McLellan points out harsh truth


Todd McLellan laid out the future of some of his players very clearly this morning. We will find out if they are listening.

McLellan isn’t afraid to challenge his players, but he often challenges the group rather than one individual.

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When asked about motivation for his players down the stretch he didn’t mince his words.

“I think there’s too many guys in that room
who have way too much to play for to decide to take a few nights off,” he began. “That starts with free agents, it starts with unrestricted free agents, it
starts with players who are coming back and battling for positional status,” said McLellan.

He then mentioned Jordan Oesterle as possibly being next year’s version of Brandon Davidson. A player who exceeded expectations and took icetime away from other players.

McLellan continued to voice his opinion.

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“So to get comfortable and say ‘I’m just
going to go into my spot here in Edmonton’, I think would be a grave mistake by
many of our players, including the very upper end guys.

“I did a study the other day, went back and
looked at Edmonton’s roster from last year. If (a player is thinking),
‘If it’s not in Edmonton it’s going to be somewhere else,’ I’d go do that
homework. Because for a lot of them it wasn’t somewhere else, it was nowhere.

“We’re in the 28th to 30th place range and
those players aren’t quite as desirable as the Stanley Cup champions,” said McLellan.

A nice dose of reality from McLellan.

David Perron is the only player from last year’s Oilers roster who is on a playoff team this year. The rest are either on non-playoff teams — Jeff Petry, Martin Marincin, Marc Arcobello, Boyd Gordon, Ben Scrivens — or not in the NHL — Derek Roy, Matt Fraser, Andrew Miller, Steve Pinizzotto, Keith Aulie, Jesse Joensuu and Viktor Fasth.

If any players are “playing out the season,” they should listen to their head coach. 

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Many have asked about Yakupov leaving the ice at the practice this morning. It never happened. Today was an optional skate. Some players were on the ice and others weren’t.

Something did occur at practice on Saturday morning, and I believe this is what fans are referring to, but they have their days mixed up. I wasn’t at the morning skate, but through multiple sources this is what occurred.

When the two PP groups were announced Yakupov wasn’t on either. Then while the units practised in the  offensive zone all the players stood at the blueline watching, even those who weren’t on the units. Yakupov did not. He skated over to the bench and stayed away from the group for a short time. He likely was frustrated, and I can understand why. He believes he can contribute and would like to be on the PP.

Yakupov is allowed to be frustrated, but I’m sure if he could do it over he would have bit his lip and stayed in the group with his teammates. Yakupov never left the ice. That is a very different story.

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Some will consider it an issue while others won’t. Players get frustrated all the time, it happens, but usually it occurs behind closed doors.

Recently by Jason Gregor:  

  • RJ

    Yak had his best success as an Oiler when he was a regular part of the PP.

    The writing is on the wall, everyone can see it. Hope he finds more support with his next team.

    • Jason Gregor

      Letestu has a better pts/60 than Yakupov and more PP points 8 to 3.

      Korpikoski has played 35 fewer min on the PP, but has more points, 4 to 3.

      You can play Yakupov, but strangely he has lower a shot rate on the PP than he does on EV. this year He hasn’t been shooting when he was on the PP.

      • LordVallko

        JG your man crush with Mr. Cream puff Eberle is showing through again. Yak at least hits and hustles. I would take 20 three million and a bit per year Yakapovs over 15 soft six million per year Eberle’s any day!

      • clrsnldvc81

        Hey Gregor…

        In no way am I comparing Yak to OV but how is it that Washington can get OV open so much on the half wall for that one timer?

        Again not saying Yak is OV but he does seem to have a decent one timer when he does get it. I don’t think we have another option who can fire that puck in the same manner as OV, Seguin, Stammer etc.

        Is it the PP setup that the Oilers are using? I don’t watch enough Caps games to notice this but highlights seem to show OV almost wide open everytime.


  • Word to the Bird

    Huh? This is all news to me.

    Honestly, Yakupov probably sees the writing on the wall by now that he’ll be moved out this offseason, and he might be having a mental breakdown.

  • McPucker

    I can understand Yak being frustrated.

    I can also understand Tmac being frustrated.

    It’s too bad. He has skills. I think he’ll light it up but it will be with a different team.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    It sucks that it came to this, but I think we’re seeing Yak’s final run in orange and blue.

    Yak to Washington, maybe Ovi can take him under his flipper?

    • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

      I remember when at the start of the year when Coach called out yaks poor defensive play. When he was asked by the media about the comment later he blew it off. At that point I felt his days were numbered if he could not turn the attitude around. I too feel that Ovi might be the best mentor for Yak as he needs someone who can show him how to be a good pro balanced with the ability to discipline him. I just can’t see Ovie taking any excuses from the kid.

  • TheDonkeyJohnson

    I feel for Yak, the way he’s been handled has been a cluster frac.
    If he is traded this summer, I really hope he pulls a “Wild Thing” Rick Vaughn( classic line when he’s called into the Manager’s office, classic movie) on the Oilers for 15 years down the road.

  • ubermiguel

    Yak is the poster boy for the lack of performance from the players on this team. How many coaches does it take for an NHL player to become an NHL player? It should be one. I do feel bad for Yak, he’s had 5 head coaches (I’m counting MacT’s brief return) in 4 years in the NHL, but the coaches don’t back-check lazily and have bad positioning in the d-zone, the players do.

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    In all honesty….Yakupov should have stayed in the KHL for a couple years, like Kuznetsov and Terasenko.
    He was totally lost defensively out there and he has one move when coming over the blue he stops up…….every time.
    Yakupov will be out of the NHL in two years

  • Connor McFly

    I like Yak as do most fans. This is not about his personality or his performance in the ” room”. The future of this player is about his in/ability to listen to his coaches and playing NHL level 2-way play. It would appear The he simply stopped responding to the coaches.

    That will get you shipped out of town every time. I don’t want to see that happen but it’s now up toYak.

  • Namudi

    Yak will probably go to Montreal, and we will get a third line center like Ellers. Then he will probably get a look with Galchenyuk.

    He will probably do a lot better in the east

  • Max

    Todd ‘tell ’em like is is’ McLellan will bring this team around. With PCs predicted moves and TMs tenacity, playoffs next year should be a given. The landscape will certainly look much different.

  • Boom or Bust

    Yaks not the only player bringing Down this team. The list seems to be piling up. Ebs has been very lazy and seems checked out. Eberle would have more value than Yak…wouldnt he? Perhaps we should keep Yak 1 more year. He clicked early in the year with McDavid and he’s not 6 million against the cap! If he does find his form it kinda works out….