I can see you rolling your eyes ready to avoid reading this article so that you can ragequit in all caps about the absurdity of this very notion. Nail Yakupov??? Slow news day for DBD huh?
Well, sort of.
For those who missed it, Nail Yakupov asked to be traded from the Edmonton Oilers because he plays for the Edmonton Oilers. Perhaps the most amusing quote that went unnoticed was Taylor Hall who said:
"We'll see what happens this summer, not just Yak but a lot of guys could be gone," said winger Taylor Hall. "It's going to be tough, but that's the way it goes."
First off, how disheartening must it be playing for a team with no teammates, basically? Like working for a place with a high turnover rate, at some point you're either afraid of being next, or want to be next just so you don't have to worry about whether or not you're next.
For whatever reasons, even simple psychological precepts elude Edmonton management. Second, can you blame Nail?
So why Dallas? Well, first off, Nail is 22. When you take away Dallas' impending UFA's like Ales Hemsky, Patrick Sharp, Patrick Eaves, and Colton Sceviour, Dallas' right wing position beings to look a little thin.
Dallas' future is tied up in Brett Ritchie, Valeri Nichushkin, and Denis Guryanov. Given the way Matej Stransky has played for the Texas Stars recently*, we can include him if we're stretching it. That's a very iffy group. Nichushkin wanes more than waxes production wise. He's an excellent forward who will only get better, but surely some fans are beginning to question his ceiling when it comes to results.
Ritchie projects to be a power forward, but nothing about his production indicates he can produce at a top six rate. And Guryanov is a complete wild card.
Yakupov is set to be a RFA until the 2017-2018 season, which would require a potential trade. Would fans endorse a Yakupov for Cody Eakin trade? The numbers compare for Yak quite favorably.
Both guys have seen play with some elite players, and some play without elite players. But Yakupov has played in Oilers' dumpster fire system.
Such a move could project to be something similar to a lateral move like the Brenden Dillon for Jason Demers trade. Just as Dallas was overflowing with left handed defensemen, they are currently overflowing with centers. Tyler Seguin, and Radek Faksa are core centers. Mattias Janmark has played the part. Jason Spezza still looks to have a few more solid years left, and prospects like Jason Dickinson, Devin Shore, and Roope Hintz are puck ramblers ready to get rambling. Dallas has a far better situation at center than at right wing. Such a move could save cap as well. Any little bit helps in a cap world. Just ask Stan Bowman.
Yakupov's value is low, so Dallas may not even have to give up someone as valuable as Eakin. But another player was shunned, and criticized for his stats too. Kris Russell. And yet he's fit in quite well in Dallas' system. Sometimes player growth depends on a new beginning. Dallas trading for Yakupov may look odd, or a doubling down of what they're already good at, but that's what people said about the Patrick Sharp trade as well. You don't always trade for areas of need. Sometimes you trade for areas of flexibility. And Dallas' offense is certainly flexible.
*Stransky deserved a hat trick and change against the San Antonio Rampage the other night. At his best, he's more Brett Ritchie than Brett Ritchie (if that makes sense). Playing RW to Jason Dickinson, and improving his skating stride has been a boon to Cedar Park lately. Let's hope Nill and Co. give him a good look at camp if the 22 year old power forward continues to progress