Buzz: The Oilers Were Heavily Scouting The Rangers Last Night (Updates)

8:27PM: Nick Kypreos, on Sportsnet, said this evening that MacTavish and Lowe weren’t in NY to see their banner 20 years later and it’s about the Rangers needing offense the Oilers needing defense.

He says, “you wanna connect the dots…how about Yakupov to the Rangers and Del Zotto to Edmonton. Is that enough for the first pick overall from a few years ago?”

8:23PM: On TSN Drive earlier tonight, Darren Dreger said “What the Oilers need to do is get help on the blue line. Going into this road swing it’s about getting help on their blue line. Jokingly some people around the team said that during the Detroit game you could pull 3 or 4 of their defensemen out and replace them with their AHL defensemen and it wouldn’t be much of a backpedal. That tells you how interested MacTavish is on upgrading his back end.”

8:07PM: In the Edmonton Journal, Jim Matheson says that the Rangers would not surrender Chris Kreider in a deal unless Nail Yakupov was part of a package coming back.

He says that Glen Sather has always liked “high-end skill” and that Yakupov reminds some of Pavel Bure.

Matheson says that the Oilers have long liked Michael Del Zotto.

EARLIER REPORTS:

8:48AM: Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, who has covered the team since the days of Messier and Gretzky tweets:

  • Craig MacTavish hasn’t been with Oilers last 2 days. Only 2 gms last night. One at MSG. Was he there? NYR need scoring?
  • How about Hemsky for Del Zotto? Hemsky’s $5 mil salary an impediment to most trade talks though.
  • Messier making no secret he’s working as advisor with Oilers. Was apparently on charter with team awhile back. He knows NYR guys.
  • Wonder if Oilers would be interested in NYR Chris Kreider?
  • 9:02AM: “In Neil Smith-Glen Sather era Oilers and NYR were trading once a week it seemed so if talking now brings back memories”

EARLIER REPORTS:

7:25AM: On MSG last night they showed Oilers President Kevin Lowe and Oilers adviser Mark Messier sitting together and watching the Rangers/Ducks.

In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was also in attendance and that the Oilers are taking offers on Ales Hemsky and “exploring the market” on 2012 first overall pick Nail Yakupov.

Brooks says that any interest in Hemsky would need to come with salary cap maneuvering to get his cap hit of $5 million to work with the Rangers.

He adds that it isn’t known if the Rangers have the pieces, and if they do if they would be willing to move them, to acquire a player like Yakupov, but that the Rangers are likely one of the only teams in the NHL “apt to even consider” trading for him.

Brooks does say that the Rangers immediate need for a top-six wingers has been stalled by the return of Carl Hagelin, Ryan Callahan and the emergence of Chris Kreider.

Adam Rotter: The connection to make a deal with the Oilers was strong before, but adding Mark Messier to that side of things, when he is very familiar with the Rangers players and system, adds another layer to things. The Oilers, according to reports, are looking for a “top defenseman” and I don’t know if there is a fit or a match with the Rangers. Yakupov is extremely talented and the Oilers won’t give a 20-year old former first overall pick away or move him for the sake of moving him. If they move Yakupov they will get a large haul, likely with NHL players, in return.

8:48AM: The Rangers aren’t moving Chris Kreider as he finally starts to scratch the surface of his potential and be an impact player. If you are going to acquire a player like Yakupov I think it’s done in one of two ways, either you trade a top-level player for him in a one for one trade or you trade 4 or 5 young roster/close to NHL players.