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. :-)

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

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#53 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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#54 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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#55 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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#56 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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#57 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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#58 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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#59 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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#60 106 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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#61 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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#62 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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#63 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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#66 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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#67 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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#68 Craig1981
October 14 2013, 10:37AM
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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 don't know, but it doesn't matter. The article was about a rift between a coach and a player.

It appears from this article it's Yak not wanting to play Easkin's style. If it was he was trying and having a hard time adjusting that would be different. And who would you take out of the lineup for Yak? He had to sit someone.

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#69 james_dean
October 14 2013, 10:40AM
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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 hate to speculate but against fellow countryman ovi,

Maybe he had bad body language or said something to coach.

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#70 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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#71 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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#72 Ryan2
October 14 2013, 04:55PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

No bigger floater on the team than Hemsky. Mr Fly By. He wasn't traded because old 6 rings made sure the deal would not be approved no matter what. It was Lowe that gave #83 the 2 x $5 million contract, and not Tambelini.

PS.. Nothing wrong with Yak taking a seat for a night.... someone has to take a shot at figuring out the SWARM system, because sure as heck no one else can.

Hemsky is far from a problem on this year's team. You want Mr. Fly By, that would be Hall or Ebs up front, and JSchultz on the back end.....

That being said, it is interesting to see how much better the players adapted to Kruger's system vs. the one Eakins is trying to implement, whatever SWARM is supposed to be. To be honest, it looks like a system that is better suited to the AHL rather than the NHL. Right now Eakins gets a bit of a mulligan for the swiss cheese like roster MacT has provided him (how is that trade for another small skill guy in Perron working so far?), but unless the team turns around that will only carry him so far.

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#73 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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#76 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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#77 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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#78 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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#79 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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#80 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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#81 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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#82 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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#83 Oil town on E
October 14 2013, 12:10PM
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This just in, Yak will be sittin in the press box again tonight !

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#84 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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#85 RMH
October 14 2013, 02:52PM
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Katzhater wrote:

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.

I don't remember MacTavish sustaining a head injury.

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#86 Avatarget
October 14 2013, 08:27PM
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Jonas wrote:

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.

Pretty hard to bench a guy who had a good last game.

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#87 LOIL99
October 15 2013, 09:45AM
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The one comment in this article that jumped out at me was "I am not going to change". That alone should be a HUGE flashing red light to management. A 19 year old saying he "wont change" how he plays the game when he clearly lacks many of the skills required in the NHL?? That's not good...

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#89 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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#90 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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#91 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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#92 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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#93 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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#94 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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#95 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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#96 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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#97 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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#98 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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#99 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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#100 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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