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Yakupov switches to less enigmatic jersey number

Jul 29, 2014, 10:02 PM EST

yakupovfocusgetty Getty Images

Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov has gone minus-54 this offseason.

Yakupov, the first overall selection at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, has ditched the No. 64 he wore for his first two seasons in the NHL in favor of Shawn Horcoff‘s old No. 10, per the Edmonton Sun.

Here’s more:

Yakupov grew up wearing 10, but it was not available in his first season with the Oilers, taken by then captain Shawn Horcoff.

“Yeah, I’ve always played with the No. 10, it’s my favourite number,” said Yakupov, making a stop at the Oilers hockey school in St. Albert on Tuesday. “Horc said I could wear No. 10, so I’ll take it. If I have a chance to change it I will.

“I don’t want to say too much about it, it’s not like I think changing the number is going to change my game or something, it’s just a number. There may be a different number on my jersey, but the last name is going to be the same.”

The 20-year-old Russian, who experienced the dictionary definition of a sophomore slump last season, scored just 24 points in 63 games and occasionally sat as a healthy scratch, leading to friction with head coach Dallas Eakins. Yakupov also struggled with various injuries, finished a ghastly minus-33 (hence that killer lede) and, as is too often the case with slumping Russian players, got tagged as enigmatic/mercurial/aloof.

This was, of course, before he switched to No. 10. Everything should be great now!

  1. lowenni - Jul 29, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    I’m assuming the whole ‘enigmatic number’ title thing was sarcastic

    • blomfeld - Jul 31, 2014 at 1:09 AM

      Rattus Norvegicus …

      One of the largest muroids, it is a brown or grey rodent with a body up to 25 cm (10 in) long, and a similar tail length; the male weighs on average 350 g (12 oz) and the female 250 g (9 oz). Thought to have originated in northern China, this rodent has now spread to all continents except Antarctica, and is the dominant rat in Europe and much of North America, making it by at least this particular definition the most successful mammal on the planet after humans. With rare exceptions, the brown rat lives wherever humans live, particularly in urban areas and on sports internet sites.

  2. mpg44 - Jul 29, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    But he summed up all of his problems with one statement . ” the number maybe different , but the last name is still the same.” Neither the name nor the number should come before the emblem on the front.

    • blomfeld - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:18 AM

      God acts in mysterious ways at times … but ‘act’ he always does !

      The bottom line friends is that Yakupov became a ‘target’ of the man upstairs ever since that ‘disrespectful’ celebratory dance of his two years ago in Edmonton … no two ways about it. Because that performance of his was both ‘cowardly and repugnant’ and as Don Cherry said at the time … “you simply don’t go and try to humiliate the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy holder like that”. So despite the change of number, I suspect that Yakupov will now continue to suffer in the doldrums, at least until such time that he comes clean and finally apologizes to both Jonathan Quick and our entire Kings Nation.

      GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

      • capsfan14 - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        You’re an idiot.

      • jernster21 - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        There is no God. You’re proof of that.

      • blomfeld - Jul 31, 2014 at 1:09 AM

        Rattus Norvegicus …

        One of the largest muroids, it is a brown or grey rodent with a body up to 25 cm (10 in) long, and a similar tail length; the male weighs on average 350 g (12 oz) and the female 250 g (9 oz). Thought to have originated in northern China, this rodent has now spread to all continents except Antarctica, and is the dominant rat in Europe and much of North America, making it by at least this particular definition the most successful mammal on the planet after humans. With rare exceptions, the brown rat lives wherever humans live, particularly in urban areas and on sports internet sites.

  3. letsgolightning - Jul 29, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Serious question (and because the offseason is boring): Yakupov is on the last year of his entry-level deal. If he has another sub-par year, where is he next year? KHL?

    • 19to77 - Jul 29, 2014 at 11:11 PM

      Probably. He’ll want way more than any arbitrator awards him if he chokes like that again. Aside from that, it’s pretty apparent he’s no fan of the city or the organization. Not much incentive to stick around when the KHL is offering the overpayment and god-worship he so clearly wants.

      • cliffatola - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        Guys that are coming off of their ELC have no arbitration rights if memory serves me correctly, there is a calculator that tells a team the bare minimum they have to make a qualifying offer and all they have to do is offer it to retain his rights. So they can make the offer and he can bolt to the KHL but if he ever wants to return to the NHL it will have to be through Edmonton. If he doesn’t get the 6m a year Eberle, Hall and RNH got I would bet it is a certainty he does.

  4. 34defense2014 - Jul 29, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Sooooo, mpg44 you root for laundry?

    • mpg44 - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:29 AM

      Team first you ass hat!!

  5. vbcaps - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    Is he just over rated ?

  6. jernster21 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    Not a big deal, no one had his #64 jersey anyway.

  7. rushledger - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    Pierre Lebrun was on TSN a few weeks ago and the oilers and the draft came up and he mentioned that he still can’t believe they passed on Murray to take Yakopov. I’m with him on that, still the oilers always rush their picks to the NHL, so they should have had Yakopov play in the chl another year I think that should have been the case.

  8. quinner17 - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:49 AM

    Blomfeld I get the feeling that with all your stupid comments all the time that you just started to jump on the hockey wagon in 2012

    • blomfeld - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:26 AM

      Sinner # 17 …

      no friend, I actually became a King’s fan way back in ’73, here in Vancouver of all places … anyway, it’s been 41 years now and ‘never’ before have I ever enjoyed my support for our team as I do today ! … yes sir ! :) … regardless, ‘you’ people keep going on about this 2012 ‘crap’ which is completely erroneous … because the fact of the matter is that it was in ‘January of 2012′ that I discovered PHT and it’s cadre of ‘fine’ sports journalists, not the LA Kings whom I’d already been supporting for 39 x years at the time … ya dig ? :)

      GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

      • wutangwild - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        I think the whole definition of insanity (trying the same thing over and over with no different result i.e. Elvis videos and horrendous use of the quotation mark) is applicable here

      • blomfeld - Jul 31, 2014 at 1:10 AM

        Rattus Norvegicus …

        One of the largest muroids, it is a brown or grey rodent with a body up to 25 cm (10 in) long, and a similar tail length; the male weighs on average 350 g (12 oz) and the female 250 g (9 oz). Thought to have originated in northern China, this rodent has now spread to all continents except Antarctica, and is the dominant rat in Europe and much of North America, making it by at least this particular definition the most successful mammal on the planet after humans. With rare exceptions, the brown rat lives wherever humans live, particularly in urban areas and on sports internet sites.

    • 19to77 - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      But actually, yeah, he started posting here roughly halfway through the 2012 playoffs and goes silent for weeks when the Kings are playing poorly. For example, we hadn’t heard a whisper from him between the end of the regular season and game four of the Sharks series this year. We thought he might have died. How optimistic we were.

  9. icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:25 AM

    Good for him. I feel he will have a bounce back year.

  10. cheeseheadbybirth - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    It’s simple math: he wore #64, he was a minus 54, so his new number is 10.

  11. bildomatic - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    “I don’t want to say too much about it, it’s not like I think changing the number is going to change my game or something, it’s just a number. There may be a different number on my jersey, but the last name is going to be the same.”

    That last sentence says everything you need to know about Nail… “The last name is going to be the same…” Really Nail? How about the crest on the front???

    • cliffatola - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      Most Russians have proven several times over that the only thing they care about is the name on the back while in North America and then it is about the name on the front when it is an international event such as the Olympics.

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