What The Yak Is Going on With the Oilers? | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

What The Yak Is Going on With the Oilers?

The Edmonton Oilers were the news of the day on Friday as they made three moves, all of which were more than just mere tweaks to a roster that was pretty much set. Fan reaction has been mixed. My reaction is that these moves should have been expected.

As much as I cheered for a player like Nail Yakupov, seeing him moved doesn't shock me in the least. What he was moved for, shocks me only a little.

Griffin Reinhart

He didn't get it done when it mattered the most. The opportunity was there, he simply didn't seize it. Edmonton struggled on the power play and penalty kill, they were down defensemen due to injury and were trying out players on PTO's. All of these could have been seen as opportunities for Reinhart to grab hold of a job, yet he didn't.

He'll get plenty of time in the AHL to show he deserves another shot, but less than 24 hours after being demoted, his position was filled by another player who joined the Oilers later on Friday.

Nail Yakupov

The return was troubling, but it's what the market would bare. It's a sad state of affairs when a first-overall pick gets you a throw-in prospect needed to count against a 50-man roster and a conditional pick that gets better if Yakupov scores a mere 15 goals. To think that someone who had Yak's pedigree is now questionable for only 15 goals as an NHL player in a season tells you everything you need to know about the trade.

Yakupov wanted out and the Oilers didn't really have a spot for him after he was surpassed by others at right wing. Edmonton's depth at the position is solid and the Oilers moved out a player they might not have kept past this season anyway.

Kris Russell

He's not the shiny new toy that you'll play with until you wear it out. In fact, Russell should be the opposite of that. The way to use him best is in areas where he excels — the penalty kill and the power play. Both are areas of trouble for the Oilers and likely a large reason Edmonton gave Russell $3.1 million to play a more limited role.

What this means for a player like Eric Gryba is uncertain. That all depends on how badly the Oilers determine this right-shot, right-side defensive positioning to be.

Edmonton made three not huge, but significant moves. For fans who want to know what the hell is going on with their team, ask yourself only one question. It;s the same question you would have had to ask yourself after Edmonton traded Taylor Hall.

Are the Oilers a better and deeper team now than there were before all this took place? It's hard not to say yes.

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.

Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.

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