Five Edmonton Oilers Most Likely to be Moved

So after doing up my year-end report card for the Edmonton Oilers, which can be found hereit’s time to look at some of the pieces that will possibly be heading out of town before the 2016/17 NHL season starts. 

Yakupov

NAIL YAKUPOV

I don’t want to move him because we know he performs when he’s beside McDavid. The other thing we know is if he is moved, it’s not going to bring the Oilers back something impactful. He’s got one year left at $2.5M and IF the Edmonton Oilers want to move him, wouldn’t it be in their best interest to try to jack his stats up as high has they can to get the most value for him?

Let’s say he stays and puts up 20 goals and 20 assists before the trade deadline. Well that’s just the same as what Eberle is putting up and you know that Yakupov is effective on the forecheck, an excellent stick checker, and his one-timer if tamed is elite.

But the reality is he hasn’t performed and it’ll be sad to see him and his infectious smile play for another team.

Can the Oilers get a 3rd rounder for him? What about an effective bottom six winger like Ryan Garbutt, Antoine Roussel, or Tanner Pearson?

MARK FAYNE

I can’t really go to bat for this guy but the fact of the matter is he’s an NHL defenceman on a team that is in desperate need of NHL defencemen… Didn’t have a great start to the year but improved slightly and he’s a right shot… Even with all of that I don’t see a fit for him. In my opinion he was passed over by Brandon Davidson on the depth chart.

His contract is $3.625M for the next two seasons and I honestly don’t know who’d take that salary on at this point. He might get buried in the minors ala Nikitin which is fine by me because that team could use a mentor. It’s just not a good price point for a non-impact defender who is no.6 on the depth chart.

There were rumors earlier in the year of him going to Columbus in a deal for Scott Hartnell. I wonder if that deal or a deal similar to that gets consummated this summer.

Is Eberle on the way out of town?
Is Eberle on the way out of town?

JORDAN EBERLE

Ebs is the man in the trade rumor spotlight these days and if the Oilers are “lucky” enough to land a top three draft pick in this year’s draft lottery, then he could be moved for help on D. It’s not even contingent on that draft pick either. What if Peter Chiarelli can bring in Loui Eriksson via FA? Free agency will play a big factor this summer as Oilers management pushes hard to get this team to the playoffs in the first year of the Oilers being in Rogers Place.

The thing with Eberle isn’t so much about his non-existent two-way game. It’s his size (or lack thereof), skating, and lack of a one-timer that irks me. He only brings one thing to the table at this point and it’s not enough. Great goals aside, what else does he offer?

We’ve heard him going to the Islanders for Travis Hamonic but I think the Islanders would want more than Eberle. I don’t mind paying more depending on the price. Fringe prospects, fine. Anything past the 3rd round in terms of draft picks, ok.

The fact of the matter is, the team needs a right-handed blue liner in return for Jordan Eberle. A veteran if possible. Would you trade him for Ryan Ellis? Straight up for Sami Vatanen or Jared Spurgeon?

Ryan-Nugent-Hopkins-Faceoff

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS

Right off the bat, I hate the idea of moving Nuge. The more talented centres the Oilers have, the more versatile their top 6 is. But there’s one way I would move him and that’s for a centre of equal value that is right-handed. Nick Bjugstad comes to mind right away and Derek Stepan is another. At this point Mark Letestu plays big PP minutes because he’s right-handed and after watching Patrik Laine’s team and the way they deploy they’re forwards on the PP, it just makes sense to have two or more right-handers available.

Teams that might like to have the Nuge could be the aforementioned Islanders. If Frans Nielsen moves on they’ll have a hole at 2C. The Hurricanes need centers but the only guy I’d want out of Carolina is Justin Faulk and he’s not going anywhere. Columbus needs a no.1 center but there’s not a lot I like on that roster. Brandon Dubinsky maybe but he’s a winger. Detroit could be in line to add a pivot with Datsyuk leaving for Russia this off-season but who’d you want from the Red Wings?

Would you make a deal for Noah Hanifin that included Nuge?

TAYLOR HALL

Apart from Nugent-Hopkins on our list, Taylor Hall is the man who will get you the most for your buck. Now I’ve read the stats that he’s one of the best 5×5 wingers in the league but if he’s that good, why isn’t he scoring? Every player goes through slumps but why do his come after the team is effectively eliminated from the playoffs?…

This isn’t a shit-on-Hall piece but fancy stats aside or traditional stats for that matter, I am of the opinion the team might be better off improving the roster as a whole than relying on Hall’s production on the wing. The Edmonton Oilers NEED better defencemen, it’s that simple. Hall will bring you that without question.

Anyways, Lowetide had an interesting suggestion on his show last

If your'e a fan of Lowetide, you need this shirt! Click the pic and get yours today!
If your’e a fan of Lowetide, you need this shirt! Click the pic and get yours today!

friday. What if Hall could bring you back a right-handed dman, right-handed center, and a back-up goalie? I love that idea. Another thing is, and I’m not sure if the stats can work this way but, could the team replace his (Hall’s) stats in the aggregate? Meaning could a three for one trade work if those three players equaled Taylor Hall’s output on the stat sheet?

For example, let’s say Minnesota were the trade partner. Could Hall for Charlie Coyle, Jared Spurgeon, and former Red Deer Rebel Darcy Kuemper work? Don’t think the Wild would do that because they’d have a glut of very expensive LWers on their hands. I suppose it’d depend on how long Parise is out for, right?

The Senators are looking to shake things up, would they be interested in a swap for Taylor Hall? Only problem with Ottawa is they have ZERO defenseman you’d want unless they’d be willing to move Karlsson. I do Iike Mika Zibanejad and Mark Stone though.

IN THE END

Everyone will say that the Oilers can’t move a Hall or a Nugent-Hopkins but I wouldn’t be so sure. These are foggy times and there’s a ton of pressure on Peter Chiarelli to shake this team up and get it into the playoffs. Another thing fans of this team have to understand is that the team might make a trade that looks like a loss at first. A Hall trade that doesn’t bring back a top pairing defenseman will look like a loss on paper but we don’t know how such a deal will set up the team to make future trades.

Don’t get caught up in the way a player shoots though, it’s nice and the stats guys will object but the way a player shoots isn’t necessarily the most imperative thing here, it’s having defensemen in the top four who are bonafide NHL dmen. If they shoot right, even better. So say the team picks up Cam Fowler or Hampus Lindholm from the Ducks instead of Sami Vatanen, be very happy with that. Those two players are stellar and a HUGE upgrade on what the team has now.

I really do believe if the Oilers have a real NHL defense with two top four right-handed shooters they’d be that much better but the onus is on getting four REAL NHL blue liners. If Hall, Nuge, and/or Eberle have to go to give us that, fine. I’m okay with that because I’m less concerned with having scoring superstars on the wing than a D corps. that makes the Oilers a competitive team in the NHL.

The Edmonton Oilers are, I believe at least, in a position where they should be looking for the right organizational fit with regards to their trade targets. They need to identify the weaknesses on the team and address them accordingly. The team has a glut of skilled wingers. Move them along for help on defense THEN fill the gaps left on the flanks with centres or cheaper (possibly older) wingers who can skate and play a solid two-way game. No more lazy back checkers.

What do you think about my list. Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out G Money’s latest on the importance of Todd McLellan’s “Place and Chase” game plan here.

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I’m the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I’ve been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I’ll never leave my Oilers, no matter what!

They’re with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Kane Adamson

    Poor Fayne, gets no love. Hardly a fantastic defensman but hes a very boring proven #4. Hope he only get moved if we get a top 2 and a top 4 in the offseason

  • GCW_69

    I don’t think you trade Taylor Hall unless an elite defender is coming back. Fortunately, there are crazy rumours out there about three that would fit the bill: Subban, Karlsson, and Lindholm. If you can get one of them or equivalent, trading Hall makes sense. Otherwise, it’s a mistake.

    I think Fayne’s play after his recall will generate some interest in him, but most likely as part of a bigger deal. Something like Eberle and Fayne for Hamonic, Nelson or Lee, and a questionable contract to even out the dollars.

    • Beer League Hero

      Hey GCW! Thanks for commenting!

      Yeah I heard those rumors too. So many fans hate the idea of getting a dman like Subban but I love it. I just reckon the sum of the parts is more important than one part being amazing now that McDavid is here and the team has depth at centre. I wonder if a deal can be struck where the parts coming in address more than one weakness on the roster. Is there a team desperate to give the Oilers what they want/need?

      I do agree with you on the Fayne comment. I wonder if it’ll be Nuge going to the island though? Maybe Nuge and Fayne and something else for Hamonic, Nelson/Strome, and a prospect/draft pick.

      • GCW_69

        I think that depends on what happens with Okposo and Nielsen. I doubt they sign them both. Whichever hole they need to fill will define the ask from the Oilers.

        I agree that if the ask is for Nuge, the Oilers should push for Strome as part of the return. Nelson would be the fall back, but both would bring good things for the Oilers.

  • Taylor

    Taylor hall and yakupov
    For
    P.k Subban and z.fucale

    ?

  • Polarcat

    Oiler brass are going to mess this up BIG time!! The entire league knows how desperate they are and ripe for the picking! Love the Nuge, hope he goes to a winner and becomes the star he can be
    What free agent would possibly sign there? How many careers have the Oilers crippled…..?