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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#101 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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#102 camdog
November 12 2013, 08:12AM
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@michael

Don't know if Yak should be the one traded, that said a skilled guy needs to go:

In regards to your list

Tyler Myers is in the same spot Luke Schenn was when the Leafs traded him to Toronto and signed him to too much money, not worth the risk, you don't trade a number 1 pick for picks unless you have given up on them.

Drouin another small skilled forward, Yakopov is 2-3 years from being any good, just like Drouin, looks like a lateral move.

St.Louis doesn't want Yakopov and are not trading any of their d - man for him, they already have Tarasenko and are in win now mode, Yakopov wouldn't even make their team this season, he would be riding the pine. Hitchcook has no patience for these type of distractions.

The Rangers are in win now mode, Sather is getting ready to retire, he's not going to give up roster players for potential, not now, might have 5 years back. Might take a poke at a Hemsky, but only for prospects and dead weight off of his roster.

The Flyers anythings possible

Isles are still hurting from Yashin still paying him off,those players would be awesome to see in the Oilers depth chart, may be a possibility/

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#103 rob
November 12 2013, 09:42AM
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the only oilers that are safe are Hall,Perron,Gordon,Petry and Rnh(and nurse).They need to right the ship so ebs,yak,jschultz,ganger,hemsky and our first round pick in a few trades to fix this team!the sooner the better,lets salvage what we can this season so next is much better!

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#104 Bongshow
November 12 2013, 10:38AM
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It is only fitting that Yak gets moved. He'll go on to score consecutive 50 goal seasons, the Oil will still be in rebuild mode and the fans will be like " WTF?!! This team is the biggest joke in the history of hockey. At least a Yak trade would give me a new team to cheer for cuz this team just can't seem to figure it out. Oh ya, how have the Oilers done under King Hall ?!? The Oil should trade his ass and then watch the team gel. I don't condone drug use, but after watching 4 seasons of Oiler garbage... I can totally understand !

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#105 HardBoiledOil
November 12 2013, 10:48AM
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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).

it would be fun though to be able to pry those players from Philly....exactly who we need on this team....Simmonds, Coburn, Couturier and the Flys 1st rounder! however the fun stops when Eberle, Klefbom, Gagner perhaps? and our 1st rounder goes the other way.

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#106 Hockey Problems
November 12 2013, 11:10AM
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@pkam

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.

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#107 RexHolez
November 11 2013, 08:08PM
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Don't worry guys, in a couple years we'll have McDavid and whoever we draft with this years 1st overall. Maybe a couple losing years after that we'll get new assistant coaches, and a couple years later a capable president

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#108 Greasy Goal
November 11 2013, 08:20PM
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I can't see a deal being constructed here. MacT said he isn't going to move him and he's still yet to play a full 82 game season. A deal now would be fruitless. These guys need to work out their differences in the locker room(if as I read there are any) because it's a long road to the top. they cannot turn coat whenever something doesn't go their way.

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

Some context.

5 days ago Larionov was singing a very different tune:

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/11/06/oilers-gm-craig-mactavish-refutes-trade-rumours-surrounding-nail-yakupov

That series of public statements was brought on by some very public speculation.

Prior to that, also not long ago, we went through a different round of public hand wringing about Yak heading off to Russia:

http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/10/oilers-at-capitals-g6-13-14.html

That didn't last long either.

Larionov/Yakupov could have lost their stuffing in the last 5 days and decided to vent publicly.

It's also possible something has been over-interpreted or misunderstood or simply made up.

The public story of Yakupov this season is more vexed than his on ice story. Don't jump to any conclusions just yet.

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."

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#110 oilbaron
November 11 2013, 08:49PM
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e n wrote:

who's ederle?

Hahaha sorry, stupid auto correct on my iPad. EBerle

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#111 nrXic
November 11 2013, 08:50PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

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.

Just like how we did with Nuge last year. Sent him down when he struggled, Coach Nelson whipped him into shape for this year. Right? :)

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#112 prudham's
November 11 2013, 08:52PM
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If it does come to a trade after this develops more, the biggest significance of Larionov's comment is that the trade value of the Oilers asset will be diminished.

At the very least, I would assume that agents should be mindful of this, and be very tentative, and at worst, I feel that an NHL club could have a legitimate grievance with his interfering in this way, especially if it has not been discussed exhaustively in private first.

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#113 Loyal Oil
November 11 2013, 09:10PM
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Kevin Lowe is the author of this complete mess. If the #1's start leaving town these last eight years are a complete waste. Why don't the MSM media types or even the ON writers unequivocally call for his termination/resignation? Why doesn't Willis write a piece comparing Lowe's playoff success rate since being the big boss (GM/POHO) against his peers? K Lowe was a great Oiler player. He has failed as GM/POHO. He and McT need to go and actual NHL management needs to be brought in. Taking the BOTB pics out of the dressing room wasn't the problem, they need to be cleared out of the boardroom.

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#114 James
November 11 2013, 09:17PM
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@Numenius

Switch culprits and you may be onto something. Hall not the type to feel threatened by someone else? I disagree. Eberle isn't the leader Hall is, I would bet he follows whatever his good buddy Hallsy says more than the reverse.

Considering some people mentioned Hall snapping at Yak before he was injured after a shot on goal that got whistled down, I'd not lay the blame at Eberle just yet.

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#115 BleedOil4Life
November 11 2013, 09:19PM
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@lenny

Bigots?? wow thats a little bit harsh dont you think??

i agree that in the chicago game he should have been back out as soon as he was ready. He has struggled in almost every game he has played. His play on the ovechkin goal was one of the dumbest plays i have seen in awhile and he deserved to be benched. He is struggling to play the nhl game...you look at chicago, detroit, st louis, pitts....why do they win??? They play a 2 way game!

to say that he isnt being played because he is russian...thats just plain stupid....he isnt playing because he is struggling on all aspects of his game.

he deserves more ice against dallas and will get it...they are all stuggling with this new system but will learn together and become a better team. he will get the mins as long as he keeps playing with the fire he had in chicago.....we cannot fire the coach and do this over and over...the players are the ones that need to step up..plain and simple

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#116 lenny
November 11 2013, 09:30PM
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BleedOil4Life wrote:

Bigots?? wow thats a little bit harsh dont you think??

i agree that in the chicago game he should have been back out as soon as he was ready. He has struggled in almost every game he has played. His play on the ovechkin goal was one of the dumbest plays i have seen in awhile and he deserved to be benched. He is struggling to play the nhl game...you look at chicago, detroit, st louis, pitts....why do they win??? They play a 2 way game!

to say that he isnt being played because he is russian...thats just plain stupid....he isnt playing because he is struggling on all aspects of his game.

he deserves more ice against dallas and will get it...they are all stuggling with this new system but will learn together and become a better team. he will get the mins as long as he keeps playing with the fire he had in chicago.....we cannot fire the coach and do this over and over...the players are the ones that need to step up..plain and simple

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.

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#117 nick
November 11 2013, 09:35PM
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This whole circus is getting so embarrassing it is amazing. Neither MacT or Lowe have any idea how to run an organization. They are wrecking the rebuild and it is worse than anything the Islanders pulled off in their disgraceful period. First they let go Smid now wrecking Yakupov. People need to start staying away from Rexall and Maybe Katz will pay attention then. Signed an Ex Oiler support and to embarrassed to watch this disaster

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#118 ubermiguel
November 11 2013, 09:38PM
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BigBurgers wrote:

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.

Or get the poison out of the room and build the team around a guy who doesn't waste his time partying and focuses on hockey.

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#119 RbabsYEG
November 11 2013, 09:38PM
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James wrote:

Too many cligues in the locker room? Something isn't right here, and it's not necessarily Yak, though his agent may not be doing him any favours by speaking out. There may be other people to consider here, there doesn't seem to be the comraderie with Yak as there is with the rest of the kids. You can see it in the games, some of them avoid him.

I have been thinking about this too. You never see hall, Ebs, RNH, Schultz include yak in twitter talk. Those guys hang out and you never see yak in the pics. Sad. If they are the leaders we hope they are, they should include him more. Ebs and hall have been given a huge leash and their sense of entitlement appears from the outside at least to be huge.

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#120 Oiler Al
November 11 2013, 10:40PM
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lenny wrote:

And you know that exactly how? I guess Katz called you personally and informed you of his decision! Now I am mad at him because he did not call me!

For what its worth, and I wasn't there first hand, but this is not the first time I hear that Katz vetoed the Murray deal for Yak.

I know he's the owner but what is he and his two Brillo boys doing at the draft table anyway....

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#121 lenny
November 11 2013, 10:43PM
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fig pucker wrote:

grebs, i'm not happy with (his play), belov as a whole has been a very pleasant surprise, brysgalov we'll see how he plays. i have no problem with russian players (skill wise), i have a problem when a high draft pick is used on one that decides he wants a trade or to go to the khl leaving the team that drafted him in the hurt locker, because they get little or nothing in return for their draft pick. that's my problem.

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.

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#122 David S
November 11 2013, 10:46PM
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Oilfan wrote:

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.

It's "OILERS Nation". Says so on the header at the top of the web page here.

If we go down that slippery slope it won't be long before Wanye is writing GDB's for the Spruce Grove Bantam Championships.*

*The winner of which I suspect would take down the current Oilers squad in a best of seven series.

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#123 hoozonphirst
November 11 2013, 10:56PM
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Another black eye for Wrecksall Spirts and the Oiler faithful. The Katz/Lowe/MacT) triumvirate of invertebrates has struck again. I predict the queque to get the frick out of the Oiler vortex of imcompetence has begun to form on the left.

NOBODY is going to come here to play for any amount of money. I didn't think it could ever be any worse run than Pocklington or EIG but Katz wins the booby prize. These developments are embarrassing. Yakupov's performance this year has been completely unsatisfactory and some of this is on him and his character.

The performance of Oiler ownership, management and coaching is just plain embarrassing. I will never spend another cent on tickets or anything else Oiler!

Shame on you Katz.

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#124 Taylor Gang
November 11 2013, 11:36PM
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Okay... As interesting as this may be, how can this possibly be true? I don't know about you guys but I'm just a fan who is reading this off my iPhone when I have the time. How on earth can you possibly know this acidity is real? There is some evidence to support that but what "insider" info are we looking at to back this up? How come General Mackenzie and Lieutenant Dreger haven't shed any light on this situation yet? This conspiracy smells as fishy as its contents...

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#125 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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#126 Taylor Gang
November 11 2013, 11:40PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

You want to break up the clan, Eberle or Hall to Nashville for Seth Jones.

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

Next

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#127 mlcselli
November 12 2013, 12:36AM
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Remember when Eakins first addressed the media saying that he will coach a team but treat the players as individuals? He didn't want players being distracted. He would talk to a guy at the water cooler or sit down and have a coffee with someone. Obviously, just like the rest of his own horn blowing, about how committed a coach he will be, this seems like something else that he failed to do. My perception of Eakins is changing to that of the proverbial used car salesman.

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#128 Gongshow
November 12 2013, 12:50AM
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We could get a King's ransom for Hall right about now. If he's the root of the problem. Just sayin ...

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#129 Loweblows
November 12 2013, 07:15AM
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Don't trade yak!

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#130 maxime3r@hotmail.com
November 12 2013, 11:08AM
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Just finished reding some of the comments. Very good blog. So Yak is open to a trade eh? What the hell happened?

When Yakupov was drafted in 2012, I tought his energy was a breath of fresh air for this organization. I also tought the firing of Tambellini was a step in the right direction.

First order of business for new GM MacT was to show the front-office was no longer run by a bunch of jerks (remember the Souray fiasco?) So firing Ralf Krueger by Skype was not an ideal first move. But then, instead of doing a serious search for a new coach, KLow and MacT just jumped on the offseason's hot commodity.

I should give credit where credit is due, I think the draft went pretty well, with Nurse, Yakimov and Greg Chase. Except they didn't draft any goalie. But I should've guess it would be a long season when MacT did nothing to adress the black hole that was the center position after the Gagner injury. But no, I was still optimistic.

After 10 games or so, like most fans I was realizing something was very wrong with the Oilers organization. The top of the pyramid is rotten.

Did Yak City talk to his agent out of self-entitlement? Maybe. Or did he just realize how bleak the futur was with the current organization? Most likely. And I'll tell you what, he is not the only "young gun" who is not a happy camper. Tell me nothing is wrong with Gagner and Eberle...

It is time for Katz to act now. He can pretend nothing is wrong and let MacT and KLow adress the situation, or he can clean house. Now is the time. Get a new regime in time to evaluate their staff before the trade deadline. The playoffs are not happening this year anyway. Convince Yakupov - and the fans - that there is change and there is hope.

Believe me, it can get worse. Just ask any fan of the Detroit Lions how bad it can get when the top of a franchise is rotten (try an 0 - 16 season). Act now before Yak (and others) officially demand a trade.

Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.

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#131 James
November 11 2013, 08:03PM
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@Captain Steve

Too many cligues in the locker room? Something isn't right here, and it's not necessarily Yak, though his agent may not be doing him any favours by speaking out. There may be other people to consider here, there doesn't seem to be the comraderie with Yak as there is with the rest of the kids. You can see it in the games, some of them avoid him.

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#132 Harlie
November 11 2013, 08:17PM
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DSF wrote:

The Alpha Dog is feeling threatened.

This won't end well.

Who, Ference?

Oh, you mean KLowe.

Katz?

Hall? Hemsky? Eakins??

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

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#133 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 11 2013, 08:24PM
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Some context.

5 days ago Larionov was singing a very different tune:

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/11/06/oilers-gm-craig-mactavish-refutes-trade-rumours-surrounding-nail-yakupov

That series of public statements was brought on by some very public speculation.

Prior to that, also not long ago, we went through a different round of public hand wringing about Yak heading off to Russia:

http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/10/oilers-at-capitals-g6-13-14.html

That didn't last long either.

Larionov/Yakupov could have lost their stuffing in the last 5 days and decided to vent publicly.

It's also possible something has been over-interpreted or misunderstood or simply made up.

The public story of Yakupov this season is more vexed than his on ice story. Don't jump to any conclusions just yet.

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#134 Big Cap
November 11 2013, 08:35PM
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@ DSF

Do you have any insight on how Pavel Bure and his development was handled his first couple of years in Vancouver?

Im curious to know if they allowed him to be strictly an offensive specialist, or expected a complete player within the first few seasons. What about line mates? Was it new guys each night, or constant line mates.

I realize Bure shot his career out of a cannon with big offensive numbers right ff the bat, but obviously Yak seems most comparable to him with size, skill, and country.

Look forward to your take...

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#135 DSF
November 11 2013, 08:39PM
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Big Cap wrote:

@ DSF

Do you have any insight on how Pavel Bure and his development was handled his first couple of years in Vancouver?

Im curious to know if they allowed him to be strictly an offensive specialist, or expected a complete player within the first few seasons. What about line mates? Was it new guys each night, or constant line mates.

I realize Bure shot his career out of a cannon with big offensive numbers right ff the bat, but obviously Yak seems most comparable to him with size, skill, and country.

Look forward to your take...

Sorry, I was in Edmonton at the time and not tuned in to the Bure situation.

It seems in retrospect that the issues involved were more about money than anything else.

Bure was a beauty right out of the chute.

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#136 BleedOil4Life
November 11 2013, 09:22PM
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@Numenius

we now are talking about when they hang out?

oh man....this is getting pathetic

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#137 nrXic
November 11 2013, 09:31PM
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@Robin Brownlee

I want to see if people see the situation the same way I do, because I could be completely wrong and I'm open to that.

This year, Yak seemed to be a different player to me. Something changed in his game and it was very obvious to me, and I want to see if anyone else saw the same.

Late last year, he demonstrated a scary (for the opponents) forecheck. He kept his feet moving and attacked the opponent causing a rushed pass or a turnover. He was even hitting more last year, finishing his checks and at least bumping into guys. He was more assertive away from the puck, attacking the puck carrier and getting involved in the play.

This year, he's been far more hesitant and reactive without the puck. He skates up to the player and tries to anticipate the play, with the opponent ultimately passing it off untouched. In cases, it looks like he's watching the play as if he was a spectator. Some people see him struggling defensively, I see him struggling away from the puck in any zone where the opponents have the puck.

I don't know if I want to spend $170 on Center Ice and spend hours of combing over footage to prove my point, so I'm wondering if anyone agrees or disagrees with this. I really think he isn't himself as a player and he needs to find that player that was focused and aggressive late last year.

I'm just mentioning this so our criticism is a bit more constructive and understandable.

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#138 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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#139 BigBurgers
November 11 2013, 09:45PM
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RbabsYEG wrote:

I have been thinking about this too. You never see hall, Ebs, RNH, Schultz include yak in twitter talk. Those guys hang out and you never see yak in the pics. Sad. If they are the leaders we hope they are, they should include him more. Ebs and hall have been given a huge leash and their sense of entitlement appears from the outside at least to be huge.

Agreed. While Hall and Eberle are talented players, their sense of entitlement is probably amazingly large for being part of the worst team in the league. Anyone who's seen them cruising around on Whyte after games can attest to this. Guess they can't afford to be late to the party. Ever since the core veterans of years past left, Hall and Eberle have likely been constantly told by higher-ups that the team belongs to them. Guess they took that advice in strides. It's no secret that they're shunning Yak.

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#140 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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#141 Walter Sobchak
November 11 2013, 09:55PM
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@Robin Brownlee

from what I've read in tweets from the Oilers, from Stauffer, from Dallas Eakins himself.

Yakupov work ethic is not the issue, his commitment to learning is not the issue!

This can all be found on the Oilers web site.

So where is the disconnect?

My guess is some of it's lost in translation, but by my eye.....

We do have a report out of Russia with Nails dad no less stating before the season started that something was rotten in the orginization.

The fact the rest of the players are not held to the same accountability as Yakupov does scream being singled out!! Player biasis.

When a player like Yakupov sits on the bench watching, Hall, Eberle, Schultz Jr, Petry , and now Gagner making game costing turnovers and defensive gaffs how exactly would you take that as a player??

I would be PIssed off too, when a Hall of Fame like Mr Larionov watches the same thing happening it gets him pissed off as well.

I guess MacTavish, Eakins, and Lowe must know more then a Player like Larionov.

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#142 lenny
November 11 2013, 10:09PM
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morgie wrote:

Apparently Katz drafted Yak, scouts wanted Murray

Karma is a bitch I guess

And you know that exactly how? I guess Katz called you personally and informed you of his decision! Now I am mad at him because he did not call me!

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#143 fig pucker
November 11 2013, 10:19PM
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lenny wrote:

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

grebs, i'm not happy with (his play), belov as a whole has been a very pleasant surprise, brysgalov we'll see how he plays. i have no problem with russian players (skill wise), i have a problem when a high draft pick is used on one that decides he wants a trade or to go to the khl leaving the team that drafted him in the hurt locker, because they get little or nothing in return for their draft pick. that's my problem.

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#144 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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#145 Dog Train
November 11 2013, 10:47PM
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All that Yakupov can control is his play. It's been up and down (mostly down) this season. That said, he is held to an entirely different standard it seems than guys like Gagner aand Eberle. We have very few forwards with any commitment defensively. Honestly, Hemsky is probably the best of our current top six defensively right now and that's not exactly a ringing endorsement for the rest of them.

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#146 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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#147 Rocket
November 11 2013, 11:00PM
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All this talk about trading Yakupov has me thinking his trade value must be super low. I wonder what The Oilers would get for him? A first rounder? Second?

Boston was able to get some good pieces for Kessel but then he's a proven scorer. Maybe The Oilers will hold on to Yakupov long enough so that no team will want him.

That worked with Hemsky and Gagner right? Sigh...

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#148 lenny
November 11 2013, 11:02PM
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BleedOil4Life wrote:

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.

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?

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#149 nrXic
November 11 2013, 11:56PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

You want to break up the clan, Eberle or Hall to Nashville for Seth Jones.

I mentioned this earlier, ie. trade the problem away, but I'm going to eat my words a bit, here.

With the right management, these situations can be solved with a solution where you can retain your talent, build friendships & team comradery, and heighten the level of professionalism within your whole organization (rather than with just a few 'troublemakers').

This would be the ideal situation, but do we have the right management to make it happen? Do we have a management that even sees it as an issue?

What is clear is that the Edmonton Media doesn't see it as an issue worth reporting. This is discouraging because then Oilers management will passively deal with the issue by trading a player like Yakupov away, without addressing a core issue with the team.

Part of it is not airing dirty laundry in a newspaper piece and I completely get that. But hey, after having a new coach every year, near last place finishes (with another on the way, if things don't turn around), I say it's fair game.

There's something screwed up about this team. Maybe being an Oilers fan in Calgary is taking its toll on me, but I say the Edmonton media should air out anything rotten so they fix it. "Disunity in the Locker Room" is hard to convey without throwing people under the bus, I understand that, but man, maybe that'll get them to smarten up.

Also, my apologies for posting so much on this issue. I could very well be making a big deal out of something that is less significant in reality.

But there's something screwed up about this team and I abhor the idea of sending away a #1 draft pick for nearly nothing after he's played less than a full season. I just know a divided team will never succeed in any capacity, and that management should fix it instead of brushing it under a carpet.

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#150 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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