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. Former NHLer Cote sentenced 30 months in jail for bank robberies

    Jul 27, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

    Image (1) predatorslogo-thumb-250x155-19571.gif for post 15160

    He last played in 2001 with the Edmonton Oilers.

  2. Purcell wants to shoot more in Edmonton

    Jul 27, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    Teddy Purcell Getty Images

    He has a few guys that can help make it happen there.

  3. Sabres re-sign Adam to one-year two-way deal

    Jul 27, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

    Luke Adam Getty Images

    He was their final restricted free agent.

  4. Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal

    Jul 27, 2014, 3:54 PM EDT

    Derick Brassard Getty Images

    He emerged as the team’s No. 2 center last season.

  5. Ortio’s new contract becomes one-way in 2015-16

    Jul 27, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT

    Joni Ortio Getty Images

    That adds another layer to the Flames’ goaltending competition.

  6. Columbus agrees to terms with Dana Tyrell

    Jul 27, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT

    Dana Tyrell Getty Images

    He has played in 132 NHL games.

  7. Hiller’s recovery from appendicitis should be quick

    Jul 27, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, of the Czech Republic, gets water after giving up a goal to Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) AP

    It led to him having a minor procedure.

  8. Mirco Mueller motivated by Sharks’ ‘tomorrow team’ talk

    Jul 27, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT

    Mirco Mueller Getty Images

    He’ll enter training camp with a shot of making the team.

  9. Flames re-sign Cundari to one-year deal

    Jul 26, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Mark Cundari Getty Images

    We’ve hit that part of free agency.

  10. Sens meeting with agents of Ryan, MacArthur next week

    Jul 26, 2014, 9:57 PM EDT

    Bobby Ryan Getty Images

    They’re both eligible to become free agents next summer.

  11. Bill Peters has high hopes to fix Hurricanes power play

    Jul 26, 2014, 8:20 PM EDT

    Bill Peters AP

    They had the league’s third-worst unit last season.

  12. Subban not eager to discuss contract talks

    Jul 26, 2014, 6:50 PM EDT

    P.K. Subban Getty Images

    He’s scheduled for arbitration on Friday.

  13. Caps’ Ward will bring Trotz expertise to locker room

    Jul 26, 2014, 4:36 PM EDT

    Joel Ward Getty Images

    He was injured during World Championships in May.

Featured video

Bettman hears the boos in Philly
Top 10 NHL Player Searches