WILL IT REALLY BE YAK CITY?

The Oilers scheduled a press conference with Nail Yakupov this morning at 11 a.m, where he will announce…..

What could he possibly be announcing on August 16th?

Will he let Oilersnation know what jersey he’ll wear? Speculation is that he might go with #96, mainly because Captain Horcoff has #10.

Maybe he had a birthday present for Brownlee. If he wanted to get on Brownlee’s good side he’d have a pair of Russian Bulls Nuts waiting for the Nation’s Colossal Fossil. We all know how much Bronte loves those.

I thought he might just want to thank Mark for making YAK CITY. Of course Yakupov would denounce the use of guns, but I thought he might invite Mark over for Borscht to properly thank him.

It was possible he he just wanted to thank the Oilers for having dryers that work, because Halifax didn’t seem to have any.

Some were worried he’d  announce he’s signed a deal in the KHL in case the NHL and NHLPA can’t get their act together by October? This scenario seems to scare the hell out of many fans, but thankfully for you that didn’t happen.

He mentioned it a month ago and announced it today that he, and along with him mother and family will be living in Edmonton. This is a good sign for the Oilers and their fans considering only Theo Peckham and Ryan Smyth reside here now, although Devan Dubnyk did buy a new house in Edmonton recently.

It will be a refreshing change for Oiler fans. It gave you a short break from the past few days where we witnessed contrived, lame and painful attempts by the NHL and NHLPA to gain public support in their battle to share over $3 billion profits.

Yak is indeed moving to Edmonton, and it might become Yak City.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • I was surprised by how many people felt the NHLPA’s proposal was great. I’ll give Donald Fehr credit; he got a few headlines stating the Players will take less. Of course that isn’t true, but some believed it. The players love the current situation, so I understand why they don’t want it changed.  Many focused on one aspect of their proposal.

    During the next three years -2012/13, 13/14/ and 14/15- player compensation would be a "fixed" number, that wasn’t directly connected to Hockey Related Revenue (HRR). However, it would rise by 2% in 2013, 4% in 2014 and 6% in 2015. That wasn’t it though. They also added that if HRR grew by more than 10% then the players would get 57% of that growth. It was a smart opening volley by Fehr, but I don’t think it was "Taking less" like some suggested.
     

  • After chatting with a NHL official I did learn of two other interesting points in their proposal. The first was that the NHL and individual teams would limit non-player spending. Supposedly they didn’t elaborate on this, but I’m very curious what that means. Does it mean limiting the amount of scouts, managers and support staff? Or does it mean they will be staying in four star hotels instead of five-star? I doubt it is the latter. I’d really like to know what they meant by limiting non-player spending.
     
  • Another point  few have talked about was their proposal of more flexibility. They proposed that teams could trade dollars as well as players. Supposedly they suggested a maximum of around four million dollars. So if a team who didn’t want to, or couldn’t afford to, reach the cap floor, they could "sell" their cap space to another team. Meaning rich teams could "legally" go over the cap, by buying cap space from other teams. Essentially a team could go over the cap by $4 million by buying cap space from poor teams. This would help teams that are making money, but it would also open the window towards once again a league of contenders and pretenders. I know Oiler fans remember watching their star players leave town for money, and I doubt you’d want that possibility to happen again. Would you like to see teams "legally" going over the cap?
     
  • In 2004, I was on the NHL’s side, only because I wanted to see teams use their money wisely, rather than just open up their wallet and contend. This time around, I’m not on either side. The players are making loads of money, all of it guaranteed, while the owners SHOULD be making money if they had any common sense and could control their spending. The league needs a better revenue sharing system, but they are to blame for handing players long-term contracts after only two or three solid seasons. It sucks that once again the fans lose out. No games, and when the games return ticket prices will likely go up. I think some fans could boycott going to live games, and only watch on TV. We’ll see.
     
  • Late yesterday it was reported that Joe Thornton and Rick Nash would  bolt for Europe and play with HC Davos if the labour conflict continues after September 15th, however, today Nash and his agent said that report isn’t true. I wonder if HC Davos got ahead of themselves, or were just hoping Nash and Thornton would return after playing there during the last lockout. I guarantee you Nash and his agent realized how bad it looks if he is already planning an escape plan to Europe. I’d guess many fans wouldn’t be overly happy if they found out players were already making plans to go play in Europe. Not good PR for the NHLPA.
     
  • Solid signing by the Flyers. They lock up Wayne Simmond for just under $4 million/year for six years. Simmonds scored 28 goals last year, and even if he averages 22 for the next six years it is a good deal. He is feisty, plays hard and has decent hands.
     
  • Does Yakupov’s announcement end any chance of the team speculating on whether he will be here full time.? I sure hope so. Last year, for reasons unnecessary, they didn’t announce Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was staying until after his 9th game, despite everyone in Edmonton knowing he would. I hope this means no one has to ask whether or not their 3rd straight 1st overall pick will make the team. Of course he will, so how much icetime and where he will play are the only questions what will need answering once the season starts. 
  • I was on the players’ side pretty early on in this, but things recently changed for me. The Owners’ proposal was so ridiculous. The rollback, the massive shift in how the pie was distributed, the whole thing. It was insane.

    The players had me at hello, and then Donald Fehr went and mentioned how Baseball doesnt have a Cap and has no labour strife. Wow. That sobered me up pretty damn fast.

    When I think about Baseball I think about a broken system where the Rich teams can afford to buy all the talent the second its available. From an owners standpoint their situation might work (Huge TV Deal and 81 home games a year can cover a lot of costs), but as far as competitive balance goes it’s a horrible league. Teams have to be Oiler bad before they stand a chance of being good unless they have 180 million dollar payrolls.

    The second that goof mentioned Baseball I was gone. I hope the owners lock the players out for a thousand seasons before a MLB system is introduced.

  • I’m not sure if your fourth bullet point is true. With the cap floor a fixed denomination from the ceiling, the bottom end is rising rapidly with increased league revenues. The floor has increased so much that I highly doubt there is any possible strategy by, say, Phoenix that would allow them to be profitable.

    At the very least the floor should be a percentage, and aside from that I am not against the idea of a soft cap. Yes, the dollar disparity increases, but simply punish those who wish to use the upper end of the soft cap and spread it to those who don’t. There are plenty of percentage or fixed restrictions you can place on a soft cap to prevent the disparity from growing too big.

    • Jason Gregor

      This isn’t a soft cap. There would be no punishment, teams could just buy the cap space and pay it to the bottom team. Any rich team would love to pay face value for extra cap space.