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Lace 'em up. Time for the Morning Skate.
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SPEAK OF THE DEVILS
We all knew the Edmonton Oilers would need to reduce their stockpile of former first-round picks eventually if they wanted to push their latest rebuild in the right direction. The only question was which player they'd be willing to move on from.
If recent reports are correct, Nail Yakupov might be that guy. The first overall pick from 2012 reportedly requested a trade from Edmonton earlier this season, and the Oilers sounded happy to oblige him. At least one of the teams mentioned in rumors was the Winnipeg Jets, which makes all kinds of sense.
The Oilers need defensemen. Badly. And the Jets happen to have a conundrum with one of their most talented young defensemen. Jacob Trouba becomes a restricted free agent this offseason and could ask for $56 million over eight years. Dustin Byfuglien's new contract makes that unreasonable, and reports are Trouba and the Jets are "nowhere close" in contract talks.
A straight-up Yakupov for Trouba trade has precedent after Nashville traded defenseman Seth Jones for Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen earlier this year. I'm willing to bet that's the deal that gets done this summer.
- The Frozen Four is set! Denver steamrolled its way into the semifinals with another rout over Ferris State, and Quinnipiac sailed past UMass-Lowell to punch its ticket. We'll have a lot more on the Frozen Four and the tournament overall over the next week, but in the meantime you can find every score and scheduled game here.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT
- Good luck to the Rangers if they face the Penguins in the playoffs. They'll need it, since Pittsburgh just beat them for the third time this month.
- The good news is Eric Staal is starting to heat up.
- So much so that he's scoring one-handed goals.
- The bad news? The Rangers still have a lot of questions left to answer.
- Chicago is going to the postseason for the eighth straight year.
- They're now four points clear of Nashville in the Central, but their battle for playoff seeding continues on.
- The Canucks lost again, but at least it was a moral victory?
- Carolina keeps putting in good results even though the playoffs are out of the picture.
- The Devils deserved their loss on Sunday.
- Could the Hurricanes play postseason spoiler?
- Monday night is huge for the Flyers and Red Wings.
- Japer's Rink takes a look at the state of the Capitals franchise before the playoffs.
- There are plenty of things for Blue Jackets fans to look forward to in the next year.
- If Alexander Radulov returns to the NHL, would it be with the Leafs?
- Yakupov wants better linemates, but teammates tend to do worse when he's on their wing.