he's pretty much guaranteed to have a career year next season on the rebound.

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#60 madjam
June 23 2014, 07:07PM
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I find it an oddity that we seem to have less Nhl players , an overabundance of AHL players , as well as poorer teams since we got our own AHL team . I wonder if we did not have an AHL team , whether they would have been faced with going after more viable NHL players ? You would think it would have really helped by now , but it doesn't show much so far .

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#61 Mb99
June 23 2014, 07:11PM
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Will wrote:

This article all day! I'm glad they are deciding to split Yak and Gagner and create a soft minutes line. It scars me a little that they are going ot look for internal options and drafted players for that. Basically it sounds like they are saying this:

Hall - Nuge - Ebs

Perron - Drafted Center - Gagner

Lander - Arco - Yak

Hendricks - Gordon - Pinnizotto

Gazdic

That is frightening, and will get crushed in this conference.

At the very least could they maybe do

Hall - Nuge - Ebs

Perron - UFACenter - Gagner

Vet big bodies UFA LW - Drafted Center - Yak

Handricks - Gordon - Winnik/ Booth/ Downie. I could live with that.

You put Yak with a rookie centre?? WOW....... Do you guys even turn your Bain on or your drunk!!!!

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#62 Craig1981
June 23 2014, 07:15PM
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Spydyr wrote:

I'm sure Gagner will bounce back like his previous seven seasons.

It is now officially summer and kool-aid season.

If he is 35 overall in scoring next year like he was the year before last, it wouldn't hurt a team.

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#63 Spydyr
June 23 2014, 07:28PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

If he is 35 overall in scoring next year like he was the year before last, it wouldn't hurt a team.

Yes, because points scored is all that matters.

He hurts the team defensively everytime he steps on the ice.

He brings absolutely nothing in intangibles.

I could go on and on about his deficiencies but already have stated them here many,many times.

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#64 Craig1981
June 23 2014, 07:43PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Yes, because points scored is all that matters.

He hurts the team defensively everytime he steps on the ice.

He brings absolutely nothing in intangibles.

I could go on and on about his deficiencies but already have stated them here many,many times.

It isn't all that matters, but a team that was 25th in the league in scoring, shouldn't be throwing away players that are capable in being in the top 50 in scoring.

Defense could be better no question, which is why he may be better suited for wing. The season before last his defense was much better.

No intangibles?? I constantly hear from people inside the organization he is a great team guy, isn't afraid to drop the gloves for his team, and tried to come back crazy early from a major injury to help his team. One thing you can't argue is his compete level.

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#65 God
June 23 2014, 07:48PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Yes, because points scored is all that matters.

He hurts the team defensively everytime he steps on the ice.

He brings absolutely nothing in intangibles.

I could go on and on about his deficiencies but already have stated them here many,many times.

He's money in the shootout though!

I'd still love to see Gags shipped out for tougher help. I imagine though that it'd look bad on management to trade a guy that was extended only a year ago.

I'd still like to see him head out in a package for a guy that's good on the boards, in the dot and can actually play 2C!

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#66 Bart
June 23 2014, 07:49PM
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Gagner has no place on this team IMO. He has been absolute poison for anyone who is sentenced to play with him. He has not and never will make anyone else better. Winger or center he is a major fail and it is time move on. He must have some very damaging video on someone to have lasted this long. Cut bait.

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#67 Spydyr
June 23 2014, 07:49PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

It isn't all that matters, but a team that was 25th in the league in scoring, shouldn't be throwing away players that are capable in being in the top 50 in scoring.

Defense could be better no question, which is why he may be better suited for wing. The season before last his defense was much better.

No intangibles?? I constantly hear from people inside the organization he is a great team guy, isn't afraid to drop the gloves for his team, and tried to come back crazy early from a major injury to help his team. One thing you can't argue is his compete level.

Drop his gloves for the team.Now that is funny.He had what three fights against other smurfs?I'm sure he totally intimidates the other players.

He does not forecheck, win puck battles,screen the goalie,hit or pick up his man on the backcheck.Please tell me more about how he is better suited for the wing.

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#68 Harry
June 23 2014, 08:09PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Well I apologize then. I wasn't aware the coaches job wasn't to work with the group of players his boss/GM assembled/made available to him. Put as many of them in a position to succeed as possible. If MacTavish had any balls, he'd fire Eakins for publically questioning/embarrassing some of the players he provided Dallas with. Only a loser resorts to standing before the media and points fingers at players who he deems are responsible for the loss. That stuff should stay inside the dressing room.

These public displays you mentioned, could also just be frustration, caused by egotistical rookie coach coming in and incorporating an American Hockey League system, no?.

"rolls eyes"

So every coach who calls out a player should be fired? Stick to what you apparently know best, fighting.

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#69 Smokey
June 23 2014, 08:17PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Drop his gloves for the team.Now that is funny.He had what three fights against other smurfs?I'm sure he totally intimidates the other players.

He does not forecheck, win puck battles,screen the goalie,hit or pick up his man on the backcheck.Please tell me more about how he is better suited for the wing.

Gagner fought above his weight class twice with Kesler and Beauchemin. He got the better of Kesler, and tooled by B.

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#70 Harry
June 23 2014, 08:19PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Signed gagner, signed a few other stiffs, ran with dubnyk and now has a starting goalie duo that has 109 games in the nhl combined - is there another team with less experience in that position?

And now wants to keep gagner and make him a winger where he has been a serial failure?

I thought he was a bad hire - and I have seen on balance more evidence to support that opinion than to reject it.

Check out Vancouvers goalie depth chart

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#71 Craig1981
June 23 2014, 08:26PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Drop his gloves for the team.Now that is funny.He had what three fights against other smurfs?I'm sure he totally intimidates the other players.

He does not forecheck, win puck battles,screen the goalie,hit or pick up his man on the backcheck.Please tell me more about how he is better suited for the wing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSNYy7oCMG8

Olli Jokinin 6'3" 215lbs.

Its not about intimation its about showing fight. The fact that Eakins, his coach, gave him the 2nd most icetime for centers and his GM gave him a 3 year contract means that he does backcheck. Effort is not an issue. I'm basing this on the contract, his icetime, former player comments on here. Unless you have some basis for your next comment,I will not continue to hijack comment section.

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#72 madjam
June 23 2014, 08:27PM
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Was the Nikiten trade so called just a media hoax ? Columbus site does not even mention it anywhere , even in their news section .

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#73 Harry
June 23 2014, 08:28PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Oilers have 28+ million in cap space.

Grabovski 5, Kulemin 3.5, Moss 2.5

Shultz 4, Petry 5

Your looking at 20 million, still leaves us with 8 million to upgrade the defence(Nikitin 4, Boychuk 4)

We have more than enough cap to grab Grabo, Kuli and Moss - while upgrading the defense.

You are wayyyyyy over evaluating Petry and Schultz. Theres no way in any league they will make what your saying.

I can see Schultz getting 5.5 for 2years and Petry 9 for 3 years MAX

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#74 Craig1981
June 23 2014, 08:28PM
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Smokey wrote:

Gagner fought above his weight class twice with Kesler and Beauchemin. He got the better of Kesler, and tooled by B.

Yes, but got tooled to stand up for Hall.

I give a player even more respect for getting in a fight he knows he is going to loose to stand up for a teammate

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#75 nuge2nail
June 23 2014, 08:29PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Ha! Schultz getting paid 4? Petry getting paid 5?

Schultz' realistic value is about 3.25 imho, Petry I'd peg at 3.75

Oiler Domination To Follow

I only put Shultz in a s4 and Petry as 5 to make a point that we have more than enough cap room.

I highly doubt we are signing TWO 6 million dollar defensemen - in which we need the cap space.

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#76 TeddyTurnbuckle
June 23 2014, 08:32PM
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I agree Yak should start the season on the third line. He is way too unpredictable to be in the top 6. The problem is that the Oilers don't have any good 2nd line players except Perron.

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#77 Will
June 23 2014, 09:15PM
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Mb99 wrote:

You put Yak with a rookie centre?? WOW....... Do you guys even turn your Bain on or your drunk!!!!

I did, I put Yak on the sheltered soft minutes line with a rookie centre and a vet big body LW. This is Yak's second season in the NHL, it's not like he's brand spanking new. And the whole reason for having that third line, is that more offensive minded players struggling against tougher competition can line up against weaker competition and gain some confidence. You can't put Yak with Gagner as last year showed, and you can't take Ebs off the first line, as last year showed, so yes, he's on the soft minutes line with the rookie. THe only alternative is to put the rookie on the second line with Gagner and Perron, which defensively is not a great idea.

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#78 Serious Gord
June 23 2014, 09:17PM
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@Craig1981

Niemi and halak were both available this postseason. Last season could have gotten Bryz for pocket change AT THE BEGINNING of the season (I said as much on air at the time) and the backUp behind dubnyk was the third best at camp. And nothing prevented MacT from trading for a veteran starter.

Maybe the biggest mistake he made was over estimating dubnyk - cost the team even having a sniff at contending for the playoffs right out the chute. And now he has put all his chips on two third stringers with almost no nhl experience.

MacT is a very stubborn guy just like his boss.

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#79 Serious Gord
June 23 2014, 09:23PM
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Harry wrote:

Check out Vancouvers goalie depth chart

I will at the start of the season...

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#80 Spydyr
June 23 2014, 09:26PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSNYy7oCMG8

Olli Jokinin 6'3" 215lbs.

Its not about intimation its about showing fight. The fact that Eakins, his coach, gave him the 2nd most icetime for centers and his GM gave him a 3 year contract means that he does backcheck. Effort is not an issue. I'm basing this on the contract, his icetime, former player comments on here. Unless you have some basis for your next comment,I will not continue to hijack comment section.

Yes,because Eakins is such an excellent coach and had many other choices at center.The Oilers also have never overpaid a player not once.If you don't think the Gagner contract was a bad move nothing anyone can say will change that.

If you have any hockey sense and watch the games you would have seen Gagner's man scoring game in and game out as he floated uselessly in his own zone.Your arguments are weak.

You over value all Oiler players,coaches and management..

They have missed the playoffs for right years for a reason.That just does not happen it takes an effort to fail that bad.

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#81 camdog
June 23 2014, 09:52PM
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madjam wrote:

Was the Nikiten trade so called just a media hoax ? Columbus site does not even mention it anywhere , even in their news section .

The only place I heard that it was a trade was on this site. Tsn never said it was a trade just permission for the Oilers to talk. If they signed him before a certain date, then the Oilers would make a trade.

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#82 Harry
June 23 2014, 09:59PM
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Will wrote:

I did, I put Yak on the sheltered soft minutes line with a rookie centre and a vet big body LW. This is Yak's second season in the NHL, it's not like he's brand spanking new. And the whole reason for having that third line, is that more offensive minded players struggling against tougher competition can line up against weaker competition and gain some confidence. You can't put Yak with Gagner as last year showed, and you can't take Ebs off the first line, as last year showed, so yes, he's on the soft minutes line with the rookie. THe only alternative is to put the rookie on the second line with Gagner and Perron, which defensively is not a great idea.

You know what is a great idea? Not constantly relying on 18 year olds. Whoever is drafted should return to junior. And that includes Ekblad

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#83 camdog
June 23 2014, 10:02PM
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@Serious Gord

Biggest mistake was only having DD. And it's looking like this seasons biggest mistake is only having Scrivens.

We keep acquiring other teams 3rd and 4th goalie and expect them to push the starter.

If Scrivens loses his confidence or gets hurt the season is over, unless we can get another goalie into the system. Maybe I am over reacting because of what I saw last year..

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#84 Craig1981
June 23 2014, 10:20PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Yes,because Eakins is such an excellent coach and had many other choices at center.The Oilers also have never overpaid a player not once.If you don't think the Gagner contract was a bad move nothing anyone can say will change that.

If you have any hockey sense and watch the games you would have seen Gagner's man scoring game in and game out as he floated uselessly in his own zone.Your arguments are weak.

You over value all Oiler players,coaches and management..

They have missed the playoffs for right years for a reason.That just does not happen it takes an effort to fail that bad.

BUT THAT IS MY POINT. As discussed in this weeks Mailbag, because Edmonton is a team that has be terrible the last 7 years and are the 28th place team. Teams like this must overpay.

It is not like signing him has stopped the Oilers from making moves as they are way under the cap. And if they were to sign someone. And even if they did, you would be over paying for that person

I believe the Oilers will dress more than one player this year that is not NHL caliber, which is why I believe if you didn't sign him you would have one more AHL forward playing above his head.

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#85 former Notre Dame Hound
June 23 2014, 10:21PM
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@Bart

Omg...I am not the only one with Gagneritous, horrible disease....we have to get rid of the complete embarrassment, that's why the other teams just laugh...he even looks like some peewee wanabe with his mouth guard hanging out...he even thinks he is good...lol

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#86 ThinkingOutLoud
June 23 2014, 10:34PM
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BaconWrapped wrote:

Doesn't the coach usually determine the lines? Is MacT overstepping his bounds a bit here?

Slip of the tongue... He's foreshadowing the line combo's he'll employ if he fires Eakins and takes over as Head Coach.

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#87 Jimmer
June 23 2014, 11:09PM
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I fight the urge (like some on this site) to over value our current roster. So to combat that I started to ask the following two questions about our roster as it sits "TODAY."

Forward Question: "On a good team _____________ would be on the_______ line.

Defence Question: "On a good team _____________ would be a _________ pairing D-Man.

eg. On a good team TAYLOR HALL would be on the FIRST line. eg. On a good team JEFF PETRY would be a 3RD pairing D-Man.

Now some of these guys will improve their standing, some as soon as this coming year, but holy crap are we a long ways away from being really good. This shouldn't surprise anyone.

I am writing this because there are too many people on this site saying stuff like this:

"Nail Yakupov is a top 6 forward." The fact is he probably will be some day but until he can prove that as a 3rd liner he can carry his line and lay the boots to 2nd and 3rd pairing D-men he is what he is today....a 3rd line forward.

Potential and future forecasts don't win games today...results do.

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#88 Rusty Patenaude
June 23 2014, 11:23PM
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I think there is too much being read into MacTavish's comments. First off he begins the answer with "Maybe..." and then spitballs a possible scenario finishing with "...or some form of that." My reading is that he is simply speculating about a possible scenario. MacT is not going to wade in to tell Eakins what his line combinations should be.

But perhaps his comments here are not just shooting from the hip slip ups. These comments send a message to potential Sam Gagner buyers that Gagner is a top 6 guy and they had better be offering something in return that is fair compensation.

Anyway, with the right line-mates, Yakupov could be a solid 3rd line/pp contributor in my opinion. I think too many Oiler fans are selling him down the river, a bit harsh considering he is only 20 years old.

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#89 BArmstrong
June 23 2014, 11:31PM
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@Serious Gord

"is there another team with less experience in that position?"

Anaheim 33 games - you asked.

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#90 bazmagoo
June 23 2014, 11:32PM
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Braydon Schenn gets a 2 year, 5 million dollar bridge contract - http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=455547. Yet somehow Schultz and Jeff Petry are worth over $4 million per season. Wow, so glad some of the people on here aren't in charge of the team. Can't see any reason why either Petry or Schultz should be offered anything more than a 2 year, 6 million dollar bridge contract. I like them both, they both have a legitimate future and could be top 4 defencemen. But neither has proven they are worth more than that currently.

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#91 bob sanders
June 23 2014, 11:36PM
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two years ago these people hating yakupov were dying to have him

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#92 bazmagoo
June 23 2014, 11:50PM
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Yakupov should play with Arcobello on the 3rd line, with preferably a large UFA winger on the left. Maybe Kulemin or Winnik. Yak needs to earn his minutes, personally I think he's going to light it up this season. Of course I have been known to be optimistic when it comes to the Oilers, only to have my heart crushed by Christmas time, ugh.

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#93 bwar
June 24 2014, 12:55AM
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I think the the three scoring line scenario Arcobello would slot into the top nine probably with Perron dropping Gagner down to the weak competition line with Yakupov. Makes things very dicey defensively and the coaches would need to be vigilant with line matchups.

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#94 Reg Dunlop
June 24 2014, 01:36AM
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For those of you personally affronted by criticism of comrade Yak, rest easy as help may be around the corner. When the oil call out the name Draisaitl on Friday the heat will be off Yak as the new future whipping boy will be official. I say this because, well, the kid looks like Phil Esposito, and that's not a good thing. I mean, the kid can't skate. You can't skate you can't play in today's NHL. Sorry folks but this is not going to end well.

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#95 Harry
June 24 2014, 01:59AM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Braydon Schenn gets a 2 year, 5 million dollar bridge contract - http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=455547. Yet somehow Schultz and Jeff Petry are worth over $4 million per season. Wow, so glad some of the people on here aren't in charge of the team. Can't see any reason why either Petry or Schultz should be offered anything more than a 2 year, 6 million dollar bridge contract. I like them both, they both have a legitimate future and could be top 4 defencemen. But neither has proven they are worth more than that currently.

What you just said about schultz and petry is exactly how rnh should have been handled. How that guy is going to be making 6 million this year coming up is highway robbery. Props to his agent bigtime

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#96 Harry
June 24 2014, 02:02AM
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bwar wrote:

I think the the three scoring line scenario Arcobello would slot into the top nine probably with Perron dropping Gagner down to the weak competition line with Yakupov. Makes things very dicey defensively and the coaches would need to be vigilant with line matchups.

Arcobello is not a top 6 fwd in the NHL. And Lander is not a top 9 fwd in the NHL. And if they are, on this team, its gonna be a very long season

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#97 Oilcruzer
June 24 2014, 02:33AM
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Seems pretty obvious the Oil are targeting a centre in the first rd this draft from MacTs statement.

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#98 bwar
June 24 2014, 02:34AM
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Harry wrote:

Arcobello is not a top 6 fwd in the NHL. And Lander is not a top 9 fwd in the NHL. And if they are, on this team, its gonna be a very long season

The assumption is that the second and third line are viewed as equal on the depth chart with one line being given more favorable matchups. So Arcobello should be viewed as a top 9 forward in that scenario not a set in stone top 6 guy. We also have a reasonable amount of evidence that he is capable offensively when given an offensive role (see his replacement of Gagner and his AHL dominance). I also think that he faired poorly when he played any lower on the depth chart than the second line.

Also I made no case for Lander to be in the top 9, so in that regard we agree.

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#99 Death Metal Nightmare
June 24 2014, 02:51AM
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Craig1981 wrote:

I think its too early to say signing Gagner was a bad move. He very well could have a turnaround season and you could eat your words.

Sportsnet listed the top goalies available last year as. Bryzgalov, Emery, Nabokov, Thomas, and DiPietro. Not exactly like he was loaded with options. I am glad he waited.

Bottom line, I didn't love our team last year but I like it a lot more this year.

hahahahaha HOW long have you been watching Gagner? or do you people constantly have amnesia every off-season?

it's unbelievable what feces is swallowed around here based on faith.

eat words? are you serious?

a) he's a wimp . . . b) he has no speed for a finesse player (something Eberle does have). he is closed in on easily and forced into mistakes . . . c) his defensive awareness is atrocious . . . d) his "good" season was in a truncated/joke year and he STILL got overpaid for it by the organization . . . if they have to keep him because they can't trade that contract it is already a failure. no team wants s 2.5-3 million dollar player for 5+.

this organization is almost as low as you can go in terms of failure for a hockey franchise. theyve operated and played like an expansion team for how many seasons now?

keep dreaming on Gagner. dude gets every excuse under the sun around here. terri-bad.

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#100 BingBong
June 24 2014, 06:46AM
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It's a disaster waiting to happen if MacT is planning on using RNH and whoever we draft as our top 2 centers. We need a big vet center for the top 6 in the worst way. And a d-man who can eat minutes and push everybody else down 1 spot on the depth chart. Those 2 things are necessary if we want to see major improvement this year IMO.

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