NHL Rumor Mill – October 7, 2016

by | Oct 7, 2016 | Rumors | 76 comments

Could the Edmonton Oilers ship Nail Yakupov to the Chicago Blackhawks?

Could the Edmonton Oilers ship Nail Yakupov to the Chicago Blackhawks?

Speculation links Edmonton Oilers winger Nail Yakupov to the Chicago Blackhawks plus the latest on the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning in your NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Bob McKenzie commented on speculation out of Chicago suggesting the Blackhawks could acquire Edmonton Oilers right wing Nail Yakupov. While a trade is not imminent, McKenzie said that’s not to suggest the two clubs haven’t discussed it. The Blackhawks still wish to assess their young players, while the Oilers would have to pick up part of Yakupov’s $2.5 million salary for this season. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL:  David Staples weighs in on the rumor, noting McKenzie’s analysis and that of Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, who reports the Blackhawks would “send AHL player/s to EDM, and likely ask” the Oilers to retain part of Yakupov’s salary. He also points out the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus suggesting Yakupov, who “isn’t all that good,” would be an “odd fit” for the Blackhawks. Lazerus adds it could speak to how dire things are at forward for the ‘Hawks.

Staples said the Oilers tried for many months to move Yakupov.  “If another NHL team (maybe Chicago, but maybe an Anaheim or Montreal or the Rangers or Dallas even) only has to pay a mid-round pick to take Yakupov, that’s an excellent bet for them to make,” writes Staples. “You give up almost nothing. In return you get a highly, highly motivated player on a reasonable one-year deal who might crack your second line and help out your power play.”

Jim Matheson also voiced his opinion on the subject, noting the Blackhawks were mocked last January for picking up forward Richard Panik, who went on to play well for them in the playoffs against the St. Louis Blues. He suggests Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov did a good job mentoring young Russian teammate Artemi Panarin last season and could do the same for Yakupov. Matheson also points out the Blackhawks limited cap room means the Oilers must pick up part of Yakupov’s salary. 

PITTSBURGH POST GAME:  CBS Pittsburgh’s Dan Kingerski wonders if the Penguins, who took on a fading Justin Schultz from the Oilers last season, would be interested in Yakupov. He reports Oilers scouts have taken in several Penguins preseason games. Kingerski notes TSN’s Darren Dreger’s recent report on the winger’s declining trade value. Yakupov’s $2.5 million salary, however, would be an issue, as the Penguins have about $1 million in cap space for the upcoming season. At this point, however, Kingerski believes the chances are slim that the Penguins acquire Yakupov. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers want to move Yakupov, but to do so means shipping him to a team with the cap space willing to take on his salary or agreeing to pick up a significant portion of that salary. The latter is most likely the only workable option for cap-strapped clubs such as the Blackhawks and Penguins. The discussions between the Oilers and ‘Hawks are apparently ongoing, so this speculation probably won’t die down anytime soon.  

TSN:  Pierre LeBrun believes the Anaheim Ducks will have to shed salary once they re-sign restricted free agents Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell. LeBrun feels defenseman Cam Fowler ($4 million cap hit) is the likeliest to be dealt, noting a number of clubs were interested in the blueliner at this year’s NHL Draft. 

TODAY’S SLAPSHOT: Speaking on TSN 1040, Bob McKenzie reports there’s some progress in the Ducks negotiations with Rakell. He also suggested Lindholm and the Ducks closed a gap in their talks, though McKenzie adds that’s not to say it’s still not considerable. He also believes they’ll have to ship out someone like Fowler to free up cap space for those two. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks currently have around $7.5 million in cap space. Re-signing those two could take more than that. If they intend to re-sign the pair before the start of the season on Oct. 12, they’ll have to make that salary-dumping deal by Oct. 11 in order to be cap compliant. The Ducks placed Clayton Stoner ($3.25 million)  on waivers yesterday, but it’s unlikely a rival club will pick him up. If he clears and is demoted, the Ducks will only receive $950K in cap relief. Depending on the cost of re-signing Lindholm and Rakell, it might not be enough.

TSN: Bob McKenzie reports there’s been some contract discussions between Calgary Flames management and the agent for Johnny Gaudreau. McKenzie believes Gaudreau seeks a deal comparable to that of St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko ($7.5 million per season) while the Flames prefer less than that.

Pierre LeBrun claims the Flames are among four teams with interest in unrestricted free agent defenseman (and former Flame) Kris Russell, but they’ve obviously got some salary juggling to do. That could allow one of those other clubs to come through with an offer for Russell. It’s expected Russell could be signed by next week.

McKenzie said there’s been some thought to move the contract of defenseman Ladislav Smid ($3.5 million), who’s sidelined for the season with an ongoing neck injury. However, there’s no certainty that gets done. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Such a move could also cost the Flames a quality prospect or a significant draft pick. 

McKenzie also reports there’s no indication of progress in contract discussions between the Tampa Bay Lightning and RFA winger Nikita Kucherov. The Lightning also have significant cap issues. 



  1. Yak and 5th to pens for Fehr and a 3rd… with Oilers picking up the difference in Fehr’s and Yak’s cap hits. Get er’ done GMJR!

  2. So Yakupov gets you AHL players and you have to keep part of his salary? So Chicago takes him and loses AHL player(s) who they could call up from time to time to fill a need Yakupov has shown even he cannot fulfill? How much time is left on this contract? Edmonton apparently has a lot of cap space left. Buy him out and let him go home to play in the KHL. Why cycle this type of player around the league? He is only taking a roster spot from someone else who deserves it. Is it a one way contract that he has? If not this is even sillier because Edmonton could just send him to the minors and avoid all of this in the first place.

    • Why such venom? You think Yaks is the only guy in the NHL taking up a roster spot? Is your spot he is taking on a roster? lol
      I’m pretty sure he will never work out to be what he was projected to be, but maybe with a change he will find a team with some coaching and players to help build up some confidence and he works out to be a worthwhile pickup.

      • Good One Shticky! Yakupov is a better player than me. I actually am not venomous over it, but you know, there are other options for teams and if a player has shown an inability to perform then why not explore those options? The Oilers are partly to blame for their own situation as they had several top picks and kept taking forwards, Nurse aside. Maybe, just maybe Yakupov goes to Chicago and turns it around.

    • Place him on waivers and see who bites.

      • If he could be picked up for an AHL player and possibly a bit of salary held I’d roll the dice on it not sure I would take him off waivers picking up an extra contract and salary but it wouldn’t hurt to try if they are in such a rush to show him the door. One thing for sure it seems like the Oilers have come to a more reasonable value on Yakupov.

      • Isn’tn there still a “re-callable” waiver process? If someone bites, he’s recalled and Chiarelli then says “let’s talk.”

      • No they did away with that George, but you’re right about the waivers tho. If no one bites Oilers save 950,000 and Yak gets a chance to play top minutes and get his game back in the minors. Better than eating half of his salary and taking crapback

    • Yak deserves one more chance with a team not in Edmonton. I’d be shocked if he didn’t “bottom out” as a decent third liner at the worst…

    • A good GM will do what is best for his team and a players career. I’ve been spouting this for some time. Your wish to toss away Yakupov like he is some kinda of trash back is silly. He will get moved and deserving so will receive another chance with another team to make his career in the NHL. Just because he was drafted first and turns out to be only a 2nd or 3rd line player is no reason to toss him away with such venom.

      • It’s a BUSINESS Jeff, with absolutely no room for “aww gee” sentimentality. Ask Calgary and Winnipeg. The Senators traded a # 1 pick (Daigle) to Philadelphia for prospect Václav Prospal and another 1st-round mistake, Pat Falloon. Prospal had a fairly decent run in the NHL but no one will ever confuse him with a top pick “franchise” player. Yakupov is a bust as a # 1 – time to swallow that reality and move on for Edmonton.

      • As a BUSINESS George looking out for the players is also good…. who gets the best employees? The Employer that treats their employees like garbage or the one that creates a positive work environment and trust among their employees? All of location, money, winning, and team environment go into luring FA and keeping current talent. Oilers should be careful they don’t come off as turds in how they deal with Yak.

      • You mean like Trouba is treating the Jets organization?

      • And Heatley treated the Sens?

      • Well sens deserved it?. Players are aware when it’s their peers being turds or the organization being turds.

      • Or like Prince who Murray just moved to the islanders cause there was no room on the Sens roster. He got a great chance next to Tavares.

      • Prince is going to be a very good 3rd line NHL player for a long period of time. Not a high level point producer but a solid checking line winger with some offense. Derek Grant is about to start an NHL career in Buffalo at 26, may not be a full time NHL player yet but has played well & is defensively responsible. Ottawa didn’t let Hoffman into the NHL either until 26. Is there a pattern hear?

      • What player prince turns out to be hardly has any beating on the point I am attempting to make. No one disagrees with that assessment of Prince.

      • A good GM having a player that isn’t going to make his team won’t try to bury said player in the minors. He will attempt his best at finding another team to take him on and allow the player to reach his goal else where. Is what I am saying.

      • Allot of teams let waivers resolve those issues for them. Most players hit waiver eligibility in or around 22.

      • They only go waiver route if a trade can’t be found. Obviously as they would at least like a pick back.

    • The buyout window is closed. Edm & Yakupov could mutually agree to terminate his contract so he could go to the KHL but that’s not happening. At only 23; yesterday, having played only for Edm, other teams will take a chance on Yakupov just a question of cost. Nothing wrong with taking AHL players, they are called prospects. Apparently it was multiple prospects being named, McNeil, Polka & Hartman. At least 2 of those 3 players will see some time in the NHL in their careers. Not sure McNeil will but assume the other 2 do eventually.

  3. Yak for Girardi!
    I would run naked in the streets

  4. I always wondered how much English he spoke & understood. I don’t think the coaching carousel in Edmonton was the issue, it was that Yakupov didn’t develop a 200 foot game, or better recognition in the attack zone. He’s great on that Ovi-like perimeter shot, and it is not like there wasn’t boatloads of skills that had scouts have him as a high pick.
    It simply is proof that just because your team selects a guy early, that the development is going to happen fast and be equal the susbsequent RFA deals…most juniors need time. If a team THINKS it’s an affordable short term get for minor league players, let them go for it…and if he does well, he gets a chance in Las vegas, b/c it is difficult to imagine he secures protected status…
    And it is unfair to look at the minor pro return as nothing…maybe one of those guys fit on the bottom end there.

  5. Whoever trades for Yakupov, its a one year trial. He will be playing in the KHL next year-no question.

    • If I’m not mistaken his family (mom and dad) lives in North America have for some time, and if he could land another contract in the NHL why would go to the KHL? I think the KHL is likely the last option for Yakupov.

  6. A first round pick is never done (especially a first overall )
    Yak will be in the league a while. Maybe 3-4 teams over a hand full of years will take a shot.

    • This is true…just seen an early first round pick retire who was given opertunity in a few places (Hodgson)

      • Great Example Shticky and I am sure there are many more.

    • Daigle came back!

      • But he never lived up the status of a 1st overall pick and would never be a candidate for any award recognizing his defensive abilities.

      • As 12 seasons/partial seasons of -45, -22, -30, -33, -7, -1, -1, -12,-5, -10, -4 and -6 will attest.

      • Daigle played over 600 NHL games for 6 different NHL organizations in his 11 year NHL career, then spent his last 5 years playing professional hockey in Switzerland. That’s 16 years playing professional hockey living your dream. I think he made out OK.

        Yakupov has tons of chances left. Hahahahaaa

      • Gee George… can’t you tell me what his corsi and fendwick were for those periods?

      • Gee, snarky, I don’t have to. yes he played a lot of hockey. So have dozens of late round picks. He just wasn’t a valid # 1 overall. Or are you and Striker going to dispute that? He’s the one who drags out corsi.

      • I’m not disputing it George. I’m with you 100%. He wasn’t a bust just a wasted 1st round pick. Not the worst 1st round pick ever, there are a few others that crashed & failed. Patrick Stefan immediately comes to mind but even he played enough games to earn his full NHL pension.

    • Why?

  7. This is a critical point in Yakupov’s career.
    If he goes to Chicago, I believe he will have his best year and land a contract next year.
    If he goes to a lower team with a losing culture then he won’t develop.

    Everyone has had a job in the past with poor management and bad culture, yet you move to a better opportunity and things start turning around. At the end of the day he is a human being, and a young inexperienced one.

    Some great landing spots for him include Anaheim, Chicago, Nashville and colorado
    Looking east the Washington makes sense. If looking for the Russian connection then there’s lots there.
    Another team that comes to mind is Tampa bay, they have some financial concerns, If they get Yakupov + pick for say Filpulla or coburn then its a deal that makes sense for both. The latter two would have to move NMC

    • Why in God’s name would Edmonton want the grossly overpaid Filpulla? However, I’m sure if TB offered up Coburn even-up for Yakupov, Chiarelli would jump on that like fleas on a dog. But that isn’t going to happen.

    • I agree with most of your thoughts just not necessarily the teams or players your talking about but on board with your thought process.

      Nashville has no room. Their 13 forwards are set & that doesn’t include Fiala & Kamenev who are both NHL ready. Nor do I see Colorado as an option, no room in the top 9 & Yakupov isn’t a 4th line player. Can’t see TB taking that type of asset, simply don’t need him but they do need to move salary so something will have to give when push comes to shove.

      • Which is why I said the Coburn idea isn’t happening. His cap hit is $3.7 for the next 3 years and with Yakupov costing $2.5 for this season the $1.2 mil difference isn’t going to help Yzerman deal with his immediate RFA problems. Would Chiarelli hold back $1.5 of Yakupov’s cap hit and would the $2.2 mil freed up help TB?

      • Yzerman is very close to having enough space to make it work now. $5,547,499 in cap space according to Capfriendly with 21 players currently signed & Callahan going on LTIR for almost the 1st 2 months of the season.

        Players are paid by the following basic formula. The # of days in the NHL schedule; 179 this year, divided by their salary determines their daily pay rate. Using Callahan as an example TB saves 32,402.25 each day against the cap well he is on LTIR. For each day Kucherov misses before signing at say 7 mil per season, saves TB 39,106.15 a day.

        If TB delays signing Kucherov & gives Point a 9 game cup of coffee in the NHL, TB plays it’s 9th game on October 30th that’s 18 days of saved pay on Kucherov’s contract or 703,910.61 against the cap less Points nominal salary & another 583,240.50 on Callahan’s LTIR savings for a total of 1,287,151.10. Add in the $5,547,499 in Cap space TB already has & that’s 6,834,650 in cap space for TB.

        If Yzerman can’t find a deal to his liking he just makes Kucherove sit until he can make the monies work. Not ideal but you play the hand your dealt or in this case the hand Yazerman dealt himself. As crazy as it sounds TB is so deep that having Kucherov miss the 1st dozen games of the season although not ideal isn’t going to cost them a playoff spot. Drouin takes his PP time, Point plays a top 6 role for 9 games.

      • Sorry I should have extrapolated that 1 formula further. Signing Kucherov for 8 years at 7 mil per if he misses the 1st 18 days of the season makes his cap hit for this year 6,296,089.90. That gets TB in under the cap with almost 600K to spare. Not ideal but injuries will happen freeing up even more space & several other teams currently have less cap space than that for this season now. All call ups from the AHL make far less in salary than almost every NHL player, so a savings or cap space is created every time a player has to go on LTIR.

        Injuries will open up trade possibilities eventually. Some are now. Dallas with Nichushkin bolting, Janmark lost for 6 months;, Eakin gone 6 weeks & Hemsky experiencing ongoing groin issues they will be getting desperate for an NHL quality forward very soon. I assume Fontaine who just signed a PTO their will be given the league minimum as they need a body to play 4th line minutes now & Seguin; yet to play, & Benn are both far from 100%

  8. With Stoner; may stay up regardless, potentially being sent down, Anaheim will have 8.4 mil & once Thompson is placed on LTIR as he’s out till March, another 1.6. That’s 10 mil. I assume Rackell & Lindholm will come in at or near that sum combined.

    With Theodore & Montour both sent to the minors, Anaheim only has 6 Dman; 1 of which is Holzer, signed on the 23 man roster potentially, so either Stoner stays up or 1 of those 2 young Dman is coming back after Anaheim addresses their 23 man roster & places Thompson on LTIR.

    Someone is getting traded I just Wish Murray would hurry up already. I get he has better leverage in negotiations with Lindhom if he waits to make the trade until after he’s signed but the seasons 6 days away lets get going already.

  9. I wonder if Fowler (and similar trade candidates) are victims at this time of year of the pending expansion draft. I mean guys that have significant trade value (3rd round pick and up) are difficult to move because the receiving team would most likely want to keep him which means he has to be protected. That could mean losing exposing another forward or Dman and losing them for nothing. Fowler is good enough that Vegas could be interested so if you make a side deal to keep him you end up paying for him twice. I do not think it only about who has cap space for him but also who has protection space.

    • Expansion looming is certainly a factor in potential player moves but it’s impact & effect on any players of quality will be virtually non existent except for goalies as so few starting opportunities exist in the NHL for them. Just to many good goalies being developed to stock the # of teams in the NHL. Simple supply & demand.

      Any team taking on a Dman like Fowler will have no issues with the fact he will need to be protected come expansion. These types of assets are so few that the demand is insane & the cost for such even more so, expansion or not.

  10. I hate to say this, but why not the Ducks take a flier on Yakupov. Trade Fowler to the Oilers for Yakupov and a low pick (if they retain $1 mil, then no pick) . That would free up and additional 2.5 mil and should help get the two signed. It also gives the ducks a LW that might gel with Getz and Perry…. Or will be a one year stop and he will be gone. Now, I know this wont happen, but its good for thought here.

    • gee… good thing you aint the ducks gm… fowler should get yak + a high pick or prospect in return… at least.

      • Even more than that I would assume. Fowler will return a significant bounty. I don’t see Yakupov going to Anaheim although certainly not impossible but if he does it will take at least 1st & another significant young player ideally 1 that is expansion exempt as Yakupov’s value in the trade is essentially zero.

        Anyone taking Yakupov at this point is just helping Edm get him off their roster. If Edmonton was smart they would play Yakupov with McDavid, Eberle with RNH give him quality power play time & show what he can do is given the right opportunity. Create some value. Todate all they have really done is kill his value. 3rd or 4th line minutes played at both LW & RW with a constant revolving door of linemates.

        Lucic, McDavid, Yakupov.
        Pouliot, RNH, Eberle.
        Maroon, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi.
        Hendricks, Letestu, Kassian.

        I’m not saying this is Edm’s line up just away to create value for Yakupov. As soon as he starts to generate decent #’s if able & who can’t playing with McDavid, get a 2nd round pick & or prospect & move on & hope you get lucky at the draft table with that pick.

      • This is exactly what EDM should do 100%. He looked pretty good playing along side mcdavid last year.

      • Edmonton is done with losing.
        They will ice the best lineup they can to win games. If they thought playing Yak in the top 6 would help them win they would.
        They think otherwise and they brought in different players for that reason, including Versteeg.
        The old Oilers would continue to play Yak up front and not move on from a draft day mistake and hope he finally gets it. With the new regime you earn your ice time, and the players that help you win will play. The way it should be.
        They will move on from Yak one way or another.

      • That’s what I would do to Ray. I have Edm as a playoff bubble team this year & a lock if they can get say a Fowler or Trouba.

        Vertseeg hasn’t been signed yet & in 4 meaningless exhibition games has 6 shots on net & 1 goal. He may not be signed regardless. Pikaranen is injured currently but Edm has some waiver issues if Versteeg is signed in Edm. Only McDavid & Draisaitl don’t have to clear wavers & neither of them are being sent down.

        Not sure there is room at the inn for Versteeg unless Yakupov is traded. Edm should have moved him long ago for something when his value was higher. Better yet have drafted Murray as all the scouts wanted to but Lowe & Tambellini overruled everyone.

      • Yep Striker, how different would they look today with Murray? Rumor is it may have even been Katz on the draft day decision.
        I think they ship Yak out of there for just about anything. They need a quick start as the schedule gets real tough after that.
        This year is about a new era not just a new rink. I can see them taking off IF they can stay healthy for a change especially on the blue line.

      • Gee. Can you spell “condescending”?

      • George, didn’t mean to be. What part?

      • LOL. Not you Ray. That was in response to chrisms twice-used “gee” today. It was supposed to appear under HIS comment.

  11. Boston should try for Yakapov.
    Very light on Right Wing.
    Not much past Pastrnak.
    Maybe give Edmonton their second rounder back.
    He’s just getting into his mature years. I wouldn’t give up on him.

    • Dave, the B’s are shy on the RW but Yak is the exact opposite of a Julien type player. I would be shocked if he went there, and happy about that as a B’s fan.

    • No thank you.

      Backes, Pastrnak, Hayes, Nash appear to be this years RW’s in Boston. Not sure their is a spot for Yak there nor is he a Boston type player. Griffith could play RW as he has when in the NHL & numerous prospects not the least of which is Senyshyn.

      • I would like to see Griffith get a real opportunity finally.

      • Would rather see Backes play third line center would make a more balanced offense. He really isn’t a RW and who knows how he will do there. Pastrnak hasn’t been great or healthy lately really not a #1. Hayes really had a bad year. Nash is another center they may move to RW.
        Griffith yes I would rather see on RW.

      • I don’t want to pay a 3rd line C 6 mil a year.

      • Why does it matter if he’s 2nd line center or 3rd line center.
        He will still have equal minutes. Can still produce as a third line center.

  12. Yakupov to the Blues for a prospect (Zach Pochiro) and a conditional pick in 2017

    • Conditional pick is a 3rd rd if Yakupov scores 15 goals

      • Apparently Russell signs with the Oilers, a 1 yr deal for about 1 mill

      • Good for yak can’t say the kid doesn’t work hard hope he does good with the blues! Russel is a great move for the oilers he will really help that blueline

      • Now they`re saying about 3 mill for 1 yr.

      • Ya I figured it would be more than 1 lol regardless still a great move by the oilers

      • I know and understand that something had to be done but if you would have said back at the end of last season that out of 3 1st overall in a row Hall RNH Yaks that would end up as RNH Larson a 3rd round pick and a guy from the ECHL what would people say? Geeesh that looks bad

      • Don’t say too much shticky the leafs are in the exact same position the oilers were awhile ago! The leafs need to start drafting some dmen or they will end up in the same spot the oilers were in skilled forwards no defense

      • I think Yak can score 15 goals in StL as a 3rd line RW, making it a 2nd round pick. Good deal for both teams, here’s hoping Yak can get his career back on track with a fresh start.

        Now Edm can sign Versteeg as well.

  13. Yaks a blues

  14. The Yaks trade is getting better, now the Oilers get the 3rd and if he scores 15 goals it becomes a 2nd in 2018. The Russell deal is supposed to be announced tomorrow

  15. If Yakapov is healthy he will score 20.

  16. As a Bruin fan I’m ok Yak went to St. Louis and not Boston as yes we could use a RW but not one who is not a team player and a defensive liability. Marchand at a little over 6 is a steal hearing Johnny wants 8.