Rumors have been circulating since Monday night, when Mark Messier and Edmonton Oilers GM Kevin Lowe were spotted in the crowd at Madison Square Garden for the New York Rangers vs. Anaheim Ducks game, that the Rangers and Oilers are heavy into trade talks that would result in the Oilers moving young phenom forward Nail Yakupov to the Rangers.
Now from the outside, one would think the Rangers were greatly benefit from acquiring Yakupov, due to the team’s very inconsistent offense, especially with the injury to winger Rick Nash, who has been out with a concussion since the Rangers third game of the season. However, I think it would actually be a disastrous move for the Rangers to go out and bring in Yakupov.
Yakupov has been said to be a lazy and uninspired player, granted he is only an immature 20-year-old who still needs to develop and grow up, but on a Rangers team that wants to win now, do you honestly think Yakupov is going to come to a city that never sleeps and all of a sudden mature? No way.
Another reason why I do not want the Rangers to make this trade is because if they do acquire Yakupov, then the Oilers will probably make the Rangers take Ales Hemsky, who is now 30 years old and who the Oilers have been trying to get rid of for quite some time now. Why you ask? For most of the same reasons why the Oilers want to move Yakupov. Lazy style of play and has problems with being inspired.
Also, the Oilers will be looking to acquire defense from the Rangers since that is one of the Oilers’ major weaknesses and is the Rangers biggest strength. So, you are telling me that Rangers GM Glen Sather trading either defensemen Michael Del Zotto and/or Dan Girardi for basically two Nikolai Zherdevs is going to help the Rangers offensively? If anything, this trade would hurt the Rangers defensively more than it would actually help bolster their offense.
I don’t know about you, but trading one or two defensemen for two players who are all “potential” with no production is not what I had in mind for a Rangers team looking to take the next step and lift the cup sooner rather than later.