ULTIMATE RESPECT TO THE YAK

Wanye
April 28 2013 10:28PM

Nail Yakupov has impressed the socks right off my feet this season. Seriously, they are gone. I have no idea where their ultimate destination will be but they were last seen heading to the horizon at an incredible speed.

YEAR ONE IN THE CAN

Look at the stats for yak at the end of his first season. Leads the team in goals after pumping 11 past the poor tendys in the final 14 games. And even more impressively he did it with little help. With most of his teammates hit a wall doing about 2 km/h with a dozen games left the kid just kept scoring and scoring and scoring.

And celebrating like a King.

As Willis and Stauffer pointed out earlier today:

Is Yakupov riding a hot streak or has he continued to iterate like Skynet and is getting smarter by the day? It will take a few more seasons to be sure but his late season surge has certainly given us excellent fuel for our annual "This is why the Oilers will dominate" line of thinking that plagues us all each off season.

THE BIG FOUR IN YEAR ONE 

Look at the rookie seasons of the big four. Only the Princely Nuge posted a better PPG than Hall/Yakupov who somehow tied in their inaugural campaigns. But Yakupov gets the GPG title, when he accustomed himself to the NHL pace of play he found a second gear that saw him blow past basically everyone - both on the OIlers and in the Calder Trophy scoring race. His compete level gained steam as the season ran out of gas and the goals poured in.

Yakupov is going to be a massive - if not the biggest - piece of the team next year I'd wager and he has been arguably the highlight this year too. If there are 3 highlights to the 2013 Lockout Shortened Disaster they have to be Yak sliding across Rexall Ice and showing the three regal fingers in the air like he just don't care after his hatty. The third highlight was the absolute obliteration of the Flames 8-2. Oh Flames. How screwed are you guys this offseason?

IT'S ALL BRAND NEW TO ME

In his first year as an Oiler Yakupov has done some really interesting things I have never seen despite my 24/7 obsession with the Oilers since I was old enough to work the remote control. Firstly this business of kissing the Oilers crest when he scores is intoxicating. Long a play for footballers around the world it shows some real panache and respect for the logo. Think you would have seen Robbie Schremp planting one on his jersey post goal?

Please.

Secondly we love Yak's cellys despite the flack he has taken from commentators and opposing players alike. His glass smashing antics aren't coming from a place of cockiness or showboating. Instead it seems to be pure joy - joy to be playing in the best league in the world. Joy to be able to smash into the glass at 100 mph and know the fans are smashing back from the other side. Joy to be potting goals for the Edmonton Oilers.

That everyone should be chucking up threes.

Finally one of 64's first moves as a man on Kay-Z's payroll was to bring his Mom and Sisters to town to live.That's not exactly something we have seen around these parts during the past generation is it? Right out of the gate the kid has made Edmonton his family home.

Crazy.

Nail Yakupov is a legend in the making. There is no other possible outcome.

Big ups to @JustinBruyere for the brilliant instagram treatment on the opening pic of this article.

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Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#1 Eddie Shore
April 28 2013, 10:31PM
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Kid's a f*cking beauty (mom agrees).

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#2 mike
April 28 2013, 10:35PM
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Good read

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#3 Matt Henderson
April 28 2013, 10:36PM
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This kid is the real deal and a superstar in the making. If he was a Canadian we would call his off ice personality the "Aw shucks" farm kid type but put him on ice and he's a dynamo and his unbridled passion infects everyone who dares look upon it.

This kid could be one of the faces of the NHL one day.

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#4 Geoff
April 28 2013, 10:38PM
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Funnily enough when we draft Yak at the time he was looked at as an unnecessary overabundance of wealth. Now he is going to be as important as Hall is!!

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#5 Muji
April 28 2013, 11:00PM
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Geoff wrote:

Funnily enough when we draft Yak at the time he was looked at as an unnecessary overabundance of wealth. Now he is going to be as important as Hall is!!

I know hey!? The more good players your team has, even if some of these good players are INSANELY great, the better your team. Crazy logic! I bet Tamby is still perplexed by it.

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#6 mc79hockey
April 28 2013, 11:03PM
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Crazy thing about Yak is that Canadians used to sniff that the Soviets were all hockey playing robots who lacked our passion. Now, the USSR is cranking out guys who decidedly aren't hockey playing robots and Canadians sniff that they're unprofessional.

Get over it, Canada. All are welcome in #YakCity.

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#7 EbbieSmalls
April 28 2013, 11:06PM
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Love the 11-1 score in the last picture.

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#8 The Towel Boy
April 28 2013, 11:22PM
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Gotta admit...I was "meh" about Yak when the Oilers drafted him...but he pretty much had me at a mancrush Level 5 after Yakupoving vs. LA, Level 8 after seeing how excited he gets when he scores, Level 10 after kissing the logo and to Level 11 after the flashing the "tres".

This kid just loves hockey and loves to score goals and it's fantastic.

YakCity...BOOM!

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#9 Butters
April 28 2013, 11:33PM
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Wanye, where is YAK4CALDER video? Jeanshorts and Baggedmilk are on this project now, right?

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#10 Butters
April 28 2013, 11:44PM
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Also cool, Yakupov thanked the Oilers for drafting him during one of his intermission interviews.

YakCity

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#11 striker777
April 28 2013, 11:56PM
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This kid loves to score goals. His chemustry with Hall is undeniable, but I would love to see him on RW and Nichushkin on LW centered by RNH. This would be one sick line.

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#12 Wax Man Riley
April 28 2013, 11:58PM
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This kid is a player for sure. That line with him and Hall was scary. If only there was a center to go between them... a first overall would be cool...

*Runs to Oilers website to see if they have a 1st overall center*

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#13 Wax Man Riley
April 28 2013, 11:59PM
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And props to all from Yak City!

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#14 NewAgeSys
April 28 2013, 11:59PM
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I was sold on day one.Ovie look out,you are going to be know as the next best Russian very very soon and I believe Yak will outscore you in his career.

I think he can pot 50 if given consistant linemates and PP time for 82 games.

This guy is his own animal man,he is terminal,he is lethal,he is Nail"The Sandman'Yakupov--he puts them right to sleep every night!!

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#15 Wax Man Riley
April 29 2013, 12:05AM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

I was sold on day one.Ovie look out,you are going to be know as the next best Russian very very soon and I believe Yak will outscore you in his career.

I think he can pot 50 if given consistant linemates and PP time for 82 games.

This guy is his own animal man,he is terminal,he is lethal,he is Nail"The Sandman'Yakupov--he puts them right to sleep every night!!

Sorry, you don't get props :(

Nail "The Sandman"???

Puts them to sleep??

Nail "The Human Torch" Would have been better... lighting them up.

Nail "The lightning Rod" Feel the electricity!

Nail "The Hammer" Pounds the one-timer

I'll stick with YAK CITY BIIIIAAAAATTTCCCHHH(do people still say biatch?)

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#16 David S
April 29 2013, 12:11AM
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Butters wrote:

Wanye, where is YAK4CALDER video? Jeanshorts and Baggedmilk are on this project now, right?

I could be wrong but Jeanshorts tweeted the other night he was working on something HUGE. Dude is a magician with the video makin' skillz.

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#17 bumboclate
April 29 2013, 12:21AM
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if yak played a full season would his ppg be better than nuge?

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#19 dixs35
April 29 2013, 12:44AM
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still one of my favorite moments was his goal against PHX IIRC. The gifs were classic. It's good goal, come hug. Just a beauty.

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#20 Death Metal Nightmare
April 29 2013, 02:56AM
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mc79hockey wrote:

Crazy thing about Yak is that Canadians used to sniff that the Soviets were all hockey playing robots who lacked our passion. Now, the USSR is cranking out guys who decidedly aren't hockey playing robots and Canadians sniff that they're unprofessional.

Get over it, Canada. All are welcome in #YakCity.

agree with this 100%. its about time its said.

or for all non-Canadians, "the realization that over against God [oops, i mean: Canadian Media Deities] we are always in the wrong"

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#21 messyEH!
April 29 2013, 03:36AM
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Wayne, somewhere a little piece of Jordan Eberle's heart has broken... sigh...

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#23 Walter Sobchak
April 29 2013, 05:56AM
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~ I know! lets trade him for some coke machine and spare parts!~

Kid's a bloody rock star!

#Yakcity4calder

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#24 michael
April 29 2013, 07:52AM
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Would Yakupov's presence on the Oiler's make the KHL factor moot if they draft Nichushkin? Would playing with Yak be enough to make him put aside thoughts of the KHL.

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#25 Sox and Oil
April 29 2013, 08:56AM
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Heaven forbid a kid loves playing the game and likes Edmonton of all places...

QUICK LETS BURN HIS HOUSE AND RUN HIM OUT OF TOWN

Btw Draft Lottery Tonight! Last Oilers game of the season. My wish list

1. Oilers Win 2. Tampa or Florida Win (Keep Popeye Jr on the east coast) 3. EatSh!TFlames

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#26 Racki
April 29 2013, 09:01AM
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Huh. The fact that Yakupov led the team in goals completely eluded me, until this post.

Even without his goal scoring prowess, I really like Yakupov. He's a good kid who has a tremendous love for the game, in an Ovechkin-style. I just hope the team doesn't try their best to siphon the fun out of him. He is the first one on the ice, last one off in practice, kind of guy, and you can tell he loves nothing more than playing hockey, scoring goals, and hearing the fans. Who wouldn't love that kind of player on their team?

BTW, Yak seems to be finding some good chemistry with a couple players.. he and Hall were magic together, and it seems maybe he and Paajarvi could be too. And having Horcoff out there on his shifts might also be doing him some good - "I love playing with my captain".

Also, for a moment there, I thought Yak was throwing up gang signs, instead of a 3... *makes Y gang-sign with fingers*

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#27 Eulers
April 29 2013, 09:03AM
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Yakupov is fast becoming my favourite player. I have been so impressed by his maturity and groundedness in his interview with Audrey. Lately, I've been impressed with Krueger's tales of Yakupov putting in the maximum effort to improve himself daily. I know players with half his talent that were content to put in the minimum effort (Robert Nilsson comes to mind). What a special kid!

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#28 Serious Gord
April 29 2013, 09:04AM
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So, now the consensus regarding the top two lines is thus: Hall, RNH and Yak are stone cold locks.

Eberle? Moves from SCL to trade bait if the right deal can be made.

Hemsky who? What a crap contract Tambo signed him to. Buy him down and trade him (let's see if Katz really will put his money where his mouth is)

Gagner. Clearly no consensus on him. Small, lousy on defense - dime a dozen - not what teams want to go deep in the playoffs. MacT - according to rischaug loves him. Needs to be dealt - probably wont be.

So, 3.5 to 4 of the six are set. Getting to first liners of the type the oil needs is not going to be easy especially if significant treasure is going to also be needed to get one or two dmen and there's lots of holes to fill on lines three and four.

God they are a long long way away from elite status...

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#29 Ducey
April 29 2013, 09:12AM
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Mark Spector's latest column says:

And as the hats flew, and Nail Yakupov typically over-celebrated a meaningless hat trick in a meaningless game, Luongo – judging by Luongo’s body language – appeared to be seething.

Can someone take away this idiot's press pass?

I guess Yak trying to entertain everyone at the Rex or being excited about his first hatty should be condemned.

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#30 Racki
April 29 2013, 09:18AM
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oh man, people are considering Eberle trade bait way too early, in my opinion. Mind you, I was wrong (I suppose? Maybe not, since he's doing decently in Anaheim) about Cogliano and we traded him too late.

I'd be "OK" with moving Ebs if he helped get us a very good asset (ex. a big player with 2-way talent), but I think his struggles this year were mostly due to the broken finger. I don't think he'll continue to fire at 19% again, but I think he's a core player that should be held on to. People are getting quickly enamored with Yak and taking an "out with the old, in with the new" mentality way too soon.. before the new car smell is even gone.

Eberle has proven before that, while he is small, his size isn't an issue. He's clutch.. he scores big goals. I'm not sure why many people seem so willing to give him up already.

Guys that we should hang on to (except in a huge deal that benefits us a lot): Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Yakupov, Schultz, Smid.

You need more than one scoring line in this league. Eberle is not at all expendable.

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#31 Aspin
April 29 2013, 09:20AM
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Thank goodness Gregor and Brownlee are not the GM or we would have a third and possibly second line grinder in Clarkson and New Jersey would have one of the most dynamic forwards in the NHL in NJ.

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#32 book¡e
April 29 2013, 09:28AM
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If any of you have LT's email address or can DM him - his webpage is down - GoDaddy says he forgot to renew.

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#33 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
April 29 2013, 09:31AM
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I refuse to get to high on Yakupov. management will inevitably do something to alienate him and make him demand a trade. Kid has WAY too much personality for the oilers.

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#34 book¡e
April 29 2013, 09:32AM
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Remember when you used to like Eberle. What were you thinking. I hope Yak can forgive you.

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#35 smiliegirl15
April 29 2013, 09:33AM
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I love Yak's unbridled joy at every goal he scores. From his 4 seconds left in the game goal to his final game hattrick, who cares if he celebrates? Why shouldn't he? He's scored a goal in the NHL! If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it and we'd all be in the playoffs.

Aspin - it was a completely hypothetical what-if scenario, not a "we should do this".

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#36 Minister D-
April 29 2013, 09:37AM
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@mc79hockey

I think E. over at "A Theory of Ice" is working on a longer project that has to do with this very observation; I can't wait to read it.

You can add at least one more layer to this narrative of cultural role reversal: the same Canadians who descry lack of professionalism in today's Russians often flat-out contradict themselves by simultaneously pining for the 'good 'ol days' or 'old-fashioned Canadian hockey.'

Yak's a fantastic hockey player with a great future as an Oiler, but he may also be more than that. Like Ovie, I think he's going to test/challenge a lot of assumptions about the way the game is 'supposed' to be played and how players are 'supposed' to behave. And we shouldn't want it any other way.

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#37 Milli
April 29 2013, 09:42AM
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Ya, this kid is fun to watch! And sour Grapes, go eat some godamn PRUNES and get used to it, because YAKCITY is gonna score and celey alot more next year!!!!! YAK FOR CALDER!!!!!!

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#38 Oiler Al
April 29 2013, 10:00AM
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The second coming of Datsyuk!. Find a stud center to play between Hall and Yak and you will have the makings of one of the strongest lines in the NHL...

Keep RNH and Eberle together , perhaps with Pajaarvi on the left side, or another stud left winger with some wheels and grit. [ Pajarrvi has great wheels and size, but lacks grit and not the best hockey hands around the net.

As much as I like Gagner , I think he has to be on the trading block. Hemsky, this experiment was over 4 years ago.

Everybody else.. see ya!., Including Snorcoff and Smyth,, who's kidding who here.. They are not part of the solution here.. only standing in the way for bigger, faster, grittier players.

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#39 The Soup Fascist
April 29 2013, 10:12AM
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Thank God (or Allah, Yahweh, Baha'i, Jehovah, Shiva .... plus anyone I may have missed) for Yak.

He was one of the few rays of sunshine in an otherwise cold, dark last-for-f'ing-ever winter / hockey season.

It is really nice to see a player who does wear his heart on his sleeve and - more importantly - to whom the game means something. It was very cool to see him mature throughout the year and get more comfortable on the ice, stand up for himself (because heaven knows most of these other pantywaists who bill themselves as "veterans, surely won't) and show some moxie out there.

The best part of Oil Change was Yak asking one of the training staff if he could step foot on Rexall ice and then pausing before he actually did, to look at the banners and retired numbers with awe and respect that could not be feigned.

Let him celebrate all he wants. We need about a dozen more guys with passion for the game. The kid is a part of the solution here ... no question.

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#40 Quicksilver ballet
April 29 2013, 10:33AM
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Ryan Rishaug made a good point this morning. Many of the ballots for the Calder may have been cast before Nail finished his season with a bang.

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#41 The Soup Fascist
April 29 2013, 10:35AM
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Ducey wrote:

Mark Spector's latest column says:

And as the hats flew, and Nail Yakupov typically over-celebrated a meaningless hat trick in a meaningless game, Luongo – judging by Luongo’s body language – appeared to be seething.

Can someone take away this idiot's press pass?

I guess Yak trying to entertain everyone at the Rex or being excited about his first hatty should be condemned.

Certainly there are a lot of true professionals in the racket who are great writers and actually know the game. Others who are great writers that don't know a forecheck from a coat check and yet others who let their own biases effect the product - as a columnist that is encouraged, as a reporter that is unprofessional.

Spector is a columnist and therefore is expected to give his own slant - misguided or biased as you or I may think. Basically, if he is being talked about - good or bad - he is doing his job.

At the end of the day, there are two things that ALL of these guys know - the best bars on the road and what time the buffet line opens in the press box (tooth pick Brownlee, excepted).

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#42 Scawtty
April 29 2013, 10:38AM
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Having a personality like Yak > Having 2 robots named Sedin

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#43 oilers2k10
April 29 2013, 10:48AM
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Butters wrote:

Also cool, Yakupov thanked the Oilers for drafting him during one of his intermission interviews.

YakCity

Am I over the top when I think it's time to rename the city of Edmonton To "YakCity?" I think NOT! Oh behave!

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#44 The Soup Fascist
April 29 2013, 10:50AM
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Scawtty wrote:

Having a personality like Yak > Having 2 robots named Sedin

By the way ..... and way off topic ..... Henrik Sedin stepping off the bench and twirling back to the dressing room after one shift is the definition of bush-league.

It makes a travesty of the game and the definition of an "iron man". The individual and team should be embarassed.

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#45 madjam
April 29 2013, 11:04AM
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How difficult will it be to get Nicushkin to play here or in NHL after just getting a trade to Moscow for $10M . That's something to Yak about seeing as tonite we might win the Lottery Draft .

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#46 Spydyr
April 29 2013, 11:25AM
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Nail Yakupov Named NHL Rookie of the Month for April

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#47 Will
April 29 2013, 11:53AM
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If this is what they mean by "the Russian factor" then I think we need more of it. I think if we are going to draft Nischkinen, we would have to be in talks with him first to see if he wants to play here on this team.

I really like how Yak brought his family here, that is just class. Not since Smyth has a player been so instantly ready to embrace this city.

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#48 Will
April 29 2013, 12:14PM
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Maybe Nishkinen will go undrafted as he tells people he is not willing to play here, so we use a late round pick on him for his rights, then in a few years he decides, you know what, maybe I will go play for that team for a while, and we end up with him and someone else at the draft.

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#49 Rocknrolla
April 29 2013, 12:30PM
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All I gotta say is this kids values, heart, and work ethic are top level. He will be the best of the bunch.

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#50 OILTIMER
April 29 2013, 12:43PM
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Just reading this post when my stickers came

yo ! ... GO OIL

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