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.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
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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#1 Primo
November 11 2013, 08:13PM
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I think the Oiler fans have missed the point entirely. In the 2013 draft Yak would be a 10th over all at best. He is simply not ready for prime time. Another Gagne in the making...a young guy who needed further development at a young age but forced to play because his NHL team lacks depth.

Another sad story developing and potentially another ruined career. Gagne will never achieve his potential given his mis-management by the Oiler leadership.

The only solution to all of this is the immediate termination of 6 rings and bringing in a 'builder' who has not only hockey knowledge but demonstrated leadership and management of a pro hockey team.

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#2 fig pucker
November 11 2013, 09:07PM
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this is exactly why you don't draft russians before the third round. if he doesn't get the money or ice time he wants (not deserves) he's taking his toys and going home, trade him and never use another high draft pick on a russian.

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#3 Fresh Mess
November 11 2013, 08:31PM
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SlowTalker wrote:

You know that Simon Gagne plays for the Flyers right? How seriously should I take your opinion if you don't even know how to spell "Gagner"? Do you even watch the Oilers?

well, many people have other things in their lives besides oiler worship, and the spelling of player names is probably not of huge importance

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#4 OilDieHard
November 12 2013, 07:05AM
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maybe we should trade Yak to Ottawa for Curtis Lazar and perhaps a pick?

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#5 Numenius
November 11 2013, 09:06PM
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I'm sure Hall doesn't have difficulties getting along with Yak. They've played well together in the past and Hall doesn't have the personality to be threatened by him.

If Yak does a problem with someone, I'd guess Eberle. When I try to imagine them hanging out, I imagine complete disconnect.

If that's right, one of them may have to go.

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#6 Tayranchula
November 11 2013, 08:48PM
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I think if there was one of the young players to trade it would be Yak. Not cause I dont like him its cause I dont think he will have the best career compaired to Hall Eberle or Nuge. They should try and get a 3 (All roster players) for 1 type deal if it involves Yaks

Im just spit balling but Simmonds, Coburn, B.Schenn for Yak and probably something else like N.Schultz or Jones

Ya the Oilers are probably getting rid of the best player in the trade but they have him covered with Hall Nuge Eberle etc.. plus they gain players that can actually help this team where they need it the most.

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#7 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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#8 Jason
November 11 2013, 09:28PM
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I would trade Yakupov to Philly for Sean Couturier

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#9 Fresh Mess
November 11 2013, 07:58PM
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Russian hot shot scorers are very seldom worth the headaches. Ironically, Larionov is one of the few I would have on my team.

Mel Brooks, Larry David, and Carl Reiner combined couldn't write a comedy as gut-busting as watching the Oilers organization.

They traded my favourite Oiler player, Smid away for a bag of pucks. I mean, it's just total chaos.

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#10 Fresh Mess
November 11 2013, 08:24PM
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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!!!

No, it's all on Fail's terrible, sub-NHL calibre play.

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#11 RexHolez
November 11 2013, 07:48PM
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Have fun finally playing on an NHL team Yak! You're my favorite of the 1's

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#12 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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#13 BleedOil4Life
November 11 2013, 07:50PM
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He is not going anywhere

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#14 michael
November 12 2013, 07:27AM
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Why not trade Yak? We have a plethora of forwards who are of the same mold. Why not use Yak to acquire what we need to improve this team.

Buffalo has a truckload of picks and they have got Tyler Meyers.

TBay has an injured Stamko's. Would a swap for J Drouin be palatable?

Would St Louis be willing to part with Shattenkirk?

The Rangers would give their eye teeth for a sniper of Yak's quality. Especially if Nash's coconut is going to be an issue.

The Flyers. Simmonds and a pick or 3.

The Isles. Griffin Rheinhart. Strome. Picks.

The possibilities are out there. Whether you want help now or in the future. Just saying it would not be the end of the world. Heck our play off hopes are a wash once again. I'll be stunned if were not picking top 5 once again.

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#15 DSF
November 11 2013, 07:53PM
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The Alpha Dog is feeling threatened.

This won't end well.

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#16 Fresh Mess
November 11 2013, 08:33PM
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Big Cap wrote:

Your right. Blame the 20 year old with less than 70 Pro games under his belt.

Then he should be in the AHL learning his trade. The NHL is for big boys. His play has been terrible therefore he hasn't earned further opportunities.

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#17 DSF
November 11 2013, 09:52PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Odd that I never said anything like that… wait, it's you… so, not odd at all.

Give it a rest.

You cited a laundry list of erroneous media reports to support your ridiculous thesis that the media can't be trusted because they've been wrong in the past.

Now, you're just sad.

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#18 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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#19 Taylor Gang
November 11 2013, 07:58PM
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I hope he doesn't get traded, but really who could blame him? This organization treats him like crap. Sure he isn't great defensively, but his main, most important job is to score goals, and how is he supposed to do that with his puny minutes? Everyone also overanalyzes everything he says, ESPECIALLY the media, to the point where he is almost being labelled an enemy of the state. This guy WILL be better than Eberle, he WILL score many goals in his career, and he WILL be a star in the league for years to come. Why pull the plug now?

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#20 Cyclops
November 11 2013, 08:09PM
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I hope Hall doesnt do this everytime get gets a one-timer. I truly think "right now" Eberle and Hemsky are better RW's. Yak has to quit making the puck a grenade on his stick, and he will see more ice. He coughs the puck up too much to be trusted right now.

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#21 Reagan
November 11 2013, 08:38PM
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See ya... Should have drafted the center anyways...

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#22 OilCam
November 11 2013, 08:57PM
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Is this the same guy that said I don't go into the corners or forcheck same guy who bailed on Stamkos first goal? We need players that are willing to do anything(just traded one) for the team. Just not sure if he is one of those players.

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#23 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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#24 Hauk15
November 11 2013, 10:59PM
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DCC wrote:

What has happened to the Yakupov who oozed unbridled enthusiasm, the ear to ear grin, the deliriously happy goal celebration?

There is something putrid, something insidious and rotten at the core of this organization. It's quite alarming.

Hall and Eberle hate Russians. They turned the team on him. I hope he does get traded, he deserves better than to bullied by "adults". Hopefully we can get a real defense-man back. P.S MacT please send him to the east so we only have to get lit up by him twice a year. Thanks.

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#25 BleedingOil
November 12 2013, 05:51AM
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Trade his a**. Worst +/- on the team and the 2nd worst s% among Oiler FWD. Half of his points come with a man advantage. He doesnt hit and cant make a pass. GET OUT OF THE YEG YAK! I just wanna see a good return, because he will be an OVI/Stamkos power in a few years.

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#26 Big Cap
November 11 2013, 08:21PM
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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!!!

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#27 DSF
November 11 2013, 09:03PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

The number of "reputable" people in sports media to misquote, mishear, misunderstand, rely on bad intel, take out of context, etc. is pretty damn large.

Print and correct later.

We've been down this road a million times.

If you have decided to turn your skepticism device off on sports reporting, I congratulate your credulity and would like to introduce you to some nice entry level positions in foreign dictatorships.

One would assume you will wear this scarlet letter when you are once again proven to be a windbag.

Custance has far more credibility than you do.

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#28 fig pucker
November 11 2013, 09:24PM
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lenny wrote:

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF A STUPID BIGOT!

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.

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#29 BigBurgers
November 11 2013, 09:31PM
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I have it on good authority that the oilers dressing room is more toxic than we realize. A good buddy of mine works close with the team. It's no secret that Hall was upset that he was passed over for captain. He and eberle have been un-officially running the show for a while now. Hall is like Ethan Moreau, doesn't hesitate to pick his favourites and makes things miserable for those who arent buddy-buddy with him or go party at the Rack after. Ebs isn't a leader, he's more of Hall's henchman, so to speak. Even then, he's just as bad and just as guilty as Hall in terms of setting cliques. Anyhow, yaks didn't go out to party and mack on girls with the boys, so hall and friends started shunning him. It's a classic case of school-yard bullying. Yak needs to get out of this poison atmosphere ASAP.

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#30 DrunkGuyTy
November 12 2013, 06:10AM
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Wow - has this ever gotten everyone in a frenzy! The gossip, and catty-ness on here sounds like bunch of junior high school girls. Somehow an obscure and stock comment by an agent to a 2nd tier reporter about Yak has turned into Hall and Ebs being a couple of b!tches that have poisoned the dressing room.

Please. Listen to yourselves.

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#31 lenny
November 11 2013, 09:00PM
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BleedOil4Life wrote:

he will not be dealt

How do you know that? I am afraid he might be. Do you know why? What does Smid, Hemsky, Omark, Yakupov have in common? Thats right, they are NOT Canadians and because of that he can be only playing 10 min a game and Eberle 20min with almost the same result but Eberle played every game and nobody said anything. In every game Yakupov is getting benched in the middle of 3 period and maybe sooner, how is he suppose to score? When? Is he in the slump? Maybe! Are they picking on him? FOR SURE! So please don't be sure that bigots might trade him for one and only reason- HE IS FROM RUSSIA! Please let me remind you, he is NOT ethnic russian but Tatar but for bigots it doesn't meter because they are stupid.

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#32 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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#33 Nimrod
November 11 2013, 07:50PM
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Between the media piling on the kid and the coach making an example of him at all times, while all the other players are immune, what do they expect?

Watch him being traded in a lopsided deal and flourish elsewhere.

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#34 doubleA34
November 11 2013, 08:03PM
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I'm surprised yaks the only one that wants off this sinking ship. Wouldn't be surprise if you hear other pieces of the fab 5 wanting out too.

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#35 DSF
November 11 2013, 08:20PM
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Harlie wrote:

Who, Ference?

Oh, you mean KLowe.

Katz?

Hall? Hemsky? Eakins??

Just what or who is our identity based around again??

Hall.

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#36 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 11 2013, 08:58PM
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DSF wrote:

Craig Custance is about as reputable as you can get.

Suggesting this is "simply made up" is not only foolish but also slanderous.

I would imagine the crap hit the whirlybird when:

"He gave the Oilers the lead last night and was rewarded with 31 seconds of ice time over the final 11:05 of the period."

The number of "reputable" people in sports media to misquote, mishear, misunderstand, rely on bad intel, take out of context, etc. is pretty damn large.

Print and correct later.

We've been down this road a million times.

If you have decided to turn your skepticism device off on sports reporting, I congratulate your credulity and would like to introduce you to some nice entry level positions in foreign dictatorships.

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#37 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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#38 Stack Pad Save
November 11 2013, 10:08PM
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James wrote:

Hall has never rubbed me the right way for some reason I couldn't pinpoint. He's an amazing player, but his off ice persona doesn't gel with me. I think it would have ended up being a big mistake making him captain. Not saying Ference is the best choice, but if Hall has the entitled attitude he appears to have, it could have been really bad. Worse than it seems to be now, and that's saying something.

I did notice the lack of twitter convos with Yak too. I saw Gagner interact with him on twitter, but he's really the only person that I've noticed tweet Yak. Yak seemed to enjoy Sam by listening to him speak about him, but I didn't notice the same references to others.

This whole thread seriously reeks of man-drama. This is worse than high-school gossip. I feel like I don't like you because of your personality blah blah blah. Seriously talk about the game, it is a game after all. No one should care about off-ice personality, russian heritage etc. Unless you are trying to actually do something positive like get a bigot who has an affinity for pigs to not be a bigot...if that was possible.

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#39 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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#40 Harlie
November 11 2013, 08:26PM
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DSF wrote:

Hall.

Yet not a peep from him in the media. And no C on his chest. The word neuter comes to mind in this organization, should be nurture. Fire Lowe.

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

hahahahahahahaha

Excellent riposte.

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#42 DSF
November 11 2013, 09:24PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

The demonization of Yakupov? This from the Staples item you linked to:

"Right now, the kid has plenty of learning to do to make it as an NHL player. He’s going to have to sweat, struggle, change his way, fail, fight his way back from failure.

So, yes, the Oilers need to use Yakupov to best effect, but they also need a player willing to work to learn defensive hockey at the NHL level, and not demand trades when he’s struggling and down.

If Yakupov is willing to work like hell on his defensive game, I imagine the Oilers won’t be unhappy with him at all.

If he’s not, the Oilers should move him as soon as possible, and the same goes for any other player on the team."

Again, the "same goes" (referencing working like hell on the defensive game) for ANY other player on the team. You missed that or where you just picking and choosing to suit your position, as usual?

There are several assumptions in Staples blog that don't pass the smell test.

Is Yakupov refusing to work on his defensive game?

Evidence?

Does the evidence support the notion that other players like "Gagner, Eberle, Hall and Schultz are "sweating, struggling to change their ways to fight their way back from failure"

I can't see it, can you?

If not, "the Oilers should move them as soon as possible".

I agree that Staples suggested that should happen but his inference is that Yakupov is not doing that while the others are.

There is no evidence to support that.

If players are benched due to poor defensive play, half the Oilers roster would be eating popcorn on a nightly basis.

Take another look at Phillip Larsens defensive play last game...yikes.

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#43 Oilfan
November 11 2013, 09:47PM
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To: The article writers and regular contributors.

The Edmonton Oilers are not very good, theres only so much rage press people can take.

The team I am much more interested in is the Edmonton Oilkings, who are very good.

The Oilkings franchise seems to be an absolute factory for great NHL prospects, practically everyone on the team is highly touted.

Id really like to see some analysis on the Oilkings, how they play, their systems, personel, and which NHL teams drafted some of the players on the current Oilkings. This is Oil Nation after all! I think that there is a huge portion of reporting that is being missed on this site with regards to the WHL.

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#44 DSF
November 11 2013, 08:56PM
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The demonization of Yakupov has already begun:

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/11/11/nail-yakupovs-agent-open-to-a-trade-from-edmonton-oilers-were-willing-to-make-a-move-any-team/

No mention of the fact that Hall, Eberle Gagner, Schultz et al also need to work like hell on their defensive games.

Hall -8

Gagner -9 (in only 6GP)

J. Schultz -10 (in only 14GP)

Petry -11

Hopkins -12

Hemsky -12

Yakupov -14

Looks like we're blaming the new kid.

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#45 thepeetso
November 11 2013, 09:27PM
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Robert wrote:

The team is deliberately not passing to Yakupov unless they have to. Seems odd that is why this story has legs to me

Maybe just maybe, its because he's handling the puck like its a grenade so far this season.

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#46 Taylor Gang
November 11 2013, 08:03PM
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Can we stop alienating Russian players and assume that they'll leave to the KHL? I doubt it's appreciated much by Russian players who are very much interested in staying here in North America, such as Yakupov.

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#47 GTL
November 11 2013, 08:03PM
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Here we go .... Another oileresk salary dump, with little return... ~face palm~

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

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#49 Robin Brownlee
November 11 2013, 09:14PM
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DSF wrote:

The demonization of Yakupov has already begun:

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/11/11/nail-yakupovs-agent-open-to-a-trade-from-edmonton-oilers-were-willing-to-make-a-move-any-team/

No mention of the fact that Hall, Eberle Gagner, Schultz et al also need to work like hell on their defensive games.

Hall -8

Gagner -9 (in only 6GP)

J. Schultz -10 (in only 14GP)

Petry -11

Hopkins -12

Hemsky -12

Yakupov -14

Looks like we're blaming the new kid.

The demonization of Yakupov? This from the Staples item you linked to:

"Right now, the kid has plenty of learning to do to make it as an NHL player. He’s going to have to sweat, struggle, change his way, fail, fight his way back from failure.

So, yes, the Oilers need to use Yakupov to best effect, but they also need a player willing to work to learn defensive hockey at the NHL level, and not demand trades when he’s struggling and down.

If Yakupov is willing to work like hell on his defensive game, I imagine the Oilers won’t be unhappy with him at all.

If he’s not, the Oilers should move him as soon as possible, and the same goes for any other player on the team."

Again, the "same goes" (referencing working like hell on the defensive game) for ANY other player on the team. You missed that or where you just picking and choosing to suit your position, as usual?

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#50 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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