Nail Yakupov: in his own words

Andrey Osadchenko
June 04 2012 10:46AM

You may or you may not have read my story on Nail Yakupov in The Hockey News. Well, the thing is, they only gave me 1300 words to work with. So I was left with an immense amount of quotes I didn’t use in the article. I piled them all together so you’d get an idea just what kind of a person this Nail Yakupov is. I will let you decide whether the Oilers should pick him or not.

Here’s what Nail has to say for himself about…

Pronunciation

‘Nail’ is good. I drives me nuts when people try to pronounce my name the proper way. Everybody acts super funny and end up with something like ‘Nah-eel’ (which is not 100% accurate). So I tell everyone: ‘You can call me Nail. It’s easier for you, and it’s better for me’.

Same thing goes for my last name. In Russia they put the stress on the second syllable. Here – on the first. I don’t mind it at all. I’m just joking around with you saying I don’t like it and stuff. In all honesty, I’ve gotten used to this and I don’t pay attention to it anymore.

Days Off

How do I spend my days-off? It depends on where I’m getting back from and how long was the trip. Sometimes I just catch on my sleep. Sometimes we’d get two days-off in a row, but I feel like I didn’t play hard enough the night before so I go to practice. The ice is always available and so is the gym. I can go out for a run. I also try to go to banya (Russian equivalent of sauna) every weekend.

Sometimes I just hang out with my friends. However, I don’t go dancing, clubbing, partying, drinking or anything like that – it’s just not for me.

It’s not that I always feel I didn’t play hard enough, though. Usually, I go to extra practice when we get two days-off in a row. Why? Because I know that the second day-off won’t do me any good. If I don’t practice for two days in a row, it’s hard for me to get ‘into the game’ the game, you know?

Getting Hit

Hey, there are idiots everywhere you go. Some of them actually get out there to get you hurt. However, I think that if you get injured – it’s your own fault.

Ok, let’s look at this episode with Mike Halmo. Indeed, he head-shot me, but it was my fault I put my head down. I lost concentration for a minute and was punched. Although, he did use his elbow there. I know there’s nothing in his head. He’s a little crazy. But it was my fault. I forgot where I was. I thought I could dangle my way in no problem, there’s no one around… and then this happened. It’s alright, it happens it hockey. You can’t get insurance for that. You can never forget that it’s not just you out there, but there are 10 other guys or so. In this situation I might have as well crashed into my team’s defenseman.

They are going to hit me. There’s no way to get around it. However, I wouldn’t say that somebody’s trying to knock me out on purpose. Stuff happens, sure. As I said earlier, there are idiots everywhere you go.

Trash Talking

Sure, it’s always out there. Some people trash talk me, others slash me… It has been around forever and it’s always going to be out there. By the end of the season it cooled down because I was just not responding to anything. I act as if the guy who tries to annoy me is just not there. That’s it. I’m just doing my job.

What do they call me? They usually go: ‘Hey you! You’re nothing but a piece of s---! You’re no one! Yo, let’s drop’em, show me what you got!’. Sometimes they’d stick their sticks in my laces or elsewhere. There are a lot of techniques.

World Juniors

For me the game against Canada was the final. Not because we won, but because of the atmosphere. Everybody’s in Canada’s jerseys, everybody chants ‘Canada! Canada!’… Beating Canada was something special. After that game we had a team meeting and said to each other: ‘Look, it’s our last game as a team. Let’s play as hard as we can, let’s all play for the team’. We got a little bit unlucky. However, despite this, I’m satisfied with the way the tournament went for us.

Music

I don’t have any preferred genre. It’s not like I’m into just country, rock, pop or something else. If I like a song, regardless of its genre, I download it. It may be a gentle melody and it may be rock. It depends. Although, for usually I listen to club music. Not remixes as they like it in Canada, but the actual club music. I know it’s weird but I can’t help it – I don’t like night clubs, but I like club music.

Canadians

Let me tell you this, ok? These guys are really weird. I know just a handful of people who resemble us – Russians. I know just a few guys who don’t like to fool around, as it’s common here, and aren’t complete I-don’t-care-about-anything type of guys. Seriously, I know just a few guys who you can really sit down with and they will tell you what’s on their mind, what bothers them, what have they seen… stuff like that.

If I had to name these guys, I’d say Daniel Broussard was one of them. He drove me around the town and we talked quite a lot. Unfortunately, he was traded to Ottawa. One other guy I can think about is Brendan Maxwell, who was traded to Mississauga. He visited me often. We had dinner together and he told me a whole bunch of stories. He doesn’t act as if he’s from North America at all.

Being Famous

Honestly, I don’t even notice it. Sure, I see my name around different websites, newscasts and so on but I don’t get too excited about it. I don’t think too hard about the things people say about me. Sometimes they say that I’m bad because of this, this and this. Sometimes they say that I’m dealing with a lot of pressure on my shoulders because it’s my draft season. Sometimes they don’t say anything. I have a goal. I don’t get distracted by little things.

His nemesis – Mikhail Grigorenko

Pre-draft rankings haven’t affected our relationship. The way we talked to each other at the U18 World Chamionship, we talked at the World Juniors too. We didn’t go after one another because of the draft. We weren’t like: ‘I’m the best! No, I’m the best!’ Most of the time we would talk about Canada. It was my second year here and he was a rookie this season. He’d ask me how I was doing and I’d ask the same. I know that he lived with his mom, sometimes his dad visited them. He really liked it there. Especiallythe rink. All in all we’d talk about general stuff.

Production Decrease

Oh, I remember questions about this. At the World Juniors everybody asked me about it. They tried to get a nice quote from me or something like that, I don’t know. Sure, I wanted to score at the World Juniors. Maybe I was the only one who didn’t score (laughs). I was more worried about my game, though. You can help your team without even getting any points, you know? You can block a shot, play safe at your own end and stuff like that.

Certainly, I wasn’t used to it. I mean, I always score and there I didn’t. It really helped that my parents were around. My dad told me right away: ‘Don’t worry. The way the team plays is all that matters. All in its time’. At least, I have 9 assists, a very good game against Team Canada, a silver medal and excellent memories of the tournament. To be honest with you, I didn’t even get sad because I didn’t score.

Comparisons

I don’t think I should be compared to anyone. It’s okay to compare Ovechkin to Kovalchuk. Or Crosby to Ovechkin. Or Sedin to Sedin. These guys have already played at the World Championships and Stanley Cup Finals. They are all grown men and play as such.

I’m still young and I haven’t won anything. I didn’t even win Junior A championship in Russia! I always finished second or third. Then I thought: ‘Maybe I’m going to win the World Juniors?’. And yet I still couldn’t win it. This is why I don’t compare myself to anybody. My goal is to play well. I want to have a successful career, which would only bring me good feelings. After that, if all goes well, I could compare myself to someone. Although, you can compare me to anyone you want to, right? It’s not like I can veto it, eh? (laughs)

Being a team player

I’m not the kind of guy who doesn’t care where his team is in the standings. I’m not the one who thinks: ‘So I’m on the team… whatever. The way it plays, doesn’t affect my pay-cheque’. I always set my bar high. I want to be a top-6 forward. I want to score, I want to get assists and I want to win. I don’t care what team I’m on. Every team has a potential. Every team has good players and coaches. Any team can lose. Every team can win.

The NHL

I don’t even know what it is – the NHL. I’ve been to five games in Detroit. I went to their locker-room once and met the Red Wings. But I don’t know what it is – the NHL. I don’t know how the NHLers live or how they practice. I know that everything is going to be different. I just don’t know how different. I’m not in a position to discuss whether it’s going to be better or worse.

NHL is one of the top leagues in the world. I think it’s an honor to be a part of any team in this league. I don’t think you have to complicate things in your head. You just have to work hard. Because the second you expose any weakness, you’re going to be eaten and done for.

Being a role model

I know where all this talk is coming from. We play in the CHL – and you can watch the goals we score on YouTube, read about us in the papers and hear people talk about us. The kids back home see this and they go: ‘I wanna play there too! Let’s go to Canada!’ I don’t know why but here they put a lot of trust in people. They give you an opportunity to find your game and develop.

Every player wants to be talked about, written about and his goals shown on TV. You have to understand that you can only be helped to get on a CHL team. After this – it’s all you. Neither your agent, nor your parents will be able to perform for you on the ice. Once you’ve gotten here, you must work twice as much. A chance is all you given.

Recently by Andrey Osadchenko

037e43b539fffeb0780fabd36a5982c4
Russian hockey reporter who moved to Canada to find himself right in the middle of hockey madness. @AOsadchenko
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#1 TigerUnderGlass
June 04 2012, 01:26PM
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@Jimmer

Then give Gagner next year to prove that he can post 60-70 points centering either pair. If he succeeds great...if he fails he is next to go.

Are we really still on this idea that Gagner needs 60PTS + to be considered a success? It is completely absurd.

Only 57 forwards had 60 or more points. Only 20 centers.

If the team drafts Yakupov then Gagner will be expected to be the 6th best offensive player on he team. 6th.

Certainly no higher than 5th if, say, Hemsky were traded. Can everybody agree with this?

Why don't we take a look at the production of the 5th and 6th highest scoring forwards on each team in the league. That should prove Gagner and his 47 points isn't a top 6 player right? Oops.

ANA - 38/26

BOS - 55/42

BUF - 41/34

CAL - 41/28

CAR - 34/32

CHI - 43/37

COL - 37/37

CLB - 25/21

DAL - 39/26

DET - 50/38

EDM - 46/36

FLA - 31/27

LAK - 34/21

MIN - 35/27

MON - 28/24

NAS - 43/36

NJD - 46/44

NYI - 45/32

NYR - 38/36

OTT - 37/29

PHI - 49/49

PHX - 37/34

PIT - 50/48

SJS - 45/27

STL - 34/30

TBL - 48/19

TOR - 43/36

VAN - 43/39

WAS - 41/39

WIN - 46/35

Gagner is easily top 6 on every team in the league except PHI and PIT, and top 5 on every other team except BOS and DET. Only 3 teams had their 5th best scoring forward even break 50 points, let alone 60. Can we please stop it with these ridiculous expectations?

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#2 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 04 2012, 12:06PM
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Draft him.

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#3 The Soup Fascist
June 04 2012, 07:31PM
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@Osmosis_jones

" .... Although sadly I have yet to get this job ....."

Nazim Kadri ??? Is that you??

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#4 Osmosis_jones
June 04 2012, 08:04PM
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It is me Kadri!! Sadly I will never become a hockey player. I am a shame to my people. Although I'm the best hockey player to ever come out of Iran, it's akin to saying I'm the best car ever built in Russia.

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#5 Jonathan Willis
June 04 2012, 10:48AM
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I particularly enjoyed the little quip about comparing Sedin to Sedin.

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#6 vetinari
June 04 2012, 11:37AM
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I can't help but like this kid the more I hear him talk... I'm especially impressed with the "no partying" attitude, his drive to be the best and his work ethic on off days.

I can see him being the type of player that drives other players to work harder to keep up to him, and he would be an especially good role model for the other European players on the team because, frankly, we've let them languish to a certain degree while we've given Hall, Eberle and RNH the prime attention and development time.

I can also see a "European versus North American" competition to win games emerging within the dressing room and that would benefit the team immensely.

Draft 'im. Draft 'im now!

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#7 Osmosis_jones
June 04 2012, 05:00PM
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As a Muslim I can answer some of these questions

There are special permissions to allow people to be exempt from fasting. Examples are if you have to work and are unable to fast due to the nature of your job ( hockey player counts as a job, although sadly I have yet to get this job). Times of war, medical condition, anything basically that causes too much stress on your body would make you exempt. For example, even if you have a cold you would not be required to fast. And if you are really devout, you can always make up the days you miss at a later time which is convenient for you.

You are right women do not fast during their menses.

I was fasting one year during bantam and we had a game around 7 pm, and my dad wanted me to fast that day. Sunset was about 6:45, so there I was having a cheeseburger in front of my teammates minutes before the game. My teammates thought it was funny (it was, my coach recommended something healthy, but hey, I was 14) but they were all accepting and understanding of my beliefs. I would assume all NHL players would be the same (except for maybe Tim Thomas).

Hope that clears up any questions. Lastly, I wasn't aware that Nail was a Muslim. Can anyone confirm this or provide a link to where it says he is?

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#8 Jonathan Willis
June 04 2012, 11:02AM
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@Mason Storm

Our website is so good that it sees your comments in the future and posts them in the past.

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#9 B-Rad
June 04 2012, 11:02AM
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Great quotes! Some very candid answers there, love this kid. Don't mess this up ST!

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#10 Starving Student
June 04 2012, 11:13AM
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Aside from the skill and character, we need this kid for the plethora of puns that accompanies his name! Somewhere Geno is drooling over the possibilities!

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#11 Archaeologuy
June 04 2012, 11:25AM
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Seems like a thoughtful young man. The only part I dont like is the "NHL is one of the top leagues in the world."

While accurate, I would have preferred a "The NHL is THE best League in the World."

Nit-Picking I'm sure, but you cant be too carefull with Russian players. It sounds horrible, but just today a Caps prospect (Kuznetsov) signed another contract in the KHL.

The rest of it sounds like he's a pretty down to earth kid who wants to help his team no matter what.

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#12 Jayoilfan
June 04 2012, 12:34PM
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This kids seems so level headed, Pick the ya-KOO-pov!

does anyone know where I can find the article Andrey mentions at THN? I looked but couldn't find it.

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#13 justDOit
June 04 2012, 01:32PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Seems like a thoughtful young man. The only part I dont like is the "NHL is one of the top leagues in the world."

While accurate, I would have preferred a "The NHL is THE best League in the World."

Nit-Picking I'm sure, but you cant be too carefull with Russian players. It sounds horrible, but just today a Caps prospect (Kuznetsov) signed another contract in the KHL.

The rest of it sounds like he's a pretty down to earth kid who wants to help his team no matter what.

I think that little nuance in his statement can be attributed to speaking English as a second language as much as anything. To assume that he doesn't think the NHL isn't the top league in the world is a stretch.

He has left his home and family as a teenager and travelled half way around the world just to play hockey here. I think that speaks more to how he ranks the NHL than anything.

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#15 striatic
June 04 2012, 02:10PM
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i read it as meaning the NHL is up there with the other "best of world" leagues, like the NBA, MLB and various European Football leagues.

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#16 Clyde Frog
June 04 2012, 02:14PM
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I read the work ethic this kid has and am incredibly impressed.

If its true how can you not take a kid who is that comitted to being the best at his craft?

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#17 justDOit
June 04 2012, 02:55PM
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@The Soup Fascist

Exactly. For today, sunrise is about 5 am and sunset about 10 pm in Edmonton.

Maybe he can get a note from his doctor... "Please excuse Nail from Ramadan today. He needs to bring the Stanley Cup back to Edmonton."

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#18 DieHard
June 04 2012, 03:07PM
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On June 22nd history will be made with Hall, RNH and yaKUpov on stage together. Here's hoping they all have a productive future together in Edmonton.

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#19 striatic
June 04 2012, 03:08PM
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"In hockey, there is little precedence and Kadri went to his imam – to get advice and the clearance.

“I try to fast, but when you're on the ice a couple of times a day, it's physically pretty impossible. You need to be hydrated. You need your water, things like that,” Kadri told the Toronto Sun prior to the camp. “Obviously, it's pretty hard to (fast) now. But (the Muslim community) understands the situation and supports me.”"

from this iihf.com article

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#20 The Soup Fascist
June 04 2012, 09:27PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

Or the best plane ever built in Russia...

Too soon?

Que the crickets.

Quickly searches for a ploy to cut through the tension, unsuccessfully ....

Er ... Uh ....." Too soon - that's what she said"

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#21 AronV
June 04 2012, 11:09AM
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Which year did Ovechkin play in the Stanley Cup Finals?

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#22 B-Rad
June 04 2012, 11:33AM
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@ Archaeologuy

He did not say it was one of the top hockey leagues in the world therefore he could referring to all sports. This is of course unlikely but if you are breaking it down to wording then go all the way.

The more likely explanation is he does not want to bash his home country's league since that is where his fans are. I am fine with that.

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#23 bdiddy18
June 04 2012, 11:45AM
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Drafting Nail might even address the focus off the ice of the young stars. Yes the Edmonton Party Scene is not comparable to Las Vegas but still it will resonate some if Nail choses to stay in to go practice early the next day (on an off day) versus those "north american" party revelers. lol

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#24 russ99
June 04 2012, 11:48AM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

The kid says whats on his mind and his english seems excellent. But warning Will Robinson. He is going to experience big problems fitting in. A smart kid, though, and maybe he can adapt, tone down the attitude a bit.

Forget that, the attitude is what makes him the player he is.

All the too similar slamming by Oiler fans on Omark aside, would you really mind the attitude if he can back it up on the ice?

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#25 Clyde Frog
June 04 2012, 01:37PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

/sacasm on: But he isn't 6 feet tall, so those weren't real points... Obviously the coaches just gave them to Gagner. /sarcasm off:

Props Tiger, but I get the sinking feeling until Stauffer makes mention of it on his radio show, many fans on these boards will just spout off the same gibberish.

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#26 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 04 2012, 01:41PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

~i dont see a comparison between gagner and kyle wellwood anywhere in that mess of "facts".~

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#27 justDOit
June 04 2012, 02:34PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Ask Hakeem Olajuwon. He had an OK career as a professional athlete. It's rare in Hockey, but not basketball or Football. They just need good advice on getting through it.

OK. I'll ask him.

I'm sorry, but I don't follow basketball, baseball or football at all. I watch the occasional Rider game, but that's it - so I'm not familiar with this issue in other sports. This is why I posed the question.

Just for the record, I'm all for drafting this kid. His work ethic seems to be on an entirely different level than any other draftee, and for him to breeze through the wingate and other combine tests is mighty impressive.

So maybe that's it. Because he works so much harder on his conditioning and seems to be on a higher plane than most other young players in that regard, he will be able to withstand the physical stress of daylight fasting during the playoffs.

I would still like to see this question posed to Nail.

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#28 Wäx Män Riley
June 04 2012, 04:03PM
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Spartacus wrote:

What does he mean Canadians are weird?

Have you met a Canadian?

We are weird.

What I think he means is the Canadians are too nice and don't actually say what is on their mind.

Example:

Out at a restaurant, a typical Canadian gets a meal and has a few bites. the server comes by asks how everything is. The response:

"Oh.. everything is great eh."

Server leaves....

Canadian turns to their dining partner and whispers, "The chicken is a little dry."

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#29 Reg Dunlop
June 04 2012, 08:03PM
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@ClydeFrog #45

...a bout of Albertan 'tolerance' at its best? I think you underestimate Albertans. I am confident that all of us citizens of ON can discuss subjects other than the draft in an adult fashion.

'cept them queers in calgary

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#30 mike
June 04 2012, 10:56AM
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good read

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#31 Mason Storm
June 04 2012, 10:59AM
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@mike

The time of your comment is 10:56 and my phone says 10:52. Are you from the future?

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#32 Quicksilver ballet
June 04 2012, 11:10AM
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@ Mason Storm

And to think his comment went all the way to a satellite in outer space and back has me totally agreeing with you Mason.

What gives Mike?

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#33 Reg Dunlop
June 04 2012, 11:12AM
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The kid says whats on his mind and his english seems excellent. But warning Will Robinson. He is going to experience big problems fitting in. A smart kid, though, and maybe he can adapt, tone down the attitude a bit.

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#34 freeze
June 04 2012, 11:20AM
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Great article again! If these quotes truly represent the player then we would have a great addition to the Oilers. He seems to have a great perspective on where he is in his career and in his life. And we all know how much Tambo loves poise! Hopefully he doesn't start the clubbing part once he rolls into town!

Is there a link for the Hockey News portion of the interview?

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#35 Tim in Kelowna
June 04 2012, 11:54AM
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Good Read. He sounds very thoughtful and intelligent. I love that he has a great work ethic, and I definitely don't mind that he doesn't drink or party much.

I love that interview after Russia beat Canada- the guy loves to win.

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#36 Jimmer
June 04 2012, 12:09PM
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If we do draft him I hope he plays LW. Having Hall and Yak on LW and Eberle and Hemsky on RW gives me hope for the future.

Then give Gagner next year to prove that he can post 60-70 points centering either pair. If he succeeds great...if he fails he is next to go.

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#37 Alexander
June 04 2012, 12:19PM
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Personally, I believe that the Oilers should no doubt trade the first overall pick for a solid d-man. They already have the upfront talent with Hall, Eberle, and Hopkins just to name a few. There d-line lacks talent really besides Whitney and Smid the Oilers have no talent there.

I would suggest a trade either to Nashville for the solid Ryan Suter or to Montreal for the rising star PK Subban!

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#38 Reg Dunlop
June 04 2012, 12:30PM
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@ Russ99

Even if Yak can back up his beak on the ice I worry that he won't get on well with the other young guns. But what do I know, I may be way off base.

I also wonder if his asceticism will disappear once he starts getting those heavy paycheques. One vodka, 2 vodkas, 3 vodkas floor.

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#39 Muji
June 04 2012, 12:41PM
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Great interview! Very candid. I think we should pick him because he's the consensus best player. The Oilers scouts probably feel the same, and if they do, they should pick him.

Some thoughts:
- he's very honest; I like how he didn't BS any answers he didn't know ("I don’t even know what it is – the NHL.").
- he seems like a serious, somewhat introverted young man
- said all the right things, seems very driven, team-centric, and incredibly hard working
- "NHL is one of the top leagues in the world." was a bit of a head-scratcher.

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#40 Spartacus
June 04 2012, 12:55PM
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What does he mean Canadians are weird?

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#41 ubermiguel
June 04 2012, 12:59PM
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Sounds like he's got a good head on his shoulders, draft him.

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#42 Reg Dunlop
June 04 2012, 01:00PM
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It was just pointed out to me that teammates don't have to be buds off the ice to mesh on the ice(Reggie Jackson and Billy North fighting in the clubhouse in Oakland). Good point, looks like my reasons for keeping Edmonton a Yak-free zone are weakening. NateinEdmonton where are you?

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#43 Dman09
June 04 2012, 01:19PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Seems like a thoughtful young man. The only part I dont like is the "NHL is one of the top leagues in the world."

While accurate, I would have preferred a "The NHL is THE best League in the World."

Nit-Picking I'm sure, but you cant be too carefull with Russian players. It sounds horrible, but just today a Caps prospect (Kuznetsov) signed another contract in the KHL.

The rest of it sounds like he's a pretty down to earth kid who wants to help his team no matter what.

Ya my eyes kinda opened wider on that comment as well. Not sure exactly the intention but still brings you to attention otherwise he seems to have the right attitude.

Also what this he'll have trouble fitting in???? Did he have trouble fitting in on the Sting.....come on get real people.

If the Oil do decide to go for Nail I hope to high hell that Tambo does everything in his power to move Hemsky, and he can include peckham and omark in the trade with a later pick is necessary, to try and get Murray. There is something about him, I feel that 29 teams are going to miss out on a special player because he plays steady all the time and never jumps off a page but that steady play is well above most others. Potential being overlooked due to lack of flashy-ness.

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#44 Stack Pad Save
June 04 2012, 01:19PM
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AronV wrote:

Which year did Ovechkin play in the Stanley Cup Finals?

Probably not the same year that Datsyuk or Larionov did.

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#45 Team Hall
June 04 2012, 01:30PM
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Interesting character for sure. So the NHL is ONE OF the best leagues in the world, hey? So maybe THE best league is the KHL. Or maybe I'm just reading too much...

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#46 Sloppy Joe
June 04 2012, 01:49PM
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My apologies for hijacking this thread, but ...

Pens trade 7th rd. pick for rights to negotiate with Vokoun, then sign him to 2 yrs at 2 per.

WTF can Tambo & co. possibly be thinking re Bulin if a good goalie can be signed for that kind of term and money?

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#47 justDOit
June 04 2012, 01:56PM
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OK. Before anybody starts a petition to ban me, please read my entire post. I'm NOT starting a religion debate here. From reading interviews with him, I think this young man has a very level head on his shoulders and I totally respect his religious beliefs.

What I do want to know is if NY observes Ramadan. I haven't seen this mentioned in any articles about him, but I would assume that he does.

I was mistakenly under the impression that Ramadan takes place in the spring. After a little googling, I now know that it is not tied to the Gregorian calendar, but to the lunar. This means that the Ramadan period moves in relation to our calendar - it's 11 days earlier every year.

This year it starts on July 20th, so this means that in 4 years it will start during the Cup finals, and every year afterward it will occur earlier in the schedule.

How do professional athletes keep up their conditioning if they don't touch food or drink while the sun is up? I've read that some athletes say that they perform better during Ramadan, because their minds are so completely focused during this intense religious period.

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#48 justDOit
June 04 2012, 01:58PM
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Andrey Osadchenko wrote:

So just we're all clear here - Yakupov said all of this in Russian.

Thanks. I still believe that his actions speak more to how he views the NHL than anything.

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#49 justDOit
June 04 2012, 02:17PM
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striatic wrote:

i read it as meaning the NHL is up there with the other "best of world" leagues, like the NBA, MLB and various European Football leagues.

Another very good perspective on his words. Thanks.

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#50 TigerUnderGlass
June 04 2012, 02:22PM
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justDOit wrote:

OK. Before anybody starts a petition to ban me, please read my entire post. I'm NOT starting a religion debate here. From reading interviews with him, I think this young man has a very level head on his shoulders and I totally respect his religious beliefs.

What I do want to know is if NY observes Ramadan. I haven't seen this mentioned in any articles about him, but I would assume that he does.

I was mistakenly under the impression that Ramadan takes place in the spring. After a little googling, I now know that it is not tied to the Gregorian calendar, but to the lunar. This means that the Ramadan period moves in relation to our calendar - it's 11 days earlier every year.

This year it starts on July 20th, so this means that in 4 years it will start during the Cup finals, and every year afterward it will occur earlier in the schedule.

How do professional athletes keep up their conditioning if they don't touch food or drink while the sun is up? I've read that some athletes say that they perform better during Ramadan, because their minds are so completely focused during this intense religious period.

Ask Hakeem Olajuwon. He had an OK career as a professional athlete. It's rare in Hockey, but not basketball or Football. They just need good advice on getting through it.

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