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 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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#2 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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#3 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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#4 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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#5 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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#7 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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#8 Craig1981
October 14 2013, 10:41AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The beginning of the end of Yakupov in Edmonton. Eakins has made his own bed, hope he sleeps well in it.

Must be close to official now, the Oil should've taken Galchenyuk. Oilers should still be okay if Hall and RNH work out.

The move he should've made was to get Bachman up here from OKC to sit Dubnyk.

Friggen rookie coaches.....

"Friggen rookie coaches" that don't know as much about hockey as you do????? Lol

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#9 mlcsellil
October 14 2013, 01:07PM
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Ordinarily , when a player is scratched 1 game, it is to see his mistakes and learn what he needs to do better. When a player is scratched more than that, (Peckman, Fistric Whitney. Jones PRV, Omark.....), plans are in the works. I sincerely hope Yak is not being considered as a chip to move in any type of trade. I don't care what might come back, Yak can't be sacrificed. There is no way in hell everyone else on the team is playing better than Yak. Let Eakins sit someone else. If is Eakins intention is to send a message, I got it. The Oilers are going to cost us Yakupov in a trade.

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#10 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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#12 Robin Brownlee
October 14 2013, 09:52AM
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@james_dean

He'll need a long stick to score from the press box. It's Yak Sitty again tonight.

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#13 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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#14 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 14 2013, 07:47AM
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Good grief?

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#15 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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#16 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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#18 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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#19 Robin Brownlee
October 14 2013, 10:29AM
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@Rama Lama

I'm not sure you're watching the same game as Eakins either.

Yakupov isn't being scratched because he hasn't scored. He's been scratched because he's been a total freelancer within the system the coach expects him to play, compounded by the fact he's getting nothing done. Big difference.

Dubnyk's results, like Yakupov's, haven't been good enough, but unless you're suggesting he isn't trying to stop the puck, we're not talking about the need for an attitude adjustment, as we are with Yakupov.

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#20 106 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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#21 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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#22 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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#23 MessyEH!
October 14 2013, 07:57AM
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@HardBoiledOil

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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#24 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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#26 washed up
October 14 2013, 10:55AM
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My take is Oilers are trying to drive up Hemsky's stock value around the league. Once he is gone via trade, Yakupov can slide into a first or second line role.

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#27 nunyour
October 14 2013, 11:59AM
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He's benched and he's pissed about it,the rest is the media making a mountain out of a mole hill.

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#28 Oilers Coffey
October 14 2013, 12:37PM
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Putting your leading scorer in a position to succeed. Whoah is that too far to fathom? You'd think he could have atleast bought himself a chance to start in first two lines this year. Eakins says that Yakupov has to outplay two other RWs ahead if him to get top six minutes. Then gift wraps 83 into that position to start? Eakins and Krueger are/have mishandled the young sniper. If he's struggling playing the New system, then teach him the system. Sending Yakupov to the press box for two straight is not the solution. As for Yakupovs scrum comments. Do you really want Yakupov as a 3rd line plug? Or where he's going to put in a position to do what he was drafted for?

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#29 Katzhater
October 14 2013, 01:04PM
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It's only 5 games into the season and the oilers are already confirming their status as a disgrace to professional sports.

P.S. Mactavish is not smart. Last man to not wear a helmet in the NHL.

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#30 mlcsellil
October 14 2013, 03:33PM
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Just wondering.......If Yak is sitting tonight ONLY because Eakins liked the line combinations and their synergy, what happens to Yak if the Oil play the same type of game tonight in Washington? I smell a bad stink and I think it smells like phone wires burning. Shame on the Oil if this is the case. We would like to see Yak play in the city he was drafted

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#31 HardBoiledOil
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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#32 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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#33 Rama Lama
October 14 2013, 11:01AM
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@Robin Brownlee

I just think that Eakins is getting too much of a free ride here. I'm not the only one who has noticed is odd line combinations, lack of defensive zone structure, choice of goaltender, PK lines combinations that make no sense ( RNH & Hemsky), and in general a blender approach to matching lines.

In all this chaos Yaks gets singled out. I can think of at least 5 other players who have played worse.

I see no logic in anything that Eakins has done so far, and I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that I have missed something. I know we cannot afford yet another coach, that's not my position.........I want to see some structure in the game not 5 players supporting the play all bunched up with no one to pass to. I think this system has totally confused poor Yaks. This is not a lazy kid who just lost his way last week.

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#34 Deke Rivers
October 14 2013, 11:17AM
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Wow, I can't believe how much support there is for Yak. We've complained as a group of fans, not so much about the results the last few years, but the lack of effort and accountability.

You can analyse Eakins style all you want but the reality is the numbers are better in the categories just about everyone wanted improvement (hits, shots, faceoffs, chances, effort, and accountability) With the exception of wins and some systems tinkering, he's delivered and it should get better.

There is NO room for any player who doesn't buy into the system. Yak isn't Gretzky, the only player allowed to float. Even Crosby shows hustle out there.

And Dubnyk's issues are COMPLETELY different. Yak's punishment is about effort and systems. Not about production.

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#35 Hayek
October 14 2013, 02:13PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Haha.... 5th game in and he has alienated Yak already eh? lol

Yak was 2nd in a lot of stats except the ones that matter... goals and assists.

His D game has also been terrible, and his compete hasn't been there. I've been to 3 home games already and he has floated in all of them.

Really? Yeah, he has no points. But that is not from a lack of effort. If you are going to crucify players for being unlucky, then you would have sent Hall down after his first 9 games with the Oilers.

I think most would agree that Yakupov with zero points has outplayed Smyth with 4 points this year. Also, in the future, since Yakupov has been dominant in outchancing the opposition, he will outscore Smyth over the season.

Stop being narrow minded. Of course Yakupov has had defensive lapses, but not more so than RNH, Hall, or even Eberle. This rhetoric that Yakupov is a floater is so laughable.

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#36 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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#37 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 14 2013, 09:56AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

He'll need a long stick to score from the press box. It's Yak Sitty again tonight.

I see what you did there...

No actually, that was really funny.

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#38 Newj
October 14 2013, 10:50AM
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@Robin Brownlee

As others are inclined to say...."This".

It's not about whether RNH is -7 or Hall making poor decisions. For me its about effort & making the attempt to play within team's system. Yak has times where he seems disinterested in following the doctrine.

My prediction is that young Justin Schultz may experience the same wrath if he continues to choose his high risk, all offense decisions.

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#39 Naky
October 14 2013, 11:11AM
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@Rama Lama

You're not getting what he's trying to say. He's trying to say that while our best offensive forwards have been absolute train wrecks defensively, they're still at least trying hard. Even if they're not playing the system 100% right, they're still flying around, fighting battles, and landing hits. Dubnyk's not been great, but he's still fighting hard to get out of his slump.

Yakupov? Clearly you're not watching the same games I am, because Yakupov's been floating around out there and cherry picking. He described his own play with his own words! He's not making hits, he's not even trying to forecheck, heck, he's barely trying to cover his man at times. All he does is try to stay open so he can use his one timer in the offensive zone or take off flying with the puck after someone else did all the hard work in the defensive. This wouldn't even be so bad if he was actually scoring goals but he's not. So he gets benched even though the other kids aren't necessarily better - but they're trying.

Down the road, does Eakins sit Hall if he keeps giving prime time, gift wrapped turnovers every time he single handedly tries to split the D (and fails 90% of the time) as he so loves to do? I honestly hope so. But it's Yak's turn this time and he's kinda deserved it.

I will say though... two games is ballsy. This second game feels more like a punishment. However, a warranted one if Yakupov said those same words to Eakins about not going to change his game.

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#40 Wax Man Riley
October 14 2013, 01:10PM
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Hayek wrote:

I'd simply fire Eakins now. I thought he had a philosophy that different players needed to be treated different to get through to him. He has now alienated what is likely to be the Oilers 2nd best player on the roster.

Yakupov was 2nd on the team in scoring chances/60, 2nd in shots/60, was 2nd on the team in corsi. Apparently, this non-team play that he employed was largely a benefit to the team. All this has happened while a roster has included worse players such as Brown, Gazdic, and Smyth.

The coach is not always right. Eakins is likely dead wrong here. He is looking at the scoresheet instead of actual gameplay.

Haha.... 5th game in and he has alienated Yak already eh? lol

Yak was 2nd in a lot of stats except the ones that matter... goals and assists.

His D game has also been terrible, and his compete hasn't been there. I've been to 3 home games already and he has floated in all of them.

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#41 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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#42 Robin Brownlee
October 14 2013, 10:14AM
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@Kodiak

Once is OK but twice is too much?

If grasping the concept of playing the way Eakins expects takes more than one game sitting out, so be it. You and I know better from afar than Eakins does?

And the Dubnyk reference is a reach of biblical proportions. You know that.

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#43 The Too Silent Ghost
October 14 2013, 10:28AM
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DSF wrote:

Damien Cox ‏@DamoSpin 1h

Oilers now getting a sense of what Sarnia Sting had to deal with.

I'd always thought trolls were solitary creatures...

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#44 Oil fan since 1979
October 14 2013, 10:55AM
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@Shane

How about u replace Russians with Oiler fans. My god, why is it that everytime a small piece of second hand information is released, the Oil fools (new term for the Over reacting masses) want the GM fired. Fire the coach, sit Hall, sit Nuge, trade Yakupov ? Now the rumor has Yak wanting out already after 52 games ?!? Good grief, U know, Vancouver fans Used to have the rap of "being horrible fans". Guess what?!? Oiler fans ... The best, worst fans in the league reside in E town. For a place that likes to think they know all there is to know about hockey, relax, take a breath... It is supposed to be entertainment. Like reading the comments here... Entertaining.

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#45 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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#46 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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#47 DSF
October 14 2013, 10:04AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Maybe something was lost in translation, but I'm also kind of put off by Yak's comments. Skating, forechecking and hitting are kind of the main points of the game. If he's saying he doesn't like playing a more two-way, defensive-minded role, I'd say Hall should have a chat with him about doing whatever it takes for the team, whether it's moving to centre or playing a 200 foot game.

That being said - Yak City b***h, Yak Yak City b***h...

I doubt you should hold up Hall as an example of someone who could tell Yakupov about playing a two way, defensive minded role.

That's exactly why Ruff benched Hall.

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#48 ed in edmonton
October 14 2013, 10:28AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Once is OK but twice is too much?

If grasping the concept of playing the way Eakins expects takes more than one game sitting out, so be it. You and I know better from afar than Eakins does?

And the Dubnyk reference is a reach of biblical proportions. You know that.

DD was "benched" for the Capitals game. DD hasn't been quoted as saying 'I don't like stopping unscreened shots from the blue line".

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#49 Batfink
October 14 2013, 10:39AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The beginning of the end of Yakupov in Edmonton. Eakins has made his own bed, hope he sleeps well in it.

Must be close to official now, the Oil should've taken Galchenyuk. Oilers should still be okay if Hall and RNH work out.

The move he should've made was to get Bachman up here from OKC to sit Dubnyk.

Friggen rookie coaches.....

Awesome 20/20 hindsight.

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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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