September 23 2012 07:50AM
Back when the NHL played in arenas across North America, we could talk about games and statistics and trades and things. Nowadays, the subject involves lockouts and buildings, and "hockey" talk has given way to business and empre building. This week, a couple of missteps at least gave us something else to discuss.
September 22 2012 09:50AM
Nail Yakupov made his pro debut in what might be the best league on the planet today, as the Oilers prospects continue to kick off their 12-13 seasons and possibly settle in with the teams they'll play for this year.
September 20 2012 05:15PM
Nail Yakupov is the best NHL prospect on the planet. Corey Pronman has gained a lot of notice over the last 24 months for his insight into NHL prospects and his latest list has Edmonton's #1 overall pick right at the top. And that's not all!
September 18 2012 05:09PM
The Edmonton Oil Kings gave our city a tremendous thrill this spring and are back for another season. They are regarded as one of the best teams in the league, and should contend for the title again. For Oiler fans, there are some quality prospects already in the system to watch--and one very good center who looks like a top 10 pick in the 2013 entry draft.
September 16 2012 07:48AM
In yesterday's pre-lockout flurry, the Oilers assigned Nail Yakupov to Sarnia of the OHL. However, all signs suggest the young Russian is heading home.
There is no doubt Yakupov will be back when the lockout ends, but it does appear--based on reports and previous statements--that Sarnia and another season in junior are not in the cards.
This article contains the following quote:
- Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk general director Rafik Yakubov: "Yakupov will be playing in Nizhnekamsk in case of a lockout."
Now this quote came weeks before the lockout and things change. However, as the article also states Yakupov tweeted "going to Russia" yesterday so unless he's decided to spend time visiting there's an excellent chance he'll be playing in the KHL soon. Adding to the evidence:
Slava is the foreign correspondent for Sport-Express, Russia's sports daily.
IS THIS GOOD OR BAD NEWS?
From a hockey development point of view, it's a brilliant move. Yakupov is not eligible to play in the AHL, and the KHL is going to be very strong with all of the NHL Russians added to the current rosters. I don't think there's a good argument against the move.
WILL HE STAY THERE?
No. Nail Yakupov has signed an NHL contract and will honor it the moment he is allowed to; it's important to remember this is a lock out and not a strike. NHL owners could have all of their players in camp next Friday should they choose.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Nail Yakupov's KHL experience will be the best available to him. Fortunately, he's famous enough to gain employment and not forced back into what would be a redundant junior season.
Yakupov in Russia? Wonderful!