Sep 27, 2012, 10:58 AM EDT
After yesterday’s news that Nail Yakupov’s KHL transfer was deemed illegal, Canadian Hockey League president David Branch explained the 2012 first overall pick is still under contract to OHL Sarnia.
“He hasn’t been released,” Branch told Yahoo!’s Sunaya Sapurji. “It certainly caught those of us in the league office off guard because he suddenly was reported as playing in the KHL. We had no knowledge of that.”
Yakupov appeared in two games for KHL club Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk without, it was later revealed, an approved IIHF international transfer card.
Chris Johnston of the Canadian Press reported Hockey Canada refused to sign off on the ITC because it believed his rights remained with Sarnia, something Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson confirmed to Yahoo!
It’s also worth nothing Branch addressed rumors that Sarnia had “no problem” with Yakupov playing in Russia. Even though the Sting have been publicly supportive of Yakupov’s move to the KHL, Branch said he’s received a different message altogether.
“In terms of Sarnia, that is not what they are telling us,” said Branch.
Sting GM and head coach Jacques Beaulieu said the club would welcome Yakupov “with open arms,” but also said that “we’re not in the business of holding people back.”
The saga continues…
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- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 8
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 25
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center 40
- Eric Staal has surgery to repair ‘core muscle injury’ 6
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 16
- Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year, $8.25M deal 12
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 63
- Subban not eager to discuss contract talks 34
- Leafs re-sign Reimer — two years, $4.6 million 22
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain (45)
- New Caps regime plans to keep Ovechkin at RW (for now) (42)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (41)
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal (39)