September 18 2012 07:00AM
Lost in the stories about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins last fall was another great training camp tale. Anton Lander should not have started 2011-12 with the Oilers; given his age, draft pedigree, experience and the makeup of the roster, he should probably have spent the entire season in the minors.
Yet, he made the team anyway. How did he do it?
September 18 2012 12:04AM
Daryl Katz finally broke his silence, and while he didn't talk to all the media, instead having an arranged chat with Journal writers, John MacKinnon and David Staples, he did give us an insight into what he thinks about the ongoing arena debate.
It is clear he was annoyed at how he was portrayed by some members of city council and media last week and decided to finally speak. I've said all along that he needed to speak to the public. Not every week, not even every month, but a few times a year so Edmontonians might get a better sense of what his goals and aspirations are for the city.
September 17 2012 11:31AM
I don't think it is productive to talk daily about this asinine lockout, but this photo made me chuckle. Gary Bettman doesn't scare anyone, or command respect, like Marlon Brando did in the Godfather, but Bettman likely thinks he does. Either way this lockout is an embarrassment to the game, for both sides, and sadly it will likely last for two months.
Maybe I'm being too rational to assume it will only last two months, but if it lasts longer there are a few teams that could lose much more than just one year of hockey.
September 17 2012 09:21AM
September 15th has come and gone without a new CBA agreement being reached. The NHL and NHLPA are now playing a game of lockout chicken that could last a while. In the meantime the players must figure out what to do.
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!