THE WAY I SEE IT: WHAT ABOUT NAIL?

Robin Brownlee
April 21 2014 10:37PM

Dallas Eakins 5

The bottom line is it doesn’t matter much that Anton Belov didn't want to return for a second season with the Edmonton Oilers as long as Dallas Eakins was the coach here, opting instead to sign with SKA in Russia.

Belov, who arrived in Edmonton after being named the KHL's best defensemen the previous season, didn't go into detail in comments to Russian reporter Pavel Lysenkov, as noted earlier today in an item by Jonathan Willis, but he did point a finger at Eakins.

"There is no one reason that made it an abrupt change," Belov said. "It all was building up during the season, especially more so after the Olympics. And the hire of coach Bykov (by SKA) was also an influence. The other point is that I could have re-signed with Edmonton, but I didn’t want to stay with that coach (Eakins)

In what can only be described as a sometimes-up-often-down season, Belov was an inconsistent and often mistake-prone player unable to command ice time with a defensive corps lacking both quality and depth. Was Belov worth having back? Sure. Is his departure a big loss? No.

That Belov clearly had issues with Eakins – be it a personality clash or a beef about how he was used -- isn’t a big deal. I'm much more interested in seeing if Eakins and Nail Yakupov can get on the same page going into next season because if they don't, well, that is a big deal. Way more at stake.

SOPHOMORE GONE SIDEWAYS

64-Yakupov-4

After scoring 17 goals and tallying 31 points in 48 games (.65 PPG) as a rookie last season under coach Ralph Krueger, Yakupov went sideways this season under Eakins, finishing with 11 goals and 24 points (.38 PPG) in 63 games before an ankle injury put him out.

Yakupov, 20, saw his ice time drop from 15:34 under Krueger to 14:19 under Eakins, with his power-play time dipping slightly from 2:28 to 2:10. How, when and with whom Yakupov was deployed by Eakins was questioned by agent Igor Larionov during the season.

More than once this season, Yakupov appeared frustrated and seemed at odds with Eakins. By the end of the season it was almost as if he'd mentally checked out. I'm not the only one who has made that observation. I'd be surprised if Larionov doesn't plan on getting back on the telephone with GM Craig MacTavish this off-season to re-visit what's happening with his client.

I've taken a few runs at Yakupov for being too individualistic and not working as diligently as he could at all aspects of his game, particularly his defensive play. He's a work-in-progress, sometimes a frustrating one at that. It comes with the territory when you're talking about a 20-year-old.

MEETING OF THE MINDS

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Despite some obvious shortcomings at this stage of Yakupov's young career, I think Eakins has to take some of the blame for this sideways season – a fair amount, actually. Did Eakins give Yakupov the best possible opportunity to succeed in terms of how he was used and where he was used? No and no.

Did Yakupov contribute to the problem by withdrawing or sulking when things didn’t go his way? It seemed so. Did Eakins dig in his heels and insist things be done his way, as coaches are prone to do? Yes. Simply put, the way I see it, Eakins and Yakupov both have their stubborn streaks.

In the end, splitting the blame whatever way you see it doesn’t really matter. What does matter, and the challenge for Eakins, is that he finds a way to get on the same page with Yakupov. If that doesn’t happen, he risks losing the player and having Yakupov check out for good, and we're talking about a first overall pick here, not a fringe blueliner.

If that happens – nobody has told me we're at that point yet – and Larionov picks up the telephone and tells MacTavish his client wants out, Eakins will have a big problem, vote of confidence from the GM or not. The way I see it, Eakins and Yakupov better have a meaningful sit-down before Larionov and MacTavish do. Over to you, coach.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 Ed in Edmonton
April 22 2014, 08:58AM
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v4ance wrote:

Belov was a UFA and could have signed with any NHL team. The inference that I make is that his agent asked around and found no NHL clubs offering what KHL clubs were willing to pay in term and dollars.

It was an easy decision for Belov to return to the KHL. His take home pay is probably tripled compared to any NHL offers, he and his family are more familiar & comfortable in his homeland and he knows & understands and likes his coach in Russia.

Of the 3 factors of pay, lifestyle and coach that caused him to re-sign in the KHL, the issues with Eakins were probably third on that list. It sucks that he was one of the factors but he wasn't the top issue that caused the departure.

I agree that if Belov's issue was just Eakins he wouldn't have signed in the KHL at this time. He would have tested the NHL offers after July 1. However he received a better offer in St. Pete that he would have gotten from any NHl team, so his decision makes a lot or sense with or without Eakins.

Having said that, yet another ex-oiler making comments that are less than flattering of Eakins can't be ignored. If Belov was the outlier that would be one thing, but it seems that most ex-Oilers feel that they need to say something.

P.S. Stop with the BS about Eakins NHL experience having any bearing on his ability as a coach. How well did Scotty Bowman, Mike Babcockand Ken Hitchcock do as NHLs players? I'm not saying Eakins has done anything to inspire confidence as an NHL head coach, but saying that because he did not excel as an NHL players somehow disqualifies his as an NHL coach is just stupid.

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#52 OilDieHard
April 22 2014, 08:59AM
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Loweblows wrote:

Why does MacT have to make tough decisions? According to him everything is well and on track. Nothing to see here folks.

and he's a typical manager....passing the blame off, like he did when he endorsed Bucky and Smith, almost daring Eakins to change those 2 freeloaders! if Eakins were to replace those 2 from the "old boys club", he'd not even last the season next year if the Oilers got off to another rocky start.

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#53 Cold Hard Truth
April 22 2014, 09:00AM
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MacTavish's presser confirmed what I already suspected about him -- he's clueless. Plenty more losing to come.

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#54 2004Z06
April 22 2014, 09:24AM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

WHILE WE ARE PICKING ON EAKINS

Eakins played 120 games in the NHL and scored ZERO goals. I know he was a defenceman, but still...come on...zero goals. BTW, the NHL record for most career games played in the NHL without a goal is 155 games by someone named Steven Halko.

So, objectively speaking, in terms of offence, amoung thousands of men who played NHL hockey, Eakins is once of the worst of all time.

And how many NHL games did Mike Babcock play? How about Ken Hitchcock? Has no bearing whatsoever on his ability to coach a hockey team.

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#55 Sorensenator
April 22 2014, 09:28AM
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Yakupov is a dust bucket

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#56 2004Z06
April 22 2014, 09:28AM
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We give rookie players all the slack in the world under the excuse that hey....it's their first year, they are learning.

Yet so eager to throw the rookie NHL coach under the bus after one season because you don't like his hair, or how he handles a press conference.

Dallas Eakins may turn out to be a great coach, or a crappy one, but one season with marginal NHL'ers and a handful of spoiled kids with less than 150 games under their belts is not an accurate measuring stick. In the words of the stats guys, "not a large enough sample size."

Let's wait and see what he can do with a real hockey team. You're up Mac T.

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#57 Dave #
April 22 2014, 09:29AM
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But "Matty" says that Belov's comments are just sour grapes. Could be, but did we hear such comments about Krueger ? How can a reporter dismiss these comments out of hand.

Another embedded hockey reporter ?

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#58 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
April 22 2014, 09:30AM
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@Jason

"He has something against foreign and Muslim players, he insulted and pissed off Kadri in AHL. Now Eakins is doing it to Yakupov over there."

I trashed you for your assumption that Eakins is Islamophobic. I don't see any reason why you can take the Kadri and Yakupov situation and extrapolate that to racism.

Most of the other stuff I could agree with.

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#59 LOIL99
April 22 2014, 09:36AM
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Andrew wrote:

With all of this disfunctional nonsense going on how do you season ticket holders feel about this? If I were staring at a blank cheque and considering writing a 6 figure amount on it I have to say I'd be weighing my options very carefully.

Eakins made mention, after being baptized on the bench by Taylor Hall, how he had had many more screaming matches with other players over such minor issues. He is apparently no stranger to conflict. His reaction to an unintentional act was way the hell over the top. Can anyone see anger issues here?

If there is this much confusion and controversy visible from the outside fan's perspective what in hell is going on out of our sight? Enough apparently to overflow into public view. Just a thought...

LOL 6 figures? How much exactly do you think Oilers season tickets cost! 6 figures haha.

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#60 pelhem grenville
April 22 2014, 09:43AM
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Sorensenator wrote:

Yakupov is a dust bucket

...dust bucket

can you give context and with that I can maybe get what dust bucket means when the words are used when describing Yakupov?

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#61 LOIL99
April 22 2014, 09:44AM
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For those saying that season ticket holders will stop buying tickets, you are wrong. This was the worst season for ticket resale in the 6 years I have owned tickets (have 3 pairs as an investment) but.....I still made 20% ROI. Oilers management is lucky in that they don't have to ice a quality product to make top dollar in Edmonton. Very much like the Leafs.

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#62 WONGER
April 22 2014, 09:47AM
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What about BIG STEVE MACINTYRE!!!! Great send off Saturday night in his final Pro Game!!!! Captain for the night, shot first in the shootout( still pissed at Mrs. Wonger for saying he can't do shootouts because he needs his stick to keep him upright when he skates) and named first star of the game!!! A GREAT SEND OFF FOR A GREAT GUY AND THE MOST UNSELFISH TEAMMATE TO EVER PLAY THIS GREAT GAME!!!! Only dressed for 11 games in OKC this season but never moaned or bitched once!!! Anton Lander described him as a father figure for every one on the team! Only 5 fights in the last 3 years because no one is dumb enough to fight him anymore!!! I wish more "skilled, multi-millionaire,prima-donnas" could adopt 50% of his team first focus and dedicaton to the game!!!!!!! WILL MISS YOU GREATLY BIG STEVIE, BUT GLAD YOU WERE PART OF MY FAVOURITE ORGANIZATION - THE OILERS - THREE TIMES!!!!!! ALL THE BEST TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!! THE WONGER!

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#63 Ryan2
April 22 2014, 09:52AM
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LOIL99 wrote:

For those saying that season ticket holders will stop buying tickets, you are wrong. This was the worst season for ticket resale in the 6 years I have owned tickets (have 3 pairs as an investment) but.....I still made 20% ROI. Oilers management is lucky in that they don't have to ice a quality product to make top dollar in Edmonton. Very much like the Leafs.

Katz has the new arena as the hook for keeping season ticket holders in line for now. Based on the number of empty seats on all levels at a couple of late season games I went to, they were a couple thousand (or more) shy of a full building. It reminded me of the mid 90s low when I was in university and would by nosebleed tickets then move to the lower bowl midway through the 1st period. I saw some people doing the same at these two games as well........

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#64 Andrew
April 22 2014, 09:55AM
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LOIL99 wrote:

LOL 6 figures? How much exactly do you think Oilers season tickets cost! 6 figures haha.

Read the correction below that post or can you read? FYVMuch.

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#65 ONTARIO OILERS FAN
April 22 2014, 09:59AM
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Here we go again. Another article about hypothetics. If we had a team that was managed with competence we'd be talking about how we are doing in the present playoffs series against, say,LA. Another long summer of what ifs.....

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#66 Fresh Mess
April 22 2014, 10:01AM
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@WONGER

Wonger FEELING it. Wonger always delivers the goods.

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#67 Fish
April 22 2014, 10:03AM
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When you're new and perhaps a little in overhead it's pretty common to dig in your heals and over compensate by telling the world you have it under control. Fake it til you make it mentality. Its a my way or the highway mentality because you're perhaps not comfortable enough with your own competency to allow for outside influences or adjustments. You fear projecting the fact that you don't know what you're doing.

We see a coaching staff in Detroit that openly states (on Gregors Show) that he takes players advice, learns things from his best players, implements those things, and then teaches the things superstars show their coaches to the rest of the team. That is a coach that is comfortable enough with his skills to allow for input. He doesn't need to project that he has all the answers because he smart enough to know that no one man has all of the answers. That is a coach that grows and makes everyone around him better. Eakins needs to steal a page from play book.

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#68 LOIL99
April 22 2014, 10:04AM
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Andrew wrote:

Read the correction below that post or can you read? FYVMuch.

My apologies. I usually read all 150 comments and then go back to the ones I would like to reply to rather than replying as I read them...

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#69 Quicksilver ballet
April 22 2014, 10:12AM
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I've taken a few runs at Yakupov for being too individualistic and not working as diligently as he could at all aspects of his game, particularly his defensive play.

________________________________________________________________________________

I think this can be said about all impact players earlier on in their careers. I hope Nail is no different than some of this leagues brighter lights. Show me a guy who sells tickets in this league, and was strong defensively from day 1 in his career, and i'll show you a guy who never scored a goal during his illustrious NHL career (Dallas Eakins).

Should get interesting though, with the line in the sand (new building coming). When will fanboy Katz cut his losses and finally put this team in the hands of a capable management group. The 3 Stooges made one heck of a mess last season. I hope the Yakupov trade demand hasn't already happened with MacTavish doubling down on Eakins to wash out next season as well. That may be behind Ferraros it's going to get worse before it gets better statement.

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#70 Sorensenator
April 22 2014, 10:31AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...dust bucket

can you give context and with that I can maybe get what dust bucket means when the words are used when describing Yakupov?

Means he is terrible at all aspects of life; just because you can skate and shoot doesn't mean you are good hockey player...he has rocks between his ears.

Its only Game... Why you hef to be mad????

Watch the Oiler waste a spot on the top six for Yakupov over the next two or three years only to eventually trade him.... Lowe and Katz - "Well I guess that didn't work out very well, I guess he always wanted to play for SKA in the KHL"

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#71 YFC Prez
April 22 2014, 10:35AM
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Sorensenator wrote:

Yakupov is a dust bucket

I don't think that term means what you think it means. In hockey terms.

Stortini was a dust bucket.

Smac was a dust bucket.

Basically designated face puncher who can't skate or play worth a cr@p. Like Yak or not this term doesn't come close to describing the player.

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#72 Quicksilver ballet
April 22 2014, 10:37AM
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Anton Belov. Apologies Anton, your first impression of the NHL was on one of the shippyest organizations ever. Piloted by an incompetent coaching staff and management group. It's a little unfair to single you out when all of your teammates struggled mightily at times this past season as well.

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#73 pelhem grenville
April 22 2014, 10:39AM
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oof...if we were playing 'say, L.A.' we'd have finished 5th overall in the NHL...where San Jose finished...now we're talking hypotheticals

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#74 pelhem grenville
April 22 2014, 10:45AM
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'...Means he is terrible at all aspects of life'...

what a harsh terrible thing to say! ... why YOU hef to be so mad Doug?

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#75 Will
April 22 2014, 10:52AM
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Meh, I don't really care that much if the players like the coach, as long as the team wins. And it might not be the worst thing in the world for Yak to get traded at low value. It would force Mac T to overpay on a free agent that might actually shake up the look of the top six.

There are no sacred cows in hockey. There are only assets that can make your team better or worse.

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#76 Sorensenator
April 22 2014, 10:53AM
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I think most of you are delusional about Yakupov because you can't stomach a #1 overall pick being a failure.

Maybe he would have been a good #1 elsewhere but we have two #1's ahead of him that are wayyyyyyyyyyyyy better. It makes him obsolete.

This is the Achilles heal of all Oiler fans and the organization - you keep hoping it will turn out and get better and this is exactly how you feel about Yakupov.

I felt the same about Gagner and it has taken 7 years for the majority of people to agree it is time to part ways with him.

I think a reality check is in order.

I guarantee you if the top six remains the same with Yakupov included, they will be drafting top 5 next year no question. They ain't getting a stud defensemen because #1 teams are not going to give him away, #2 MacT will not part with Hall, Nuge, and Ebs, and # 3 they won't sign here anyways.

Oh I'm sorry, you might get an Andrew Ference equivalent who is a 4-5 d man at best.

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#77 pelhem grenville
April 22 2014, 11:04AM
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Doug ...straighten your bib there bub...the failure with 64 is he's being badly coached/ handled/developed...y'can't be obsolete at his age even if he has two first overalls ahead of him...that's just the way time works...there is order and your sense of order is badly skewed...I have said he would be great trade bait but really, you must keep quiet about how you guarantee the oilers will be drafting top 5 again because this player is so bad...the team won't get anything for him...jus shhhhush K?

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#78 Sorensenator
April 22 2014, 11:10AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

Doug ...straighten your bib there bub...the failure with 64 is he's being badly coached/ handled/developed...y'can't be obsolete at his age even if he has two first overalls ahead of him...that's just the way time works...there is order and your sense of order is badly skewed...I have said he would be great trade bait but really, you must keep quiet about how you guarantee the oilers will be drafting top 5 again because this player is so bad...the team won't get anything for him...jus shhhhush K?

You want to be patient with him, I don't. This team does not have the luxury to be patient any longer, they need results now.

The Oilers have drafted top 6, 5 years in a row, I think I have a good chance at being right for one more year as long as this organization stays in this direction.

So no I won't keep quiet, because deep down you know it's true.

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#79 Quicksilver ballet
April 22 2014, 11:12AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

Doug ...straighten your bib there bub...the failure with 64 is he's being badly coached/ handled/developed...y'can't be obsolete at his age even if he has two first overalls ahead of him...that's just the way time works...there is order and your sense of order is badly skewed...I have said he would be great trade bait but really, you must keep quiet about how you guarantee the oilers will be drafting top 5 again because this player is so bad...the team won't get anything for him...jus shhhhush K?

This brush back pitch sponsored in part, by Bandaid Brand. Your go to safety net, when your wounds start to leak.

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#80 blainer
April 22 2014, 11:13AM
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Sorensenator wrote:

I think most of you are delusional about Yakupov because you can't stomach a #1 overall pick being a failure.

Maybe he would have been a good #1 elsewhere but we have two #1's ahead of him that are wayyyyyyyyyyyyy better. It makes him obsolete.

This is the Achilles heal of all Oiler fans and the organization - you keep hoping it will turn out and get better and this is exactly how you feel about Yakupov.

I felt the same about Gagner and it has taken 7 years for the majority of people to agree it is time to part ways with him.

I think a reality check is in order.

I guarantee you if the top six remains the same with Yakupov included, they will be drafting top 5 next year no question. They ain't getting a stud defensemen because #1 teams are not going to give him away, #2 MacT will not part with Hall, Nuge, and Ebs, and # 3 they won't sign here anyways.

Oh I'm sorry, you might get an Andrew Ference equivalent who is a 4-5 d man at best.

Doug, I don't think Yak is gonna be traded yet as his value is so low.Having said that there is a risk it may go even lower if he requests a trade or has another bad year. Looks to me that MacT is planning on keeping him. If so they better get him that Big TWO WAY talented center. My worry is where he is russian that we have another Filatov or Zheredev on our hands.

I understand the love for Yak.. but if he stays put him in a position to succeed. We are gonna find out real quick what happens with Yak next year if he struggles..who will be at fault Yak or the coach..we wait...

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#81 Quicksilver ballet
April 22 2014, 11:21AM
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The table is already set for Yakupov to leave at seasons end next year.

Incompetent coaching staff endorsed......check!

Last year of his agreement.....check!

His vision of the NHL dream crushed.....check!

Yakupov can leave and the NHL/Oilers, and they'll receive zippo. One season of suckage, with no reward for doing so.

Tick Tock tick Tock. Someone needs to come to their senses. Yakupov or Eakins, one will be gone.

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#82 Czar
April 22 2014, 11:22AM
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@Sorensenator

"Means he is terrible at all aspects of life"

You mean the kid who moved his family to Edmonton? To steal a line from Spydyr, your douche rating is going up by the minute.

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#83 freelancer
April 22 2014, 11:23AM
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Scrolling through comments summary. Yak sucks, Eakins sucks, management sucks. Do I necessarily disagree with these points? No. It is going to be a very long summer. I don't see any optimistic "we're definitely a playoff team next season" conversations happening any time soon.

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#84 pelhem grenville
April 22 2014, 11:31AM
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Q...you said"...Yakupov can leave and the Oilers will receive zippo..."

...y'mean there's no hope of packaging him up with seven other players and sneak him to the Washington Caps so he can find his true calling under Uncle Alex Ovechkin's wing?

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#85 ?
April 22 2014, 11:33AM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

I wonder if my ip is still banned - last comment allowed was on a Robin article - and I know that guy hates me.

Maybe because he knows that there is no "Oiler Domination To Follow", at least as long 6 rings and all his pals are in charge.

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#86 pelhem grenville
April 22 2014, 11:34AM
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freelancer wrote:

Scrolling through comments summary. Yak sucks, Eakins sucks, management sucks. Do I necessarily disagree with these points? No. It is going to be a very long summer. I don't see any optimistic "we're definitely a playoff team next season" conversations happening any time soon.

...I'm really enjoying the playoffs this year and I'm positive I will enjoy them next year as well freelancer...just because the oilers aren't in them this year and won't be next year and won't be the next year and won't be the year and won't be the next year.....

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#87 John Cena
April 22 2014, 11:40AM
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Aitch wrote:

So, Eakins is a bad coach because he didn't score in the NHL. Well, based on that line of thinking, I guess we should replace him with Gretzky. Surely, he must be a Great coach due to his hold on the record books. Right?

I think its more along the lines of "He WAS a bad player, and now we know that he clearly IS a bad coach". What more is there to say?

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#88 Quicksilver ballet
April 22 2014, 11:40AM
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@pelhem grenville

Incompetence shouldn't be rewarded. I think this has gotten personal for Nail/Igor. If there isn't a course correction for this ship/team, i see him playing in the KHL a few years and calling his own shot as a UFA. What has this team done to support, or put this player in a better position to succeed? He's been treated the same way exiting Oilers have when going to new teams, like damaged goods, by the team that drafted him.

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#89 John Cena
April 22 2014, 11:41AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...I'm really enjoying the playoffs this year and I'm positive I will enjoy them next year as well freelancer...just because the oilers aren't in them this year and won't be next year and won't be the next year and won't be the year and won't be the next year.....

At least we get to watch some quality teams play for some coaches that can actually implement a system that's somewhat effective. What a novel idea!

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#90 Oiler Al
April 22 2014, 11:43AM
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Voice of Reason wrote:

Do any of you know how many goals Scotty Bowman scored in the NHL?

I know what point you are driving at. I dare you make a comparison to Scotty Bowman. Eakins isnt worthy of being in the same room as Bowman.

Bowman has forgotten more than Eakins will ever hope to know.

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#91 Robin Brownlee
April 22 2014, 11:43AM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

I wonder if my ip is still banned - last comment allowed was on a Robin article - and I know that guy hates me.

You know this because . . . I think your tagline is childish and I'd rather you discuss hockey without feeling the need to attach it to every single comment you make? In the end, it's your call.

I don't feel strongly about it -- it's pure comedy given the abysmal state of this franchise, but not something I lose any sleep over -- or you, seeing as we've never met.

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#92 pelhem grenville
April 22 2014, 11:49AM
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Q...two words

Alex Galchenyuk...#3 overall big-ish centre doing quite nicely in La Belle Province AND in the playoffs this very year...who'd y'think the Habs would give up to take this potential malcontent ship jumper ?

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#93 pelhem grenville
April 22 2014, 11:52AM
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RB....so n2n is still banned?

...is there a dark alley behind the glass shop you two could meet and have a talk?

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#94 Will
April 22 2014, 11:54AM
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For everyone who is down on Yak and thinks he is finished as a player, check out this article:

http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/4/7/5587734/3-nail-yakupov

It basically shows that the expectations of the player are way out of proportion given how he was used.

Of course the Brownlee article above kind of comes to the same conclusion that he wasn't used right, but the whining didn't really help the situation either.

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#95 madjam
April 22 2014, 11:54AM
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Yak is taking his sweet time about learning and implementing the rest of his game beyond offense up to an acceptable NHL level . Our other young stars with longer tenures here have been equally slow in their curves as well - even Gagner . Till they unilaterally start turning that corner our results will remain poor . Yak may out of frustration bolt to KHL , but he still has to work diligently on the rest of his game . Eakins , in this regard , should be a good mentor for most of our underachieving youth.

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#96 Czar
April 22 2014, 11:56AM
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? wrote:

Maybe because he knows that there is no "Oiler Domination To Follow", at least as long 6 rings and all his pals are in charge.

Oiler Humiliation To Follow is more appropriate for the Lowe era.

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#97 Quicksilver ballet
April 22 2014, 11:59AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

Q...two words

Alex Galchenyuk...#3 overall big-ish centre doing quite nicely in La Belle Province AND in the playoffs this very year...who'd y'think the Habs would give up to take this potential malcontent ship jumper ?

I can see him in Montreal playing with Galchenyuk (with them having success in Sarnia), but not Alex Galchenyuk coming back this way.

Reclamation projects don't fetch very much in todays game. Nail is far from that, but the Oilers have publically tarred and feathered him so he's perceived as damaged goods.

....and who's to argue this, after two seasons with these incompetent pucks in Edmonton.

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#98 Sorensenator
April 22 2014, 11:59AM
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I love all the players on the Oilers except Nail Yakupov and Jeff Petry. Yes I am a douche, keep the douche ratings flowing.

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#99 pelhem grenville
April 22 2014, 12:08PM
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Q...would never have thought Galchenyuk would come back in a trade involving 64...Dale Weise and a huge dman prospect would be better than the dreaded of all 'zippo' no?

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#100 backup bob
April 22 2014, 12:17PM
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Not enough truculence.

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