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!
September 15 2012 06:29PM
Roy MacGregor is a terrific writer and his column in the Globe and Mail today about the NHL lockout and the possibilities that come along with it rang truer than true with me.
September 15 2012 04:49PM
In the life and times of a hockey prospect, there are opportunities and then there are OPPORTUNITIES. For Teemu Hartikainen, this fall and winter in Oklahoma could be the springboard for an NHL career.
September 15 2012 01:38PM
Today is September 15, the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHLPA. Tonight, barring an 11th-hour miracle, the league will lock out its players and begin yet another in a seemingly endless cycle of work stoppages.
If that happens, I have a promise to both sides.
September 15 2012 09:03AM
Earlier this week the never-ending arena negotiations hit a speed bump when the Katz group supposedly asked for numerous concessions. As Edmonton fans prepare for another idiotic, greedy lockout, the timing of the Katz Group's new proposal couldn't have been worse. Even the staunchest supporter of the downtown arena rolled their eyes when news of these demands became public.
Most Edmontonians, for or against the arena, want to see this come to a conclusion one way or the other. Considering it is inevitable that Edmonton will build a new facility some time in the next ten years, why not just negotiate a fair deal and move on. Of course that is logical, and the negotiations for the arena as well as a new CBA seem to lack any logical component.
I spoke with up with Mayor Stephen Mandel after the recent hearing of the new concessions and the frustration was evident in his voice.