YAKUPOV WANTS MORE ICETIME

Jason Gregor
November 12 2013 01:56PM

 

Nail Yakupov wants more icetime. He wants to help his teammates win. He also feels his head coach doesn't trust him. Yakupov spoke with the media after practice today, and it was clear he was frustrated. As he should be. Losing stinks, and I'd hope every Oiler is frustrated.

Yakupov is usually very quiet and reserved with the media, but today he spoke with conviction and passion.

He was asked about his agent's, Igor Larionov, comments about a possible trade.

"I know where he is coming from, we have to do something. I don't see any trust towards me now. I'm playing lower and lower minutes, and I just want to help my team win every game. I haven't had much chance to to that, and it pretty hard to watch the game from the bench when my teammates are fighting for puck and points, because I know I can do the same thing.

"I don't want to say anything bad, but I just want to say that I want to be here. I love the city. I'd love to play with these players. We have a great staff and the atmosphere in games is great. I want to be part of the Oilers," said Yakupov.

When asked how he felt he's played defensively he responded with this:

"I've played good. I've always played like that. I watch everyone play the same. I don't think that question is for me, it is for the coach. I play good," Yakupov said.

When asked if he asked his agent to go public he responded with a smile, "I don't know, that is a tough question. I can't say anything now. Maybe we will see if something changes in a couple of days."

TRADE

He was asked directly if he has asked for a trade.

"I wasn't asking for a trade. I don't want to say anything bad, but I heard something (trade rumour) in the summer, something at the start of the season and then two weeks ago, but we'll see...who knows. I just want to play. I don't want to play nine or five minutes. I think I can play more and I think I can help my teammates to get points. We need points.

"I'm 20 years old and I think this is a  very important year for me learning to play hockey. Sometimes players who are sitting a lot when they are 19 or 20 years old they stop playing hockey. I just want to play. We will see if that ( lack of icetime) is going to be more and more, and if not we will have to figure out something," said Yakupov.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? 

Yakupov is clearly frustrated. He wants to play more, and you can't blame him for that. Was this the best way to go about it? Probably not, but he isn't the first professional player to go public with his frustrations about a lack of playing time.

When Eakins spoke after Yakupov he wasn't upset at all. He said he understood Yakupov's frustration, but he said he has seen Yakupov working hard to improve his game. He also said that he won't change how he coaches because Yakupov went public with his frustrations.

The most interesting thing to me was when Yakupov said he heard trade rumours in the summer. I can't recall any rumours then, but maybe the Oilers were shopping him. 

I'd love to be a fly on the wall when Igor Larionov meets with Craig MacTavish later this week. 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 Harlie
November 12 2013, 05:27PM
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He heard 3 rumours so it sounds like Larionov is plugged in. Sounding to me like its Philly or NYR base on the timing he stated. I hope MacT has some rabbits hidden cuz this is making him look bad and he better find a way to turn this around.

What a freaking sideshow our once proud team has become. Embarrassing.

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#102 Rheal1
November 12 2013, 05:29PM
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DevoKnows wrote:

Fedun sent down, Potter brought up!! Another brutal decision!!!

"GONGSHOW"

What?

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#103 Rheal1
November 12 2013, 05:31PM
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Harlie wrote:

He heard 3 rumours so it sounds like Larionov is plugged in. Sounding to me like its Philly or NYR base on the timing he stated. I hope MacT has some rabbits hidden cuz this is making him look bad and he better find a way to turn this around.

What a freaking sideshow our once proud team has become. Embarrassing.

The "freaking sideshow" will be over when Katz moves the team to Seattle. Or Las Vegas; more his style.

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#104 DevoKnows
November 12 2013, 05:37PM
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Check this game winner out in OKC last night!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwBz0BpOrAY&sns=em

SWEET!!!!

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#105 Woogie63
November 12 2013, 05:38PM
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Do you really care if your RW on the first line can't play defense?

LaFleur, Bossy, Stamkos, and Yakupov need to score GOALS.

Lafleur played with Lemaire who was great defensively.

Bossy played with Trottier who was just great.

Find a combination in the top six that gets this kid scoring and play to his advantage.

Hall. RNH. Yakupov Perron Arco. Ebs

Make a competitive group.

What 20 year old is going to get better playing on you fourth line with basically AHL player for 5 minutes a night?

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#106 Oiler Al
November 12 2013, 05:41PM
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"he said", she said", etc, this is really getting to be an embarrassing side show for the organization. Losing, indifferent play, blender linmates, more airmiles to OKC than needed.. Who the .....k is running his Gong Show? The JOKE OF THE NHL!!!! Its a shame getting all those lotto drafts and this is where it ends up.

Edmonton media must fear losing the free lunch... call like it is.... LOWE!! It starts from the top... Cant count Katz he;s been hiding under a rock all his life.

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#107 pkam
November 12 2013, 05:42PM
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michael wrote:

Eakins may have a longterm plan for this team but we are currently get creamed more than a barista at a Starbucks. Yaks cry for more ice time is something I applaud. Hear that sound? Its Yakupov giving a S#$% about this team. Wish I heard that from more of our leaders. He is frustrated at losing and wants to do more to stop it from happening. I'll take that everyday and 2x on Sunday. Yak is not being selfish. He is saying what the other 22 guys in the room don't have the balls to say publically. We suck and I don't want this losing to continue. Whats the Klima quote. I can't score from the bench. Another guy in the same mold. And all he did was score and wina Stanley Cup with the Oilers.

Lets bs fly but whe someone speaks the truth I am going to go to the wall with the guy. Yak hates losing. He feels he can have a greater impact. At 4-11-2 we ain't doing diddly. Let him walk the walk. Give him some rope. Pedal to the metal. I hope he proves all right. He is the guy we thought he was/is.

Yak is averaging over 15 min per game over 17 games, and over 17 min over the first 13 games, and he has 3 pts in his 13 games and 4 pts in 17 games. So how much more ice time does he need to help the team win?

Didn't Ben Eager say similar thing too? "I can't do much with 8 min per game." I guess Ben Eager was right and he really wanted to help the team win so we should give him 20 min per game.

Mark Acrobello had less min per game than Yak had in his 1st 13 games. Did Acrobello complain he is not having enough ice time? Oh right, he was averaging almost a point per game in his first 13 games.

Hall and Eberle were getting about 16 min per game in their 1st year and did you hear them complain?

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#108 **
November 12 2013, 06:01PM
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Facts:

Yakupov is not a very good defensive player. Yakupov was drafted for being an exceptional offensive player.

EAkins said in the summer he would get to know his players by meeting one on one, having water cooler conversations, things like that. Eakins said today that he hasn't spoken with Yakupov one on one about his lack of ice time or his level of trust in him.

Eakins said in the summer it would not matter contract status, or age, everyone would be accountable. Eakins has 7 players at the bottom of the plus/minus stats. Yaks with -14, Hemsky and Nuge with -12, Petry -11, Schultz -10, Gagner -9. Who is the only player being sent to the fourth line and being scratched not once but twice and getting his ice time greatly diminished?: Yakupov.

Steven Stamkos stats for his first season (79 games): 11:58 average ice time per game 23G, 23A, 46 points, plus/minus -13 (keep in mind he is a center with more defensive responsibility)

Nail Yakupov's stats for his first combined 65 games: 12:34 average ice time per game 19G, 16A, 35 points, plus/minus -18 ( this is the combined total of two seasons, with a long break in the summer that could be argued impacted the continuity of Yakupov's development, given how he closed last season, he might have had more points by this time had he played those 65 games continuously. )

Anyone who reads this please tell me:

A) if Yakupov is being given fair treatment, given how long a leash Ebs Hall Nuge Gagner and Hemsky have had on season's past ( I know it is a different coach but he should be aware of these things).

B) If Yakupov's numbers compared to another 1st overall who turned out to be an elite player are that far off course to be trying to run the guy out of town.

Ps: I don't like the plus/minus stat, I think it is extremely flawed, but I have seen it on Edmonton media as an indictment of Yakupov so that is why I included it.

PPS: Jussi JOkinen was traded mid season to make room for Stamkos to play more minutes because that management believed Stamkos was the future even though Jokinen was having a great season and wanted to put him in a legitimate position to succeed.

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#109 Sleepless in Regina, via Edmonton
November 12 2013, 06:13PM
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I'm an oilers fanatic. So anybody with a heart must feel at least an ounce of pity for me. This year has been bad break after bad break. First our goalies became sieves (more so than normal) which lost us 3 or 4 for sure wins. Then the team had 8 starters out with injury, eight! Which lost some wins. And then they completely gave up. The team isn't going to win a championship but healthy and a few breaks here and there and they would never have spiraled to where they are now. Its a disaster. I never loved yakupov, his talent is undeniable, but watching him "fight" in the corners for the puck is a joke. He doesn't want to get his nose dirty 9 times out of 10, which is why he isn't getting on the ice. The most frustrating thing is that that 1 out of 10 time he becomes super man and beats 2 people for the puck and makes a great play. He can do it but won't. I have lost patience with him, now imagine if you played with him and saw him just fake an effort and then deal with the fact that he thinks he should just get more ice time. He isn't a bust and will be good but he has to buy in and so far hasn't. His agent is clearly an idiot. If he thinks that by more or less trying to make it apparent his client would leave its basically saying that he doesn't want to play in edmonton. Congratz, now you have made a mutual benefit trade that much harder for the oilers (thus making it less likely)and you have alienated your client from his fan base who is already pissy, and rightfully so. I would have assumed that this guy knew nothing about hockey or professional sports but i know better. I think he was trying to force the time on ice issue for his client but made a stupid rookie mistake. I honestly think this could end very poorly for the oilers. Which would sum up the season so far. Enigmatic russians? I scoffed last year when some people said it. I also said that the oilers would challenge for a playoff spot this year. I clearly don't know my butt from a hole in the ground. Please send the entire oilers team down to the ahl for a conditioning stint so we can get our confidence back. PS I think bryzgolov is actually going to be good in edmonton. PPS Dammit, I haven't learned anything. sincerely sleepiness in Regina, via Edmonton.

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#110 Spydyr
November 12 2013, 06:16PM
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Hey Yak,so you want more ice time huh?Why don't you try the old fashion way and earn it.Instead of whining in the media.He is just another young entitled or so he thinks kid.What ever happened to hard work and earning something instead of having it handed to you?

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#111 Spoils
November 12 2013, 06:16PM
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@DevoKnows

Linus was practically invisible last game in the bigs and he is just magic down there. makes me feel like sending Yak down to OKC wouldn't help matters.

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#112 bazmagoo
November 12 2013, 06:18PM
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@**

Gags definitely deserves to be benched/moved down/sat for his play since his return. If he's still injured he should stay on the sidelines. His play has been abysmal. Proof that there is a bit of a double standard imo.

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#113 Dog Train
November 12 2013, 06:32PM
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There are a whole bunch of players on this team I would bench right now because of indifference defensively. The only difference being that some of them are at least scoring. You can't bench everybody.

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#114 **
November 12 2013, 06:32PM
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pkam wrote:

Yak is averaging over 15 min per game over 17 games, and over 17 min over the first 13 games, and he has 3 pts in his 13 games and 4 pts in 17 games. So how much more ice time does he need to help the team win?

Didn't Ben Eager say similar thing too? "I can't do much with 8 min per game." I guess Ben Eager was right and he really wanted to help the team win so we should give him 20 min per game.

Mark Acrobello had less min per game than Yak had in his 1st 13 games. Did Acrobello complain he is not having enough ice time? Oh right, he was averaging almost a point per game in his first 13 games.

Hall and Eberle were getting about 16 min per game in their 1st year and did you hear them complain?

your ice time average is out of context because Yakupov's ice time has been greatly and gradually diminished over the last 6 games from a peak 21:34 to 10:54.

Here are his ice times:

10:54 10:46 (bottom) 11:08 12:47 15:06 21:34 (peak) 20:13 16:16 19:08 15:54 13:05 17:34 17:29 13:21 16:34 16:13 14:57

You are comparing a mature Arcobello, 25 years old, been through several pro seasons in other leagues, to Young Nail Yakupov, immature, still learning a language, his first full pro season. You are comparing apples with oranges. Remember how much leeway Hall and Nuge and Eberle and GAgner got when they were where Yakupov is now and then I dare you to tell me that Yak is not being given the short end of the stick.

Taylor Hall first season: 65 22 20 42points,plus/minus-9

Jordan Eberle first season: 69 18 25 43 -12

Nuge: 62 18 34 52 -2

Gagner:

79 13 36 49 -21

YAkupov (games so far):

65 19 16 35 -18

average ice time (ES) on their first seasons:

Hall: 15:26 Ebs: 14:27 Nuge: 14:33 Gagner:12:46 Yakupov: 12:34

Yakupov has actually done a bit more with less ice time and given the fact that he played half a season, which cut his production short. HE might have had more points than everyone else given how well he ended last season. It is easier to throw hate at YAk for speaking his mind than to fact check and see if there is merit into what he is saying. This post goes to all you Yak haters out there who don't even bother to check basic numbers before you throw your poison.

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#115 DAVE
November 12 2013, 06:35PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

Haven't read through the comments yet, but....

BOO FU@#ING HOO YAK CITY!

Entitled much??

Put your time in, you are a rookie for F-sakes! Earn your ice time. Be a team player.

Have any posters on here that have a real job (like, you know, not playing a game and making millions)ever stepped right into the top pay grade, getting the best shifts, or the choice clients?

I will bet no way in H-E-double hockey sticks.

Put some time i and show why you deserve to play more than experienced players with double, triple, and quadruple the games played.

All things being equal, as Yak thinks (defensive game, +/-, etc...), the vets gets priority. In a large company or corporation I expect no less.

Good Grief! (to coin a term from our own DashingSilverFox)

well said, you must be a adult.

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#116 Space Cowboy
November 12 2013, 06:35PM
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What all the fuss is? Comrade Yak speaks of which is true. I too do this kind of talk. When my teammates do not skate hard back, then no fault they score goals in my net.

We will be good comrades in cold Siber....er Edmonton.

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#117 Tim in Kelowna
November 12 2013, 06:37PM
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NJ wrote:

IF everyone got the time they "deserved" on the oil, we wouldn't have a team for half the game and all the tenders would be in the AHL. Seriously. Tell me. Does Gagner deserve to be on the ice? Look at the +- of the whole team.

He should get more ice time because this season is shot already, and the more ice time he gets the more he learns. The steeper the learning curve, the sooner we get the the master instead of the student. Yakupov IS going to be a bonafide sniper. The real deal. Is giving Smyth that ice time helping us next year?

He deserves the same ice time Rnh and Hall got in their first year. You have a changing standard based on where this rebuild is supposed to be. The exception to all this is IF the limited minutes is a lesson learned by Yak and he learns 2 way play... That would be ideal. If it ends with him being shipped out of town for anything but a #1 d man (Jones), than I say it's a damn shame and a mistake we'll look back on with 20/20 and regret with tears.

Last. Bench someone else. Confidence is everything in this league and taking the spotlight OFF Yak would be a brilliant decision at this point. Me as a 20 year old, you as the reader and pretty much any 20 year old would never react so superbly to a benching. Give the kid a break.

The problem isn't that he is upset. The problem is the sense of entitlement that he clearly has. Eakins has to build a culture of hard work and accountability, and he can't do that if the most selfish and defensively irresponsible player on the team gets big minutes.

Once Yak gets the concept of using his teammates and playing responsibly then give him the big minutes. I agree the season is lost and should be used to develop the talent we have, but the primary focus should be cultivating a focus on accountability and team work.

Yak will get the point sooner rather than later, and if he doesn't I'd rather trade him for a player who does.

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#118 **
November 12 2013, 06:38PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Gags definitely deserves to be benched/moved down/sat for his play since his return. If he's still injured he should stay on the sidelines. His play has been abysmal. Proof that there is a bit of a double standard imo.

Agreed

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#119 Fresh Mess
November 12 2013, 06:43PM
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20 years old. First full season and playing like absolute garbage, yet still on the NHL roster and getting good minutes. For this he creates a media side show and starts making demands.

Get this prima donna cancerous wench off the team ASAP !!

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#120 Randaman
November 12 2013, 06:47PM
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pkam wrote:

Because even with their mistakes, they are still the best players in the team. Can you tell me who was better than Hall, Eberle, and RNH in the past 2-3 years? In other words, they earn their ice time by being the best players.

If Yak want to get the same ice time as Hall, Eberle and RNH, all he has to is to play as good as the other 3 kids.

Eberle is 15 pts in 19 game, RNH is 13 pts in 17 games, and Hall is 12 pts in 12 games. Even Hemsky has 9 pts in 19 games.

Yak was averaging about 17 min per game in his first 13 games and he only produced 3 pts. If he can produce at similar rate as the other kids, I am sure he will get more ice time.

Eberle ha played on the perimeter all year with out a hit thrown and has gotten his points. Does that make him better than Yak that throws checks and stands up for himself like in the Chicago game? Yes & no. Hall & Nugr are the stars of this group and Yak should be on their wing so he can show what he can do with first line talent and ice time. Third line minutes with Hemsky won't help as has been proven thus far this season. Hall, Ebs &Nuge were given that opportunity. Why not try it and see. Gags, Ebs & Perron is a quality mix for a second line. Gordon, Hemsky & Smyth for a third. Arcabello, Jonseeu & Jones/gazdic for a fourth. Problem solved. What is there to lose at this point. Remember the chemistry Hall & Yak developed late last season??

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#121 DSF
November 12 2013, 06:48PM
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Some observations:

As many of you will recall, I believed, and still do, that the Oilers should have drafted Galchenyuk. Whenever it's close you should always draft the centre and it was close.

Having said that, anyone who doesn't think there is a double standard at work need look no further than the abysmal defensive play of Justin Schultz.

While Schultz's rookie season looked, on the surface, like a decent one, he gave up far more than he scored at even strength...finishing the season at -17...288th in the league among defensemen.

He averaged 21:26 TOI/G.

This season, before he was injured, he was actually playing much worse.

While he was on pace for a 40 point season, he was also on pace for MINUS 58.

Now, Justin Schultz is not 20...he's 23 and despite playing 4 years in NCAA hockey, he can't play defense AT ALL.

How did Eakins respond to his putrid defensive play?

This season, his average TOI/G is 22:01.

That folks is a double standard.

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#122 spliff
November 12 2013, 06:58PM
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Harlie wrote:

He heard 3 rumours so it sounds like Larionov is plugged in. Sounding to me like its Philly or NYR base on the timing he stated. I hope MacT has some rabbits hidden cuz this is making him look bad and he better find a way to turn this around.

What a freaking sideshow our once proud team has become. Embarrassing.

The Oilers during the KLowe years have consistently had ridiculous drama and BS.

There was the Lowe - Burke fiasco, the Heatley fiasco, the Souray fiasco, the Ryan Smyth trade over 100 000 fiasco, the Comrie fiasco, the Hossa fiasco, and of course, the Pronger fiasco.

Now, we have the Yakupov fiasco. This organization is a joke and the loyal fans for this once respected team, deserve far better.

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#123 Bloodsweatandoil
November 12 2013, 06:59PM
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I never believed Yakupov should have been the overall number one draft pick from the start. I felt the Oilers should have never drafted him period as we had enough of those types on our roster at the time, they should have drafted for the deficiencies needed on their roster at the time/and or trade that pick for roster guys we needed bad.

I definitely blame this once proud organization for where we are now, I blame them more for this current situation with the bungling ways of the coach and management.

But Yak, if you wanted me on your side, you and your agent should not said what you said to the media, and / or play that card at this time during a very low, vulnerable phase of these bad times the whole Oiler Franchise is experiencing.

You have now played the "What about me card", you have essentially self centered yourself and put yourself above the rest of your teammates. Pointing out efforts and accountability about your teammates to the media instead of your management first says a lot about who you are.

Stop being so one dimensional on the ice, and now in the dressing room with the media, you now do not reflect being a number one draft pick! Right now, I sure would not want you on my team or be your team mate.

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#124 RexHolez
November 12 2013, 07:02PM
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DSF wrote:

Some observations:

As many of you will recall, I believed, and still do, that the Oilers should have drafted Galchenyuk. Whenever it's close you should always draft the centre and it was close.

Having said that, anyone who doesn't think there is a double standard at work need look no further than the abysmal defensive play of Justin Schultz.

While Schultz's rookie season looked, on the surface, like a decent one, he gave up far more than he scored at even strength...finishing the season at -17...288th in the league among defensemen.

He averaged 21:26 TOI/G.

This season, before he was injured, he was actually playing much worse.

While he was on pace for a 40 point season, he was also on pace for MINUS 58.

Now, Justin Schultz is not 20...he's 23 and despite playing 4 years in NCAA hockey, he can't play defense AT ALL.

How did Eakins respond to his putrid defensive play?

This season, his average TOI/G is 22:01.

That folks is a double standard.

Does this mean I'm not the only guy who's not a fan of Schultz. I can't believe this guy was so hyped

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#125 Hockey fan 1976
November 12 2013, 07:05PM
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You can slice it any way you want, Dallas Eakins talks a great game but that whole bs of "accountability" "compete" and yet not practising what he preaches is what has gotten this room in trouble. Is Managenemt 101. The moment you lack consistency in how you treat everyone is the moment you lose respect from your staff (team). Yuk sees how other so called vets crapping the bed as bad as he's and yet, they don't get benched or ice time hasn't suffered. DE is the problem and the moment McT admits he made a mistake, the sooner this team gets on track.

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#126 DSF
November 12 2013, 07:08PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Does this mean I'm not the only guy who's not a fan of Schultz. I can't believe this guy was so hyped

That's what it would mean.

Schultz is a smaller, skinnier version of Jack Johnson.

Here's why Lombardi got rid of him:

http://frozenroyalty.net/2010/01/20/dean-lombardi-jack-johnson-is-learning-his-craft-belatedly/

Some lessons there for both Schultz and Yakupov.

But what does Lombardi know? 😷

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#127 madjam
November 12 2013, 07:12PM
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Is MacT. in over his head and Eakins as well ? This situation should have been handled internally and without having Larionov come here .

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#128 Batfink
November 12 2013, 07:12PM
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Accountability? Try starting at the top. Why should anybody be held accountable after the crap the management has put them through? Smid dealt for magic beans, a coach who never takes responsibility for the team's poor play and is a snake oil salesman, other players clearly not doing their bit. Until they have unimpeachable integrity in senior positions on and off the ice leading by example, then we are going nowhere. This team NEEDS leadership, not purile dishing out of ice time to favourites, nor the sand bagging of the types of player with the character we need (Smid).

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#129 Cold Hard Truth
November 12 2013, 07:15PM
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The fans need to start being more vocal about demanding Lowe's resignation. MacTavish's too, since he only became GM not out of merit, but out of patronage. And come to think of it, fire Eakins too, since hiring a him was the mistake of a GM who did not deserve to make that decision in the first place.

Also, the journalists need to grow a pair of balls and start calling a spade a spade. I`m tired of reading palliative pieces from journalists who skirt around the issues so they don`t lose their access to hot scoops.

Next game fans should start chanting `fire Lowe,` or stage a collective walk-out.

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#130 DSF
November 12 2013, 07:19PM
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Hockey fan 1976 wrote:

You can slice it any way you want, Dallas Eakins talks a great game but that whole bs of "accountability" "compete" and yet not practising what he preaches is what has gotten this room in trouble. Is Managenemt 101. The moment you lack consistency in how you treat everyone is the moment you lose respect from your staff (team). Yuk sees how other so called vets crapping the bed as bad as he's and yet, they don't get benched or ice time hasn't suffered. DE is the problem and the moment McT admits he made a mistake, the sooner this team gets on track.

All hat...no cattle.

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#131 Harlie
November 12 2013, 07:23PM
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C'mon, anyone with a set of eyes and a functioning brain stem can see that Yakupov without the puck is nothing but a cherry picker.

And no one likes a cherry picker.

Especially, on the blue collar journeyman hardworking Eakins and Craig 4thLine grinder and hustler MacTavish's watch!

This is all nothing but a clash of minds. And the stupid thing is the waste of talent and the reduction of value in an asset through this stupidity.

Just who is acting entitled here? *

* Thinks of Souray saw off.

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#132 Cold Hard Truth
November 12 2013, 07:23PM
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Frankly, I hope for his sake Yakupov leaves this circus. Watch him go to a reputable franchise and light it up.

Then I hope it prompts an exodus of our talent who want to play elsewhere. Maybe that`ll break the resolve of Katz.

Once a competent management structure comes in, it will take years for them to undo the mess these losers have made.

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#133 GVBlackhawk
November 12 2013, 07:25PM
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DSF wrote:

Some observations:

As many of you will recall, I believed, and still do, that the Oilers should have drafted Galchenyuk. Whenever it's close you should always draft the centre and it was close.

Having said that, anyone who doesn't think there is a double standard at work need look no further than the abysmal defensive play of Justin Schultz.

While Schultz's rookie season looked, on the surface, like a decent one, he gave up far more than he scored at even strength...finishing the season at -17...288th in the league among defensemen.

He averaged 21:26 TOI/G.

This season, before he was injured, he was actually playing much worse.

While he was on pace for a 40 point season, he was also on pace for MINUS 58.

Now, Justin Schultz is not 20...he's 23 and despite playing 4 years in NCAA hockey, he can't play defense AT ALL.

How did Eakins respond to his putrid defensive play?

This season, his average TOI/G is 22:01.

That folks is a double standard.

And now Eakins is doing the same thing with Larsen. He has been abysmal in the defensive zone, but that is good enough for first or second defensive minutes on the team.

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#134 DSF
November 12 2013, 07:27PM
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Harlie wrote:

C'mon, anyone with a set of eyes and a functioning brain stem can see that Yakupov without the puck is nothing but a cherry picker.

And no one likes a cherry picker.

Especially, on the blue collar journeyman hardworking Eakins and Craig 4thLine grinder and hustler MacTavish's watch!

This is all nothing but a clash of minds. And the stupid thing is the waste of talent and the reduction of value in an asset through this stupidity.

Just who is acting entitled here? *

* Thinks of Souray saw off.

Thing is...Souray has thrived and Lowe is just as bad as he ever was.

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#135 Pouzar99
November 12 2013, 07:29PM
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Calm down folks. Everybody involved has to take a deep breath on this ones. The kid is frustrated and it might be best for everyone that he blew off some steam. Yes, his defensive play has been unacceptable, but he has a lot of company, especially Justin Schultz, as DSF correctly points out.

If Yak has to earn his ice time What about Gagner, Hall, Hemsky and Justin Schultz? Hall's offensive contribution helps obviously, but he is still a major offender defensively. Nuge and Arcobello bust their butts in both ends, why can't the other top six players. Eberle and Perron are okay, but could also play better on the defensive end.

Last season they worked hard with Yak and he got to be a far more complete player as the year went along. Where has all that gone?

I think it is pretty obvious by this point that Eakins isn't exactly a strategic genius. My cat could pick better line combinations and his defensive system design has been a series of busts. Putting Gagner at center for his first game back and matching him up against the red hot Kessel line was a very predictable shocker, just to name one example.

Remember one more thing about Yak. He is a Russian and they have a hockey league. If things become intolerable here he has an easy option. He is going to have to dig down and play a far more complete game, but if he can sit and watch or be shifted down to the 4th line so can others. How about a concession which is just common sense anyway. Put Yak on the first PP unit. He's got the best shot on the team by a mile and every one else on the unit is a pass first guy. Let that cannon rip. And give him some extra shifts on the top three lines if you play on the 4th. its not like we have anything to lose. Except a proud, gifted but flawed young player who will be a star somewhere eventually.

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#136 DSF
November 12 2013, 07:30PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

And now Eakins is doing the same thing with Larsen. He has been abysmal in the defensive zone, but that is good enough for first or second defensive minutes on the team.

Yep.

And then the Oilers send Fedun (2 goals in 4 games) to OKC on the eve of his first NHL game in front of a home town crowd.

Classy.

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#137 Harlie
November 12 2013, 07:30PM
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DSF wrote:

Thing is...Souray has thrived and Lowe is just as bad as he ever was.

Funny how that works. And what's the common denominator everybody?

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#138 DSF
November 12 2013, 07:31PM
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Pouzar99 wrote:

Calm down folks. Everybody involved has to take a deep breath on this ones. The kid is frustrated and it might be best for everyone that he blew off some steam. Yes, his defensive play has been unacceptable, but he has a lot of company, especially Justin Schultz, as DSF correctly points out.

If Yak has to earn his ice time What about Gagner, Hall, Hemsky and Justin Schultz? Hall's offensive contribution helps obviously, but he is still a major offender defensively. Nuge and Arcobello bust their butts in both ends, why can't the other top six players. Eberle and Perron are okay, but could also play better on the defensive end.

Last season they worked hard with Yak and he got to be a far more complete player as the year went along. Where has all that gone?

I think it is pretty obvious by this point that Eakins isn't exactly a strategic genius. My cat could pick better line combinations and his defensive system design has been a series of busts. Putting Gagner at center for his first game back and matching him up against the red hot Kessel line was a very predictable shocker, just to name one example.

Remember one more thing about Yak. He is a Russian and they have a hockey league. If things become intolerable here he has an easy option. He is going to have to dig down and play a far more complete game, but if he can sit and watch or be shifted down to the 4th line so can others. How about a concession which is just common sense anyway. Put Yak on the first PP unit. He's got the best shot on the team by a mile and every one else on the unit is a pass first guy. Let that cannon rip. And give him some extra shifts on the top three lines if you play on the 4th. its not like we have anything to lose. Except a proud, gifted but flawed young player who will be a star somewhere eventually.

Best post of the thread...by a mile.

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#139 Oilerz4life
November 12 2013, 07:35PM
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Some fans need to learn how to not write an entire essay in the comments section. If Yaks wants the ice time he should earn it. That is all.

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#140 Taser
November 12 2013, 07:37PM
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We need a better second line centre that plays both ends of the ice. We need that so guys like yakupov have more free reign to utilize their strengths rather than grossly expose their weaknesses. See ya gagner.

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#141 morgie
November 12 2013, 07:37PM
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DevoKnows wrote:

Check this game winner out in OKC last night!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwBz0BpOrAY&sns=em

SWEET!!!!

Sweet Indeed get Omark up here!

Who cares if they are small they are done anyways let's see what he can do?

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#142 Ari Gold
November 12 2013, 07:44PM
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Yak doesn't decide how much he's played. Eakins does.

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#143 Newj
November 12 2013, 07:45PM
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Pouzar99 wrote:

Calm down folks. Everybody involved has to take a deep breath on this ones. The kid is frustrated and it might be best for everyone that he blew off some steam. Yes, his defensive play has been unacceptable, but he has a lot of company, especially Justin Schultz, as DSF correctly points out.

If Yak has to earn his ice time What about Gagner, Hall, Hemsky and Justin Schultz? Hall's offensive contribution helps obviously, but he is still a major offender defensively. Nuge and Arcobello bust their butts in both ends, why can't the other top six players. Eberle and Perron are okay, but could also play better on the defensive end.

Last season they worked hard with Yak and he got to be a far more complete player as the year went along. Where has all that gone?

I think it is pretty obvious by this point that Eakins isn't exactly a strategic genius. My cat could pick better line combinations and his defensive system design has been a series of busts. Putting Gagner at center for his first game back and matching him up against the red hot Kessel line was a very predictable shocker, just to name one example.

Remember one more thing about Yak. He is a Russian and they have a hockey league. If things become intolerable here he has an easy option. He is going to have to dig down and play a far more complete game, but if he can sit and watch or be shifted down to the 4th line so can others. How about a concession which is just common sense anyway. Put Yak on the first PP unit. He's got the best shot on the team by a mile and every one else on the unit is a pass first guy. Let that cannon rip. And give him some extra shifts on the top three lines if you play on the 4th. its not like we have anything to lose. Except a proud, gifted but flawed young player who will be a star somewhere eventually.

Well stated on all points.

A post that involves some rationale thought.

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#144 6 ring circus
November 12 2013, 07:51PM
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Maybe Katz should be paid a visit and made an offer he can't refuse.It's time he fire's Lowe or else ...

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#145 DSF
November 12 2013, 07:53PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

Yak doesn't decide how much he's played. Eakins does.

Yeah...that's working.

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#146 Dave
November 12 2013, 07:54PM
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@Pouzar99 : " think it is pretty obvious by this point that Eakins isn't exactly a strategic genius. My cat could pick better line combinations and his defensive system design has been a series of busts. Putting Gagner at center for his first game back and matching him up against the red hot Kessel line was a very predictable shocker, just to name one example."

Yes ! We should have a permanent running thread on dubious coaching decisions.

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#147 TDSM31
November 12 2013, 07:55PM
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I have to think Ference will rip a strip off this kid.

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#148 DSF
November 12 2013, 07:55PM
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madjam wrote:

Is MacT. in over his head and Eakins as well ? This situation should have been handled internally and without having Larionov come here .

If you were starting an expansion team, would you hire Lowe, MacT and Eakins to run the show?

Didn't think so.

No one else in the NHL would hire any one of them.

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#149 D-Unit
November 12 2013, 07:56PM
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I understand Yaks frustration, but think his agent should have taken a different path. It's the agents job to listen to his client and advise him. Don't think Igor should have went to the media, even if Yak said it was okay. Yak is young and probably could have used some advice to keep it in house.

Have to give Yak credit for talking to the media though. He was clear and spoke well in my opinion. If he didn't talk, how many people would have been all over him for not wanting to talk.

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#150 oilbaron
November 12 2013, 08:12PM
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I haven't read any comments so I apologize if this has already been said. I for one would give him what he wants and play the kid 25 minutes tomorrow night. We will see how he responds than. Throw him out in every zone start available. If we win great and if we lose, it don't really matter anyway cause we suck anyhow.

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