ME AND MY ARROW (STRAIGHTER THAN NARROW)

by Lowetide

I always count up the arrows. It probably comes from my Dad, who told me many years ago that decisions get harder as you move along. He would say early in life things seem so black and white—but as you move along in life, relationships, parenting—you end up choosing between two different shades of grey. Same with prospects, so you better count the arrows.

  • Bob Green to Jason Gregor: “We’ve really put an importance on making better picks later, or trying to get more players later (who end up playing pro. And in order to do that we have to know those kids better. We have to uncover more on them because a lot of the kids that are picked later, really, there is a reason why.” Source

I think the Oilers must have had something on Dillon Simpson in terms of background, his Dad is a former Oiler and a very successful human being. Even more impressive, Dillon Simpson has had good arrows every season since his draft day. His NHLEs since draft day (12, 15, 21, 20, 9—AHL debut—and 14) showed improvement every year in college and now every year pro. The quotes from coaches and observers always reflects improvement, every year. No idea where he peaks in pro hockey, only that you would have a damned hard time calling that a bad selection—and the young man has never played in an NHL game.

yakupov connor mah

Photo by Connor Mah

Nail Yakupov will forever be known as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft, but I would bet my (almost) full bottle of CR he is in his last two weeks as an Edmonton Oiler. I will go to my grave blaming the management—he needed a veteran center as mentor every day of his Oiler life—but it is time for him to go.

Was he a good choice? I believe he was the right choice, but badly needed a mature organization. I hope he finds one—and that the Oilers handle their next Yakupov far better.

tkachuk capture1

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE DRAFT?

I think we can assume trade talk will heat up, but it does seem to me that both Columbus and Vancouver may be entertaining trades. That makes Edmonton less powerful in negotiations (teams interesting will push for the CBJ pick) until we reach the draft floor and the No. 3 pick is made. Here are predictions by selection.

  • No. 4 overall—Matt Tkachuk appears to be a lock for Edmonton at this position—I do think they like him more than Dubois (I have Dubois ahead). If the team trades down, my guess is defender Mikhail Sergachev. Why? He is 6.02, 220 and can skate, help at both ends. Some chaos, but a grand resume.
  • No. 32 overall—I think they would love to take Tyler Benson or Carter Hart here, but could also draft a defender like Cam Dineen or Lucas Johansen. Cliff Pu may also have some appeal. One wild card? I will give you two: Riley Tufte, and Jonathan Dahlen.
  • No. 62 overall—If Edmonton takes Tkachuk and then Cam Dineen, I think we could see the goalie here (Veini Vehvilainen, Tyler Parsons). David Quenneville might also fit here, Luke Green too. I bet they like Libor Hajek too, he may go in this area. Forwards? Hmm. I will say Givani Smith and Boris Katchouk. My wild card here is Tim Gettinger.

GOODBYE, GORDIE

Gordie Howe was larger that life when I entered hockey fandom. He was in his late 30s at the time, close to retirement, and would end his NHL career—a dozen years later! My memories of Howe are strong, but also filled with stories from my Dad and my Father-in-law about his greatness, and his grace. Both men called him the best they ever saw, and as neither man was prone to fibbing or hyperbole, suspect that was the case.

I will tell you a story about Gordie Howe from my wife’s family. It is the late 1960s, the scene is Eaton’s in Medicine Hat. My father-in-law had the kids (eight!) and they were in line to meet Mr. Howe, get an autograph and meet the man. It was a long lineup (Howe was a legend then, too), and one of the kids (Karen) was not doing well at being patient. Dad’s ‘Karen’ echoed around Eaton’s many times as they moved closer to the legend. After many minutes and countless Karens, it was finally time to meet him.

‘Hello, Karen.’

What? HOW did he know her name? Across this country, there are personal stories about Gordie Howe just like that, for as much as he was a legend, as much as he was larger than life on the ice, no great athlete I can think of was more of the people than Gordie Howe. Howe connected with people, on a personal level, for many decades. He was a good man with a good heart—who just happened to be the perfect hockey player.

If you saw him on the ice, calling Gordie Howe a gentle man would seem folly. Off the ice, he was exactly a gentleman. The world does not seem right without him, this is going to take awhile. RIP, Mr Hockey. A gentle man who would never hurt anyone—UNLESS it was a hockey game.

SAIL ON, OMSK HAWK

I hope he plays for many years and enjoys it. I cannot imagine he had many good days in Edmonton and Bakersfield. That is not on him, Nikita Nikitin came to us in a difficult time for the organization. I wish him well.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A sad day, 2016 is going to get coal for Christmas. TSN1260, at 10:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Gordie Howe has passed.
  • Antony Bent. Copa America and Euro.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. The No. 1 defensive option for procurement by Peter Chiarelli this summer.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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Bohologo

Gordie Howe, a great man, a great Canadian.

LMHF#1

A smart and stubborn GM would keep Yakupov. He’s cheap and can play well with your best player. That’s not an easy thing to find despite what some may claim. There’s very little reason to move him for next to nothing right now. If that reason involves Tyson Barrie I get it, but if it is a random draft pick or way out there prospect…forget it. That’s a dumb move in this situation. Flat out dumb. No excuses for Chiarelli if he does that.

wintoon

One of my fondest memories of Gordie Howe is the night he was playing the NYR and Lou Fontinato, the Rangers tough guy decided he wanted to have a go with Howe. Howe broke his nose and otherwise beat him senseless. Detroit won the hockey game handily.

Clay

Sad day for Mr. Howe’s family, hockey, and Canada. Rest in peace, Mr. Hockey.

The Trade Guy

Being from Saskatoon I and my family have all kinds of Gordon Howe stories. I met him when he was doing some scouting at a blades game. I was a small kid and my dad and coach said I could go say hi to him and get an autograph but I was scared and said I didn’t want to bother him but someone said that Gordie always had time for hockey kids.

And he did. Signed a picture I had that said “See you in the NHL – Gordon Howe”

My wife’s grandmother wrote his mom (I believe. A truly Canadian thing) to congratulate her son being able to play pro hockey with his boys. She wrote back thanking her for the kind words and an autographed photo signed by Gordon Howe. His mom never liked the Gordie monicker and that’s one of the reasons he often signed Gordon Howe rather then the iconic Gordie.

He’ll be missed. And I’ll miss Johnny Bower for much the same reason when the day comes.

SwedishPoster

LMHF#1,

Agree. He’s got chemistry with not only McDavid but our two best players and has a 2.5 M cap hit. That’s useful and you don’t give that away for nothing, failed first overall and past drama or not. Make hockey moves not moves out of disappointment or emotions.

Little Poteet

Being young(ish) and naive (mostly ignorant) I was confused when I moved my family to Saskatoon and we saw murals painted around town of a smiling man in a Red Wings Jersey. “central Saskatchewan is an odd place to be a hub for Detroit fans” I thought to myself. It wasn’t until my father in law said he liked the picture of gordie that I realized who the person was, a name I only knew from the NHL record books and the “gordie Howe hat trick”.
My father in law then told me about how Howe grew up in Saskatoon, poor and simple, and became the greatest hockey player ever, and yes that list includes Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux. He told me about how Gordie played “religious hockey, better to give than to receive”.
And he told me about the man Howe was off the ice. I have nothing but respect for a man so successful yet so gracious and humble.
It is a sad day for the Howe family, the hockey world at large, and the generations of hockey fans who witnessed greatness shown with humility and had an excellent role model.

Water Fire

RIP Gordie Howe. It is strange when the famous who’ve been around for so long pass.

I read Gregor’s Green interview and it’s not good that he doesn’t understand the proven importance of age and drafting, unless he’s keeping his cards close. I hope that’s it.

square_wheels

My only encounter with Mr. Howe was a few years back late one night at the Westin in downtown Edmonton. A colleague and I were having a late drink, the only 2 in the place and in walks Mr Howe and a friend. As we were leaving we stopped briefly to say hello……he stands up, immediately covers the upper left upper chest area of his golf pullover……we introduce ourselves with the usual pleasantries – “hi I’m Dean – huge fan Mr Howe” (my grandfather wore out the hardwood in front of the couch listening to Howe as a Wing on the radio as he slid back and forth intensely focused on the action).

He looks at me with that wry grin…..”I’m not sure who you think I am, who’s Mr Howe ?”

……awkward silence – if I could see the look on my face it would be something akin to horror.

As he drops his hand off his chest, he reaches out to shake hands (my hand disappeared inside that vice grip for a second) – “hello Dean, its a pleasure – I’m Gordie Howe”

On his chest where his hand had been covering up, emblazoned in big white letters of an NHLPA jacket – Mr Hockey.

rickithebear

SwedishPoster:
LMHF#1,

Agree. He’s got chemistry with not only McDavid but our two best players and has a 2.5 M cap hit. That’s useful and you don’t give that away for nothing, failed first overall and past drama or not. Make hockey moves not moves out of disappointment or emotions.

Good Chemistry with Mcdavid and Hall?

THe better question is “what players Don’t!

Rondo

McKeens new draft rankings

http://www.mckeenshockey.com/draft/

JimmyV1965

LMHF#1:
A smart and stubborn GM would keep Yakupov. He’s cheap and can play well with your best player. That’s not an easy thing to find despite what some may claim. There’s very little reason to move him for next to nothing right now. If that reason involves Tyson Barrie I get it, but if it is a random draft pick or way out there prospect…forget it. That’s a dumb move in this situation. Flat out dumb. No excuses for Chiarelli if he does that.

I would trade him for another reclamation project like Nichushkin or Strome, but if the only deal is for a second round pick, I totally balk at that. He can play here or go to the KHL.

Ducey

LMHF#1:
A smart and stubborn GM would keep Yakupov. He’s cheap and can play well with your best player. That’s not an easy thing to find despite what some may claim. There’s very little reason to move him for next to nothing right now. If that reason involves Tyson Barrie I get it, but if it is a random draft pick or way out there prospect…forget it. That’s a dumb move in this situation. Flat out dumb. No excuses for Chiarelli if he does that.

Yeah, keeping a guy who has publically asked for a trade usually works out really well.

The guy just finished talking about his Oilers tenure in the past tense, followed by a public spat with the Russian national coach. I am sure Yak demanding to play with McDavid or pout will make a nice start to training camp. Won’t undermine the coach at all.

AS LT said a few weeks back, he is immature. That’s probably the most favourable interpretation of his behavior.

If Yak is going to have an NHL career (I don’t think he will) he needs to have his Cogliano moment. Cogs thought he was a scorer here and bristled at the suggestion he would make a nice Todd Marchant. He went to ANA and became Todd Marchant. He is really nice player now.

The sooner Yak realizes he is not the #1 overall pick and not an elite offensive player, and the sooner he realizes that players don’t pick their linemates, the better chance he has to do the things he needs to earn a key role on a team.

That is not going to happen here. He is going to have to go to a new team. After a while he will realize, “Gee, maybe I am the problem.”

knighttown

2016 needs to fuck right off. We’ve lost Ali, Prince, Bowie, Alan Rickman and now Gordie Howe with, unfortunately, Gord Downie palliative as well. Each deserves their moment of public reflection.

I was too young to remember him playing but as a stats-kid I was always mesmerized by him scoring 41 points as a 51 year old. I didn’t understand it then and 40 years later it still seems just as preposterous.

wheatnoil

Ducey: Yeah, keeping a guy who has publically asked for a trade usually works out really well.

Did he publicly ask for a trade? I thought it was his agent leaking information while Yakupov had kept it quiet until he was asked about it after the agent leaked. However, I may have mis-remembered.

russ99

Jeez, Ali and Howe in the same week. I hope Willie Mays is doing OK…

Back to the Oilers:

If Hamonic was still available and we could land him, man would he be a great pairing mate for Nurse in a year or two. Could be devastating.

Rondo
Ca$h-McMoney!

I’d do Yak for Strome or Yak for Nish. I’d even throw in a mid round pick if I had to.

I like the return and if we don’t move him soon were getting nothing for him.

New Improved Darkness

I believe he was the right choice, but badly needed a mature organization.

If you’re a good organization and you know it, claps your hands.

Come on down, Nail!

If you’re a bad organization and you don’t know it, clap your hands.

Come on down, Nail!

If you’re an organization about to transition from bad to good, in a universe where the laws of quantum physics prevail—the transition being instantaneous on both counts—come on down, Nail!

If you’re a bad organization passing through comprehension that you’re a bad organization in a universe where the laws of Newtonian physics prevail—but this comprehension doesn’t make you a good organization over night—regretfully choose the aluminum door—come on down, Rivet!

If you can’t figure out whether the “get good soon” process is fundamentally quantum or Newtonian, sit there playing pin the tail on the donkey until all is revealed and time itself envies your stubbornness.

Just saying.

AnOmYnOuS1

For those concerned about Klef’s injury history, I’d suggest reading Jonathan Willis’ article on the Cult of Hockey. It gives great context and really helps to illustrate that he’s really only missed major time twice. Did he miss important development time? Absolutely. But he doesn’t look injury prone.

http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/cult-of-hockey-will-injuries-keep-oscar-klefbom-from-ever-being-a-reliable-piece-of-the-oilers-defence

LMHF#1

Ducey: Yeah, keeping a guy who has publically asked for a trade usually works out really well.

Other teams do it, and usually manage to keep the request quiet.

The Oilers need to grow up.

Jethro Tull

Ducey: Yeah, keeping a guy who has publically asked for a trade usually works out really well.

Like Travis Hamonic?

Ducey

wheatnoil: Did he publicly ask for a trade? I thought it was his agent leaking information while Yakupov had kept it quiet until he was asked about it after the agent leaked. However, I may have mis-remembered.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/report-oilers-nail-yakupov-asked-trade/

He asked for the trade at the deadline. That was private. Then he did the interview this March when he spoke about asking for the trade. Our Russian poster (MARN – I don’t know Russian) had posted a translation a ways back. I can’t find it.

Letting the cat out of the bag in the long interview and talking about EDM in the past tense made the request public.

Unlike Hamonic who made it clear he loved the organization but needed to be closer to his family, Yak expressed a lot of dissatisfaction with the Oilers. That’s burning bridges.

Ducey

LMHF#1: Other teams do it, and usually manage to keep the request quiet.

The Oilers need to grow up.

So now the Oilers are responsible for Yak talking about the trade request?

blainer

Ducey: Yeah, keeping a guy who has publically asked for a trade usually works out really well.

The guy just finished talking about his Oilers tenure in the past tense, followed by a public spat with the Russian national coach. I am sure Yak demanding to play with McDavid or pout will make a nice start to training camp.Won’t undermine the coach at all.

AS LT said a few weeks back, he is immature. That’s probably the most favourable interpretation of his behavior.

If Yak is going to have an NHL career (I don’t think he will) he needs to have his Cogliano moment. Cogs thought he was a scorer here and bristled at the suggestion he would make a nice Todd Marchant. He went to ANA and became Todd Marchant. He is really nice player now.

The sooner Yak realizes he is not the #1 overall pick and not an elite offensive player, and the sooner he realizes that players don’t pick their linemates, the better chance he has to do the things he needs to earn a key role on a team.

That is not going to happen here. He is going to have to go to a new team. After a while he will realize, “Gee, maybe I am the problem.”

Wow ! Really could not have said that better myself.

Defiantly addition by subtraction. What a total nightmare it will be if he is at training camp.

I agree LT..Sail on Yak and may your next coach have the patience required to help you develop.

slopitch

#4 for Hamonic
Yak for Spurgeon
Sign Okposo or Eriksson

We will have expansion issues. But that’s a lineup with depth and BALANCE. Something we haven’t had since lord knows.

The ability of the Penguins forwards to pressure the puck and get it back is telling for how the game will change in the next bit. Oilers need to change the mix on RW. So the Yak replacement needs to be a 2 way player. Looking back at the 2006 oilers, that team was loaded with 2 way guys. I dont think the Oilers should just get a RHD and stop. There is more to be done.

RIP Gordie Howe. You were before my time but I hear you were good at hockey. Nice guy too.

Cameron

Mark Howe told a fantastic story about his dad from when they played together in the WHA.

Marty and Mark where playing with their dad on the Whalers (and as aside, how freaking awesome is that?), when during the course of play, Marty ended up getting in a fight and was knocked down to the ice with his attacker on top.

In a flash, Gordie arrives, and hauls the guy off Marty, picking him up BY HIS NOSTRILS.

As Filthy-McNasty as Howe could be on the ice, he was a gentleman off of it, and his friendliness in public is deservedly legendary.

He’ll be missed.

blainer

Rondo:
Odd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfR5O2PXzfc

OMG.. Jeebus I think I just pissed my pants.. that was excellent !!

oilman

I was lucky enough to attend one of Gordie Howe’s Alzheimer functions a few years ago and was able to shake his (huge) hand the day before his 85th birthday. He was called up on stage and presented with a piece of artwork….he then jumped off the 4 or 5 foot high stage and walked back to his table. Room full of ex athletes were in awe of him. They played footage of other NHL greats talking about getting clocked by Howe during their playing days and they all talked about their scars and broken bones like they were trophies. He was an awesome man who earned so much respect.

digger50

What to do with Yak? His play in junior, his points per game, his points per 60 were all exceptional, he did not just “become” a bad hockey player. I wont argue he’s a good player – he is a bizzare player.

He routinely makes moves that his linemates don’t expect. My kid says “watch Yak put everybody offside again” and then we laugh. He does poorly when moved around the lineup, he is just too unpredictable. All this is obvious, I’m sure TMac can see it but TMac did not have a center for him.

There is talk of building a third line. Could Yak be a productive part of a steady third line? He might be perfect for that role. A Marroon cycle type on the boards and in front of the net, a puck carrier up the middle and Yak (shooter) on the right wing.

You could argue that I’m describing McDavid’s line but I don’t see Yak there. We could put Drai in that third line center but IMO I like Drai up with Hall and Nuge. Leaves us in need of that quality third line center as already pointed out.

Another item is the Yak city crowd. Edmonton is not producing in the standings but at least they were producing some fan favorites. If they could turn Yak around it would be seen as success for the organization.

Yak is still a serviceable right winger. If money is spent elsewhere it seems wise to keep him and use him.

I think however he is, or has just become “one of those guys”. The kind who tries to high five and misses cause I thought you were going this way…..go to shake hands and he’s going for the fist pound, jumps in with the conversation with the awkward comment, he’s the square peg. Its happened to me before and the only cure is a new start where it just fits. Yak for Strome anyone??

Rondo

blainer,

Here is another one of the same guy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ULD078mXq0

RPG

Rondo,

Those rankings kinda seem are all over the place. Dubois 8th? Chychrun 13th and Sergachev 14th?

russ99

IMO the Oilers overall organizational and team culture and how they’ve treated young European players for decades have as much to do with Yak’s trade request as how he’s scuffling on the ice.

As much as these kids play in the OHL these days, there’s still a culture shock and major adjustment required.

RIP Mr. Hockey.

This has been a rough stretch for losing some of the great ones. Bowie…Prince /Ali…Howe.

Thanks to those who met him for sharing their stories.

jm363561

#4 for Hamonic
Yak for Spurgeon
Sign Okposo or Eriksson

We will have expansion issues. But that’s a lineup with depth and BALANCE. Something we haven’t had since lord knows.

===========

I usually roll my eyes at these proposals but something along these lines is what I hope for. Simple, affordable, and not ridiculously over estimating the value of the asset given up. I do not think we need to blow the ship up (other than RNH I do not include the bottom six as part of the ship) and we do not need a fading Lucic.

The loss of unprotected players via the expansion draft is the one risk factor I find hard to evaluate though.

LOObird

slopitch,

Yak doesn’t even get the conversation started if you want Spurgeon. Not even close.

JimmyV1965

slopitch:
#4 for Hamonic
Yak for Spurgeon
Sign Okposo or Eriksson

We will have expansion issues. But that’s a lineup with depth and BALANCE. Something we haven’t had since lord knows.

The ability of the Penguins forwards to pressure the puck and get it back is telling for how the game will change in the next bit. Oilers need to change the mix on RW. So the Yak replacement needs to be a 2 way player. Looking back at the 2006 oilers, that team was loaded with 2 way guys. I dont think the Oilers should just get a RHD and stop. There is more to be done.

RIP Gordie Howe. You were before my time but I hear you were good at hockey. Nice guy too.

I think you have to draw the line in the sand somewhere. If we’re trading Yak for a second rounder just to make him happy, I say screw it. I’m sure we can get someone else’s baggage though. But if that’s all we get, I tell him to go park his butt in the KHL and improve his trade value there.

JimmyV1965

LOObird:
slopitch,

Yak doesn’t even get the conversation started if you want Spurgeon. Not even close.

Totally agree. And the Isles are a playoff team. I highly doubt they want a pick for Hamonic. They want someone who will help them win now.

Ducey

LOObird:
slopitch,

Yak doesn’t even get the conversation started if you want Spurgeon. Not even close.

Matheson has this quote in the Journal today:

• We keep forgetting that the Oilers will almost surely trade Yakupov at the draft, and here’s what was proposed at the trade deadline: Yak to New Jersey for their No. 7 D-man Eric Gelinas. Gelinas was subsequently traded to Colorado for a third-round draft pick. Yak’s a good kid, works hard. Is that all he’s worth?

http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/hockey-world-if-the-kings-cant-hang-on-to-milan-lucic-bet-the-oilers-will-be-courting-him

So he is worth more than Gelinas to Chia (or was).

Pouzar

Ducey: Matheson has this quote in the Journal today:

• We keep forgetting that the Oilers will almost surely trade Yakupov at the draft, and here’s what was proposed at the trade deadline: Yak to New Jersey for their No. 7 D-man Eric Gelinas. Gelinas was subsequently traded to Colorado for a third-round draft pick. Yak’s a good kid, works hard. Is that all he’s worth?

http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/hockey-world-if-the-kings-cant-hang-on-to-milan-lucic-bet-the-oilers-will-be-courting-him

So he is worth more than Gelinas to Chia (or was).

Sweeten the pot and grab Severson.
Sign Demers.

Keep on Rockin in da Free World.

Doug McLachlan

At the 2000 All-Star game in Toronto my buddy had scored tickets to the game and all the fan events associated with it.

One of those events was a pre-game brunch at the York Hotel, where the visiting players used to stay when they came in to play the Leafs at old MLG.

I’m at the buffet getting a plate of something when a guy comes over and elbows me aside. I, Canadian nerd that I am excuse myself thinking I must be lingering by the sausages for too long. I look up to see Gordie f**king Howe! I just got elbowed by Gordie Howe!

I small talked for a few moments talking about coming to the York with the Wings. Such a gentleman. Was so stunned that the fact that I had been elbowed by Mr. Hockey didn’t register until maybe an hour or so later.

Rest in peace. My smile was one of countless you have given to fans over the many, many years of your career as player and ambassador.

dustrock

Doug McLachlan,

Love this story Doug. 🙂

ASkoreyko

Ducey,

If that is honestly the value that Yak has around the league I can’t imagine there is any way that Chia trades Yak in the off-season. I mean the kid has struggled but he isn’t a cancer on the team or anything and his poor performance has made him relatively cheap. Unless you are worried he is stealing to much ice-time without the results (ala Lander) I have no idea why you would get rid of him.

Look at what happened in TBay with Drouin. You just can’t give up on a player of that talent and pedigree by trading him for a 3rd round pick.

Wolfie

Bruce, I’m going to throw a little more gas on the Eberle vs Yak fire.

They are both minus players. Eberle has hovered around -12 the last 3 years. Meanwhile Yakupov went from winning the green jacket to being in the same neighbourhood as Eberle with a -16 this year.

I know plus/minus is a rudimentary measure. However it does support the argument that Eberle has stagnated defensively. Offensively he is no doubt better than Yakupov. I think Yak improved leaps and bounds defensively this year.

We don’t yet know Yak’s ceiling offensively. Is Yak having his ‘Cogs’ moment now? If he can find his scoring touch(he played very well with McDavid) I see Yak becoming a more well rounded player. Eberle has never been forced to play defence. He has talent to spare but not enough to make up for his defensive laissez-faire.

In a league where Stamkos sees reduced ice time in the playoffs, a player like Eberle needs to do more to contribute to winning then scoring pretty goals.

Crosby and Malkin have learned the lesson. Scoring is fun but winning is more so.

Eberle gets you more in trade than Yak. If you plug Yak into Eberle’s spot I think you’ll see less drop off then you might think.

Truth

IMO, the Yak problem stems from the Oilers not wanting (or having the ability) to send him down to the AHL. Yes, he looked good in the lockout shortened year, but the following year he should have been sent down. Yak is the ultimate confidence dependent player I can think of. You can tell by watching his first shift of the night if he is going to be good that night or not.

The Oilers were scared of Yakupov, Larionov and the KHL, make no mistake. Yak and Larionov requested a trade because he hasn’t been given an opportunity. I don’t buy it. A 1st overall pick should force himself into the top two lines, and if he can’t, it is the organizations responsibility to send him to the AHL where he can play 25 mins a night and make a case to be in the top 6 at the NHL level. If there is some external factor preventing the organization from doing this…well, you get to the position the Oilers are at with Yak. Does Larionov think Detroit would have simply placed Yak on Datsyuk’s wing based on pedigree alone? Probably. And that’s the issue.

Ca$h-McMoney!

I like Nail Yakupov. I like the person and there are times that I like the hockey player. I really do.

The number one reason I want Yak to be traded?

For his sake. I think he’s a good kid and I simply don’t think he can be happy in this situation. Too much history, too much disapointment. We can drag it out for another year or two if we like, but at the end of the day if he doesn’t turn into a 40 goal russian Brett Hull he simply won’t have lived up to his billing in Edmonton. I think he’s put in his time and deserves a fresh start.

I really think we can make a deal work with the Islanders for Strome. Yak on the wing of a player like Grabovski could be really good for the Islanders, and Strome has a lot of tools that could add to our lineup. Maybe a mid round pick going one way or another, but there is a deal there.

Gret99zky

I thought the logical solution was to send Yakupov to Montreal to be re-united with Galchenyuk.

So who can we get from the Habs?

Centre of attention

Lowetide:
Eberle is an established NHL scorer.

Was this ever in question?

Centre of attention

Wolfie:
Bruce, I’m going to throw a little more gas on the Eberle vs Yak fire.

They are both minus players.Eberle has hovered around -12 the last 3 years.Meanwhile Yakupov went from winning the green jacket to being in the same neighbourhood as Eberle with a -16 this year.

I know plus/minus is a rudimentary measure.However it does support the argument that Eberle has stagnated defensively.Offensively he is no doubt better than Yakupov.I think Yak improved leaps and bounds defensively this year.

We don’t yet know Yak’s ceiling offensively.Is Yak having his ‘Cogs’ moment now?If he can find his scoring touch(he played very well with McDavid) I see Yak becoming a more well rounded player.Eberle has never been forced to play defence.He has talent to spare but not enough to make up for his defensive laissez-faire.

In a league where Stamkos sees reduced ice time in the playoffs, a player like Eberle needs to do more to contribute to winning then scoring pretty goals.

Crosby and Malkin have learned the lesson.Scoring is fun but winning is more so.

Eberle gets you more in trade than Yak.If you plug Yak into Eberle’s spot I think you’ll see less drop off then you might think.

Eberle gets more than he gives up. This is a verifiable fact.

That you discredit plus/minus than use it to support your argument speaks volumes about your level of confusion on this player. Yakupov has had his head kicked in possession-wise the last few years, with only this last year showing some sort of progression.

Please go analyze Eberle’s puck possession analytics and then come back to me and tell me Eberle has stagnated relative to Yak.

Yakupov and Eberle are not even in the same class of players.