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A Trade for Edmonton Oilers RW Nail Yakupov Unlikely for the Buffalo Sabres

The Rumored Pieces Just Don't Make Sense

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | On October 17, Canadian sports channel Sportsnet released a report, originally from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News, that the Buffalo Sabres were in serious discussions with the Edmonton Oilers about a trade that would make waves.

The rumored deal would allegedly send Ryan Miller and/or Thomas Vanek to the Oilers for disgruntled young forward Nail Yakupov.

While a deal to bring the 20-year old former first overall draft pick to Buffalo would be a welcomed move by the fans of the team, there are a thousand - obvious over exaggeration - different reasons why a move like that won't happen. I guess I shouldn't say won't since anything is possible, but it's very, for lack of a better term, unlikely.

First thing's first, Ryan Miller has a limited no trade clause which gives him the ability to give a list of eight teams that he would not accept a trade to, and according to Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos, the Oilers are on the list. So, no matter how bad Edmonton needs a goaltender, the likelihood of Miller accepting to go there is slim-to-none.

Okay, so Miller is out of the question, but what about Vanek? Well, that's where the Sabres have more room to work.

Unlike Miller, Vanek doesn't have a version of a no trade clause in his contract which gives Buffalo the chance to ship him to any team with the best offer. Unfortunately, what people seem to forget in the world of trades is that it takes two to make a deal.

It's not like a video game where you can force another team to make the deal. The other party has to like what's coming back, and if you're the GM of the Edmonton Oilers Craig MacTavish, why on earth would you trade Yakupov for Vanek?

Despite the ongoing tension between the team and player, Yakupov is only in his second year and is coming off a rookie season in which he scored 17 goals and 31 points in a lockout shortened year. He's a young kid with tremendous upside and a contract that will keep him with the team for a few seasons.

Vanek, on the other hand, is a player with an expiring contract who, in all likelihood, wouldn't re-sign in Edmonton after the season. It would become a deal of unfathomable proportions for the Oilers: a young, highly-talented scorer for an aging sniper heading into free agency.

Sure, it probably wouldn't be just Thomas Vanek going back to the Oilers as they would likely want either draft picks or a couple players who will be in the system for a few years. But that doesn't change the fact that the biggest piece going back to Edmonton is a player who won't be there for long.

Now tell me, would you do the deal if you were Edmonton? If I had to venture a guess, I'd say probably not.

Michael Straw has covered the Buffalo Sabres for the past three seasons, and his work has been featured on WGR550-Buffalo and PuckDaddy. For Sabres and more NHL news, follow Michael on Twitter @TheMikeStraw.

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