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April 11, 2016 | 10:57pm ET
Oilers stars know changes are coming
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Edmonton Oilers are expected to make a number of roster moves this off-season, as GM Peter Chiarelli is expected to be an extremely busy man.

Chiarelli is likely to be involved in hundreds of phone calls between now and the NHL Draft in Buffalo on June 24-25 involving a number of his players.

Forwards Nail Yakupov, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall will all come up in some of those phone calls, but it's unclear if Chiarelli will extend some those discussions.

Yakupov was almost traded prior to the Feb. 29 trade deadline, multiple sources told TFP, and he is expected to be moved this off-season after requesting to be traded.

The Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres were among the teams interested in Yakupov.

"It's a big business," Yakupov told the Edmonton Journal. "I'm pretty sure my agent and the team will talk if there's big moves."

While trade rumors will follow Hall and Eberle, neither player appears to be focusing on what-ifs.

"There's always going to be questions but I don't think it's any different from past years on who's going to be back and who's not," Eberle told the Journal. "When you finish in 29th there's always change but there's change throughout all lineups (NHL). No team's the same coming to training camp in the fall.

"Ultimately, it's out of the players' control."

Nugent-Hopkins, who turns 23 on April 12, could be most at risk, among the team's top three long-standing stars, as his position on the team is in jeopardy with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl up the middle.

The native of Burnaby, B.C., was limited to 55 games this season due to injuries, where he posted 12 goals and 22 assists for 34 points.

"Obviously I want to stay here and be part of this team for years to come," Nugent-Hopkins told the Journal, "but I'm not going to think of it too much."

 
 
 

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