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‘There’s no fight’ in relationship between Eakins, Yakupov

May 26, 2014, 8:58 PM EDT

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In terms of sophomore slumps, it seemed Nail Yakupov went from one low point to another last season for the Edmonton Oilers.

The former first overall pick from 2012 scored only 11 goals and 24 points in 63 games in 2013-14 with the Oilers, having also dealt with being a healthy scratch and concussion issues and an ankle injury at the end of February that experienced a setback in April.

It never seemed him and rookie head coach Dallas Eakins were on the same page, either. Eakins tried to put to rest any notion that the relationship between him and Yakupov had been strained this past season.

“My relationship with Nail is a great one,” Eakins told The Fan 590’s Greg Brady and Andrew Walker, as per

“That’s why I kind of chuckle with the way it gets drawn out in the media. You take a kid out of the lineup and suddenly there’s a big fight going on. Well, there’s no fight. Nail understood what was going on.”

So, there’s that. But it will still be interesting to see what happens this off-season with the 20-year-old Yakupov, who has one more year remaining on his entry-level contract with the Oilers.

In the middle of March, with the end of the regular season in sight and toward the end of a difficult season overall for the Oilers, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that it appeared unlikely Yakupov would be back in Edmonton for next season.

  1. roblo76 - May 26, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    Riiiiight. Both are in WAY over their heads.

  2. luz56 - May 26, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    Is this going to be 6 head coaches in 6 years??? They are the Cleveland Browns of the NHL… All these high first overall picks and nothing but excuses…

    • robocop3999 - May 27, 2014 at 12:19 AM

      Im Edmontonian, and I totally agree with you.

  3. bills4 - May 26, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    Eakins is a bloody idiot and a really bad coach!!

    • dueman - May 27, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      Based on what??? Because he is the 5th coach in 6 years that hasn’t been able to perform a miracle with this Edmonton team? The problem in Edmonton is not coaching, but rather the GM, and his over valuing of his players. A good GM would have made a trade last year, or maybe even the year before, to help their defense, and goal tending. Just because they decided to pay some players a lot of money, doesn’t mean that those players are all actually worth that money. If they are not going to do anything to make the team better, why would you expect a coach to suddenly be the difference?

  4. luz56 - May 26, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Time too look at the idiot who keeps hiring these coaches and looking at the scouts who keep drafting these prima donnas

  5. canada2014gold - May 27, 2014 at 1:37 AM

    Ouch, I’m a nucks fan and even I can see the oilers could turn this around with a bolder gm. They drafted the best player available. Just so happens they drafted a lot of the same type, move some to space out the skill and size. They are still a lot of Canadian boys do I gotta cheer them on a little.

  6. luz56 - May 27, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Flames and Coyotes fan here…. Oilers have assembled some nice talent but pieces don’t fit… I’m told there is dysfunction in the dressing room with all these young egos that dislike one another

  7. cliffatola - May 27, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    There never will be any drama between them because when the Oil wises up and doesn’t offer Yakupov the 6m they paid RNH, Eberle and Hall he is gonna bolt to the KHL and it is also likely that Eakins will be gone by then too.

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