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.

Our man Nail is sure to excite and amaze at Rexall, the new Rexall, or another NHL city Daryl Katz chooses to move the team to, but for now we’re all trying to pronounce Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, He even has his own name page, although that photo doesn’t look like him to me.

But that’s just the beginning. Oscar Klefbom plays today, the game information is here and updates nicely.



David Musil (photo) made his season debut for the Vancouver Giants and went 0-1-1, -1 in a loss for his team. You likely know about the Oil Kings season debut and a really nice game from Mitchell Moroz. He grabbed a loose puck, drove to the net, made a good enough shot for the goalie to send out a kevlar rebound and picked up an assist on Michael St. Croix’s goal. Playing with skill should mean magnificent boxcars for Moroz this season. A few others to mention:

  • Daniil Zharkov had an assist in Belleville’s (OHL) opening game. He’s another player to watch closely, could be a MBS draft steal.
  • Klefbom’s +2 after 3 games and playing about 18 minutes a night. If he can average 20+ and post a good plus minus, I think we can talk about him making the Oilers opening night roster in 13-14.
  • Tobias Rieder had an assist and was +2 in Kitchener’s opening game, and had all kinds of scoring chances. A hot goalie robbed him at least three times.
  • Linus Omark isn’t exactly ripping it up in Switzerland. No points, -3 in 2 games for Zug.
  • Alexander Bumagin is having a nice start in the KHL, 7, 1-4-5 so far. We’ll never see him, but he was an Oiler pick right after the SC run spring 2006.
  • Rob Schremp has a goal in his first 7 KHL games. When the Russians come home, suspect ST will be moving on.
  • Marc Pouliot has an assist and 20 pims (!!!!) in his first three games in Switzerland.



This time next week, we’ll be talking about OKC Barons and their season. Look, I miss the NHL too but this is a magnificent chance for the club to marry the elite skilled kids to some complementary types–and that could end up being a major item when the NHL returns (possibly in my lifetime!).

Remember 2000 fall, when an entire line came from Hamilton (the Bulldog line) and made the big league club? Although Brian Swanson and Michel Riesen didn’t last, Daniel Cleary used that as a springboard to a very productive NHL career.

This generation’s Cleary could catch lightning in a bottle during this lockout, and that’s worth paying attention to this fall.



I’m old, so can say this: hanging on every word from a New York lawyer about this NHL lockout is a loser’s bet. It’s time to look at this season as an opportunity to expand horizons, embrace other levels of hockey and find joy in these wonderful players who play in leagues that care about their fans.

Rock on, NHL. Enjoy your desks. We’re going mobile.

  • RexLibris

    Nice article LT. I don’t know about the Yak photo. It sort of bears a certain resemblance.

    Any word about Hall’s eligibility for OKC once healthy? I’ve been seeing a lot of speculation saying if he wasn’t assigned by the 15th (even if injured), he can’t play there this season.

    • Lowetide

      Interesting. Sounds like you’re ahead of me on this one. I did find it interesting that early indications were he wanted to play in OKC over Europe–especially considering the Seguin signing.

      Hall really seems to have ‘team’ in mind, and I think that if he goes there over Europe that’s another sign of his conviction to the team.

      He’s such an impressive guy, on and off the ice. Very devoted to winning. Bobby Clarke was like that in this way.

  • jonrmcleod

    “If [Klefbom] can average 20+ and post a good plus minus, we can talk about him making the opening night roster the next time Edmonton sees the NHL.”

    LT: Are you saying that if the NHL is back next month, it’s possible that Klefbom will play for the Oilers this season?

  • RexLibris

    Really, who could have a problem pronouncing Niktejk…uh, Naphthakimmel….okay I give up.

    Hall, as I understand it, is ineligible to play in the AHL because he wasn’t on the clear roster list last season (for the AHL playoffs, remember that whole botched call ups thing with Paajarvi and Vande Velde et al) and because he was still technically on LTIR at the time of the waiver window agreed to by the PA and NHL he couldn’t be waived (remember the failed Brule trade because he was injured and couldn’t be bought out/waived).

  • Pharmboy

    Omark, 0 goals, -3? Wow. I can’t believe he didn’t make the Oilers top 9. Note to Linus: Watch tape of Martin St.Louis, Theo Fleury and Danny Briere, that’s how small guys have to play to be effective. Poor Zug….

  • Well it will be a long season writing about all things surrounding hockey……….if the two sides ( especially the players) can’t understand basic economics then I will be glad to explain it to them as we’ll as other things.

    Your poor excuse of a “union” is laughable! You see unions were brought in to protect workers against owners and managers who were making them work in unsafe conditions making pennies while the managers and owners were making millions. Unions had a very important role to play during the industrial revolution and made great strides for workers across the world. Often they would settle for a one percent raise, or some other benefit or safety measure.

    They fought for many reasons but never once demanded that revenue be split …….what a ridiculous proposition! Guys who make millions of dollars IMHO do not need a union! These greedy, selfish, and self centered brats need a lesson on reality. In the real world most of us represent ourselves, and are happy with a two percent raise……….I can’t remember the last time I got a raise.

    • MessyEH!

      If your boss reported record revenues would you accept a pay cut? The league as a whole is making money. The rich owners need to share the wealth with the poor owners. If they don’t, the poor franchises should be placed where they’ll make money. Or lower the cap floor.

  • JDP

    Did you read what Devellano actually said? The owners are like a ranch and the players are like cattle. Mooo! Thank God he didn’t say the owners were like pig farmers!!! Oink, oink.

    The fine was for saying out loud what the owners and their minions really think of the players – that they are ungrateful servants. You have to realize that guys like Flyers Major Domo, Ed Snider, the executive producer of the film flop, Atlas Shrugged, and possibly the most powerful owner in the sport, worships Ayn Rand, the patron saint of adolescent sociopaths and investment banksters.

    This is not a free speech issue. The owners have agreed to accept fines of up to a million dollars if they speak publicly about the lockout and stray from the talking points. You will note it is the club, not Devellano, which is getting fined. They don’t want anyone expressing reservations about the lockout or saying something so crude, callous and revealing as Devellano did.

    • B S

      State funded. Putin and his oil cronies siphon funds into the league, usually from the government. The KHL is crooked as hell, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is currently the most competitive hockey on the planet.

  • B S

    Why say oilers might move? That would be absolutely sad if the league allowed that.
    If Katz wants a team in Seattle he can buy one, sell the oilers to somebody whose absolutely committed to keepin them in edmonton.
    I live far from alberta, but,everytime I hear of a possibilty of my beautiful oilers franchise gettin moved my heart nearly breaks.