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Configuration Conflagration, What's Your Selection?

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The Oilers might be moving Taylor Hall To The Middle. Then What?

How can the Oilers best utilize Yakupov?
How can the Oilers best utilize Yakupov?
Perry Nelson

I've voiced my disapproval a number of times already this summer over the Oilers centre depth. Even if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is healthy, the Oilers are short on pivots. If he's not able to begin the season, they are woefully inadequate. A number of alternatives that don't involve adding another centre have been proposed, but nearly all of them leave major holes in the lineup. Below are three lineups based on the alternate proposals:

Option 1

Hall
Gagner
Eberle
Perron
Gordon
Yakupov
Smyth
Lander
Hemsky
Joensuu
Acton
Jones



Option 1 is simple - move the centre depth chart up a slot to fill in the Hopkins' slot, leaving Anton Lander playing tough minutes between Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky.

Option 2

Perron
Hall
Eberle
Yakupov
Gagner
Hemsky
Smyth
Gordon
Jones
Hamilton
Lander
Joensuu


Option 2 is the building consensus - move Taylor Hall to the middle and slide Yakupov to the left side, and leaving so much on Boyd Gordon's plate.

Option 3

Perron
Hall
Eberle
Smyth
Gordon
Hemsky
Rajala
Gagner
Yakupov
Joensuu
Lander
Jones


Option 3 moves Hall to the middle, but creates a tough-minutes line with Smyth, Gordon and Hemsky and uses Toni Rajala in a soft minutes role with Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov.