Nail Yakupov trade rumors continue to swirl, and this time the New York Rangers have been connected to the former first-overall selection. With the Ranger struggling to score goals and Yakupov having issues fitting in with the Edmonton Oilers, Larry Brooks of the New York Post seems to believe that the two could be chatting. If the movement of scouts in any indication, it certainly seems likely. As per his report in the Post:
The Oilers dispatched a scouting expedition featuring their president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe, general manager Craig MacTavish and special adviser Mark Messier to the Garden on Monday for the Rangers’ 2-1 defeat to the Ducks.
With the Blueshirts seemingly interested and willing to move one of their young defenseman and the Oilers looking for help on the blue line, could there be a fit for a blockbuster deal? On paper it certainly makes sense for both squads. Edmonton has several players like Yakupov that can do what he does when he’s on, but desperately need to shore up their defense. With Rick Nash on the mend for the forseeable future, New York could be looking to add more scoring umph, and Yakupov is certainly a guy that brings that to the table. While these conversations typically develop over weeks and months, would it be shocking to see these two bottom-feeding teams swap struggling assets? One name that the Blueshirts have reportedly been floating is that of Michael Del Zotto. He’s played poorly enough to earn healthy scratches this season, but it’s unclear if the defender would be enough to land the game-breaking talents of Yakupov.
Michael Del Zotto is scratched tonight despite being healthy. AV doesn’t see a reason to replace any of the D that played in Washington. — Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) October 19, 2013
This is certainly an interesting conversation, and a situation worth keeping an eye on as the season wears on.