I have to admit, it’s the middle of August and I am desperately searching for NHL rumors to keep HockeyFanLand readers engaged. Here’s one for you, courtesy of The Hockey Press: Keith Yandle to Edmonton in exchange for Nail Yakupov.
Edmonton is making a big push to get Yandle before the start of the NHL season. I’m hearing that Edmonton is willing to offer whatever it takes. The Oilers want to land a defenseman and are exploring all possible options, including 28-year-old Keith Yandle. If New York thinks the deal will benefit the Rangers either this year or next year, they will likely take it. According to one source, Edmonton is not willing to trade Jordan Eberle but is considering trading Yakupov, especially if doing so would land them a quality defenseman.
The HockeyFanLand Insight:
On the surface, this deal looks like a steal for the Edmonton Oilers. Keith Yandle is a puck-moving defenseman capable of creating dynamic breakouts while putting points up quickly in the process. Yandle had 6 goals and 46 assists as a member of the Arizona Coyotes and New York Rangers last season.
Keith Yandle would be a nice addition to any NHL roster. However, as an Edmonton Oilers fan, I personally do not think this is the right time. I know Nail Yakupov has not lived up to the expectations of a first overall pick. However, with a new management and coaching system in place, I think Yak is set for a breakout season — especially when you consider that his center for the upcoming season will be either Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Connor McDavid. The opportunity to play with either of these talents should result in a dramatic increase in production for Yakupov. If you play any type of fantasy hockey, these young Oilers are worth taking a flyer on this season. It seems they all have a new lease on life, which is why I, for one, am willing to play “wait-and-see” for a little while longer…
Furthermore, the Edmonton Oilers must make key decisions about all of the NHL-ready defensemen already in the system before adding another marquee defenseman. Perhaps Keith Yandle will eventually find his way to Edmonton, which I would love, but now is not the time.
Featured image photo credit: Jared Silber-Getty Images