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Yakupov: ‘It’s pretty cold on the bench’

Dec 27, 2013, 10:50 AM EDT

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After playing a season-low 6:29 in Edmonton’s 6-2 win over Winnipeg prior to the holiday break, Nail Yakupov is looking to get back to a healthy dose of playing time — if only to stay warm.

“I can’t say it was good,” Yakupov told the Edmonton Journal. “I want to play more. It’s pretty cold on the bench, but I have to work in practice and find more minutes.”

Even though the 20-year-old scored two points (1G, 1A) against the Jets, head coach Dallas Eakins had him bolted to the pine for the majority of the night. Yakupov played two shifts in the first period, two in the second, then four in the final frame — when the game was basically settled — that prompted questions of Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish.

Specifically, should the Oilers have considered sending Yakupov to AHL Oklahoma City over the holiday break, like they did with Magnus Paajarvi during his sophomore campaign?

No way, said MacT, adding “I don’t think it’s going to serve him well.”

The Oilers take on Alberta rivals Calgary at the Saddledome tonight. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of minutes Yakupov gets against a team he’s had great success against, scoring three goals and five points in six career games against the Flames.

  1. esracerx46 - Dec 27, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    As much as I dislike him. It sounds like they’ve finally gotten through to Yakupov. He’s not whining about playing time, but saying he has to work harder and find minutes.

    • bigoldorcafromvan - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      His agent was crying minutes earlier on in the season. Like the question was Eakins why isn.t Nail playing more?

  2. flyerspsu - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Oilers should trade him, the team is just riddled with undersized skilled offensive players that dont play defense, Yakupov clearly being the biggest one, those type of players dont win cups, they should deal him for a dman

  3. djshnooks - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Buffalo will give you Drew Stafford, Ville Leino, Jamie McBain, Henrik Tallinder and a couple 2nd round picks for him.

  4. slysipops - Dec 27, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    LOOK…. IT’S LIKE THIS : …………

  5. ray2013 - Dec 28, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Yak didn’t just get two points; he got the Gordie Howe hat-trick.

    I’m not sure how much more he would need to do to get more minutes.

    • flyerspsu - Dec 29, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      play defense

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