Thursday, October 6, 2016

Trade Rumor Thursday

Nail Yakupov. Image Credit:
Starting today, there will be a weekly post in this blog about NHL trade rumors. These posts will include players that are likely about to be traded, what teams want in return for specific players, and also players that would fit well on other teams. Information for this weekly post will have to be found on other websites, because yours truly is not an NHL executive or GM that has information like this at his fingertips. Websites such as: My NHL Trade Rumors, Bleacher Report, and Hockey Buzz (a blog), all give out great information on upcoming trades, but it will be nice to have it compiled all into one blog post.

Breaking news today is that the Chicago Blackhawks are working on a trade that will bring in former 2012 #1 draft pick, Nail Yakupov from the Edmonton Oilers. While this may be exciting news for Blackhawks fans, it comes as no surprise to Oilers fans. Already entering his 5th season in the league, the Russian 23-year-old winger has failed to live up to his expectations in Edmonton. #1 draft picks (such as Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby) are usually expected to come in and contribute right away. Yakupov was no different but has failed to live up to this task. The Oilers landed the 1st overall pick in the NHL draft three years in a row (2010, 2011, 2012) selecting Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Nail Yakupov. The former two players have played consistently better than Yakupov has for Edmonton. Some critics blame the Oilers organization on Yakupov's failures whereas others simply say he was a draft bust. Regardless, it looks as if a new sweater will be on Yakupov in the near future and the Blackhawks are likely the suitors.

With this trade comes complications. These include Chicago's cap space, Edmonton's willingness to accept what Chicago has to offer, and what the Blackhawks decided will be a fair-market trade for Yakupov. Chicago only has a little under 2 million in cap space and Yakupov's contract guarantees 2.5 million. Therefore, in order for the Blackhawks to make a trade for Yakupov, they will either have to trade away a player that will shed enough salary for them to absorb Yakupov's contract, or Edmonton will have to retain some of his salary. Reports have made it clear that Chicago will likely have to give up a draft pick (2nd round?) and a star-AHL player in order to get Yakupov; especially to have Edmonton retain some of his salary. But will the Oilers think that he is worth more than that?. Many believe that Yakupov just needs a change in scenery to become an elite scorer, but is simply changing teams enough for this possible draft bust to turn into an effective player?

***UPDATE***: Yakupov was traded to the St. Louis Blues on October 7th for Zach Pochiro and a conditional 3rd round pick (which will become a 2nd round pick if Yakupov scores at least 15 goals for St. Louis).


  1. I am Definitely ignorant to hockey, as well as any other sport. What is the significance of trading players? Is it simply to have a better team? Do the players get incentives? What is cap space?

    1. First off, cap space is essentially how much money a team has that they can spend. There is a cap ceiling, and there is a cap floor. These numbers change season-to-season but for the current season, the cap ceiling is 74 million and the cap floor is 54 million. The lower number is what the team MUST pay to be league compliant and the higher number is the MAX that a team can pay to their players. The reasoning behind these restrictions are simple. The floor prevents teams from being cheap and paying next to nothing for a group of rookies, and the ceiling prevents teams from signing all of the best players and dominating every other team in the league.

      The reason for trading a player can be a variety of reasons. Examples include: upgrading a position, a player no longer having the desire for playing for the team, and a team needing to get under the cap ceiling. For example, a team could have a really good player but not enough money to pay him so they will trade him to a team that can afford him and they will send someone (usually a rookie, because while they are highly skilled, they don't make as much as other players) that makes less money in return.

  2. Great sources, I use those 3 sights everyday. I'm curious as to where Jacob Trouba will be traded to. I think Yakupov would be a good fit for Chicago, but I don't see them giving up a high draft pick for him. Chicago has a depleted prospect pool from so many trades. Regardless of his stats, Yakupov is young and does have potential. Edmonton had too many top-6 forwards and a poor staff. I can see Edmonton receiving a 2nd rounder for him,and don't think Chicago would give theirs up.