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Trade rumor: Rangers after Yakupov?

Nov 5, 2013, 4:41 PM EDT

Nail Yakupov AP

The New York Rangers have had a lot of trouble scoring goals this season. They also don’t have Marian Gaborik anymore. And Rick Nash‘s concussion issues have to be a concern going forward. So in theory, their pursuit of Edmonton youngster Nail Yakupov, the first overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft, makes sense.

Not that they’re definitely doing that; we’re simply referring to a story by Larry Brooks in the New York Post:

The Oilers dispatched a scouting expedition featuring their president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe, general manager Craig MacTavish and special adviser Mark Messier to the Garden on Monday for the Rangers’ 2-1 defeat to the Ducks.

Edmonton, which has opened 3-10-2 under first-year coach Dallas Eakins, is believed to be accepting offers for veteran winger Ales Hemsky while also exploring the market for second-year winger Nail Yakupov, the first overall selection in the 2012 Entry Draft.

MacTavish is reportedly working hard to add a defenseman, and certainly the Rangers have a few of those. Would Sather be willing to part with, say, 23-year-old Michael Del Zotto? Just asking the question. Don’t know the answer.

  1. missthemexpos - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Maybe the Habs would like to reunite Yakupov with his former Junior teammate?

  2. guitarhunterdude - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Pretty much any form of Del Zotto for Yakupov, with Del Zotto being NYR’s main piece in the trade, would be an idiotic trade for the Islanders.

    Therefore, I expect to hear confirmation of some form of that deal within the next day.

    • killerpgh - Nov 5, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      I don’t think the ISLANDERS would mind that trade….

      • guitarhunterdude - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        Wow….that was one of the stupidest typos I’ve ever made. Obviously I was talking about the Oilers.

  3. travishenryskid - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Del Zotto? Really? If you meant Girardi or McDonagh, we could take it seriously. You don’t get to trade for a 1st overall pick, potential franchise player for a 4th or 5th defenseman. 28 other teams would do better.

    • mikebel11 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      Especially not when that defenseman is known more for his offensive abilities than his defensive abilities. The problem with the oilers is not defense. The problem is a league worst Save Percentage and while some of that falls defenseman not clearing rebounds or not taking their man, S% is the most accurate representation among goaltending stats. The problem in Edmonton is goaltending. If the Oilers trade Yakupov and there’s not a starting goalie coming back the other way they’ve made a horrible mistake. At the very least they’d need Marc Staal as the centre piece of a deal with the Rangers. Or a time machine to go back and take Murray in the first place.

    • stakex - Nov 5, 2013 at 11:54 PM

      Del Zotto is hardly a 4th or 5th defenseman on most teams. He tends to take a lot of the blame when things don’t go well for the Rangers, but a lot of the criticism he gets is unwarranted. For all the talk about how poor his defensive ability has been, he was still a +26 over the last two seasons… not bad for a defensemen playing on a low scoring team.

      Sure, there is a good argument to be made that a strait up Del Zotto for Takupov trade is unlikely, and that the Rangers might need to sweeten the pot a bit more…. but Del Zotto is a top pair defensemen on almost any team in the NHL. As a Rangers fan, I would actually rather the Rangers not trade him to be honest with you.

  4. ethanmacleod1685 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Me personally, if I was a rangers fan, I would think that we could better than yakupov

  5. stepanup - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    As a Rangers fan, keep that entitled Russian away from MSG. I’d take Del Zotto over Yakupov any day. Del Zotto is a good compliment to the defensive minded McDonagh, Staal, and Girardi. Yakupov is an irresponsible and enigmatic talent. I saw enough of that in the Zherdev days.

    • xdj511 - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:19 AM

      Forget Zherdev, I heard Yakupov described as Kovalev except with less focus and dedication to hockey. Now that should keep you up at night.

  6. xdj511 - Nov 6, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    As much as I would agree that the Rangers need to be shaken up, I am hoping that Sather is not stupid enough to trade one of their stalwart D-men Staal, Girardi, or McDonough. The last thing they need to do is weaken their defense in search of more scoring. If they do they had better be damn sure McIlrath or another prospect in Hartford is ready to step up and fill that void, otherwise they’ll start losing games 5-4 instead of 2-1.

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