Edmonton’s biggest needs are experienced D men and goaltending.
Assuming 1) J. Schultz is off the table, and 2) that they are actually talking with us, one of their “big four” forwards is the only thing they have worth having. I can’t see MG being interested in guys like Hemsky, Gagner, and Pajarvi since we already have better players in those roles. Wouldn’t rate as a “splash” trade either since they’ve all been rumored to be on the block since forever (of course with attention craving reporters one never knows).
A legitimate potential game breaker, with talent on par with other front line star players, is what we need. Just between us, Kassian, Jansen and Gaunce, while probable good top 9 players in the making, do not project as elite talents. The era of Sedin domination will close soon and our max spending ways ensures that we will be a middling team in the draft order for some time. Meaning we’ll have to luck out to draft a superstar.
Of those four Yakupov has to be viewed as the one they’d most likely deal, for a variety of reasons, including: least proven, not a North American, not yet part of their youngster’s clique, Hall and Eberle just signed long contracts, RNH thought to have most upside by their followers, etc. Yak grew up a Bure fan so that works as well. A realistic, equitable, no BS “hockey deal” would see something like:
Luango and Edler for
Yakupov and one of their better D prospects like Klefbom, Musil, etc.
plus whatever lesser assets need swapping.
Our defense will suffer for it in the short term, but not to the extent that our upfront firepower will when the Sedin slow down hits in earnest. Bieksa and Garrison can handle PP duties, Ballard plays better with more ice time, and Connaughton looks to be ready or close to. Corrado is not far behind. Such a move would allow for a Detroit type competitive model for a longtime. IMO, if we don’t win it all this season we won’t be in serious contention for some time, absent some radical move as suggested.
Luango by himself (meaning no other significant assets) will not fetch a member of their “big four” but Schneider (plus some less significant assets) probably would. A Schneider plus deal for Yak, though not as enticing from our end, is also worth thinking about.
I’d go the Luango route if the Oilers and Lou are willing. They won’t get a better D man/goaltender combo anywhere else, and Edler and Schultz on their PP will be dynamite along with their kid line. Playoff revenues would become a distinct possibility.
Edited by Trelane42, 30 October 2012 - 07:07 PM.