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Yakupov would bring some much needed offensive talent to the lineup.
The Rangers would have to make a couple of moves to get Nail Yakupov under the salary cap, but he is the type of player Glen Sather should target. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN had a lengthy column on the state of the Edmonton Oilers, and he wrote that the team needs to upgrade its blue line.
LeBrun said, "The real area that needs addressing is on defense. I suspect you’ll see MacTavish add a body or two between now and the March trade deadline. Or attempt to. He has ample assets up front to trade, as the team is loaded with forward talent."
The Rangers have a glut of defenders, a number of whom could be No. 1 or 2 defenders on the roster. For example, Dan Girardi is a free agent at the end of this season, and he would a great addition to the Oilers' blue line.
Michael Del Zotto is another defender who would be attractive to the Oilers and would add some offensive talent to their back end.
Obviously the Oilers wouldn't want to deal Yakupov, but they would be upgrading their blue line, and Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner would remain on the roster.
In order to get talent, you need to give up talent, and that philosophy would come into play here. The 2012 No. 1 overall pick has been a healthy scratch as of late, and if he can't play Dallas Eakins hockey, the Oilers may be willing to trade him,
There would need to be more pieces involved in order to balance the finances of the trade, but both organizations have the resources needed to facilitate a transaction.