Skip to content

Oilers GM praises Yakupov, fumes about trade rumor distractions

Nov 12, 2013, 7:49 PM EDT

yakupovfocusgetty Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish bristled about an ESPN report in which Nail Yakupov‘s agent Igor Larionov embraced the possibility of a trade.

Generally speaking, MacTavish isn’t very happy about those who believe that the team soured on the 2012 NHL Draft’s top pick. The Canadian Press shared his frank comments regarding that subject on Tuesday.

“I think Yak’s been treated very fairly since he’s been in our organization,” MacTavish said. “We like Yak, I’ve said that many times. It’s a much bigger story for you people, and it’s becoming a bit of a distraction for us right now because we’re having to answer these questions.”

MacTavish insists that the organization feels the same way about the 20-year-old as “the day we drafted him.” It might seem like a questionable statement because Steve Tambellini was the GM back then, but MacTavish has been back with the franchise for a while (and many believe Kevin Lowe still holds plenty of personnel sway, anyway).

Regardless, both MacTavish and head coach Dallas Eakins insist that they’re taking the long view with a winger MacTavish labelled as “dynamic.” Eakins pointed to early struggles for eventual stars such as Steven Stamkos and Joe Thornton.

Times are certainly not easy for Yakupov right now, but the Oilers are at least saying all the right things about practicing patience with the struggling prospect.

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Lundqvist helps lead Rangers back to New York for Game 7

    May 27, 2015, 12:59 AM EDT

    Henrik Lundqvist Getty Images

    Almost completely shut the door through two periods.

  2. TVR time? Quenneville hints at changes on defense for Game 6

    May 26, 2015, 10:29 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Timonen is averaging under 10 minutes of ice time per game in playoffs.

  3. Video: Lundqvist stones Stamkos with left-pad save

    May 26, 2015, 9:16 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    New York scored to make it 2-0 soon after that.

  4. Video: Brassard opens scoring for Rangers in Game 6

    May 26, 2015, 8:52 PM EDT

    AP

    New York needs the win to force Game 7.

  5. No NHL-first offer has been made for Seattle arena, says Hansen

    May 26, 2015, 8:13 PM EDT

    Chris Hansen AP

    “We’ve had a lot of informal discussions with people about this, but us or the city have yet to be presented with any kind of offer.”

  6. Holland to meet with Blashill this week, hasn’t expanded candidate list

    May 26, 2015, 6:29 PM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v Detroit Red Wings Getty Images

    “I’ve had some people reach out to me,” the Red Wings GM said.

  7. Hitch has ‘unfinished business’ with the Blues

    May 26, 2015, 5:24 PM EDT

    Ken Hitchcock AP

    Meanwhile, GM Doug Armstrong says, “Show me a well-liked coach, and I’ll show you a losing coach.”

  8. Wild reporter pegs Dubnyk deal at ‘well north of $3 million per’

    May 26, 2015, 4:31 PM EDT

    Devan Dubnyk AP

    Michael Russo of the StarTribune being the reporter.

  9. Bob Clarke really doesn’t care for tanking

    May 26, 2015, 3:55 PM EDT

    2011 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7 2011 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7

    “The Flyers have never intentionally tried to lose. That would put a foul taste in my mouth. “

  10. ‘I’ve got no issues’ with Hitchcock, says Blues captain Backes

    May 26, 2015, 2:46 PM EDT

    Ken Hitchcock, David Backes, Dmitrij Jaskin, Paul Stastny, Patrik Berglund Getty Images

    “Does he ride guys hard and has he been on my case at times, where it’s made me angry? Yes. But he does it in the light of trying to make our team better, trying to make each individual player better.”

  11. In defense of Yandle, who’s ‘trying to make some plays’

    May 26, 2015, 2:14 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Five Getty Images

    Had a bad giveaway in Game 5, but those giveaways are going to happen occasionally.

  12. Paquette ‘very questionable’ for Bolts after Game 5 shot block

    May 26, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four Getty Images

    Could be held out of tonight’s potential series-clinching tilt.

  13. Preds, Volchenkov have discussed new deal

    May 26, 2015, 1:10 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Nashville Predators Getty Images

    But there’s nothing imminent, according to his agent.

Featured video

End of an era coming for Blackhawks?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Zuccarello (3441)
  2. H. Lundqvist (2305)
  3. S. Stamkos (2026)
  4. B. Bishop (1551)
  5. R. Nash (1530)
  1. M. Carle (1530)
  2. M. Babcock (1465)
  3. M. Beleskey (1366)
  4. K. Yandle (1285)
  5. N. Horton (1277)