News broke last night that the Edmonton Oilers had three of their upper management personnel attending the New York Rangers game according to Larry Brooks of the NY Post, a team that the Oilers may be interested in dealing with.
Jonathan Willis of the Edmonton Journal captures the thoughts of Brooks and what the Rangers might be after, if they were so inclined to make a deal with the Oilers. Brooks believes the Rangers are after a highly skilled winger and immediately two names come to mind; Ales Hemsky and Nail Yakupov. Yes, here we go again with the Yakupov rumors.
He would fetch the greatest return for the Oilers, IF they were to ever consider moving him. The Rangers do have some intriguing options on the blue line in Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi or Michael Del Zotto as Willis mentions.
It’s hard to fathom that Glen Sather would give up either Staal or McDonagh but if Yakupov were to be dangled in front of him, you have to believe it would at least make him stop and think about it. Again, the Oilers will have to give up a big asset to acquire one that can help on the back end.
Willis does mention Chris Kreider, a strapping left winger who is off to a nice start for the Rangers this season and would add that much needed size up front for Edmonton. Other names mentioned as possible trade chips that the Oilers might be interested in include Derek Dorsett, Brian Boyle and Benoit Pouliot and while they’d add size to the Oilers forwards, the hole on the blue line would still exist. Granted one of these players could be thrown in to sweeten the pot like Willis mentions.
In the end, Yakupov would have to be the centerpiece of the deal to bring back any player of merit ie: Staal or McDonagh. But now the debate will rage on about whether the Oilers should part ways with the young Russian and whether or not they should give up on him this early in his career. Hemsky would bring back a reasonable return but not to the level the Oilers need. So perhaps the bigger question becomes how desperate has Craig MacTavish become?