YAKUPOV: LAST IN, FIRST OUT?

Robin Brownlee
November 11 2013 07:41PM

Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish said just last week he isn’t trying to trade Nail Yakupov, but agent Igor Larionov has tongues wagging across the NHL today, saying his client is open to a trade. Anywhere is fine.

Two Tweets from the Twitter account of ESPN Magazine senior hockey writer Craig Custance are again fuelling speculation that the struggling Yakupov could be on the move out Edmonton just 65 games into his NHL career with the Oilers, who picked him first overall in 2012. Just after 6 p.m. Edmonton time, the following:

A couple of hours prior to that, just before 5 p.m., Custance posted:

So, according to Custance, a seasoned scribe not prone to passing along baseless hearsay or making things up, and in direct quotes, Yakupov is open to and OK with being traded by the Oilers and Larionov plans to swing into town for a sit-down with MacTavish and maybe coach Dallas Eakins to discuss how his client is being used. That about cover it?

Is that trouble with a capital T or entitlement with a capital E?

EARLY SPLIT OR HISSY FIT?

It's completely understandable why Yakupov wouldn't be anything close to happy right now. Aside from the Oilers being off to a horrid 4-13-2 start, Yakupov has struggled mightily through the first 17 games of his sophomore season.

After finishing his rookie season like a house on fire with five goals in his last two games and totals of 17-14-31 in 48 games, Yakupov has scored just 2-2-4 in 17 games this season. He's been a healthy scratch. He's been moved up and down the line-up by Eakins. He's got every reason to be frustrated.

Is that all this is? I'm not sure. Players struggling during a difficult stretch or through a frustrating set of circumstances – diminished ice time, offensive droughts -- will often vent to their agents. Sometimes, it's a one-off. Then, the puck goes in the net, as it did in Chicago Sunday. Ice time increases. The team starts to win again. Cooler heads prevail. It's not often the crux of those conversations is passed on to media types.

Now, this from Larionov about Yakupov, the third and last of three first overall picks over the past four seasons after Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Wasn't it, like, just six or eight weeks ago that Oiler fans and some media types were thinking out loud about how Yakupov's next contract might stack up to those inked by Hall, RNH and Jordan Eberle?

This, just after MacTavish went out of his way to stifle speculation the Oilers were shopping the talented 20-year-old Russian winger: "When we drafted Nail it was because we believed he’d be a dynamic, electric, exciting player and that hasn’t changed. We were not expecting him to become all that in the first 70 games of his career," he said.

"We very much believe Nail will evolve to become that dynamic, electric player — become one of the most entertaining guys in the game. I told that to Igor. And I told that to Yak. Development is very rarely a straight line. It has ups and downs."

SO, WHAT NEXT?

So, what to make of this? Whatever conclusion you draw, it's difficult for me to believe Larionov didn't know exactly what he was saying. I'm guessing he said it with the blessing of his client. Leverage? Sending a message? Or is something already broken that can't be fixed? I don't know.

While "open to a trade" doesn’t necessarily equate to "I want to be traded," it's just a degree or two short. Demanding a trade now, given how poorly he's played, would be the epitome of entitlement -- blaming everybody else but himself for the situation Yakupov finds himself in.

Whatever the case, and despite what MacTavish said last week, I'm guessing what Larionov said today will get MacT's cell phone ringing just as surely as it has people talking already. Stay tuned.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

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A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#201 bazmagoo
November 12 2013, 12:16AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Ok, guys, here's the only scenario that makes sense to me......

Somehow, Darry Katz has got himself mixed up with the Russian mafia. They forced him to install Eakins(one of their operatives) as coach. As part of a match fixing scheme, they are forcing Eakins to make his inane line combinations, and knowing how explosive Yak is, are having Eakins break his spirit, all the while making millions betting against the Oilers.

Having Sam Gagner take the crucial draw in the d-zone in the last minute against Chicago was the final tipoff that blew the cover off this thing - no one who knows anything about hockey would be that stupid.....obviously Eakins is not a real coach....

I put it all together watching the Bourne Supremacy last night - has anyone noticed that Jason Bourne has more than passing resemblance with Taylor Hall? Coincidence? I think not.

Best post ever, the internet bows to you sir

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#202 6 ring circus
November 12 2013, 12:27AM
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Desperate times call for desperate measures,It's time we bring in Mr Burn's and Homer Simpson to replace Katz and Lowe.

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#203 non descript
November 12 2013, 07:43AM
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this was a comment a day after yakupov was drafted.

interesting how tambo has gone from saying he wants to add one, possibly two top 4 defencemen to wanting to add a depth defencemen to the big club. looks like it could be another year of winning games only when all the stars line up and losing the rest. tough to win consistently in the nhl trying to run and gun every night with a group of undersized forwards. once again, does tambo have a clue what it takes to assemble a hockey team that can compete on a nightly basis? i find it disturbing that almost the first words out of the mouths of the tsn guys was, better get this guy signed in case there is a lockout because the khl looms. wonderful, that will always be hanging over this guy. further, what happens when this cocky prima donna starts griping about his pp minutes or ice time in general because hall or ebs is getting the extra shift. how long till there is a rift in the dressing room because this is taylor halls team and yakupov has no interest in playing second fiddle to anyone? does this russian seem like a hometown discount guy when the time comes? who is more likely to bolt as soon as ufa status is available to be the man somewhere else? a management team and fanbase mesmerized by some speed and fancy stickhandling once again. this player might help us score a few more goals, but the right player to take in order to make our TEAM better was a solid character leader from white city saskatchewan.

first big oiler headline of the summer - yakupov hesitant to sign with the oilers due to pending labour dispute, wants to keep khl option open.

better be prepared for alot of drama with this guy.

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#204 Oil Can
November 12 2013, 09:29AM
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Keep Yak and teach and utilize his skill, shot and play making ability. Philly was suppose to have interest in Ebbs. So why have we not been trying to move Ebbs and Gagne for Simmonds and Couturier. That solves us of our second line centre problems, with a good young, two way second line centre with size, and a winger with size and at least a little grit. It also gets two under sized forwards off the team. The value to Philly would be mostly with Ebbs, and the Oilers would move some over priced players and free up some pay roll for a more balanced team payroll. If the Oilers have to through in a good prospect (Marincen) or a second pick, then get it done.

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#205 Smokey
November 12 2013, 09:51AM
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Are we officially running Yak outta town...everyone take a big breathe...

All these pseudo opinions about Yak not fitting in, not in pics, Hall talking to him on the ice are STUPID. JUST PLAIN STUPID.

Who cares if its true or not. The assertion that players have to be bunk buddies and chase girls together is silly. Even if he did not hang out with the boys it doesn't mean anything. The kids from another country, and has a different world view. How does his Muslim faith effect where he likes to hand out or what to do. Maybe he doesn't drink...I dunno. His problem probably has more to do with having his role defined, then having to do whether he is in twitter pics.

We're Jordan, Rodman, Pippen, best boosum buddies? All had strong personalities, and were cordial, but none of them were tight. They won three championships.

The struggle with Yak is he is young and not sure of his place or role.

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#206 sizzay
November 12 2013, 10:04AM
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pkam wrote:

Does it matter if I overrate our players or not?

If our players aren't good enough, how can losing trades make us any better? Wouldn't it make us even worse?

Not exactly. If we get players that aren't as flashy that fill a need to add a different dynamic to the team, I think we improve.

For instance:

Is Jordan Eberle better than Wayne Simmonds? Most would say yes, he's more skilled. Do we need someone like Wayne Simmonds more than Eberle? I would say yes because he can hit, win board battles, score, and fight.

Now I'm not saying trade Eberle straight across for Simmonds, but holding out for Simmonds, Couturier, 1st round pick, and Coburn isn't in the cards (exaggeration I know).

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#207 Towersofdub
November 12 2013, 10:36AM
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@ pkam Considering how some of our 1st overall pics have apparently turned out, maybe it's not that big of a deal to trade next years 1st rounder. Obviously I'm being sarcastic here. It's weird, though that hlf the people are saying our top pics have been busts, but we shouldnt trade next years 1st rounder because it's an overpayment. Absolutely no logic from oilers fans these days.

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#208 2004Z06
November 12 2013, 04:01PM
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Big Cap wrote:

Can't blame Yak for being frustrated. He's an elite scoring weapon. A competent coach would know how to effectively coach him and put him in situations to succeed.

Instead we have a big mouth, know it all, coach who has changed our effective PP and PK as well as our defensive system.

Yak has been shuffled around, embarrassed by being benched, and sat for back to back games.

This disaster is all on Eakins!!!

This drivel is exactly what is wrong with this organization. 5 coaches later and you still think the coach is the problem

You would have the inmates running the asylum. The coach is the boss, period.

Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle need to be split up. Those 2 and J Schultz have split this dressing room with their spoiled sense of entitlement.

This is a team game. Not an individual one. Never forget that.

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#209 DSF
November 11 2013, 09:14PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

hahahahahahahaha

Excellent riposte.

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#210 Serious Gord
November 11 2013, 09:16PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

IF Larionov wants him traded and the Oiler's don't comply,the big threat here is clear. A return to Russia and the KHL.

I think that threat is greatly overblown.

It's my understanding that as part of a deal on Sochi and the ending of the lockout the khl would honor nhl contractual commitments by players. Thus nail could refuse to play but there is no way the khl will let him play there.

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#211 Gongshow
November 11 2013, 09:24PM
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Hold onto Yak til next year and try and trade him and our first pick for 2015 #1 overall, and presto... Conner McDavid... Welcome to the Gongshow, I mean ... Oil Country !!!

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#212 DSF
November 11 2013, 09:36PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

What's there to challenge here?

Did you hear that Iginla is a Bruin (last year)?

Did you hear that Hemsky cleaned out his locker?

Did you hear that aliens are invading?

BTW… reporters acting as mouthpieces for malcontent actors in sports is hardly new territory.

Reporters running with kinda-sorta-twitter-confirmed stories is hardly new territory.

As my post above noted… we've already been down this road with the same player TWICE in the last month.

This isn't about the "reputation" of an individual reporter. It's about a business that thrives on printing things that make you pay attention.

That is important context to the incredulous.

The credulous apparently wake up everyday after a lovely swim across Lethe.

We'd all be wise to take this Yakupov story as it has developed over the last month very seriously AND with a giant aircraft carrier's worth of salt.

If saying this is somehow off-the-grid, then you all need to give your heads a shake.

ps. Heatley signs with Oilers!… no wait. forget that.

You mean some reporters get things wrong sometimes...therefore all reporters get all things wrong all the time.

Time for a brush up on those logic lessons Sparky.

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#213 Stack Pad Save
November 11 2013, 10:05PM
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fig pucker wrote:

exactly how is this bigoted, most gm share exactly these concerns with using high draft picks on russian players. it's not a knock on their skill or race but a legitimate concern, just ask nashville or tsn who wrote an articale about how hard teams are going to have to work to keep these young russians in north america, is a russian a big risk with a first overall pick, your damn right it is.

Full Definition of BIGOT

: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

I could find more definitions on the internet to appease you.

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#214 RJ
November 11 2013, 10:21PM
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@RJ

The only other thing I'd add is if you're an agent, it's your job to make an effort to keep your player happy, even if you know your guy should have sat. Make a show of sticking up for him and fighting for him. If an agent won't do that, then why would the player keep him around?

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#215 Rod from Viking
November 11 2013, 10:23PM
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Watching the HHOF inductions tonight, what a classy bunch getting in, these people new a few things about winning. I don't think I will ever see another Oiler get in during my lifetime unless Kevin Lowe gets in as a builder(lol)

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#216 BleedOil4Life
November 11 2013, 10:25PM
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@lenny

Have you ever thought that maybe its because he is not really trying to buy in to the new system like the others??

The others get more ice because they have been playing in the nhl longer....yakupov has struggled so bad so thats why he does not play. I hope that with how he snapped in chicago he now is awake and starts to play better both ways.

oh and "playing hockey since 1963 and watching since 82' doesnt mean anything in any aspect....we are talking about the nhl.

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#217 Spoils
November 11 2013, 11:56PM
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Hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but if I wanted to steal yak I might plant a rumor, maybe through the agent and then call with an offer just when it starts to get real.

Of course that is ridiculous, but makes me all defensive.

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#218 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 11 2013, 11:57PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Sure, trade a very young player for an even younger player.

Next

I am afraid this is the road we are on now.

Katz was supposed to restore balance to the Forc... er um make this team a desired location and add stability

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#219 bazmagoo
November 12 2013, 12:06AM
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LOIL99 wrote:

I assume that Yak will have trouble fitting into many NHL dressing rooms. He is a devout religious guy that doesnt drink or chase girls. Thats pretty much the anti typical young NHL player.

This is likely why Yakupov isn't fitting in with the party crew of the Oilers.. Devout muslim as well. Maybe he doesn't want to wear Eakins military uniform "star of the game" jacket. How many muslims were killed by the person who once owned that jacket?

If we have to trade him I hope we can get at least 2 decent players for him. Would Oilersnation agree that Coburn + Simmonds would be a decent return? Would definitely make us better in the short term, wonder if we could pull it off.

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#220 Bongshow ... I mean... Gongshow
November 12 2013, 02:01AM
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MessyEH! wrote:

Bongshow may be onto something here. I still think 14 is the wonder kid to trade. But would Hall bring in that much more than Eberle.

You need to be on "sumthin" to tolerate the ineptness that is Oil Country.

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#221 Rheal1
November 12 2013, 04:19AM
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Larionov stated that Yakupov would be open to any team. Not sure how much he would fetch... Clearly this team requires immediate relief but the way forward seems to be more mediocrity if we rightly deduct the Smid for prospects trade was just that; no immediate relief.Smid should have fetched a comparable in my view. A stay at home type that blocks shots and can also hit hard, punishing blows. Yakupov will probably not fetch much. I would trade him for a bigger 6'4" 220lbs man, not a kid.

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#222 Newj
November 12 2013, 08:58AM
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non descript wrote:

this was a comment a day after yakupov was drafted.

interesting how tambo has gone from saying he wants to add one, possibly two top 4 defencemen to wanting to add a depth defencemen to the big club. looks like it could be another year of winning games only when all the stars line up and losing the rest. tough to win consistently in the nhl trying to run and gun every night with a group of undersized forwards. once again, does tambo have a clue what it takes to assemble a hockey team that can compete on a nightly basis? i find it disturbing that almost the first words out of the mouths of the tsn guys was, better get this guy signed in case there is a lockout because the khl looms. wonderful, that will always be hanging over this guy. further, what happens when this cocky prima donna starts griping about his pp minutes or ice time in general because hall or ebs is getting the extra shift. how long till there is a rift in the dressing room because this is taylor halls team and yakupov has no interest in playing second fiddle to anyone? does this russian seem like a hometown discount guy when the time comes? who is more likely to bolt as soon as ufa status is available to be the man somewhere else? a management team and fanbase mesmerized by some speed and fancy stickhandling once again. this player might help us score a few more goals, but the right player to take in order to make our TEAM better was a solid character leader from white city saskatchewan.

first big oiler headline of the summer - yakupov hesitant to sign with the oilers due to pending labour dispute, wants to keep khl option open.

better be prepared for alot of drama with this guy.

Again, perhaps another example of Oiler mis-management?

Tambo et al stated they drafted the BPA rather than by need.

I'm not sure they even got that right - Galchenyuk?

As was stated in that post, Oilers could have drafted a character dman (Murray) or any of the following dmen - Trouba, Reilly, Lindholm, Reinhart.

Things are not heading well with Yak right now but certainly its too early to give up on a 20 year old prospect.

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#223 Zamboni Driver
November 12 2013, 09:13AM
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OilDieHard wrote:

maybe we should trade Yak to Ottawa for Curtis Lazar and perhaps a pick?

That's funny stuff.

Make a three-team trade and see if we can get the Musil kid as well.

Also Harold Snepsts.

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#224 ubermiguel
November 12 2013, 09:43AM
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madjam wrote:

We have the fab five and Gagner and Arcobello to surround them . Is this a problem playing a system that demands physicality ?

Is Eakins trying to fit square pegs in a round hole (insert juvenile joke here)? Does he need to build the system around the parts he has?

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#225 sizzay
November 12 2013, 10:20AM
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chris wrote:

you don't trade a first overall pick

Tell that to Quebec, St. Louis, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Boston, etc etc

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#226 Bongshow
November 12 2013, 10:55AM
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Hockey Problems wrote:

What a soap opera. Is there anybody else out there in Oilerland getting tired of all the Oiler none sense. I guess anything to draw attention away from the most talented group of perennial losers that couldn't find their own asses, with a map.

"Never mind. Head blows up in frustration".

Take Gags back to arbitration. Ask for 2 mil a year back.

Are you referring to the players, or management ?!?

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#227 pkam
November 12 2013, 10:55AM
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Towersofdub wrote:

@ pkam Considering how some of our 1st overall pics have apparently turned out, maybe it's not that big of a deal to trade next years 1st rounder. Obviously I'm being sarcastic here. It's weird, though that hlf the people are saying our top pics have been busts, but we shouldnt trade next years 1st rounder because it's an overpayment. Absolutely no logic from oilers fans these days.

So far we have 3 1st overall picks. So you don't like how they turn out?

Please tell me anyone drafted in the same year is better than Hall?

Who in the same year is better than RNH? The closest is Landeskog but RNH had the best stats the past 2 years.

Yak is the only one questionable but he hasn't finished one full season yet.

Sam Gagner + 1st rounder (which is likely a top 5 pick) for a 2nd centre is not an overpayment?

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#228 Andy7190
November 12 2013, 12:05PM
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People are making comments about Yakupov not wanting, or playing well with 4th line minutes. The problem as I see it is essentially the same as Monahan with Calgary. Feaster (Burke) told Bob Hartley if Monahan was going to stay with the big club, he had to play top six minutes. Because Monahan isn't a bottom 6 pick. Neither is Yakupov - he is much too talented, and much too high a pedigree player for the checking line. Yakupov should be either in the top six in EDM or the top three on the farm. He isn't going to develop otherwise.

Flames did the same thing with Max Reinhart, if he couldn't crack the top six, down he went. We'll see how the Flames rebuild goes, but I do think there is something to their theory on this.

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#229 pkam
November 12 2013, 12:40PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

IIRC - Brent Sutter got a team full of cast offs to the Eastern conference final twice.

He then left there to be closer to home for family reasons, where again taking a team full of players well past there due date to 2nd in the North division, while not in the playoffs still better then the Oilers and better then expected.

He's won at every level he's coached and he's also a career coach, not someone who coached for four years and was given an NHL job......after winning SFA.

Brent Sutter should have been hired prior to Kruger.

That's the long & short of it.

I just google NHL playoff 2008 and 2009. Devils lost to Rangers 4-1 in 1st round in 2008. And they lost to Caroline 4-3 in 1st round in 2009. He has not won 1 NHL playoff series yet.

Will we do better or worse with him as HC? You can speculate all you want but the fact is nobody really knows.

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#230 Crooked
November 11 2013, 08:23PM
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I think the rampant trade speculation is wearing on him. The coach says he's not going anywhere, yet 30 seconds later some media type or blogger is claiming the Oilers are in serious talks to trade him. The team sucking, and his early performance being poor, are likely just exacerbating the situation.

I don't think the team plans on trading him any time soon, but I do think he could benefit from some time in the AHL where he could regain his scoring touch, and his confidence. How he'd handle that would be difficult to say though.

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#231 fig pucker
November 11 2013, 09:44PM
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lenny wrote:

You just said yourself ...they are all straggling.. right? So please tell me who else is being benched for 2 games and play only 10 min a game with no power play time? Maybe I an missing something here and you are all nice people who know hockey better then me? I played hockey since 1963 and fan if Oilers since 1982.

the only problem with your argument lenny is that yaks isn't the only russsian on the team (belov), and he seems to be getting on just fine. maybe this is a yakupov problem and not a bigoted everybody is out to get the russian kid problem?

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#232 DSF
November 11 2013, 10:05PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

If that's what I said, it shouldn't be too hard to find me saying that.

It was easy.

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#233 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 11 2013, 10:36PM
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DSF wrote:

It was easy.

It's always the easiest things that get left undone.

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#234 Oilerz4life
November 12 2013, 01:37AM
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Gongshow wrote:

We could get a King's ransom for Hall right about now. If he's the root of the problem. Just sayin ...

Taylor Hall is the root of the problem in Edmonton? What are you smoking?

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#235 fig pucker
November 12 2013, 07:52AM
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lenny wrote:

I don't think this is your only problem! Belov was a pleasant surprise ah? You expected something bad did you, after all he is pure russian.

lenny, the only intolerant guy in this discussion is you. i never said i hated russians or didn't want them on the team. i said i don't like using high draft picks on them (1st or 2nd) round because it's to risky. your trying to turn this into somthing it's not. get help my friend.

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#236 pkam
November 12 2013, 09:42AM
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sizzay wrote:

Here's a thought:

Instead of worrying about the 20 year old rookie who has played under 70 games, why don't we try and trade the 7 year veteran Sam Gagner.

We know Gagner's upside, it's 45 points. We know that he is not a strong skater which makes it difficult to play a 200 ft game. We know he won't become taller and can only put so much more weight on. Cut the ties.

Sam Gagner + 1st rounder this year likely gets you a pretty damn good 2nd line centre. Or if we want to remain with Arco as our centre on the 2nd line, trade Gagner and the pick for a top 4 dman.

I thought the Smid trade was horrible, until I read your proposal.

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#237 sizzay
November 12 2013, 09:45AM
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pkam wrote:

I thought the Smid trade was horrible, until I read your proposal.

Than you are blinded between reality and being a typical Oiler fan that overrates his/her players.

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#238 pkam
November 12 2013, 10:33AM
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sizzay wrote:

Not exactly. If we get players that aren't as flashy that fill a need to add a different dynamic to the team, I think we improve.

For instance:

Is Jordan Eberle better than Wayne Simmonds? Most would say yes, he's more skilled. Do we need someone like Wayne Simmonds more than Eberle? I would say yes because he can hit, win board battles, score, and fight.

Now I'm not saying trade Eberle straight across for Simmonds, but holding out for Simmonds, Couturier, 1st round pick, and Coburn isn't in the cards (exaggeration I know).

I have no problem trading some of our young kids, including the fab 5 to fill some holes. My argument is not overpaying in trades.

The Smid trade is an example of bad trades. Even we have some depth in defense and Smid is expandable so I have no problem trading him, the problem is we were getting very little or nearly nothing back.

All I said is your suggestion of "Sam Gagner + 1st rounder this year likely gets you a pretty damn good 2nd line centre" is just worse than the Smid trade.

1st, Sam Gagner is more than a 45 pts player, more likely a 55-60 pt player. Second, our 1st rounder this year will likely a top 5 picks this year, with a small chance of 1st overall. It is a huge overpayment.

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#239 pkam
November 12 2013, 11:47AM
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Hockey Problems wrote:

3 consecutive number 1 picks and still in last place(western conference). I wonder what could have ever went astray. I thought that the Oil should have drafted Seguin over Hall in the first place. He's bigger, stronger, and Hall seems like a primadonna, and that's the absolute last thing this fragile team should be dealing with. A threatened Alpha dog. 4 years into the Hall era and we are worse now than we were when he was drafted. Well played Oilers. Well played, indeed.

So 3 consecutive number 1 picks and still in last place means we draft bad? It can't be something else?

So you believe we will be much better if we drafted Seguin over Hall?

Seguin is bigger and stronger than Hall? Not sure what source you use to come up with that.

So Hall is a primadonna and Seguin is not? Do you know why the Bruins trade Seguin to Dallas? Haven't heard of his partying rumors and the story about his twitter account being hacked and the racist comment?

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#240 cmandev77
November 12 2013, 01:28PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Could not agree with you more..........it seems to me he looks very confused as to where he needs to be on the ice.

It's almost like the player regressed into a junior hockey player in stead of progressing. He is not the only player to struggle defensively but for some reason he gets singled out a little more. I have seen RNH, Hall, Schultz, and Eberle all make mistakes that they simply did not make last year.

On the positive side everyone is a little more fit than they were last year.

To me this seems more like a coach issue then a player issue. All of the players are learning a new system and every year they seem to learn a "new system".

If all of the players are regressing does this not mean that maybe the new system they are playing is just not working?

Dallas Eakins had a few good years in the Toronto system but I still do not believe he is an upgrade to Kruger. I thought Kruger had the players believing in his system last year and they played well and it was a talent/age issue.

I know Eakins is not going anywhere but if all of your players are regressing, maybe it is time to change the game plan?

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#241 2004Z06
November 12 2013, 04:01PM
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Big Cap wrote:

Can't blame Yak for being frustrated. He's an elite scoring weapon. A competent coach would know how to effectively coach him and put him in situations to succeed.

Instead we have a big mouth, know it all, coach who has changed our effective PP and PK as well as our defensive system.

Yak has been shuffled around, embarrassed by being benched, and sat for back to back games.

This disaster is all on Eakins!!!

This drivel is exactly what is wrong with this organization. 5 coaches later and you still think the coach is the problem

You would have the inmates running the asylum. The coach is the boss, period.

Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle need to be split up. Those 2 and J Schultz have split this dressing room with their spoiled sense of entitlement.

This is a team game. Not an individual one. Never forget that.

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#242 BleedOil4Life
November 11 2013, 08:08PM
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he will not be dealt

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#243 madjam
November 11 2013, 08:43PM
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Trouble in Oilerville . First Smid and now perhaps Yak . Who will follow next ? Uninspiring New Gm and New Coach driving away viable NHL talents while retainng some that should have been gone . Loaded once again with AHL talents trying to perform at NHL level -it's not working obviously . Maybe they should be relieved first before entire team revolts any further ? Situational crisis needs Lowe and Katz to step in and restore players confidence in the team ? My question is who is going to replace them if such be the case ? Kreuger would settle things down in the interim .

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#244 lenny
November 11 2013, 09:49PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I thought Yakupov played one of his better games in Chicago and I was puzzled why he played so little after his goal.

That said, it's a quantum (and ridiculous) leap to think the Oilers would draft a player first overall and then set out to screw him over for no reason in his second season after a very good rookie campaign. And this "because he's Russian" bit is just a reach.

Yakupov hasn't been good enough. He has lots of company in that regard, but when he's told what's expected of him defensively and he essentially says he's not really into putting that much energy into that part of the game, is he doing anything to win the confidence of the coach? I think not.

Is it a reach? Really? Did MacT drafted him? Did Dallas Eakins drafted him? Would they drafted him if they were there at the time?

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#245 lenny
November 11 2013, 09:54PM
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fig pucker wrote:

the only problem with your argument lenny is that yaks isn't the only russsian on the team (belov), and he seems to be getting on just fine. maybe this is a yakupov problem and not a bigoted everybody is out to get the russian kid problem?

Well you forgot Grebeshkov and Bryzgalov. I bet you have nothing bad to say about them do you?

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#246 dave
November 11 2013, 10:55PM
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morgie wrote:

Apparently Katz drafted Yak, scouts wanted Murray

Karma is a bitch I guess

That would explain why Stauffer wanted Murray so badly.

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#247 Rocket
November 11 2013, 11:14PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

Is Katz auditioning to be the NHL's Jerry Jones?

Lol! Hey even The Cowboys have been to the playoffs more recently than The Oilers so whatever it takes.

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#248 Wax Man Riley
November 11 2013, 11:36PM
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lenny wrote:

Well, let me see who else played like that in his second year? Hall? Eberle? Hopkins? Remember? How were they treated, I don't remember Hall playing on the 4th line do you? Was Eberle benched last year when Yakupov scored 17 and Eberle next to nothing? I was talking NHL Edmonton Oilers what did you think I was talking about- Oilkings?

Hall, Eberle, and Hopkins were 3 of the best players in the lineup, so they got too minutes.

Yakupov now has to compete with them and Hemsky; a veteren skill guy, and CinderellArco; a guy making the most of his opportunity.

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#249 Rdubb
November 12 2013, 02:53AM
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Who cares if he is open to trade or not, he doesn't have a no trade clause, MacT can move whenever & wherever he feels like it and Yak & his agent have NO SAY.... No, maybe Yak should pull his bullheaded noodle out of his butt and start playing better, maybe his ice time would be better if he wasn't a league worst in +/-. It seems that every line he plays with he brings down and they get scored against. 5 games and Eberle is +9, 4 games with Yak and Eberle goes -8, do we see something there? And it goes for every line he plays with... Eakins has tried kid gloves, it hasn't worked, now its time to treat him like a million dollar player and a man, sit him down and TELL HIM TO PLAY THE SYSTEM

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#250 OilDieHard
November 12 2013, 07:56AM
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maybe the Oilers can trade Yak to Dallas straight up for Nichushkin similar low production this year, but bigger winger at 6'4" and 200.

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