Tonight word broke on twitter that Larionov is unhappy with how Yakupov is being used and if the Oilers are unhappy with Yakupov they could trade him. The author of these quotes was Craig Custance, Senior NHL writer for ESPN Magazine. That is a credible source.
His quotes on twitter.
Igor Larionov says he’s got a trip planned to Edmonton to discuss how Nail Yakupov is being used. Pretty unhappy.
If EDM unhappy with him, Larionov said Yak open to trade: “We’re willing to make a move. Any team. That happens and that’s part of life.”
On twitter this evening I voiced that I was upset with Yakupov as I saw a sense of entitlement. I got a lot of reaction on twitter. Mostly I wasn’t to assume that Yakupov had any part in Larionov’s comments. Here are a couple of examples
give it a rest there lady. Like u know that much or if anything
his agent said something, not the kid. Go away with your terrible ideas.
Hey they are right, I have had some terrible and downright stupid ideas in my time. In fact, I hope I am completely wrong. I hope Yakupov is really happy and this is much ado about nothing. I hope he comes out and tells the world that everything was blown out of proportion by his agent.
Then again, Let’s examine why I don’t think that Larionov is acting on his own and without any input from Yakupov.
First there is the definition of an agent, I quote from the American Heritage Dictionary. “One that acts or has the power or authority to act. One empowered to act or represent another”. Agents represent their clients.
Larionov is not coming to Edmonton on a whim, and I don’t believe he is acting on his own. I believe that Yakupov is not happy about the way he is being used. This is not a wild idea that I came up with on my own. Yakupov already made similar comments earlier this season.
I wasn’t happy about it last night,” said Yakupov. “You can say a million words about getting better but coach says I’m not playing, so I’m not playing.
“I’m not happy about it. I just want to play every game.
“I’m going to play my game,” he said. “I’m not going to change but maybe play better without the puck, or forecheck more, but I love playing with the puck. I really don’t like skating all the time, and forechecking, and hitting somebody every shift. I don’t think it’s my game.”
Twice he noted he wasn’t happy. Notice he also commented about how he was used. He doesn’t think fore-checking or skating and hitting every shift is his game.
Hmm, so let’s sum up Yakupov’s feelings. He wasn’t happy and wants to play his game. In other words he was unhappy about how he was being used. That is close to exactly what Larionov said.
Now it is possible that Larionov decided to go public on his own and that would be on him but it is pretty evident that Yakupov isn’t happy. As a fan I am concerned. Hitting, forechecking and skating describe what hockey is all about and after 65 games you don’t dictate how you should be used.
For me Yakupov’s comments show a sense of entitlement that he hasn’t earned and both instances are huge red flags.
On the other hand, Yakupov is 20 years old and extremely talented and I want him to succeed in Edmonton. Like most 20 year olds, he is also immature and that is too be expected. I hope that this is a misunderstanding and it is all straightened out. Honestly, though I think that this might be the beginning of the end of Yakupov’s career in Edmonton.