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Oilers coach calls Yakupov trade rumors ‘100% not true’

Nov 6, 2013, 2:23 PM EST

yakupovfocusgetty Getty Images

Hey, remember yesterday when we passed along the trade rumor involving Oilers forward Nail Yakupov and the New York Rangers?

Yeah, that’s part of the reason Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins had to have a chat with his young player today at practice.

“All these reports in the media about him being traded are absolutely 100% not true,” said Eakins, per the club’s Twitter account.

“He’s a young player and we’re not giving up on him.”

Yakupov, 20, only has one goal in 14 games this season. But it’s not just his early-season struggles that have caused the speculation surrounding the 2012 first overall pick. The Oilers (4-10-2) were supposed to make a push for the playoffs, and that seems like a pipe dream now.

There’s also the fact general manager Craig MacTavish promised to do “bold things” when he was hired last spring. Certainly, trading Yakupov would be bold. Problem is, it may also be really dumb.

Related: Russian Olympic scout blasts Yakupov: ‘If he’s not going to change his game, he has no future’

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