YAK CITY TURMOIL?

Lowetide
October 14 2013 07:27AM

Nail Yakupov was a healthy scratch on Saturday night, and it appears some members of the family took it harder than others.

Eronko is certainly a credible source, and it's important to know this is out there. Having said that, it's also important to keep in mind that the player hasn't reacted in this way and that Dads have overreacted in the past. Yakupov DID express himself yesterday (via Joanne Ireland)

  • Yakupov: “I wasn’t happy about it last night. You can say a million words about getting better but coach says I’m not playing, so I’m not playing. I’m not happy about it. I just want to play every game."
  • More Yakupov: “I’m not going to change but maybe play better without the puck, or forecheck more, but I love playing with the puck. I really don’t like skating all the time, and forechecking, and hitting somebody every shift. I don’t think it’s my game.”

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

This is a power struggle, youth v experience, old v young, and it will end with Yakupov playing more of a team game and working within a team structure.

How do I know this? History. History tells us that if the inmates are running the show you don't have much. Dallas Eakins is no doubt fighting a lot of headstrong youth these days, but that's his job and he can't and won't back down.

Play the system. Do the job. Nail Yakupov won't win this battle, but he'll come out the other side a better man.

UPDATE

A very good statement from the agent. Someone needs to talk to Daddy Yakupov, but I understand him. :-)

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 106 and 106
October 14 2013, 07:36AM
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"I’m not going to change." -How he said this is really important and I'm hoping it's not the pouty, throw-a-tantrum way.

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#2 EricOG
October 14 2013, 07:40AM
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This is exactly what the team does not need at this point. They already have a headcase with Dubie, and now this.

Only in Edmonton, do you have a natural scorer relegated to third line duties.

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#3 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 14 2013, 07:47AM
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Good grief?

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#4 Manfly
October 14 2013, 07:50AM
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overreactions all around. one game he's a healthy scratch and the kid might come back to Russia? Igor is no different than any other Russian involved with hockey over there...first sign of anything unusual, and all of a sudden there's a problem and he might come home, and daddy saw a problem way back in the summer...yeah, like maybe the Oilers hired a coach that finally will make the players accountable for their on ice performance, and if they can't do the job, they sit. kid needs to learn to play as he's asked to and if he doesn't, then he won't be in the lineup. complete garbage from Igor and total overreaction by daddy, who looks like he may be a problem the Oilers may have to continually deal with.

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#5 dv.asteroid
October 14 2013, 07:52AM
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This feels surreal.... yak was the leading GOAL scorer....didn't he earn his top six start? Now this melodrama.... I'd be pissed too.

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#6 EricOG
October 14 2013, 07:56AM
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The coach should also review his strategies and adapt them to the NHL, where the players react and move faster.

That "swarm" looks more like they are just running around with no real sense of direction.

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#7 MessyEH!
October 14 2013, 07:57AM
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@Manfly

Lowetide, Why do you hate Yak? I would like to see, or hear, the full interview. I find everyone is trying to sensationalize everything these kids say and do.

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#8 Rdubb
October 14 2013, 08:11AM
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dv.asteroid wrote:

This feels surreal.... yak was the leading GOAL scorer....didn't he earn his top six start? Now this melodrama.... I'd be pissed too.

Maybe he was the top goal scorer, but what was +/-...hell, you could score 100 goals, but if you're on the ice for 150, what's the use? The kid has TONS of talent, but NEEDS TO learn how TO PLAY WITHOUT the puck, & it's THAT PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!!! I'd say, that's the reason why he is one the 3rd line and getting benched. Didn't Eakins say in training camp that he liked the kid? So it must have been a hard decision to bench the kid, but we now have a coach who is GOING TO MAKE THESE GUYS ACCOUNTABLE. What happened the other night, Smitty got benched, came back, & has played two great games. He got the MESSAGE, question is, WILL Yak?

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#9 MessyEH!
October 14 2013, 08:13AM
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I am still not sold on Eakins. I mean, what has he really done as a coach that warrants so much hype.

I feel the team has better players then last year. So they should be better.

I understand two men on the puck in the defensive end. This becomes very dangerous if no one has picked up the trailing man. It also leaves you vulnerable to a team like Vancouver that cycles the puck well.

It's the type of system that takes time for the players to adapt to. The players who are not in the fight for the puck, really have to have their heads on swivels, and keep there sticks in the passing lanes. I'm giving it time. I hope the players do as well.

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#10 Craig1981
October 14 2013, 08:14AM
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Steve Yzerman and Scotty Bowman got so heated over Yzerman's defense the Red Wings almost traded him after he had been producing 100+ seasons. Years latter Yzerman is thankful for Bowman changing his game. If Yzerman dealt with it, so can Yak.....and he will be better for it

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#13 oilabroad
October 14 2013, 08:33AM
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I think its too early to start throwing around the prima donna label again however it doesn't look good on him doing this at a time when the team is in the tank and he really has no legs to stand on in terms of output so far this year. I hate to sound cherryesque, but could you see Hall or Eberle doing/saying this?? not so sure...

One thing we have seen from MacT/Lowe in the past is dissenters get sent away real fast... this could be the beginning of the end

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#14 MessyEH!
October 14 2013, 08:33AM
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@Lowetide

The kid works hard, and has always been a ray of sunshine in interviews. No doubt he hated being benched.( It would drive any competitive person nuts.) Yak is a pro. He's very mature, and he will get it. I'm expecting great things from this kid.

I hope Eakins and Mactavish explained this move to Nail. If they didn't, well, I can see things going sour in a hurry. Especially if Nails father is being given "leading" questions by the media.

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#15 Rotten Ron
October 14 2013, 08:37AM
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Anybody remember him leaving Sarnia hanging to go to the KHL last year? He went against IIHF rules to skip returing to junior. Everyone one around here praised him, I asked how everyone would take it if it was the Oilers not the Sting.

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#16 Gingerballs
October 14 2013, 08:37AM
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This does seem like a little bit of an over reaction, from almost everyone. This was a simple coaching decision to make an example of a prominent but still young player in the lineup. Yak deserved to be sat and has not played well enough within the system to warrent more ice time. Yes, he's on the third line and not paired up with top end talent, but someone struggling to learn the system doesn't get top minutes. Last year he may have been the top goal scorer but he hasn't earned the trust of his new coach. So, that's why when he's in the lineup he's on the third line. I don't think Yak's gonna pout and he really shouldn't. He can obviously leave that to his Dad and the Russian media to do that for him. There shouldn't be a lot of pressure on Yak to be "the guy", cause the Oil already have Hall, Ebs and the Nuge for that. However, I'm sure Yak wants a spot on that Russian Olympic team and he wanted a strong start to the season to be in the conversation. So, that's where some of the pressure is coming from for him. Not to mention, I'm sure he puts more pressure on himself than anyone else does. Yak just needs to focus on his game and keep it simple. I think everyone needs to remember it's only 4 games in with a new system and coach. Yak won't be the only player sat for poor play this year.

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#17 pelhem grenville
October 14 2013, 08:40AM
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...crikey the kid's got it, I do believe...

play the way the coach says to play and you'll get ALL you want...Dad needs to shut the bloody hell up ...p.s. if that's an invitation to "pull my finger" by Scarlet Lowtide

I'm all in...

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#18 oilabroad
October 14 2013, 08:43AM
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Gingerballs wrote:

This does seem like a little bit of an over reaction, from almost everyone. This was a simple coaching decision to make an example of a prominent but still young player in the lineup. Yak deserved to be sat and has not played well enough within the system to warrent more ice time. Yes, he's on the third line and not paired up with top end talent, but someone struggling to learn the system doesn't get top minutes. Last year he may have been the top goal scorer but he hasn't earned the trust of his new coach. So, that's why when he's in the lineup he's on the third line. I don't think Yak's gonna pout and he really shouldn't. He can obviously leave that to his Dad and the Russian media to do that for him. There shouldn't be a lot of pressure on Yak to be "the guy", cause the Oil already have Hall, Ebs and the Nuge for that. However, I'm sure Yak wants a spot on that Russian Olympic team and he wanted a strong start to the season to be in the conversation. So, that's where some of the pressure is coming from for him. Not to mention, I'm sure he puts more pressure on himself than anyone else does. Yak just needs to focus on his game and keep it simple. I think everyone needs to remember it's only 4 games in with a new system and coach. Yak won't be the only player sat for poor play this year.

I think the only over reaction to this was yaks, he has not done enough to have that kind of chip on his shoulders to think he is above being benched. The line that bothers me most is saying he wont change his game and he doesn't like to skate and forecheck. WTF??? this is not the way to get back into your coaches good books

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#19 MessyEH!
October 14 2013, 08:44AM
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Gingerballs wrote:

This does seem like a little bit of an over reaction, from almost everyone. This was a simple coaching decision to make an example of a prominent but still young player in the lineup. Yak deserved to be sat and has not played well enough within the system to warrent more ice time. Yes, he's on the third line and not paired up with top end talent, but someone struggling to learn the system doesn't get top minutes. Last year he may have been the top goal scorer but he hasn't earned the trust of his new coach. So, that's why when he's in the lineup he's on the third line. I don't think Yak's gonna pout and he really shouldn't. He can obviously leave that to his Dad and the Russian media to do that for him. There shouldn't be a lot of pressure on Yak to be "the guy", cause the Oil already have Hall, Ebs and the Nuge for that. However, I'm sure Yak wants a spot on that Russian Olympic team and he wanted a strong start to the season to be in the conversation. So, that's where some of the pressure is coming from for him. Not to mention, I'm sure he puts more pressure on himself than anyone else does. Yak just needs to focus on his game and keep it simple. I think everyone needs to remember it's only 4 games in with a new system and coach. Yak won't be the only player sat for poor play this year.

I had never considered the Olympics. This is also a reason to have faith in Yak.

As for Yak not returning to Sarnia. Pretty easy decision if you ask me. Play for the Sting and earn 200 a month. Or head to my home town and make 100's of thousands a month. Your a real meathead if you think it was for any other reason. Besides, the kid was too good for the CHL.

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#20 Craig1981
October 14 2013, 08:44AM
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@Lowetide

Well thank you sir.

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#21 Beans1029
October 14 2013, 08:45AM
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@Rdubb

Ummm and RNH having a team worst -7after only 3 games will put him in the rafters? No...not likely. Yaks got the short end since he's been here.

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#22 Ryan
October 14 2013, 08:45AM
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I have a hard time seeing him on the third line all the time . I think as a new coach you have to give your leading scorer from the year before some leeway. He should have started on the top 2 lines and been forced to play his way off those lines. This is as dumb as Quinn playing gagner on the fourth line.

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#23 Forrestt
October 14 2013, 08:46AM
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The last thing this team needs right now is individuals. Keep it up Yak and we'll be saying "CYA".

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#24 Batfink
October 14 2013, 08:48AM
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I think Smytty should have a quiet word with him. A little 'listen kid, if I can take a benching for the team, so can you.'

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#25 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 14 2013, 08:51AM
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I agree with Smitty giving him a private chat, or maybe even Hall.

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#26 Woodguy
October 14 2013, 08:53AM
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Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance Spoke with Igor Larionov about Nail Yakupov KHL rumors: "Not even a single thought to go to the KHL at this moment. Not even a single one."

Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 11m @EdmontonOilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins had a brief convo with Yakupov and then YAK’s step picked up….lol..my guess is that he is in!

Everyone cool?

Everyone needs to be like a little Fonzie and take a deep breath.

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#27 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 14 2013, 08:56AM
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Woodguy wrote:

Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance Spoke with Igor Larionov about Nail Yakupov KHL rumors: "Not even a single thought to go to the KHL at this moment. Not even a single one."

Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 11m @EdmontonOilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins had a brief convo with Yakupov and then YAK’s step picked up….lol..my guess is that he is in!

Everyone cool?

Everyone needs to be like a little Fonzie and take a deep breath.

Whew, guilty as charged here. I think Yak's got the potential to be the best Oiler sniper since the dynasty years, the last thing I wanna see is him bolt for the Motherland.

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#28 Garon
October 14 2013, 08:58AM
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"Lowetide ‏@Lowetide_ Yak back to Russia? lowetide.ca/blog/2013/10/o..."

Nice to know you're not above scraping the bottom of the barrel for web hits, LT.

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#30 Rotten Ron
October 14 2013, 08:59AM
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MessyEH! wrote:

I had never considered the Olympics. This is also a reason to have faith in Yak.

As for Yak not returning to Sarnia. Pretty easy decision if you ask me. Play for the Sting and earn 200 a month. Or head to my home town and make 100's of thousands a month. Your a real meathead if you think it was for any other reason. Besides, the kid was too good for the CHL.

Easy decision? Break a contract you signed cause things arent going your way? He knew the rules when he decided to come over. To good for the CHL? What if he decides hes too good for the Oilers, will you be glued to a grainy khl feed watching him slam his stick on the ice after every missed shot or slide across the ice in an empty arena after he scores a goal to tie a meaningless game?

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#31 Serious Gord
October 14 2013, 09:00AM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Steve Yzerman and Scotty Bowman got so heated over Yzerman's defense the Red Wings almost traded him after he had been producing 100+ seasons. Years latter Yzerman is thankful for Bowman changing his game. If Yzerman dealt with it, so can Yak.....and he will be better for it

A similar thing happened to Brett hull.

But in either case did the coach bench the player after barely fifty games in the NHL?

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#32 Batfink
October 14 2013, 09:03AM
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Woodguy wrote:

Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance Spoke with Igor Larionov about Nail Yakupov KHL rumors: "Not even a single thought to go to the KHL at this moment. Not even a single one."

Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 11m @EdmontonOilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins had a brief convo with Yakupov and then YAK’s step picked up….lol..my guess is that he is in!

Everyone cool?

Everyone needs to be like a little Fonzie and take a deep breath.

I got a question. If the Fonz was so cool, why did he hang around with meat sticks like Ralph Malph?

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#33 Taylor Gang
October 14 2013, 09:05AM
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Woodguy wrote:

Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance Spoke with Igor Larionov about Nail Yakupov KHL rumors: "Not even a single thought to go to the KHL at this moment. Not even a single one."

Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 11m @EdmontonOilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins had a brief convo with Yakupov and then YAK’s step picked up….lol..my guess is that he is in!

Everyone cool?

Everyone needs to be like a little Fonzie and take a deep breath.

So... You're saying it was just a rumor? Oh THANK GOD, I thought he was actually going to the KHL after one game sitting... Not

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#34 Shane
October 14 2013, 09:06AM
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Russians over react way to much about a game. Yak wasn't willing to buy into the system so he sat in the press box just like Dallas Eakins said when he took over as head coach. And just because yak sat doesn't mean hall, nuge or ebs can't sit either.

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#35 Batfink
October 14 2013, 09:07AM
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Just an emotional response from an emotional player. The fact he has such passion is his greatest asset and weakness. This kid would play for the hell of it. I love the fact he's not a robot spouting clichés, but a little lesson learned here, methinks, not just why he was HS, but how to deal with it like a pro.

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#36 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 14 2013, 09:08AM
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Over re-YAK-ting, eh? Eh?

I'll let myself out...

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#38 Serious Gord
October 14 2013, 09:10AM
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Shane wrote:

Russians over react way to much about a game. Yak wasn't willing to buy into the system so he sat in the press box just like Dallas Eakins said when he took over as head coach. And just because yak sat doesn't mean hall, nuge or ebs can't sit either.

And oilers fans (and Canadian fans for that matter) back management decisions far too often.

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#39 Harlie
October 14 2013, 09:11AM
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I live Yak. Heck I picked him as my Star this year. Plus I own his first ever pair of Oilers gloves that I bought at a Charity auction. So I have high hopes for the guy.

BUT, he played like crap the last game and floated most of the time. That is unacceptable and the only skill required to try hard is effort.

Give us more effort Yak, and you'll play.

I agree with Eakin's on this one.

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#40 MAC962
October 14 2013, 09:15AM
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Mr Ference, you have your mission, pull the Yak aside and you have the Chat, you are the Captain. And if it happens to be Yak really acting up ? to Philly you you go for Sean C and Braydon Coborne...

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#41 Olier Al
October 14 2013, 09:17AM
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Typical Russian media.. Eronko stirring the pot , one for the homeland. Dumb idea buddy, makes NHL teams doing a double check come draft day.

Hope Eaking doesn't back down. No one player is bigger than the team .

Most disturbing is Yak, thinking he should not backcheck , skate... etc.

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#42 Rotten Ron
October 14 2013, 09:22AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

A similar thing happened to Brett hull.

But in either case did the coach bench the player after barely fifty games in the NHL?

Breet Hull played a full season in the minors after college and was 23 years old his rookie year. A much different siuation. At the time in the league when him and Yzerman were rookies defensive responsobility wasnt as important to coaches. Both had their coaches intervene later in there career when the game had evolved.

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#43 Robin Brownlee
October 14 2013, 09:25AM
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A young player as talented as Yakupov isn't going to like being scratched no matter what nationality he is. He shouldn't be happy. No need to read more into it.

What matters now is how Yakupov reacts - specifically, that he understands he is expected to play the way his coach tells him to and to do it within the system the coaching staff has put in place.

If Eakins, be he right or wrong in his tactical approach, allows Yakupov to say, "No, I'm going to do things my way no matter what you say," then he's finished as coach.

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#45 The Soup Fascist
October 14 2013, 09:26AM
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MAC962 wrote:

Mr Ference, you have your mission, pull the Yak aside and you have the Chat, you are the Captain. And if it happens to be Yak really acting up ? to Philly you you go for Sean C and Braydon Coborne...

And how would you handle the pesky little $5 million differential in base salary CAP issues the Oilers would have to deal with if such a trade were or occur .....??

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#46 Dan 1919
October 14 2013, 09:29AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

A similar thing happened to Brett hull.

But in either case did the coach bench the player after barely fifty games in the NHL?

People are making this too personal about Yak. Yeah this is largely to help him find his game and reset, but it's also because the team is off to a terrible start and is just looking for wins. Yak hasn't done anything but stand around and give the puck away. Plain and simply, with Yak producing zero offence so far, he is not only not helping, he is a liability. Therefore, try someone else who will give some sort of different dimension to the team.

I wish Yak was good enough that benching him should be a big deal, and someday he probably will be, but today he's a flashy 19 year old that hasn't quite found his NHL game. The coaching staff was well within their realm of responsibilities in benching the struggling teenager.

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#47 Serious Gord
October 14 2013, 09:31AM
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Rotten Ron wrote:

Breet Hull played a full season in the minors after college and was 23 years old his rookie year. A much different siuation. At the time in the league when him and Yzerman were rookies defensive responsobility wasnt as important to coaches. Both had their coaches intervene later in there career when the game had evolved.

Yes, i am aware of all that. But when the coaches "intervention" happened, did it involve benching the player?

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#48 MessyEH!
October 14 2013, 09:33AM
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Rotten Ron wrote:

Easy decision? Break a contract you signed cause things arent going your way? He knew the rules when he decided to come over. To good for the CHL? What if he decides hes too good for the Oilers, will you be glued to a grainy khl feed watching him slam his stick on the ice after every missed shot or slide across the ice in an empty arena after he scores a goal to tie a meaningless game?

You mean the contract the IIHF ruled was illegal. Or the one the CHL disputed, not Sarnia. Why did Sarnia not dispute it? Because, they knew it was what the kid intended to do. Personally, after last season, or lack of season. I surprised more Russians are not splitting.

Now I ask you. What if you were his family? Son, go play in Canada in the CHL, where your too good of a player, where you earn nothing but an allowance. (Less than a welfare recipient, less than minimum wage. ) Or would you say come home. You'll earn more, your wage is better, it's insurable. And your mother misses you. I know what choice I would make. And it's not even close.

Meathead=dead from the shoulders up.

Sounds about right.

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#49 ed in edmonton
October 14 2013, 09:35AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

A similar thing happened to Brett hull.

But in either case did the coach bench the player after barely fifty games in the NHL?

I recall Hull was not an every game player in Cowtown for his 1st couple of years. So, yes he would be benched frequently and get spot duty many other nights.

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#50 Robin Brownlee
October 14 2013, 09:39AM
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Lowetide wrote:

As always, not a word out of place.

If you thought that was good, you should see my just completed re-written career projection for Jeff Deslauriers. Baby, I nailed it.

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