Nail Yakupov will be dealt out of Edmonton in the next few weeks. That’s a given.
But when it comes to likely landing spots, there’s been a whole lot of guessing going on.
Matt Henderson from oilersnation.com named Montreal, Carolina and Columbus as possible landing spots. All good spots for Yak, but I want to look at Columbus a little more in depth.
In his article (you should check it out) Henderson claims Hartnell as the return for Yakupov and it does make sense. Columbus needs cap relief and a straight up Yakupov for Hartnell swap would save them over 2 million in cap space.
DOWN ON HARTNELL
Although the deal would provide good value for the Oilers, I don’t think its a move Chiarelli should be pulling the trigger on.
Hartnell isn’t a very good fit in my opinion for a few reasons. Hartnell is 34 years old and still has 3 more years left on his deal at 4.75 million dollars. While he has stayed relatively healthy and still puts up points (49 points in 79 games last season) will be be able to continue both those trends 2-3 years from now? Which is when the Oilers young core will be becoming more competitive?
I severely question that and after watching Hartnell on the Jackets this year its apparent age is starting to catch up with him. He was slower getting to the net and scored his points in bunches, showing his inconsistency.
As nice as it would be to have the power forward in the Oilers lineup this year, what happens in 2 years when McDavid, Draisaitl and Nurse all need new deals and the team has almost 5 million dollars tied up in a 36 year old bottom 6 forward? It’s not a smart investment.
You also have to look at Hartnell’s interest in the Oilers.
Hartnell gave the Blue Jackets a list of teams he’d be willing to waive his NMC to go to. I have heard from a few different sources that the Oilers are definitely not on that list and for good reason. Hartnell is getting to the “back nine” of his career and has yet to win a Stanley Cup. Why would he want to go to a team that likely won’t compete for a cup for atleast another 2-4 years? There should be no interest from either side in completing this deal.
But that doesn’t mean the Oilers and Jacket won’t/shouldn’t hook up for a deal. The Jackets could still help the Oilers fill their biggest hole: a top-4 right shot defenseman.
THE PERFECT MATCH
David Savard would fill that hole perfectly. He’s 25 years old and has close to 250 games of NHL experience and over 175 at the AHL level. He brings an excellent blend of youth and experience. He’s also locked up long term and will make 4.42 million until 2021-2022. A great contract for a quality defenseman like Savard.
He’s also been used in all scenarios with the Jackets. On the powerplay he was used on the second pairing and shot the puck a lot (12.37 shots/60 PP mins) and that’s something the Oilers powerplay has been lacking over the past few years.
On the penalty kill he was very good at limiting shots against. He’s a smart defender.
So why would the Jackets deal him?
Well the same reasons they are shopping Hartnell, they need cap space very badly and Seth Jones is an RFA so they need it fast to avoid being put into an offer sheet scenario by a team like the Oilers.
The money saved by trading Savard would help with getting their younger players signed.
Of course the deal wouldn’t be Yakupov straight across for Savard, that’s not nearly enough value for a player like Savard, with that kind of contract.
But the Blue Jackets need young options to fill into their lineup. So maybe a package around Yakupov, Pick 32 and a young defender like Griffin Reinhart or Jordan Oesterle could help get the deal done? It would give the Jackets two roster players and about 2 million in cap space.
Maybe the Oilers need to throw in a little more in terms of prospects and picks, but I believe that scenario above is a good start.
If that’s not enough, I believe the Oilers would be more than willing to trade Jordan Eberle, but that’s beside the point of this article.
There are certainly other options for the Blue Jackets to shed cap space however, Jack Johnson and Fedor Tyutin both make more money, but neither would give them the same return that Savard would and with the young d-group they already have with Murray, Jones, Werenski and Kukan, they may want to add some forward depth.
Even without Savard, their depth chart for next year isn’t bad (it’s not exactly good either):
|Ryan Murray||Seth Jones|
|Jack Johnson||Fedor Tyutin|
|Zach Werenski/Dean Kukan||Dalton Prout|
It’s still unknown if Savard will be made available, but the Oilers and Jackets could certainly make interesting trade partners.