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Yakupov’s agent to meet with Oilers, ‘willing to make a move’

Nov 11, 2013, 8:30 PM EDT

nailyakupovgetty Getty Images

Nail Yakupov‘s agent, Hockey Hall of Famer Igor Larionov, will reportedly head to Edmonton to discuss how his client is being used by the Oilers, according to ESPN’s Craig Custance.

What’s more, he’s also willing to explore the option of a trade if the club is unhappy with his client.

“We’re willing to make a move,” Larionov explained. “Any team. That happens and that’s part of life.”

Yakupov’s sophomore campaign in Edmonton has been filled with drama. New head coach Dallas Eakins has twice made Yakupov a healthy scratch, there’s been a flurry of trade rumors and the Russian winger’s production has fallen off — he’s on pace for just nine goals and 18 points this season, which would be a major decrease after posting 17 goals and 31 points in the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign.

(Oh yeah, there was also Russian Olympic scout Igor Kravchuk telling an Ottawa radio station that Yakupov “has to make up his mind, if he’s not going to change his game, then he has no future [in the NHL],” and “from what I see, his team game is really, really poor.”)

Recently, Yakupov has seen a major reduction in ice time, getting just 10:46 in a 4-2 loss to Philly and 10:54 in a 5-4 loss to Chicago. He did score his second goal of the season against the ‘Hawks, however.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes from the Larionov meeting. Oilers GM Craig “man of action” MacTavish is clearly unimpressed with his club so far — he’s recently traded defenseman Ladislav Smid to clear space for the signing of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov — but Eakins has already gone public and said any Yakupov trade rumor is “100 percent untrue.”

As for Larionov, he’s well-respected within hockey circles but is relatively new to the agent game, having only served in the capacity for a few years.

  1. martysbetter - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    I think if he does get moved, it won’t be for as much as people may think.

    All the drama and poor attitude combined with the fact that he can just as easily leave for the KHL and be a superstar very much hurts his trade value.

    • hockey412 - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:08 AM

      Maybe his poor attitude is because he’s the only one on the team that wasn’t named an Alternate Captain.

    • guitarhunterdude - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Accidentally missed the reply button and reported this dude’s comment. My bad. Nothing bad to report here, PHT.

      What do you think most people expect it to take to get Yak? Being a Wild fan, I look at two recent trades we’ve had (Pominville and Niederreiter). Nino was also a high draft pick with attitude issues. However, he wasn’t picked as high, struggled WAY more in the NHL, was traded longer after he was drafted, and actually demanded a trade. I think it’ll be similar to the Pominville deal, if not a little more. At least one first rounder, probably a second rounder or maybe even a conditional first, and several medium-to-good prospects or current players (defensemen, if MacTavish isn’t brain-dead). He’s still the #1 draft pick from last year, and draft pedigree carries a lot of weight. And some of us seem to be forgetting that the guy had a great season last year. If he goes, the Oilers will be getting quite a haul in return.

      • martysbetter - Nov 12, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        I think its a different case. Nino was unhappy in NYI because he wasn’t getting enough playing time (and he wasn’t getting PT because he wasn’t producing).

        Yakupov straight up said “yeah, I don’t backcheck” – literally the last thing any coach wants to hear, I don’t care how offensively talented you are..that attitude is cancer to a hockey team.

        Fact is what Yakupov is WORTH and what Edmonton will get are two different things. They’ll never get full value when you take into account all of the nonsense that has followed him since he was drafted.

  2. canucks30 - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    At last check, Yakupov was still seen celebrating his game tying goal against the LA Kings.

    • blomfeld - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:27 PM

      Canucks30 – Exactly friend ! Aside from the sheer ‘buffoonery’ of his actions last year, no person of decency goes and disrespects the reigning Conn Smythe trophy winner the way he did. Karma’s a ‘real’ thing alright and I suspect that this little jerk is coming to discover that now.

      • canucks30 - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      • thailer35 - Nov 12, 2013 at 9:38 AM

        And that’s where JQ handed off the Conn Smythe to Patrick Kane. Which by the way, makes Kane the “reigning Conn Smythe trophy winner” not Quick.

      • nj666 - Nov 12, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        no but he was the conn smythe holder that season when yakupov did that…

  3. wingsfan97 - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Wings should trade mrazek for him

    • hallforpresident - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      Where do I sign?

  4. killerpgh - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Considering Yakupov is on a entry level contract which means he has no NMC/NTC I don’t think there really needs to be a meeting unless his agent is there to demand a traded. Right now if the Oilers want to trade him they can and there isn’t much Yakupov or his agent can do about it if he wants to stay in the NHL.

    • hockeydon10 - Nov 12, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      You could be right. Either Larionov is there to ask for a trade, or some reporter asked him if Yakupov would be willing to play for a different team and reported it this way, twisting the words around to make for a more sensational story. Like they do.

  5. hallforpresident - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    As an Oilers fan I’d much rather see Eberle move over Yakupov. He plays with so much more heart than Eberle, has a better shot, is faster, is more physical and on top of all that is a first overall pick. (No pun intended) Anyone who says that Nail will bolt to the Khl is a fool. He moved his entire family to Edmonton do you really think he would bolt that quickly?

    • nj666 - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      yeah and kovalchuk moved his family to nj…

      • hallforpresident - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:50 PM

        You sound a little butthurt 😀

    • withseidelinn - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      You’re outta your mind if you think Yakupov has more heart than Eberle.

    • holycowbatmanwereboxedin - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:09 PM

      There’s one fool here and that’s you pal – if you think Eberle hasn’t got Yak’s heart and drive then you are truly out to lunch.

  6. caniacx4 - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Please,please send him down to carolina!!! Him and Semin can yap and maybe get a little production out of our expensive Acquisition ?? He needs someone to talk too cause he does not look happy in carolina! he had Ovechkin in Washington and they were awesome together.
    Just sayin. Rutherford make a trade

    • hallforpresident - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:08 PM

      Jordan Staal and Tim Gleason? Lol idk

  7. alicesrightfootesq - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    He needs to be on a team with an alpha male type running the locker room. His attitude wouldn’t fly with someone like Shane Doan and it would be for his best in the long run.

    • detwings - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:04 PM

      he needs pavel datsyuk and henrik zetterberg

  8. Stiller43 - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Gives a new meaning to “FAIL for Nail.”

  9. rainyday56 - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Shades of Shirokov, Bettman!

  10. feedmetherock - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Didn’t this happen with Magnus Paajarvi too? He had a solid first season and then fell off in his second? I can’t remember. I just know that there is only one puck and having 4 guys out there that have super star potential, they need to move one for a legit defenseman because their defense sucks and their goaltending situation is even worse

  11. lordfletcher - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    If Edmonton gets Connor McDavid this year, I will wish them out of the NHL.

    Sad to say, I think Yaks value is super low. Edmonton would be dumb to move him right now unless they get a solid offer. I don’t know many that would trade a top 10 pick for Yak right now, especially if you have a chance to land Connor.

    I hope Buffalo get McDavid as they have been rebuilding correctly. If they land the #1, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make the playoffs next year.

    • malinpaul - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      Connor’s draft year is 2015

      • lordfletcher - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:26 PM

        I just realized this while on the can… had to do my business quick and come back to post before someone noticed my mistake.

        Oops, beat me to it.

        For whatever reason I was thinking it was 2014-15… time for bed :)


      • lordfletcher - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        and who gave you a thumbs down, HA.

        You couldn’t be more right unless he decides he doesn’t want to become a hockey player.

  12. LampyB - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Wingsfan above DOES NOT speak for the fan base hes a total idiot. Trading mrazek for yakupov would be worst idea ever, theres no need for a lazy winger in detroit, and babcock molds players not the other way around. What have you been smoking???

    • 3yardsandacloud - Nov 12, 2013 at 2:07 AM

      I agree he doesn’t speak for the whole fan base, but he might be on to something.

      1)Mrazek is getting 0% chance of a starting job in Detroit with Jimmy in net, for at least the foreseeable future. (Plus our other young goalies (Coreau, Paterson) are both high talent)

      2) Mrazek could be enough to bring Yak back (Although Detroit would need to unload additional contracts to Edmonton. Pack your stuff Cleary, Samuelsson, Tootoo)

      3)Dats would keep yak motivated. Can you see Dats, Z and Yak on a line? We might actually score goals.

      4) Yak would give us a real goal scorer that we haven’t had since maybe Shanahan or Federov

      You have to remember, this kid is really young and has a lot to learn about being a pro. Those vets on our team could be exactly what he needs. I doubt this happens though, it makes too much sense.

      • hockeydon10 - Nov 12, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        Edmonton did just say they wanted some more toughness. Tootoo, while not a heavyweight, fits that mold. Plus he gives 100% every shift, apparently the opposite of Yakupov. And it would clear up cap space. Honestly, though, Samuelsson is the real anchor on the Wings’ cap number. He’s washed up worse than Cleary.

      • budzo83 - Nov 12, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        Tootoo just cleared waivers. If he has any value to the Oilers, why wouldn’t they just have gotten him for nothing? They waived Mike Brown and still have Ben Eager under contract; both middle-weights who hardly play, much like Tootoo. Furthermore, why would Edmonton take on Detroit’s garbage contracts (Cleary, Samuelsson, Tootoo) when they have enough of their own players under contract not performing?

  13. malinpaul - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Like a good Oiler fan I have watched 80% of the games this year. Yak’s goal last night against the Hawks was pretty impressive. Not a lot of people can pull the trigger like that.

    • malinpaul - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:50 PM

      Connor is not available until 2015

  14. malinpaul - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    I am on the side of waiting regarding Yak, but there are certainly warning signs that he might be one of the pieces to move. And anything is possible given the mess the team is in now. We should be 10points better than we are, something is clearly wrong (DZone coverage/turnovers). The pieces of the puzzle shouldn’t be #1 in the league right now, but they shouldn’t be #29.

  15. mlhegs - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    The Problem is not Yak or Dubnyk the problem is all Management. The team has made stupid choices ever since he left coaching.

    The President has proved himself arrogant, ignorant and incompetent Remarks and actions he has made over the last three years particularly

    Kevin Lowe has got to go.

  16. justinhbhb - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Wouldn’t doubt Montreal goes after him. Desharnais and first round draft pick maybe a mediocre Hamilton Bulldog player.

  17. stakex - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    I’ll say this much…. if the Oilers are going to trade him, and I think they are, they better do it soon. The longer they hold onto him, the more his value will continue to drop if things continue this way. His value probably far lower then the Oilers are willing to admit already and only gets worse as Yakupov continues to play poorly, continues to see his role reduced to that of a 3rd line player, and outside negative chatter develops about him.

  18. canucks30 - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    As far as high 1st round Russian draft picks go, Yakupov is more Zherdev, Filatov, and Svitov and less Ovechkin, Malkin, and Kovalchuk.

  19. jernster21 - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    That’s how big this dude’s ego is. He is absolutely awful and he’s having his agent let the Oilers know that they’re allowed to trade him if they want.

  20. ericcoyle15 - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    we all know what happens to crazy russians in philly…………..(see ilya bryzgalov)……at least this one hopefully isnt obsessed with the universe

  21. wingsfan97 - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    LampyB-our veteran players and great staff would help him become a dominate player

  22. muckleflugga - Nov 12, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    bring him to detroit, straight-up for jimmy howard, maybe throw quincey in to boot

    yakupov would thrive in the detroit with world class coaching and leadership…all in thin supply north of the forty ninth

    i love this guy in spite of the pantywaist objections from the pantywaists [ imagine, youthful enthusiasm in a youth ]. he’s got fire in his gut, and like all rooskies, he’s rock hard with no back-up in his game…

    case in point: johhny oduya thought he’d deliver the toews cum sedin chicken-crap hack after the whistle in chicago the other night [ when the refs are near enough at hand to safe their asses of course ]. yakupov buried the fool. the nerve, no respect for another whining blackhawk clown…

    igor, bring the kid to detroit

    • hockeyflow33 - Nov 12, 2013 at 1:57 AM

      I really hope you’re trolling and not this dumb to think trading an elite goalie for a spoiled, over-hyped prospect is a good idea.

      • budzo83 - Nov 12, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        I hope you’re not dumb enough to be calling Jimmy Howard elite. He’s good, but not elite. Sorry.

  23. kvashasux - Nov 12, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Vanek for Yak

  24. wingsfan97 - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Wings are one of the best trade options.
    We could trade mrazek Quincey Tootoo Samuelson or cleary eaves and miller

    We have enough good defenseman and forwards with the griffens that I would rather see play

  25. metalization1 - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    A trade is probably best for both parties. The oilers would see a decent return and Yak would get a change in venue. I think the biggest concern is his perceived poor attitude which could really hurt his trade value. Yak would certainly benefit from some strong leadership and mentoring to improve and adjust his game. At this point I can see any number of teams making a trade for him, but I don’t expect the return to be as high as the oilers are hoping.

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