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- Loyalty Poll
- Oilers Gameday – Vs. Avalanche
- Taylor Hall – Breaking Bad?
- Disaster In The D-Zone
- Making The Grade…David Perron
- Making The Grade – Devan Dubnyk
- It’s All About the Benja…er…Bordens?
Grumblings out of Toronto. Could YakCity Be Headed East?
- Updated: October 13, 2013
Let me start by saying that I am absolutely not quoting anyone for this rumour. The person that provided it to me is strictly going off of hearsay, so I’m not making it sound like anymore of a legitimate possibility than it should be.
Toronto Wants Yakupov
Very similar to the way that they reportedly wanted Gagner, or Henrique at one point or another, the Maple Leafs want to add young scoring talent to the top 6, and in a big way. What bigger way than to take a struggling forward that went 1st overall in the NHL draft just over a year and a half ago?
When I heard this, my first reaction was a good old LOL, but then Yakupov had to come out and say this…
I really don’t like skating all the time, and forechecking, and hitting somebody every shift. I don’t think it’s my game.
Tell me he didn’t just say that. Tell me he didn’t just say that he wasn’t interested in playing Dallas Eakin’s game.
He did. He said it, and he meant it, and it isn’t really a huge surprise. A head coach that preaches accountability on the defensive front. That’s not something Yakupov has ever really succeeded under. Last season, early on was a struggle for Yakupov and turning the puck over, this year it’s the same. The only difference is that last year, he had everybody’s buddy, Ralph Krueger behind the bench. This year it’s “captain no-nonsense” Dallas Eakins. The same guy that scratched him for the 6th game of the year, after scratching Captain Canada a few games prior. Clearly the team is operating under a different state of rules and regulations, than last year’s 48 game shortened season, and some players are having a harder time with it than others. None more than number 64.
What Is Toronto Willing To Give?
Well reports out of Edmonton has suggested over the last week or so, that MacT and company, are actively looking for a good 3rd pairing defenseman. Do not ask me why MacT is looking for a third pairing defenseman, because I could not begin to even speculate an answer. The name that is coming out of Toronto as a guy that the Leafs would part with most willingly is Jake Gardiner. Jake Gardiner the 23 year old blue-liner, who was picked in the first round of the 2008 Draft at the 17th slot. Gardiner has a lot of upside, truth be told. Last season, he played limited games, and saw limited points, but the year prior, he managed to total 30 points in 75 games. He is a medium-sized puck mover, who would fit right in with MacTavish’s current band of Defenseman, but is he worth the talented Russian scorer, who should have made the Calder finalists last year? That’s the question.
The other player that Toronto would have to be fond of moving on from is
Goaltender, James Reimer. The Maple Leafs threw the kitchen sink at the LA Kings to bring in backup Goaltender Jonathan Bernier, and he seems to be the real deal. Already posted a shutout against Nashville, alongside a season SV percentage of 94%, it seems like the Leafs have found their number one guy moving forward. Actively looking to deal Reimer would make more and more of a statement that Nonis and management agree. Could the Oilers benefit from Reimer? It couldn’t hurt. The goaltending situation is becoming more and more terrifying night after night. Devan Dubnyk has officially become 2013′s whipping boy and they are only 6 games in. They are similar goaltenders in a lot of ways, and best case scenario would be; a competition between Reimer and Dubnyk would bring out the best in the both of them. Right now the Oilers could use the best of their goaltenders. To me, it would only make sense that if the Oilers did acquire Reimer to compete with number 40, they would have to send LaBarbara the other way. Maybe that would make it a fair trade? Keep in mind that Dallas Eakins has coached both James Reimer, and Jake Gardiner in Toronto.
So in summary, I’m not saying that this is a guarentee, nor am I even saying it’s got any sense of likelyhood. I’m only saying that according to some heads in Toronto, there is a possibility that a trade involving Nail Yakupov, Jake Gardiner and James Reimer, may be on the horizon. Do what you will with that.
*Edit. Asked Josh Rimer (SportsNet/NextSportsStar.com) about the rumour, and his response was “No way.”
Again, take it for what it’s worth.
Feel Free To Disagree With Me On Twitter @Jthompson2380