It’s like that annoying mosquito that won’t quit buzzing in your ear when you’re trying to sleep; the Nail Yakupov drama continues today after another loss by the Edmonton Oilers last night in which they failed to score a goal.
It was Larionov who threw gas on a fire that was all but out, stating he and his client were unhappy with how the Oilers were utilizing the 20-year Yakupov. He then went as far as to say that if the Oilers have given up on him that both he and Yakupov would welcome a trade to any other team. Since then, the Yakupov watch has heightened and is again the fore front of any and all Oilers trade rumors.
Larionov was in attendance at last night’s 3-0 loss to the Dallas Stars and plans on staying for Friday’s home game against the San Jose Sharks while sneaking in a meeting with the team’s general manager.
What’s on his agenda? Well, Nail Yakupov naturally and the team’s stance on his future. Larionov claims he wants to help his client get better, stating that Yakupov loves it in Edmonton and wants to help his team win. What will a meeting with the GM do to help that process? Eakins and his coaching staff will decide when and how to use Yakupov on the ice and if he continues to be a liability, his ice-time needs to be earned, much like trust.
Have the Oilers given up on the Russian sniper despite head coach Dallas Eakins denying trade rumors last week? No one knows but the Oilers brass and it’s doubtful that MacTavish is going to tip his hand to the former player turned agent.
Or perhaps Larionov plans on asking that his client be traded and forcing MacTavish to move Yakupov despite the team’s plans to try and develop his game.
The Oilers season is all but lost at this point and moving Yakupov for a high return won’t help this club make the playoffs, at least not this year. But if an agent is that upset and wants answers as to why the Oilers are utilizing him in the fashion they are, does he have the right to walk in and demand a trade? Yes, that is his right. But going through the media isn’t necessarily the proper channel.
Larionov is taking much of the blame for Yakupov airing his dirty laundry to the media. Now we’ll wait and see if he continues to run his mouth to the public over what was discussed at his meeting with MacTavish.
One thing is certain, this saga is far from over.