Steve Tambellini

Tambellini willing to trade Oilers’ first overall pick


If Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini can improve his team, and improve it now, he’s willing to trade the Oilers’ first overall pick.

Which is to say, he’s willing to trade Nail Yakupov.

“We’ll be listening to other teams’ ideas,” Tambellini said, as reported by Postmedia. “I’m excited. I’ve been thinking about this for a lot of hours now. We have a wonderful opportunity where we’re accumulating some elite players and we can leave this draft with a significant piece or package.

“If I have an option to get a solid pick and someone to help the current club, I have to strongly look at that. You listen to comments from players post-season. I think Taylor Hall was saying, ‘Yeah, we’ve got these good young kids, but I want to win. I want to show we can win in this city now.’ That’s leadership.”

For all the young talent the Oilers boast up front, they’ve got gaping holes on the back end. And if the Oilers want to start winning now, they might not want to draft a defenseman and wait for him to develop if they can get an established top-four defender. Or, at least a prospect that’s a little further along.

Linus Omark wants out of Edmonton – just check Twitter

Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight

Taylor Hall
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Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.

Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.

The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.

Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

HKN Sabres Senators
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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.