TRADING WITH BRIAN

Brian Burke is a different sort. Quickly becoming hockey’s “Columbo” with his disheveled appearance and chronic frown, he’s one of the best quotes in hockey.

Last night on HNIC and twitter the latest rumor (Schenn and #5 for Oilers #1) caught fire and Burke felt a need to deny it in his usual vague terms:

  • “I have never discussed this trade or any trade involving Luke Schenn to Edmonton.”

No follow to ask about Gardiner or Kulemin or Scrivens or Gunnarsson or Kadri or a 2nd rd pick. None.

Which I find disappointing. Why? Because reading the tea leaves I believe the Oilers might be interested in dealing down to #5 and adding an asset. Reasons include they’re not convinced Nail Yakupov is #1 and also their real target–the guy they absolutely covet–may in fact be available at #5.

We know the Oilers have given us 5 names for this draft. What if they have them in this order:

  1. Murray
  2. Reinhart
  3. Yakupov
  4. Forsberg
  5. Grigorenko

What if they didn’t feel taking Murray #1 was possible due to optics? I think an organization would find it difficult to go that fair against the grain, and might decide to deal down and get their guy while adduing useful pieces.

What if the Oilers trade #1 overall to Toronto for Carl Gunnarsson, Nikoli Kulemin and #5? For the record Gunnarsson had a drastic zone start, tough qual comp and a very reasonable Corsi Rel based on where he was in the order.

Burke’s quote is vague, the Oilers may have a desire to trade out, and the Leafs have some useful things even without including the ideal player (Gardiner and #5 would be a fine trade).

Is this possible?

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61 Responses to "TRADING WITH BRIAN"

  1. jonrmcleod says:

    Columbo acted dumb but was actually smart. Burke tries to act smart but is not as smart as he thinks he is.

  2. neojanus says:

    That Gunnarsson deal just doesn’t quite do it for me.

    It’s a fine trade, but Gardiner should have to be the guy to come over.

    If Burke is serious about #1, he needs to make a huge sacrifice. Gardiner > Gunnarsson by a mile. Kulemin isn’t elite by any means. I feel confident that Yakupov will be.

    There’s no guaranteeing one of those guys on the 5 are even really what the Oilers want. It all depends on what actually happens at the draft.

    Take Yakupov and have an asset to deal when value is really high due to phenomenal play.

  3. Woodguy says:

    What if the Oilers trade #1 overall to Toronto for Carl Gunnarsson, Nikoli Kulemin and #5?

    I’m not big on trading away the 1st, but I do the above deal in a heartbeat.

    I run very far away from Schenn for the same deal.

    Kulemin and Gunnarsson both have RFA years left, so they could be a part of the Oilers for a long time.

    Plus the Oilers grab either Reinhart or Murray.

    That’s pretty good.

  4. blackdog says:

    Tough one LT. I would say the majority of the fanbase is for Yakupov with a sizeable number for Murray.

    Pick Yakupov and most are for it. He is the consensus #1.

    Pick Murray and you’d have some grumbling but a lot of people believe in him.

    End up with someone else and get magic beans or a solid player or two, I don’t think that would fly.

    Especially if Yakupov is a star, as many expect him to be.

  5. LMHF#1 says:

    If they have the names in that order, they should be fired because they don’t know hockey players from holes in the ground.

    Then again, that Parise guy sure vanished into thin air, didn’t he? Is he even in the league these days?

    If someone would like to trade you a big time scorer, or an established top-tier d-man, fine. Otherwise, just stride to the podium, say Yakupov, shake the kid’s hand and watch the hightlight reel.

  6. Woodguy says:

    LMHF#1,

    If someone would like to trade you a big time scorer, or an established top-tier d-man, fine.

    Yeah, I may have jumped the gun on liking that proposal.

    I really like both players though. Gunnarson has been playing toughest comp for 2 years and doing reasonably well on a bad team.

    Kulimen had an off year, but has played 2nd toughs for the last two years and done well too.

    Hemsky, Kulimen and Eberle is a pretty slick set of RW. Allows Eberle to keep getting easier minutes too.

    I agree that it may not be enough for 1st Overall though, but its close. The fact that they both have another RFA contract and you can probably get Kulimen on a value contract due to his off year last year is very enticing.

  7. commonfan14 says:

    Why not just trade Gagner for the #5? Would the Leafs consider that?

  8. P-Ow says:

    I don’t see why the Oilers would not pick Murray #1 because of the optics, but wouldn’t at all be worried about the optics of trading the First Overall Pick.

    I mean, Toronto took mounds and mounds and mounds of crap for dealing that Seguin pick, and they actually got Phil Kessel in return.

  9. Traktor says:

    That deal would be absolutely terrible.

    Another winger and decent but not great top 4 defender.

    Wingers are the easiest position to fill and Edmonton could get Gunnarsson for someone like Hemsky and then draft a future star in Yakupov.

    Edmonton needs a Jordan Stall #2 center and a legit top 2 defender. Not depth. They also could use a #1 goalie.

    Kulemin is better than he showed last year but that deal doesn’t do much for me. I would rather trade the #1 straight up for Jordan Staal than end up with a bunch of spare parts.

  10. franksterra says:

    I’ve moaned about dealing the #1 for the dreaded pick and mix package, but Kulemin plus #5 plus D-man intrigues.

    as does something with the blueshirts involving a Staal and Boyle + thingy.

  11. blackdog says:

    Commonfan14 – no way. They’d burn down the ACC.

    When Gunnarsson got hurt Phaneuf’s season went to shit, as did the Leafs. Buddy is really good. Kulemin too. He just had an off year.

    But its the optics. PR wise they could not make that trade. Probably even if Gardiner was in the deal instead of the Swede.

    Most Leaf fans think Kulemin is worth nothing right now and would trade Gunnarsson for little as well. They are wrong as to the value of these guys but I think the Oilers don’t make the move. They would get blasted by the casual fan.

  12. blackdog says:

    Hey Traktor, what are your thoughts on the top 5? You like Murray a lot, would you take him over Yakupov? Do you like any of the other guys enough to risk not getting either of those two by trading down?

  13. Traktor says:

    If you trade the pick for Staal it would also allow you to trade Gagner for a defender.

    I’m not saying that is the greatest plan but it sure is 100x better than that garbage Toronto proposal.

    I’m pretty sure Yakupov would look nice on a line with Malkin.

  14. uni says:

    Traktor: Kulemin is better than he showed last year but that deal doesn’t do much for me. I would rather trade the #1 straight up for Jordan Staal than end up with a bunch of spare parts.

    I’d rather do #1 for Kulemin + Gardiner + #5…in a heartbeat. If you want a Jordan Staal type, then Galchenyuk’s your boy, projected as a solid 2 way center with better offensive upside than Staal.

    There’s no way Toronto would ever do that trade though. Why trade 2 solid players (top 6 tough minutes RW and a top 4 very close to top 2 defenceman) on RFA for a chance to move up marginally in a contentious draft year where any team in the top 5 might end up with the best player in that range.

    If I’m the Leafs, I’d damn happy there’s a very very good chance I get Galchenyuk at 5, or even a Grigorenko or Forsberg.

  15. jonrmcleod says:

    uni,

    Would Burke draft Grigorenko, though? He seems like someone who would never draft a guy who is perceived as not having a “high complete level.”

  16. Szach says:

    Agree with Traktor…..

    Its time that we bring back talent and quality and not quantity…. Oil should not give up impact potential for parts that could be acquired otherwise. It’s time that we cash in some of the future for quality supporting cast. When in doubt pick Yak and live with it. Yak’s value is highest now as 1st overall and potentially in a year or two ala Seguin once proven.

    Oil for variety of reasons do not need to add lesser parts to fill out their roster – they need quality in all positions. Forwards are taken care of while defense and goal remain suspect.

  17. Traktor says:

    blackdog:
    Hey Traktor, what are your thoughts on the top 5? You like Murray a lot, would you take him over Yakupov? Do you like any of the other guys enough to risk not getting either of those two by trading down?

    I like Yakupov more than Murray. Yakupov would cause Tambellini to make other roster moves though and we all know Tambellini’s trading ability.

    There are some players at 5 that might be worth the risk but the Toronto deal isn’t enough of a reward for me.

    Kulemin isn’t going to take a shitty year discount either when he can make 5M in the KHL.

  18. Rondo says:

    Woodguy,

    In a heartbeat.

  19. Braden28 says:

    1st for Staal only works if it is a sign and trade. This administration does not care about optics, or they would have tried harder to ice a respectable team.

    Nothing wrong with Nail for Galchenyuk and Gardiner. Plus Gardiner is the inside track to Schultz!

  20. fuzzy muppet says:

    Someone made an interesting point on ON a few weeks ago.

    If you go back the last 10 or so drafts and couple the name Gardiner with the 5th OV from that year and compare it to who went #1, in only 1 year would you absolutely make the trade (Eric Johnson year). All the other years it would be a highly debatable deal or a terrible deal for who had the 1st OV initially.

    And this year the #1 OV is even more of a consensus than in most of those years.

    You DO NOT Trade this pick unless you’re getting a kings ransom.

  21. Traktor says:

    uni: If you want a Jordan Staal type, then Galchenyuk’s your boy, projected as a solid 2 way center with better offensive upside than Staal.

    I think Yakupov, Grigorenko, Galchenyuk, and Murray will all be gone before 5.

    Galchenyuk is probably a few years away before he can be looked at as a Jordan Stall type shutdown center.

    RNH could use some help down the middle right now. Gagner might chip in with 45 points but that’s all he does and we all know about the how great Horc and Belanger are against tough comp (-36 and getting older).

  22. pboy says:

    From listening to the draftniks, Yakupov has the potential to be a perrenial 30-40 goal scorer in the NHL and a close comparison for him is Pavel Bure. The only way to get those types of players is to draft them, sign them to huge, long term UFA contracts or there enough internal problems and the original team is ready to move on from them and a trade becomes a possibility. I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea for a team to have too many kids with 30-40 goal potential. Murray looks like a beauty but I would rather the Oilers have an explosive forward group and a solid, no-name d-corp and draft Yakupov.

    I thought it was time for MacT to go but I was happy to see that he was back with the org yesterday. He was excellent with steady, gritty, useful players during his 8 years here and that’s exactly what this team needs right now.

  23. godot10 says:

    Staal can’t sign a new contract till July 1. So you can’t deal the #1 to Pittsburgh, because you have no guarentee that Staal, who wants to play with his brother if not in Pittsburgh, will sign.

    Parse the Burke quote. He said “I”. Not the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nonis and Tambellini could be the ones talking to each other.

    Also, the discussions could also be via Howson in Columbus, and the deal is a Columbus-Toronto deal (for Nash) followed by a Columbus-Edmonton deal.

    Carlyle is the coach in Toronto. Burke and Carlyle like big physical players. Gagner is small, so Gagner to Toronto is extremely unlikely.

  24. Woodguy says:

    Szach:
    Agree with Traktor…..

    Its time that we bring back talent and quality and not quantity….Oil should not give up impact potential for parts that could be acquired otherwise. It’s time that we cash in some of the future for quality supporting cast.When in doubt pick Yak and live with it.Yak’s value is highest now as 1st overall and potentially in a year or two ala Seguin once proven.

    Oil for variety of reasons do not need to add lesser parts to fill out their roster – they need quality in all positions. Forwards are taken care of while defense and goal remain suspect.

    Yeah, I was thinking about this while out for a drive after I posted and I think I’m on the Traktor side of the ledger now.

    1st overall is a gift that is very, very rare.

    If you trade it, I think you have to trade it for equally rare piece.

    1/2 Dman in his early/mid 20′s still with RFA years left
    2C like Staal, but must be under contract for at least 5 years.

    Those are the two biggest hole on the Oiler’s depth chart.

    Maybe the Oilers think that Reinhart is the 1/2 Dman and Gunnarson is a soild 2, so they can strike D off the list of needs. (especially with Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat, Musil, Davidson, Simpson coming, they will probably get 2 NHL Dmen out of that group)

    Its close, but I’d like to see a home run like OEL or Staal w/contract.

    The other pieces are easier to find. The top of the depth chart isn’t.

    I really, really like both Gunnarson and Kulemin though, its still close for me.

  25. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Staal can’t sign a new contract till July 1. So you can’t deal the #1 to Pittsburgh, because you have no guarentee that Staal, who wants to play with his brother if not in Pittsburgh, will sign.

    You can trade Yak July 2nd after Staal has agree to sign an extension with the intent on being traded.

    I really doubt that Shero does a Carter/Richards thing to Staal, so he’d have to sign knowingly.

  26. Woodguy says:

    Traktor,

    I think Yakupov, Grigorenko, Galchenyuk, and Murray will all be gone before 5.

    There’s lots of noise around Forsberg and CBJ.

    Murray might be there.

  27. ashley says:

    The leafs are looking for a center. We have nothing to offer. If they are going to try to get a center from the draft, they would be better off chasing #3 rather than overpaying for #1 where Yak will be taken.

    That said, I believe that if the leafs trade #5, it will more likely be for a current NHL roster center rather than other draft picks.

    Burke is running out of time and doesn’t need more draft projects that may never see the Leafs roster during his tenure (assuming the Leafs continue to fail).

    I think the Canadiens remain the wildcard, but they are a longshot to offer anything worth trading #1 for.

  28. commonfan14 says:

    godot10: Carlyle is the coach in Toronto. Burke and Carlyle like big physical players. Gagner is small, so Gagner to Toronto is extremely unlikely.

    But then again he’s an Ontario boy and legend has it he once scored 8 points in a single game…

  29. Ducey says:

    If Burke is looking to make a splash it will be for Nash or Luongo. He will need to include the #5 for one of them.

    If CLB makes the trade before the draft, then maybe they would give the #2 and #5 for #1.

  30. CrazyCoach says:

    Hey folks,

    Long time no post. Been busy finishing the masters, new job, and about to become a dad for the first time. Somehow all three are related.

    It has been interesting watching the talk about the draft. Murray seems like a gamble to me and not the best player available. D-men are such a question mark at any young age, and their development can hit strides that can only be called intermittent. As we’ve seen with Smid, they often take years to fully develop.

    I would take Yakupov (sp?) in a heartbeat. Why not stockpile the assets and then trade for what you need?

  31. bsmart says:

    blackdog,

    My TOP 5:

    Yak
    Galeynchuk
    Grigorienko
    Murray
    Dumba

    With Forsburg’s NHLE he is not even in my top 10. I would never take a player playing 2nd division with marginal point totals in top 5. That is a gambler move.

  32. Woodguy says:

    Traktor,

    Kulemin isn’t going to take a shitty year discount either when he can make 5M in the KHL.

    I wouldn’t assume that money is his only motivator.

    Maybe he never wants to move back?

    If he’s offered $4MM in NA and $5MM in Russia, who knows what he decides?

  33. Doug McLachlan says:

    LMHF#1: just stride to the podium, say Yakupov, shake the kid’s hand and watch the hightlight reel.

    LT, I love the trade speculation but we are NOT a team that is one or two pieces from winning it all. We are still building the base. Sure it would be nice to get Yakupov, Galchenyuk, Murray and Reinhart but we are going to get one. Therefore it isn’t a question of optics that you make that pick Yakupov over one of the d-men but is a question of talent. We just brought in MacT who will, I hope, remind the brain trust that the moment that you are convinced you are smarter than everyone else is the moment you confirm that you are not.

    Take the obvious pick and then work the trade lines to fix the other holes.

  34. Traktor says:

    Woodguy:
    Traktor,

    Kulemin isn’t going to take a shitty year discount either when he can make 5M in the KHL.

    I wouldn’t assume that money is his only motivator.

    Maybe he never wants to move back?

    If he’s offered $4MM in NA and $5MM in Russia, who knows what he decides?

    He probably doesn’t have much interest playing in the KHL but it still gives him a ton of leverage.

    Someone posted that his poor season might help getting him on a cheap contract… I don’t see it.

  35. Ducey says:

    If he’s offered $4MM in NA and $5MM in Russia, who knows what he decides?

    You should be able to answer that question before you trade him for the #1.

  36. rich says:

    Making any trade w/Toronto where we get more pieces back (pick + players) in return for the #1 going there is not likely unless there is another trade taking place because of our contract situation.

    So to the point that Traktor and Woodguy are making, if you send it away, you have to get something incredible back and Toronto doesn’t have that.

    Staal on the other hand might not be that farfetched, but I think you might see a couple pieces from each side moving.

    Just saying.

  37. Captain Obvious says:

    I like Gunnarsson but Kulemin didn’t just have an off year, he had a terrible year. Nonetheless if you can get three good players in their ELC or RFA years for the #1 pick, I think you’re doing pretty well. I’d rather have a prospect than Kulemin though.

    It’s a risk because the #1 is a sure thing and the #5 is not. However, if you hit it with the #5 you win the trade in a big way (see Couturier, Sean).

    But all of this is just talk because Toronto is going to trade Schenn, Kulemin, and their #1 pick to Columbus for Nash.

    Trading for Staal is a horrible idea. He isn’t signed, and if he were it would mean he was overpaid.

    The player I want is Subban. I think his reputation within the game lowers his value and D is a position of strength for the Canadians. The problem is that Subban alone isn’t worth the #1 pick but Subban + the #3 would be a huge overpay for the Canadians. So, making an “even” trade might be difficult.

    I’d try #1 + their pick of forward prospects (Paajarvi included) for Subban and the #3. That would be great.

  38. Maverick says:

    What if the Oilers trade #1 overall to Toronto for Carl Gunnarsson, Nikoli Kulemin and #5?

    And then draft Reinhart or Murray? Adding to the large pool of defensive prospects of Klefbom, Gernat, Marincin, Musil, Davidson, Tuebert, and Simpson. (did i miss anyone?)

    My question is who is going to score the goals 2-3 years from now?? Offensive players depth chart is; Hall, RNH, Eberle, so basically one line, 3 fowards out of 12. who else? MPS? Hemsky? Gagner? Pitlick?

    Maybe 1 or 2 or even 3 of the defensive prospects make it, but who are the offensive prospects to help Hall, RNH and Eberle?

    Looking ahead the need for offensive support is just as important as a true #1 goalie, and a Top #1/2 defenseman. Unless 2-3 years for now the Oilers will be playing boring defensive hockey hopeing to win games 2-1.

    The Oilers have a chance to draft an offensive player of Yakupov or Galchenyuk or Grigorienko. Offensive players are harder to find deeper in the draft, they are usually drafted in the top 10 but defenseman who can make an impact can be found deeper in the draft. I believe “speeds” has made this argument over the years.

  39. PDO says:

    ashley:
    The leafs are looking for a center.We have nothing to offer.If they are going to try to get a center from the draft, they would be better off chasing #3 rather than overpaying for #1 where Yak will be taken.

    That said, I believe that if the leafs trade #5, it will more likely be for a current NHL roster center rather than other draft picks.

    Burke is running out of time and doesn’t need more draft projects that may never see the Leafs roster during his tenure (assuming the Leafs continue to fail).

    I think the Canadiens remain the wildcard, but they are a longshot to offer anything worth trading #1 for.

    Subban and the 3rd.

    And that’s the type of offer it should take for the Oilers to even consider it.

    Any trade for the 1st OV has to be treated like Yakupov is every bit as good as advertised. That means perennial 35+ goal scorer right out of the gate. The trade should be one that, even if Yakupov is scoring 40 goals a year, you make again.

    Johannson and the 2nd, Subban and the third.. and even then, I’m not sure that’s enough. It should be a big time over payment before you even consider moving it.

  40. Woodguy says:

    Traktor,

    That was me.

    I’m simply assuming that his contract coming off of last year would be cheaper than if he was coming off the year before.

    It stands to reason.

    I may not be much, or it may be as much as $500k/yr.

    Somewhat important when weighing out the 3 for 1 deal, but not crucial.

  41. Woodguy says:

    Ducey:
    If he’s offered $4MM in NA and $5MM in Russia, who knows what he decides?

    You should be able to answer that question before you trade him for the #1.

    Agreed.

    I’d prefer him under contract if trading for him.

  42. bsmart says:

    PDO,

    I woukld have to be a windfall for me to make any trade. It would have to be:

    Subban, Eller, #3 for the 1st

    Overpayment, absolutely but that is what it should be for a potential 40G scorer.

  43. gcw_rocks says:

    I would be asking for #5, Gardiner and Colborne. There doesn’t appear to be any room at the Inn for Colborne in Toronto and 6’5″ centres are hard to come by. Worst case he competes with Lander for the 3rd line role. Best case he pushes Gagner out of the 2nd line role.

    Gardiner helps the defence in line with the current development curve and the Oilers can pick a Grigorenko or Galchenyuk at number 5, or Reinhart if they really like him.

    I would send Plante or Tuebert the other way if I needed to close the deal.

  44. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    I agree with PDO.

    Many of these proposed trades sound like Thornton for pennies on the dollar. I wouldn’t be handing over RNH or Hall for these offers. Should we really expect less from Yakupov? Or be so certain that we’re willing to trade him for less?

    It really should be an exceptional offer like Subban and the 3rd. I don’t expect that to happen. I don’t think any of the teams with a top five pick are jacked enough about Yakupov to make such an offer.


    Also, unrelated: why is it a given that MacT is such a great hockey mind? In a community that prides itself on stats and evidence, I haven’t read much that makes it clear the MacT stands out among his peers.

  45. Captain Obvious says:

    Why does everyone love Ryan Johanssen so much?

  46. slopitch says:

    Im with PDO, GCW and BSmart in the last couple posts. Make them overpay or take the best available player.

    The whole point of this scorched earth rebuild was to acquire elite players while building your depth through your system. To buy in this far and then move one for more depth is a big mistake IMO. Take the D today and continually add pieces. It might take 3 years but it s the route to go.

  47. stevezie says:

    Captain Obvious:
    Why does everyone love Ryan Johanssen so much?

    I have no idea. The only good look I got at him was the WJs a couple years ago and he did not impress. He was a high pick, so I’m sure he does something well. but why he’s discussed as a lock to be an all-star I could not say.

  48. neojanus says:

    Simple evaluation here:

    Oilers & 1st Pick Overall = Position of Power

    Do not settle for equal trade on the dollar. Make sure you get exactly the pieces you want or just take Yakupov.

    End of story here in my mind.

    Making a trade for any of Schenn, Gunnarsson, Kulemin, etc is not good enough because the player that should be targeted is Gardiner and if he isn’t on the table, just don’t bother listening any more.

    If the Oilers seriously consider anything less than 100%+ of what they want here, they don’t understand the basics of marketing.

    Having Yakupov brings immense value to this team offensively. Schenn, Gunnarsson are a nice step forward but not elite talent… well, probably not. Never trade elite pieces for lesser pieces unless you have a damn good endgame in mind.

    After looking at stats, highlights, and watching a lot of Toronto hockey (I live in Toronto), the Oilers should only deal with Burke if he gives up Gardiner.

  49. Rondo says:

    It would be nice to see Edmonton picking Michael Matheson in the 2nd round.

  50. voxwah says:

    OIlers sign Klefbom. Woot! As per Oil website.

  51. jonrmcleod says:

    Next Lowetide post: Oilers signed Klefbom.

  52. db7db7 says:

    What quality of player could we get back for the #1 overall if getting a draft pick back is not necessary? Would Phoenix do OEL straight up? What about if we include Gagner?

  53. Jordan says:

    Klefbom Klefbom you’re a Klefbom
    You can move that puck when you need get it gone
    Klefbom Klefbom you’re my Klefbom
    And baby you can clear the zone
    baby you can clear the zone

  54. Doug McLachlan says:

    Klefbom signed.

    MacT hiring already paying dividends.

  55. remember reijo says:

    Why trade down?…. Trade it straight up or keep it. Yandle, Myers,OEL, Carlson,….how much more than Yakupov would it take to land any of these guys? Hard to say, but if its too much, then draft Yakupov and pretend he was never in play to begin with.
    We could easily be drafting second or even third overall if it wasnt for the hockey gods. Why are we so anxious to spit in their face with a trade down? You only return a gift to the store for store credit when the gift sucked.

  56. rickithebear says:

    blackdog: When Gunnarsson got hurt Phaneuf’s season went to shit, as did the Leafs. Buddy is really good.

    The guy face the 12th toughest comp situation this year.

    in his three years he faces lower 1st comp with 45-50% zone start and is a 2.25 EVGA when getting average goaltending.
    Was .9EVP/60 which is sick. fwds average 1.1EVP/60 in that situation.
    He has been Seabrook and weber good at evens.

    he is a bottom 50 PK dman.

    it would be unbelieveable to have smid and Gunnerson in the top 4.

  57. remember reijo says:

    rickithebear: it would be unbelieveable to have smid and Gunnerson in the top 4.

    I dont believe you….which I guess does make it unbelievable.
    Gunnerson is no scrub, but thats a lot of slow cooking were going to have to do between him and whoever we draft at 5th overall. Yakupov is simply worth more than that.
    If we trade what might become a less explosive but more physical version of Pavel Bure, I’d want the D dilemma done and dusted in the deal.

  58. FastOil says:

    While I like Gagner I have not been a believer he is strong enough in the greater picture as a #2 C. That being said, there is no way he can be traded.

    The second and third C have to have some type of offense. Don’t talk to me about Horcoff who has been babysitting since 06 and wiping snotty noses. He should get a medal. But his run is over, the team needs his replacement now.

    Look at the Canuckles, Kesler hurt – no win. Malhotra and Paulsson great defensively as they are, don’t score enough for today’s game.

    There is too much risk and folly in trading #1 for anything except a Lindros type overpayment, which it seems and I hope Tambellini has put out there.

    Trading up with a disappointed team for another 1st round pick (trying to cash in assets that are already not valued internally) makes more sense to find a defenseman in a draft where there is no clear Doughty. Any number of the top ten D could be the best of this draft.

  59. Ribs says:

    Getting closer to the draft…It’s still Yakupov or Weber for me.

  60. Starving_Student says:

    Hey LT,

    Why is it that Joe Colborne’s name is never brought up in trade rumours with Burkie? 6’5, 216lbs Alberta boy who plays center?

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