WHAT WOULD IT TAKE?

The odds of it happening are about as likely as me ending up on the cover of GQ Magazine, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s a way that the Edmonton Oilers could come away from the 2012 NHL Entry Draft with Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk of the Sarnia Sting.

Not one or the other, but both. The daily double. The one-two punch. The package deal. A longshot? Obviously. Doable? Anything is doable, and one need only look back at Brian Burke’s maneuvering to pluck Daniel and Henrik Sedin for the Vancouver Canucks at the 1999 Entry Draft. The question is: what would it take?

Going into the 2010 Entry Draft, I pondered the same scenario — pie-in-the-sky stuff, as readers pointed out – when the Oilers were stepping to the podium with their first overall pick in franchise history with Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin sitting atop the prospect rankings. Back then, I asked: "Why not both?" I ask it again.

Why not both? Because it takes the kind of brass Burke showed in 1999 to waltz away with two top picks in your pocket. Because teams with the first half of the equation in hand still need to find a dance partner to pull off the back end, and that’s something the Oilers and GM Steve Tambellini weren’t able to do with Peter Chiarelli and the Boston Bruins in 2010.

PACKAGE DEAL?

Yakupov is already on his way to Edmonton for a visit after the NHL Combine and he’s the odds-on favourite to be back in September for training camp after the Oilers take him with the No. 1 pick in Pittsburgh. Landing the dynamic Sarnia winger is the easy part. Tambellini has already said a team would have to knock his socks off to prompt him to part with the pick.

What about Galchenyuk, the talented centre who missed all but two games last season with a knee injury? Galchenyuk, of Russian heritage but born in Wisconsin, finished second among OHL rookies with 83 points in 2010-11. Yakupov, with 101, was the only freshman who was more prolific. We don’t know how high Galchenyuk would be ranked going into Pittsburgh had he not been injured, but most people think he’ll still go in the top five.

I can’t say for sure if Tambellini and the Oilers have discussed what it would take to land both of them, but I see it as a scenario with merit and one worth pursuing. Yakupov and Galchenyuk aren’t only linemates and teammates with Sarnia, they are friends. The benefits of having each other around to ease the transition to the NHL seem obvious.

With Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ales Hemsky locks for top-six jobs up front, that mix could be something approaching formidable a year or two from now if Tambellini could find a way to add Yakupov and Galchenyuk in Pittsburgh. A longshot, I know. While I’m on a what-if tangent, how far does the rebuild move along if Tambellini pulls this off and IF Justin Schultz end up in the fold on the back end?

If Galchenyuk is destined to go in the top-five, that means Tambellini will have to do business with Columbus, Montreal, the New York Islanders or Toronto, where 1999 wheeler-dealer Burke is running the show. The question is: does Tambellini have the brass to pursue the possibility?

Why not both?

FROM THE COMBINE

If you’re not familiar with Yakupov and Galchenyuk outside what you’ve seen statistically or on the evening sportscasts, there’s a bunch of clips worth looking at on both from the combine. You see Yakupov here and here. Take a look at Galchenyuk here and here.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • “One thing I noticed in the pictures from the combine is that Galchynyuk doesn’t look much taller than Yak, yet I thought his calling card was being a big Centre. He looks like he’s more RNH size, than Kopitar size. I still go back to Yak out scoring Gal by 18 pts in their rookie year, and Yak stil l had a great ppg year even without Gal and really no elite teammate so I’ve got to go with Yak. I also wouldn’t go crazy trying to get Gal unless he falls into our laps like the Islanders taking Gagner and PRV for the 4th.”

    I’d suggest the premium is on ability rather than size. Besides, while pictures can be misleading, both kids appear bigger than Larionov and it seems to me he managed OK without being a skyscraper.

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Gagner, PRV, 2012 2nd Rd pk, 2013 swap 1st rd picks, 1 0f Peckham or Sutton

    for…

    P.K. Subban, #3 overall in 2012.

    MAKE IT HAPPEN DITHERS*

    *won’t happen, Dithers doesn’t have the cajones

    • db7db7db7

      I’d love to see that happen, but Mtl would require huge return for us to get Subban in the deal. I think we’re talking more along the lines of Klefbom, Petry, Gagner, PRV, Omark, this year’s 2nd rounder and the option of swapping 1st’s next year.

      And that probably is still is not enough.

  • db7db7db7

    How about a 2nd and Gagner to the Islanders or a 2nd, 4th and one of MPS, Jonesy or Harti to Toronto. This should be done on draft day to ensure that neither Columbus or Montreal pick him as I don’t see them doing a trade that doesn’t include our first pick. I can see the Islanders doing the trade because I think it’s an overpay but Galchenyuk will be the new top 2 Centre so we won’t need Gagner. I see Toronto doing it because it gives them more pieces for a potential Rick Nash or Roberto Luongo deal which they will be in the mix for and I think the 3 guys I listed in this trade have skills Burke, Gillis and Howson would like in a package type deal and the Oilers are already having issues with the 50 contract limit so our prospect situation is solid now so picks can be traded.

  • Lexi

    One thing I noticed in the pictures from the combine is that Galchynyuk doesn’t look much taller than Yak, yet I thought his calling card was being a big Centre. He looks like he’s more RNH size, than Kopitar size. I still go back to Yak out scoring Gal by 18 pts in their rookie year, and Yak stil l had a great ppg year even without Gal and really no elite teammate so I’ve got to go with Yak. I also wouldn’t go crazy trying to get Gal unless he falls into our laps like the Islanders taking Gagner and PRV for the 4th.

  • Semenko and Troy

    I don’t think we have the assets to offer for a chance at Galchenyuk, but Igor Larionov sure looks like a young Steve Mandel.

    If Doc is lurking around the combine maybe we have a shot.

  • Slapshot

    It’s unfortunate that we have a GM in Tambellini, that the fan base and some of the MSN have no confidence in.In the 4 years that he has been here he has done nothing of substance,picking the first over all pick is a no brainer.The fact that Katz continue’s to operate the Oilers in this manner is crazy.I would love to have a GM with brass B*lls and pull of a trade like you suggest, unfortunatly Tambellini does not have the b*lls to pull this off.

  • “Why comment? Hopefully to encourage you to write stories that are more in line with reality.”

    Sorry, I’m pretty much set in my ways as it pertains to writing nonsense.

    I’m confident beyond a doubt there are writers here you consider absolutely brilliant and who have a far greater grasp of reality. Don’t waste your time with me.

  • Loganoil

    If the Oilers really want the achieve this goal of getting both Yakupov and Galchenyuk, then a trade with the Blue Jackets or Islanders are the best bet. Toronto seems to like Galchenyuk a lot, while Montreal has a new GM who may be hesitant to make a major trade so early on in his new job.

    The Oilers could offer any combination of Gagner, Paajarvi, Lander, 2013 Draft picks, Omark, Marancin.

    Also, if the Oilers are able to or are confident that they will be able to sign Justin Schultz, this trade is more likely to happen.

  • The Islanders are the team I target. Id guess that Garth Snow would like a couple of prospects and perhaps a roster player(Gagner)to make the deal. The Islanders need,not want, more complimentary players to support Tavares. I ould think that if we offer a flip of picks in 2013 that would add the zest that is needed to close the deal. The Islanders are on the same track as the Oilers. They are probably a year ahead. Brooklyn awaits a winning team. The NY Islanders are a lame duck team. Even Bettman can’t spin this one. Tambo should concentrate his efforts on NYIslandes and forget Toronto and everyone else.

  • Oil Bog

    @jonrmcleod

    Did you drink an extra cup of stupid this morning?

    This is not calculus, this is sports.

    “What-If’s” are what sport is all about. Otherwise why even play the games. Maybe they should just compare rosters in September, do the math and declare a champion. Everybody saves time and money.

    Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez.

    • jonrmcleod

      Some “what if’s” are dumb: What if Gretzky found the fountain of youth, do you think he would sign with the Oilers?

      If it was a more reasonable “what if” I’d be interested. This scenario isn’t going to happen. Brownlee states so in the very first sentence. (Unless he is ready to undergo a complete makeover.) It’s total fantasy.

  • Oil Bog

    Howson seems overly eager to move down as per comments/interview/body language on t.v. the other day . What might him and Tams have to offer one another ? Might Nash and Hejda be also in picture ? Perhaps Murray and Nash, etc..

  • Quicksilver ballet

    There’s no beating around the bush in this article. It’s just flat out greedy, and i like, i like it a lot. Yakupov and Galchenyuk would be dreamy, Galchenyuk and Murray would be better.

    I don’t think it would set back the rebuild as we draw past the halfway point. Especially with the veterans on this team letting the Oilers down on a nightly basis. My only concern with a move like this is if the Oilers are even capable of doing a move like this, especially when Edmonton tends to way over value what some of their support players are worth.

    One thing is certain though, Edmonton needs to do more than the bare minumum one of these summers. Patience is starting to wear thin already.

  • Oil Bog

    I am not sure that Tambo could achieve a positive result dealing with Burke. I also don’t think Galchenyuk will make it to the 5th pick. If the other 3 teams were willing to trade what do you suppose it would take Robin? I am guessing the Oil could offer a mix of Gagner, PRV, Hartikainen, Lander, prospect and possibly 1 of our core defencemen. Tambo would have a chance to address the D through free agency. Still not sure if that is enough to make any team move but it would certainly add considerable depth to another team with the potential of some solid NHLers.

  • “As you say in your first paragraph, it’s not going to happen. So why waste your time writing this?

    And what would they have to give up to do get both players? I think it probably would set the rebuild back rather than move it forward.”

    If it’s a scenario without merit or one that is beyond the realm of possibility (as opposed to probability) why waste your time reading and commenting on it? Or is just what you do?

    As for the second part, not necessarily. Depends on trading partners, their needs and, it follows, what has go to back.

    • jonrmcleod

      How would I know the post was nonsense unless I first read it? I can’t predict the contents simply by reading the title.

      Why comment? Hopefully to encourage you to write stories that are more in line with reality.

  • jonrmcleod

    As you say in your first paragraph, it’s not going to happen. So why waste your time writing this?

    And what would they have to give up to do get both players? I think it probably would set the rebuild back rather than move it forward.

    • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

      Because he gets paid to write articles about the Oilers and it’s June maybe? Also, just because it doesn’t entertain you doesn’t mean it’s a waste of time. Wasting your time is going out of your way telling people that they wasted their time. Just like I’m doing, right now.

  • I can’t see it happening without moving Hall or Eberle the other way. Tambellini scoffed at the notion of trading Eberle for Seguin.

    If Galchenyuk progressed at the average rate as Hall, Seguin, RNH,and Stamkos he would have had 101pts in 63games. Keep that in mind.

    • Ei8HTYSE7EN

      Great article Robin,
      There must be a way we could grab Columbus’s pick as they always get the horrible end of everything. Hemsky + next years 1st? With the rights to Omark?
      Who knows probably need to add. I’m hoping we can snag Tom Wilson in this draft! Havinf our own Lucic would be great.