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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#2 DAVE
November 12 2013, 08:29PM
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yakapov, larianov, can both fukov

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#3 Hemmercules
November 12 2013, 03:07PM
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What a spoiled brat. Guy plays half a season in the NHL and suddenly they owe him 25 minutes a night. Then he goes crying to his agent over it. Pretty tough to respect a fellow player when he makes comments and acts the way he does. Time to grow up.

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#4 DAVE
November 12 2013, 04:22PM
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Send Yak to the minors, the kid has some growing up to do.

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#5 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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#6 Kirk Brackenberry
November 12 2013, 02:50PM
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Perhaps Yak is right and there are numerous other oilers playing poorly but come on...this is the absolute worst way to go about this. Stinks of a spoiled brat. Trade the Kid now this is a character flaw and will only get worse.

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#7 Wäx Män Riley
November 12 2013, 04:39PM
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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)

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#8 dmac4532
November 12 2013, 02:10PM
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He is crazy if he thinks he has been playing well. He turns the puck over, flys the d zone with out so much as looking @ Ovi in the slot. This kid needs at least half a season in okc .Not saying he is the only young player that needs to learn to play both sides of the puck but with out a doubt the most glaring example.

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#9 Reg Dunlop
November 12 2013, 02:25PM
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Good thing we didn't flush away that 1st overall pick. Who needs a good teammate when you can have the Russian Rocket pt. 2. Does this further diminish his trade value?

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#10 Slyers
November 12 2013, 09:11PM
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@smiliegirl15

The fact that you have 16 trashes just shows how many people today have this same sense of entitlement. This is truly sad. In the oiler glory years Mess and Lowe would have had Yak sharting himself. Hard to watch this primadona act this way, and then others in this former city of champs defend him. The city Of Edmonton I grew up in would never have tolerated this type of behaviour.... And that is maybe one small reason our young guns turned out to be the special players and people they were.

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#11 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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#12 KenL
November 12 2013, 02:46PM
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Send him to the minors to learn to play better defensive hockey and a better attitude. It might look punitive, but when you call out your coach and GM when they had your back last week and dispelled the trade rumours - you deserved to be punished.

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#13 TDSM31
November 12 2013, 03:48PM
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This is where Larionov needs to do his job. Deal with it internally and make sure your client isn't spouting off publicly. Be a professional about it...the second things get a bit rough you can't go and play the blame game in the media. Jezuz, the kids played a total of 65 games in the show...the sense of entitlement on behalf of Yak and his agent makes me sick.

Maybe its a Russian thing...

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#14 china town man
November 12 2013, 08:52PM
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Yak should just shut his mouth And play hockey !!! Did ovechkin tell him to do this?

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#15 Mark
November 12 2013, 02:31PM
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Woa hold up Yak, we all love the passion and the potential that you have but don't go all Souray on us, we know what happened to him. Are you being used as you should? Probably not. Have you deserved that ice time with your play? Sometimes. I think he sould be sent to the minors for 10 games. Let him play 23 minutes a night in every situation, he should light it up. If he does bring him back up and play him on the second line in an offensive role (if he deserves it). I cant even will myself to write anymore with how bad the team is. Work hard boys and it will turn around look at the flames (yuk i think i just puked in my mouth) LOL.

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#16 smiliegirl15
November 12 2013, 03:54PM
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Ask Sheldon Souray how well speaking out against management works.

Yak doesn't think he played badly? I think he needs to watch some tape, quit comparing his game to anyone else's and remember what he's getting paid for. His effort sucks a lot of the time. He gives up on the puck if he thinks he can't get and it happens all too often.

You want ice time Yak, prove you DESERVE ice time. Stop acting like an entitled brat.

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#17 Czar
November 12 2013, 02:36PM
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I really like Yak but when will these athletes just shut up and keep the BS out of the media?

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#18 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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#19 Wäx Män Riley
November 12 2013, 04:46PM
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Hemmercules wrote:

What a spoiled brat. Guy plays half a season in the NHL and suddenly they owe him 25 minutes a night. Then he goes crying to his agent over it. Pretty tough to respect a fellow player when he makes comments and acts the way he does. Time to grow up.

This

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#20 oildrops
November 12 2013, 03:02PM
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a lot of the posts are missing props and trashes I hit a prop that said 7 but it was 17.

Yak is awesome, we just need better a NHL coach.

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#21 Tim in Kelowna
November 12 2013, 03:33PM
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This is bad news. He is getting the ice-time he deserves. The play constantly dies on his stick by trying to make the individual play. If I were Eakins I wouldn't give him any more ice time until Yak figured out that he has to use his teammates to help the team. He isn't scoring and he turns the puck over. So why would he get more ice time? Because he's a 1st OA pick? Garbage.

At this rate, with an attitude like that, his value will only decrease. This team needs SO MUCH HELP at SO MANY POSITIONS, I'd be working the phones pretty hard if I were MacT.

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#22 oildrops
November 12 2013, 03:02PM
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a lot of the posts are missing props and trashes I hit a prop that said 7 but it was 17.

Yak is awesome, we just need a NHL coach.

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Yak WILL get more ice

Down there in Oklahoma

Off to the minors

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#24 FireKLowe
November 12 2013, 08:15PM
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They fcuked up Shremp, Omark, Paajarvi, and now Yakapov! Good job Oiler management!

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#25 Wäx Män Riley
November 12 2013, 04:52PM
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doubleA34 wrote:

ebs, hall and nuge were all aloud to develop by making mistakes and learning from them the last couple years why should yaks be treated any different. Give him playing time and allow him to develop.

Yak should be treated differently because he isn't the best player on the team like Ebs, Hall, and Nuge were.

Earn your ice time. Earn your spot on the roster.

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#26 Serious Gord
November 12 2013, 02:13PM
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"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."

Very true. And were I the 20 year old with talent running out my ears, I would want as much ice time as possible. While he obviously had a great abbreviated rookie year in the NHL, perhaps he should have been kept down in the AHL for that season. Hindsight is 20:20.

The question now is:

Should he go down to the AHL for the rest of the year where he can get boatloads of ice time and be able to work on his game removed from the limelight (and get a reminder of what no limelight feels like)?

It is notable the contrast between Hockey and the most difficult sport to play - baseball. In baseball it is very common to send players down to AA and AAA for periods of time to work on their game. Even the very best pitchers (halladay) have had it happen.

There is little shame in it in MLB.

Not so much in the NHL.

And that's a shame...

I wonder how Nail would react to such a move?

My guess is that that would very much depend on how management handles it. Looking back on how Lowe has handled similar situations in the past, I would recommend Nail demand a trade immediately and save himself (and fans) the angst and agony.

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#27 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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#28 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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#29 madjam
November 12 2013, 03:59PM
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MacT. and his coach Eakins are of like minds , and Kreuger was not . PROBLEM: Eakins wants players like a MacT. mold , but Eakins has little to no idea of how to mold elite talents . Results prove it , as Kreuger had far more success with developing our elite talents with less of a base . How can tou justify getting rid of Kreuger and then not Eakins ? You can't because Kreuger certainy got more out of them and team than current coach . Rectify it and bring back Kreuger if you want to keep a coach that can better service and motivate our elite talents . Should maybe send MacT. packing with him as well , seeing as it was his oversight ? I don't recall Kreuger blaming the players like current staff seems to be doing in their C.Y.A.( cover your a--) circus of guilty parties .

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#30 Wäx Män Riley
November 12 2013, 04:41PM
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cpetruk wrote:

He's right in that everyone is playing the same defensively as he is. I'd stop short of calling it "good".

I agree, and this is why I still play the vets and experienced players first.

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#31 Jerkmiov
November 12 2013, 02:49PM
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Those are some aggressive journalists working for the Oilers. Or are they working for their respective organizations? Or Both? Either way, the story is already set and Yak will be run out of town.

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#32 ijames93
November 12 2013, 03:08PM
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Honestly, i think Yak needs to settle down and let the coaching staff do their jobs. I think if he wants more ice time he needs to show the drive and determination which justifies more ice time

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#33 Reg Dunlop
November 12 2013, 04:42PM
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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.

More ice time so he can learn? This is the NHL, the AHL is for learning. He deserves? This is the NHL, he deserves nothing beyond the paycheck Larionov negotiated for him. It is what he earns that counts and he has not earned the icetime he wants. Yak is sure to be the real deal? Based on what exactly? Because he was a 1st overall? So was Daigle and Stefan. This public display will only do harm in the oil room. As for Larionov, who does he think he is? Coming here to dictate to the oil mgmt. Like he has some say in how things work here. Tikhonov should have sent him to the salt mines 30 years ago.

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#34 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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#35 Felix
November 12 2013, 09:07PM
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Bring Nikolai Kulemin in. Trade Eberle for Sean Couturier. And I have solved the problem

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#36 aeiouY
November 12 2013, 02:01PM
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easy there YAK. We have your back right now.... but with only 4 wins this year the crowd can shift on you fast.

Slow your roll, and play better. All will be forgiven

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#37 JJ
November 12 2013, 02:42PM
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Remember that one interview last year with Osadchenko when Nail was saying how 'You want to out there and win games just because of Krueger'? How likely is it that he'll say the same about Eakins?

I think Dallas has lost the dressing room. Fire this bastard, get him out of Edmonton. He can't get the best out of his players like Krueger did so he should be out. Krueger was NOT the problem, too bad he was let go despite the improvements.

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#39 Cold Hard Truth
November 12 2013, 03:52PM
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MGMT should do the right and trade him to a team that will utilize him properly. The oilers could get a great asset in return. But alas, with this management in place, expect the worse.

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#40 Shaun
November 12 2013, 03:55PM
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Yakupov needs to play more minutes with the top two lines and develop his offensive game the defence will come

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#41 pkam
November 12 2013, 03:59PM
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doubleA34 wrote:

ebs, hall and nuge were all aloud to develop by making mistakes and learning from them the last couple years why should yaks be treated any different. Give him playing time and allow him to develop.

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.

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#42 Wäx Män Riley
November 12 2013, 04:58PM
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Clarko wrote:

Ya...because a Canadian kid has never felt entitled. That Lindros kid dug down deep and played hard for the Nordiques despite not wanting to play there...

you are correct sir.

Also, Lindros acted like a spoiled, entitled, D-bag, and the entire hockey world knows this.

Yak is also not a 6'4", 230lb moster center with a mean streak that scored 149pts in 57 OHL games, and he also hasn't scored 41 goals and 75 points in his first 61 NHL games.

When Yak does that, he can mouth off all he wants, until then, grow up and understand this is a marathon and not a sprint. Nobody owes you anything.

P.S.

Your point stands though, that it has nothing to do with the "Russian thing."

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#43 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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#44 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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#45 Crimson Steel
November 12 2013, 03:17PM
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What ever happened to taking what you get and making the most of it. Play so damn well that the coach has no choice but have you on ice. No one likes a whinny cry baby. The give it to me attitude before I earn it is causing the mess we call Oilers.

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#46 DSF
November 12 2013, 08:19PM
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Butters wrote:

Nah, the Oilers would have ruined Galchenyuk too.

Maybe.

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#47 BleedOil4Life
November 12 2013, 08:31PM
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@FireKLowe

Ok the funny thing about your comment is this

robbie Schremp went to the islanders and did absolutely nothing everyone knew that he couldnt skate

omark is trash no matter what....no other team wants him

Magnus was traded to get a solid player back in perron.

yakupov has just started

so...get your head outta your ass

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#48 Slyers
November 12 2013, 09:15PM
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smiliegirl15 wrote:

Ask Sheldon Souray how well speaking out against management works.

Yak doesn't think he played badly? I think he needs to watch some tape, quit comparing his game to anyone else's and remember what he's getting paid for. His effort sucks a lot of the time. He gives up on the puck if he thinks he can't get and it happens all too often.

You want ice time Yak, prove you DESERVE ice time. Stop acting like an entitled brat.

The fact that you have 16 trashes just shows how many people today have this same sense of entitlement. This is truly sad. In the oiler glory years Mess and Lowe would have had Yak sharting himself. Hard to watch this primadona act this way, and then others in this former city of champs defend him. The city Of Edmonton I grew up in would never have tolerated this type of behaviour.... And that is maybe one small reason our young guns turned out to be the special players and people they were.

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#49 Randaman
November 12 2013, 02:38PM
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First line: Hall, RNH, Yak. Speed on the left, playmaking in the center and a pure shooter on the right. No brainer for me. It's not like Ebs deserves to be there anyway. Its worth a shot considering the chemistry Hall & Yak had at the end of last year.

Avatar
#50 Harlie
November 12 2013, 07:23PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
+1
4
props

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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