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08-23-2012, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by DisgruntledHawkFan View Post
I stand by Eberle being the best of Edmonton's young guns. They'd be smart to lock him up longterm at 6.
A recent poll on the Oiler board ranked the big four as 1) RNH 2) Hall 3) Eberle and 4) Yakupov in terms of importance to the club. Now this was far from unanimous, but it is exactly how I see it.

For me RNH has the potential to be truly elite. He has got a long way to go but his raw tools and the way he thinks the game are quite rare. He is a tremendous pp qb for someone his age, and being a center certainly counts for something.

Hall is the heart of the team. Injury potential aside he is the guy who drives the bus at ES even at this early stage of his career. He may well have the same sort of role on the current Oilers that Messier had on the 80`s version.

Eberle is extremely talented with tremendous hands and is as cool as ice. But he is still more of a complementary player while RNH and Hall really run the show. I don`t mean this as a shot agianst him. Jari Kurri was also a complementary player, but was still good easily enough to be in the HHOF and was one of the best all round hockey players I have had the pleasure to watch.

Yakupov is a wild card. He has a lot of Hall`s qualities, but like Eberle has a wicked shot. What tends to go unsaid is that he is also an excellent playmaker. But right now we don`t know how he will play out at the next level.

At this point my guess is that the plan would be to lock up Eberle, Hall and RNH with roughly the same deals. My guess is that if Yakupove pans out as expected we will see a similar treatment for him depending on what is possible under the new CBA. This is a good part of why the Hall signing is so important. It sets the bar for the other core players at a level that allows the team lots of flexibility going forward.

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