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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#51 Rama Lama
October 14 2013, 10:21AM
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Not sure I was watching what Dallas was watching when it comes to Nail. Yes he has struggled to put the biscut in the basket but so has everyone else.

Exactly whom on our team right now is all-world? Benching Yakupov is window dressing.........I would have benched the coach for introducing this system " SWARM" , that no one seems to have figured out. Yet some how a rookie is supposed to know exactly how it works and be producing?

It frankly ridiculous to expect him to be something better when clearly everyone is struggling with this system.

Bench Dubynk ...........he has cost us three games and still gets to play.....go figure.

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#52 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 14 2013, 10:35AM
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DSF wrote:

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.

It's not so much Hall telling him to play a 2 way game, more of Hall getting Yak to buy in and accept the role the team needs him to play, whatever that role may be.

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#53 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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#54 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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#55 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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#56 BleedingOil
October 14 2013, 10:31AM
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yakupov+++ will be traded in the coming days. we need a 1D and 1G. watch.

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#57 godot10
October 14 2013, 11:47AM
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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

Yzerman was in hus late twenties and a mature hockey player. Not a 20-year old.

Scotty Bowman was a multi-Stanley Cup winning coach, not a moderately successful AHL coach with a good publicist.

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#58 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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#59 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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#61 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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#62 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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#63 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 14 2013, 09:49AM
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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...

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#64 Quicksilver ballet
October 14 2013, 10:35AM
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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.....

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#65 Oil town on E
October 14 2013, 11:53AM
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@Hayek

Here, here !! Get our top sniper off the line with a pylon and a plug!!! Just sayin ...

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#66 Dog Train
October 14 2013, 12:20PM
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Heaven forbid if a coach actually has the guts to sit one of our young guns down for a few games. Eakins is getting paid to try and win games. Accountability has been lacking for the Oilers for too long now. Eakins is bringing accountability back to the lineup. I know people will say that there are other forwards who aren't playing well defensively so why don't players like Eberle or Hall get benched? Because at this moment, they are better players than Yakupov and give us a better chance of winning. Smyth has 3 goals already this year so taking him out right now isn't the right move. Joensuu brings more intangibles to the lineup other than scoring and having Yak replace one of the fourth line guys will do nothing for his confidence. The kid will get his chance soon enough and when he does, he needs to prove that he deserves to be in the lineup each and every night.

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#67 Craig1981
October 14 2013, 12:32PM
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godot10 wrote:

Yzerman was in hus late twenties and a mature hockey player. Not a 20-year old.

Scotty Bowman was a multi-Stanley Cup winning coach, not a moderately successful AHL coach with a good publicist.

What difference does it make if he was early or late 20s? Everyone needs to buy into the teams system

So unless you have won 9 Stanley Cup you can't develop players?

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#68 MessyEH!
October 14 2013, 01:40PM
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Maybe Hemsky is on his way out. He has actually impressed me on the PK. He can kill alot of time carrying the puck and dipsy-doodling.he also seems to keep the other team honest on the D end. If they are shopping Hemsky, I am sure there are some scouts raising eyebrows about MAcrobella.

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#69 Wax Man Riley
October 14 2013, 04:12PM
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Hayek wrote:

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.

I do believe that Smyth has outplayed Yak.

Even being 2 steps behind Yak as far as speed goes, Smyth has been in position and working.

As I mentioned, I have only seen 3 games this year so far in person, but I believe you get a MUCH better sense of how the players play without the puck, and Yakupov has been disinterested and floating.

Maybe he is still learning the system, maybe he refuses to play it, maybe he is more interested in his endorsements than studying positioning, but he has not been effective.

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#70 Jonas
October 14 2013, 07:16PM
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Everyone who says this is warranted and Yaks is making this too personal. Why the double standard? Hall has been awful defensively the worst on the team by a long shot from the top six with his turnovers. He gets a free pass. As does Eberle and RNH. Okay fine RNH has to play no matter what given the shortage at centre but why the other skilled wingers getting a pass?

The optics look awful cause its the one Russian player and i guarantee his Russian buddies are texting him right now filling his head with all madness about the discrimination hell face. Eg they think youre lazy they think you have a bad attitude Hall can get away with murder and you need to score every game.

Dallas should sit Eberle next game as hes done nothing the entire season except last game against Toronto. Be consistent.

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#71 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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#72 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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#73 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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#75 Kodiak
October 14 2013, 10:04AM
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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.

What's your take Robin? Wouldn't you think having him in on the 4th line instead of Brown would still get a message across? Yak>Brown every day. I don't mind that they sat him once but for me this is too much. No sense alienating the kid.

If you want accountability, Dubnyk would be a healthy scratch and Bachman would have been called up.

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#76 Time Travelling Sean
October 14 2013, 10:13AM
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Why bench him for two games in a row? Can't really prove the coaches wrong if he's in the press box.

Did he have a vapid practice or something??? Is a 70% Joensuu better than a motivated Yak?

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#77 TDSM31
October 14 2013, 11:10AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

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.

Although Dubnyk appears to be very well liked and hasn't shown the same type of rebellious attitude of Yakupov, he's still in need of an adjustment nonetheless. Dubnyk's body language after goals is not what you want to see in a goalie...it really looks like he gets down on himself. No room for that at this level. Guys get put in the press box for various reasons and Dubynk should not be immune from this.

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#78 Hayek
October 14 2013, 11:40AM
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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.

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#79 Alsker
October 14 2013, 11:42AM
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This sounds more like a maturity issue or lack there of. Going back to the Van game where he threw a few hits on one shift, was he throwing a tantrum? Egging Eakins on? If he thinks hes bigger than the team than a little timeout in the corner is in order. As for Hall speaking to him, of course he should. Ruff did the same thing to him, just because you were a 1st overall pick doesnt mean you do what you want. Grow up, swallow a little pride, and see the light...oh and yes I also picked Yak as my star this year.

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#80 Wax Man Riley
October 14 2013, 01:07PM
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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.....

You have said it about every player on the team: "When are they going to be asking for a trade?"

20 year old players don't ask for a trade.

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#81 Wax Man Riley
October 14 2013, 04:18PM
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@Hayek

I really, really like Yakupov as a player, but a benching is a benching. It is not as big of a deal that everyone is making it out to be.

Good players playing poorly sometimes need a kick in the butt. Smyth rebounded pretty good after the benching.

Hall did as well. Yakupov will come back looking to prove something and I bet he plays a bit smarter. It is way more fun being on the ice than in the press box, and I bet he comes back ready to play with his teammates rather than trying to do it all himself.

Stop being narrow minded? Calling to fire the coach after 5 games for benching an offensive player that is not producing?

Hi pot.

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#82 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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#83 kawi460
October 14 2013, 09:58AM
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I no expert but Yak seems to be getting lost in the shuffle with all the young small skilled wingers. Would it hurt to move one of them and good prospect for a stud young dman? Seth Jones could be a good fit. Plus the Preds could use a top 6 winger with good potential.

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#84 madjam
October 14 2013, 11:00AM
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Could be a powder keg here for rookie coach . Yak does have options if he desires to do so , more lucrative than he has now . If he were to go we could end up with nothing similar to Nashville . Mind games do not work on everybody , there are other ways to motivate as well . Where's Kreuger , is he still not on payroll ? They probably should have traded him before pulling this stunt so early into season .

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#85 Spydyr
October 14 2013, 12:32PM
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Is the team a better team with Ryan Smyth in the line-up or Yak?

Who will be here next year and who won't?

Who is the future of the franchise and who is the past?

Once again bad asset management by the Oilers.

How can you sit the kid and not sit players such as Dubnyk and J. Shultz .Players that are playing much worse than Yak.

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#86 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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#87 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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#88 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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#89 james_dean
October 14 2013, 09:48AM
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The kid just wants to play.

This is exactly what dallas wanted.

Look for 2 to 3 points for him tonight in a "grey hair special"

I hope he uses just for men when that cowlick goes grey

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#90 Smokey
October 14 2013, 12:29PM
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I think the organization for the most part is assbackwards, and when you see the poor handling of prospects over and over again it doesn't surprise me they sat Yak. Its not that I felt there should be no accountability, but Yak could of been given 4th line duty for a game and given a chance to dig himself out rather then a benching. I watched the deteriorating confidence of MPS for two years. His fault was floaters from the side board and he soft on the puck, however he was defensively responsible. I did not see this garbage with the other young players. Hall, RNH, Eberle all have had their stinkers. Justin Schultz was brutal in many games last year, but he played. Why was Yak different? Its a double standard period with some of these kids. Why is that?

Taylor Hall's been a turnover magnet and one could argue his ass should stapled to the bench. Difference is that he's got a few points. Yak led this team in goals last year without a real push all last season. He was only forward who showed up the last ten games consistently last season. Way to go Oilers on this one!

If Yak did not hit those posts and they went in the net, he would of played last game. Let the kids play. If you gotta reduce their ice fine so be it, but don't trash their confidence by benching them, and creating a story.

I think Yak is too valuable, however I question whether he is in the long term goals of the Oilers, and that saddens me.

When Moses returned from Egypt's land he said, "LET MY YAK GO!"

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#91 Jonas
October 14 2013, 07:07PM
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kawi460 wrote:

I no expert but Yak seems to be getting lost in the shuffle with all the young small skilled wingers. Would it hurt to move one of them and good prospect for a stud young dman? Seth Jones could be a good fit. Plus the Preds could use a top 6 winger with good potential.

Nail is not a small winger.

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#92 Nina Russo
October 14 2013, 09:48PM
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mlcsellil wrote:

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.

The first person who should be scratched right now -- the "healthiest" scratch available -- is Eakins himself. The goals against is an embarrassment. If the system wasn't ready , coaches fault for not using the preseason properly. If the line combinations aren't producing (defensively), coaches fault. If players are turning pucks over (Hall, Nuge, Hemsky, Smyth, Shultz ....), coaches fault. I have never been more unable to defend the integrity of the team more than right now. As a fan that is the ultimate low. You know the assets are there but you just cannot defend their current utilization. It would appear that for all the hype about this new coach, he forgot that he was supposed to lead by example. Time that either Eakins puts his ego aside or he is shown the door.

As bad as the individual players are playing, the fact of the matter is that by letting them play as he does he is facilitating this nightmare. Enough is enough. Yak sits or plays with fourth line plugs, while Smyth plays top six minutes. You know it's bad when even the pundits in TO make jokes about it.

Why is Colrado successful while Edmonton struggles -- it's all about asset management, a tale of two coaches.

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#93 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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#94 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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#95 DSF
October 14 2013, 10:07AM
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Damien Cox ‏@DamoSpin 1h

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

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#96 Hayek
October 14 2013, 11:58AM
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Oil town on E wrote:

Here, here !! Get our top sniper off the line with a pylon and a plug!!! Just sayin ...

Not that it is necessary to get him better linemates, because Yakupov makes them immensely better. But yeah, Yakupov is playing well enough to not be buried on the 3rd line and have to play with guys such as Gordon and Smyth (not that Gordon is bad, but he is clearly not interested in generating offence.)

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#97 Darrell
October 14 2013, 12:10PM
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I read no line-up changes tonight except the pulled Dubie ? That means Yak sits again ?

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#98 michael
October 14 2013, 12:20PM
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What a load. Hall makes a dozen give aways and does not get sat. Please Dallas this town has a few brain cells that can figure out what is what. Its easy to sit a second year player on the notion that he needs to learn to play without the puck. Sure I'll eat that. But your ability to justify it in lieu of the teams performance on Saturday night is just plain BS.

What we really need is for MacT to ensure that moving forward that Hemsky is somewhere else and that Yakupov is in the top 6.

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#99 Woogie63
October 14 2013, 03:13PM
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This coaching tactic would work beautifully in the AHL. Sitting players so they can't show the parent they are capable of NHL pay days is a reasonable strategy.

Here we have a first overall, that needs to learn enough defence, but more importantly how contribute offensively at critical moments if the game.

What is the plan for Yak a third line RW on a bad team?

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

Well thank you sir.

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