NHL Morning Rumor Mill – November 13, 2013.

The latest on Nail Yakupov, Mike Cammalleri, Vernon Fiddler, Jonas Hiller and more.

Does Nail Yakupov want out of Edmonton?

Does Nail Yakupov want out of Edmonton?

NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough reports Edmonton Oilers forward Nail Yakupov yesterday said he loved Edmonton and wants to play for the Oilers, but admitted his unhappiness over his limited ice time (10-11 minutes per game of late) and believes he deserves more.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Joanne Ireland reports Yakupov isn’t seeking a trade but questioned coach Dallas Eakins trust in him. Eakins, meanwhile, downplayed Yakupov’s comments, saying it’s okay if the winger feels frustrated, but he won’t deter from his plan, saying players must earn their minutes.

TSN.CA; A testy Oilers GM Craig MacTavish maintained he has no plans to trade Yakupov and defended his team’s treatment of the sophomore winger. He also accused the ESPN reporter who interviewed Yakupov’s agent Igor Larionov (whose comments generated the latest controversy) of manufacturing Larionov’s claim his client would accept a trade if the Oilers were unhappy with him.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes the Oilers 2014 first round pick is in play for more immediate help.

SPORTSNET.CA: Mark Spector reports former Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid believes MacTavish could make more trades if his old team fails to improve. Smid was deal to the Calgary Flames on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To recap: Yakupov’s agent Igor Larionov reportedly claimed his client would accept a trade if the Oilers are unhappy with him. Yakupov said he doesn’t want to be dealt but expresses  unhappiness over his ice time. Eakins says Yakupov has to earn more ice time, and Craig MacTavish denies the 20-year-old winger could be traded. Is this the end of this saga? Will Yakupov find happiness in Edmonton? Will MacTavish finally lose patience and trade him? Who moves first, Yakupov or Eakins? And what next for Weird Mary? The answers in the next episode of ” As the Yak Turns”.

TSN.CA: In the latest installment of “Insider Trading”, Darren Dreger says there’s no chance Yakupov gets traded “this year”, as the Oilers have no intention of moving him. They instead want him to work on improving his game in order to take over for Ales Hemsky when he’s traded. As for Larionov, MacTavish spoke with him and Dreger says there’s no issues…Bob McKenzie reports Dallas Stars center Vernon Fiddler told management he wants more ice time and a bigger role and if he couldn’t get that with the Stars he’d welcome a trade. Since then the Stars have been winning, so they won’t just give him away… Dreger claims the Maple Leafs had some interest but are concerned about his salary ($1.8 million) and his age. The Leafs also had discussions with the Hurricanes about John-Michael Liles but there’s nothing imminent there… McKenzie also reports everyone on the Panthers except Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstead, Erik Gudbranson and Marcel Goc is available. Shawn Matthias and Dmitry Kulikov are getting the most interest…Pierre LeBrun reports the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators have had discussions about Jonas Hiller but the Preds want to know more about Pekka Rinne’s health before making a goalie trade. LeBrun claims Hiller is “very available”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Already said my piece about Yakupov. Movin’ on…NBC Sports’ James O’Brien has an interesting take on the Fiddler rumors, courtesy of the Stars blog “Defending Big D”, casting doubt on Fiddler’s rumored trade request. Well worth a read…Do the Hurricanes really want to try another Maple Leafs cast-off on defense? The Mike Komisarek experiment is a failure. Then again, Liles is still considered a decent puck-moving defenseman. His salary ($3.875 million per season) could be an issue for the Hurricanes…Of the Panthers veterans who could be available, Matthias and Kulikov certainly appear most likely to move at some point this season…I still have my doubts the Ducks could move Hiller, as their other goalies lack playoff experience. Still, if they got an irresistible offer, it’s possible they could move him.

CALGARY SUN: With Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos out until March at the earliest with a broken right leg, Randy Sportak wonders if they might have interest in the Flames pending UFA winger Mike Cammalleri, who has eight goals in 11 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bolts for now will look to within to overcome the loss of Stamkos, but if they fall down the standings in his absence, it could push GM Steve Yzerman into the trade market. Cammalleri might be of interest (provided he’s willing to accept a trade to Tampa Bay), but his salary – $7 million for this season, $6 million cap hit-  would be tough to swallow unless the Flames absorb part of it.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford believes the Canucks need to add an impact forward (preferably a center) but acknowledged the difficulty of doing so at this time of year. Botchford suggests Buffalo’s Steve Ott and Florida’s Marcel Goc as possible trade targets.


  1. All this talk about Yakupov “accepting” a trade makes it sound like he has choice. He doesn’t have a no-trade clause. He doesn’t have to accept anything.

    • You know when your baby is crying at night in his / her crib and you have to go in at night every so often and put the soother in its mouth …thats kinda like what this is !!!!

      Yakupov is not the prototypical Oiler and the reason why he hasnt been traded is because NO ONE WANTS HIM and his crap hes going to bring !!

      When you get to the NHL you have to first prove you belong there not get a free pass …you know how many guys brike insane records in the ECHL or AHL and NEVER got to play full time NHL hockey ….SHUT The BLEEP UP take it like a man be a good team mate and stop talking and score some goals and keep 2 hands on your stick and make some plays ….hes a -14 for goodness sake ….who cares hes a 1st round pick …take the crown off your head and play NHL hockey …hit a guy off the puck and make a play …

      See ya in the KHL Yak !!!
      Nothing against Russian players but becuase they know they can go to the KHL and make a lot of money and be a Superstar in there home country they have started to hold that over teams heads over the last couple of years …..this saga along with Kovolchuk Radulov and Zeredev will eventually cause teams to draft Russian players lower in the draft on later rounds ….and as that happens the KHL will probably become better

      • Pretty good analogy there back checking

        • Yes great analogy. So are you suggest the Oilers are now trying the “cry it out method” with Yak. Worked with my baby maybe it will work with Yak.

      • @Back checking, please.. players like Ovechkin, Malkin, Kovalchuk will ALWAYS drafted high like always. generational talent, simple as that.. I do not care where they were born.

        and if your GM wants to skip drafting osmeone like Malkin because he is Russian I sure hope my GM drafts him and makes him HAPPY with money, support etc etc..

        • No Offence ….this is the NHL …not a minor league junior team …you just don’t start your career off like that and come out and be a total distraction and issue more than the team needs at this point ….sorry…# 1 its not professional.

          I wouldnt want him in my dressing room as a player or in my organization as an owner or GM no matter how many goals he scores …

          IMO you have to move him …RIGHT AWAY ( if its even possible ) and maybe that will help the TEAM moving forward !

          • Please.. EDM is run like a minor league team for years.

            Yakupov is not perfect but let’s not call him the main problem/destruction of this team..

          • Didnt say he was a main distraction …but he has placed himeslf as being one now!!

            Sheldon Souray got run out of Edmonton at a time when he was one of the best D men and powerplay specialists in the NHL and wasn’t half the problem this kid has become …Souray never asked to be traded to ANY team ASAP please…

            This guy has less than a full season in the NHL …how many TRUE superstars had to plus away and do there due diligence before they had success ….I can all of them …he needs to shut up …and let his play do the talking not his mouth !!

            Edmonton needs to move on with this issue and build a better culture after his departure and get some veteran guys back in the room and get him OUT!!

      • Anyone watch Pavel Datsyuk last night? He’s the perfect antidote for the “spoiled Russian baby” syndrome. What a player!

        • Datsyuk was great last night !!
          But that is not going to change the future !!!

          • Kadri Russian too? I remember him saying the same type things. How bout Gardiner? #freeJakeGardiner remember that one? Sometimes younger players and their agents become frustrated. Has zero to do with him being Russian and a whole lot to do with the 30 members of the media sticking cameras and microphones in his face.

      • Haha couldn’t have said it better myself

      • I here you on this but the problem is all Edmontons young guys give the puck away in their own end as much or more times and have bad plus/minus but on Yaks is getting scratched and benched. I agree you need to earn your ice time and contract but that is not what Edmonton has been doing with their other high draft picks. Gagner is a -9 in only 6 games he is still playing. Hall is proabibly the worse guy in the NHL at giving the puck up that results in goal then any other player but he not being bumped down or out of the line up. They need to apply the prinible of earning ice time for all players not just Nail.

    • I think one of the big issues with the Oilers is that they don’t have as much talent as people like to think. Yes, they have a very above average top 6 group in terms of skill, but even that group is still only around 5-7th best in the league in terms of talent, not even close to that in terms of effectiveness. The Pens, Caps, Lightening, Av’s, and Leafs all have as much or more talent offensively in the top 6, and have a more effective mixture of players (adding some size and grit). After that the Oilers have a weak bottom 6 group, weak defensive group, and terrible goaltending. Why are they expected to be such a good team if all of their talent is in a single aspect of their game, and they still aren’t the most talented offensive team in the League.

      The oil need to get teams to overpay for some of those high drafted players and try and build an actual team. The only other team to draft 1st overall 3 years running was the Nordiques, and they did go on to win the cup in the subsequent years. However not one of those first overall picks were still on the team.

      Forsberg, Ricci, Simon, Lefebvre, and Ozolinsh were aquired directly with trading those players, while Roy and Keane were acquired in a deal where the key piece going the other way was Jocelyn Thibault, who was also acquired in the Lindros deal.

      I’m not saying the Oil need to trade all of their young talented offensive players, but they need to capitalize on a team who will overpay to get a player they feel could be a star.

  2. I would love to see Ott play for the Canucks, but it would take a lot to pry him out of Buffalo. He would be a welcome veteran presence, with a no quit attitude much like Kesler, IMO he would flourish playing under Torts. Maybe Jensen and a third would do the trick.

  3. I wonder if Kulikov really available and what Tallon wants for him.. Picks? Players? Prospects?
    Obviosuly would love Homer to make a phone call..

  4. Kulikov will be a Flyer in time.

  5. A 33rd old Fiddler? Really? That’s what the Leafs need another defensive center for the second, third or forth line. Don’t we already have an abundance of them and traded a young Colborne because there was no room for him.

    • Agreed

      • Colbourne did not look like be belonged in the NHL as a center and there were better options than trying to play him on the wing. There could have been room made for him if he looked like he belonged.

        • I totally agree with you. Just say’n Colborne was a third or fourth liner at the time which the Leafs had plenty of so he was moved probably more so because he wasn’t a checking shut down third or forth liner. We need another “non-number one” center like we need a hole in the head.

  6. I know Buffalo is in a state of transition right now (AKA Panic) but to shop Ott would be a bad, bad move.
    The guy is not a superstar, but he’s a pesky forward who plays a rough game and can still pop a few in the net. The kind of player that any team in the NHL would love to have right now.
    Buffalo will still need a veteran or two to mentor the young guys during the rebuild, I think Ott will be one of them.

    • Panic? Hardly.. They know they suck. They hired or looking to hire new people. Panic is over. Panic was before today.

      • Read the news section, Nolan is a coach with a history of issues with management (good luck to whomever the new GM is going to be) and LaFontaine barely had any front office experience. I would say they’re in a state of panic…

        • if you were hired by a losing franchise.. would you panic? Your job is not in jeopardy if you are new.

        • Konstatine, You are very misguided. Darcy wanted to bring in his own guy especially when Nolan refused a one year contract offer from the now departed sham of a GM. The guy was coach of the year and was insulted with a one year deal. Don’t believe everything you read either.

        • Ok, so people choose to pick on the panic comment rather than the Steve Ott one, fine.
          The Nolan move is risky but could pay off in spades, despite him not coaching in the NHL for the last 5 years and rebellious history with management.
          However, hiring LaFontaine as President of Hockey Operations with barely any experience seems slightly desperate to me, and could be an indication of panic by ownership. I guess only time will tell who’s misguided here.

          • Nolan is a solid coach. That is a good move for sure. Nolan can get 200% out of the team. Espcially young team.

            Hiring LaFontaine is not a big deal.. Experience or no experience. You reading too much into it.

  7. Fiddler is a solid center, the ‘Yotes never should have let him go. I’d love to land him in Ottawa personally … if Fiddler is on the block there are a slew of teams who need depth there with a guy who is responsible with the puck that should be calling them up.

  8. Tallon is not the type of GM to sit around and do nothing, so I definitely see some validity to these Florida rumours. Having said that, no one will want Upshall at $3.5 mil, Jovo at $4 mil, Campbell at $7+ mil etc. So it’s really just Mathias, Kulikov, Boyes ($1 mil, UFA after the season), and I think Fleischmann with another year at $4.5 mil isn’t a bad contract, he’s a good player, same with Kopecky (1 more year @ $3 mil).

    Veteran RHD, Tom Gilbert at $900K on an expiring contract would be a guy who wouldn’t cost much and could help some teams out too, but more of a minor move if he’s traded.

  9. Unless The Leafs can get a #1 center or a couple of shut down second paring defense they should stay pat. Then need to be more worried about playing faster and tougher then they have been playing. Toronto made the playoffs last year is be top in the league in fights and hits and they have lost that this year. I think a couple of loses can make Carlyle force the issue a little more as he already has said this year it’s hard to get players to buy into the need to play another way when they are winning. I personally think Toronto has too many puck moving dmen and need to trade one of them for a more stay at home defensmen. Not sure many teams have one that would be willing to make a trade like that. I think Gardiner needs to be on the Marlies or traded as he is getting worse. Ranger needs to go anywhere other then the Maple Leafs.

  10. Trade thought

    To Edmonton: j. Franzen and b. smith

    To Detroit. Yakupov

    • love it for the wings… Edmonton fans would hate it after 2 games

  11. What might the asking price for Dmitri Kulikov be?
    I assume his game has fallen some since he’s in the trade rumor mill?
    As anyone who’s a fan of their own team might wonder, what might the Pathers ask for?
    I was thinking perhaps the Oilers would make a pitch for him?
    I’m just not sure what they’d be willing to give up?
    I don’t really wanna see any of these younger players go?
    Kelfbom, Musil & Nurse seem to be the next 3 D-man to make their way up next year from OKC?
    So, maybe he’s not really needed? But, I think it might be good to have another young Russian player on the team, since it appears as though the Oilers are not going to part with Yakupov?
    And it never really hurts to have another young somewhat experienced D-man with possible potential on your team.
    It’s just, what do you give up? Marincin, Martindale, Lander or Omark? Or maybe the new kid, Horak?
    Maybe one or two of those kids with a draft pick?
    Since there seems to be some question about his play, perhaps it wouldn’t take too much?
    Especially if it’s a gamble to take him on? But I suppose GM’s have a way of asking for the moon when the deadline rolls around?
    This season is another wash for the Oilers. See the Smid trade. I say, let them play the heck out of the Vets the team has, and shop as many of them as they can at the deadline. Get back what they can, and call up some of the youth they hope to fight for a spot next year. Experience is experience even on a team headed straight down the toilet bowl. At least at this point. I’m always going to be hopeful there will be next year. Even If it’s on year 7 or 8. Ideally at some point, all this top picks are going to start playing like it. Hoping for another Chicago & Pittsburgh build here. And not a Columbus & Florida build.