RE 13-14 NAIL YAKUPOV: DOMINO

Nail Yakupov spent one entire season wandering in the wilderness.  Theories rain from every available source on what went wrong, and it took some time to figure it out. The answer: Inside.

NAIL YAKUPOV 12-13

  • 5×5 points per 60: 2.20 (3rd among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 4.20 (5th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 7th toughest among regular forwards (second-third line opp)
  • Qual Team: 7th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: -5.1(11th best among regular forwards, -15.22 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 51.1% (6th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 51.0% (6th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 81/20.99% (1st among F’s>70 shots)
  • Boxcars: 48, 17-14-31
  • Plus Minus: -4 on a team that was -15

NAIL YAKUPOV 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.45 (5th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.68 (7th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 7th toughest among regular forwards (second-third line opp)
  • Qual Team: 4th best teammates among regular forwards (second-line teammates)
  • Corsi Rel: 0.6 (9th best among regular forwards)
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 44.9
  • Corsi for % Rel 5×5: +0.8
  • Zone Start: 64.2% (easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 52.0% (best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 122/9% (5th among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 63, 11-13-24
  • Plus Minus: -33 on a team that was -51

RE 13-14: 82, 29-23-52 .634

ACTUAL: 63, 11-13-24 .381

  1. Ha ha! That RE is the suckiest suck that ever sucked. Parkatti’s was worse.
  2. I can’t believe you did that! Parkatti also wrote a brilliant piece here.
  3. Still, ASS! Heh. Yeah. Parkatti’s a friend, he’ll be fine.
  4. I’ve been waiting for this one. Eakins is going to burn in hell for what he did to the Russian!!!! Why?
  5. Well, he did something. Rat fink! WHAT pray tell did he do?
  6. Oh, he ruined him good. HOW?
  7. Ralph gave him more power-play time! No. Ralph gave Yakupov 2:28 a night with the man advantage (12:04 at evens) and Eakins gave him 2:10 (PP) and 12:07 at even strength.
  8. Ralph gave him better zone starts!! No. One of the things people missed completely about Eakins this year is just how HARD he worked at getting Yakupov into offensive, productive situations. The ZS for Yak (64.2) was the easiest on the team.
  9. Ralph gave him better linemates!!!! Ralph gave him Gagner, Paajarvi and Hemsky, Eakins gave him Gagner, Nuge, Eberle. I can agree that Gagner was no gift this past season, but there’s no evidence I can find where he was gifted Prem linemates.
  10. Prem? Look it up.
  11. Well, he did something!!! Sure. I think it was pretty clear Eakins asked him to play with more structure in his game, but Ralph would have gotten to that eventually.
  12. You’re such a bag of dinks. I don’t think that’s a phrase. At least, not a good one.
  13. So you’re blaming the Russian kid? No, actually I’m not blaming him at all. Yakupov’s got a long way to go, farther than the other guys Edmonton took number one overall, and it’s going to be tough to get there. I think he’s worth the investment.
  14. Eakins is completely innocent in all of this? I would have liked Eakins to feature Yak’s shot from the right-side high slot on the power play, and I do think it cost coach and player. It may also be true that the coach was using the power play as a carrot, and that’s a useful tool. Overall, I don’t think they used him to full potential this season. I don’t think Eakins was the bad guy here.
  15. Did the Oilers do anything wrong with this player? I don’t like the breaking down of players. It’s an old school thing and it has mixed results. I’m fairly certain they did it, and the healthy scratches were a bit much too. My criticism is they were more apt to humiliate Yakupov than they had been with Hall and Nuge. However, Eakins wasn’t here when they were rookies so I’m not going to go crazy about it. That may be Eakins style. Probably is his style.
  16. And you’re okay with it? I would say Dallas Eakins should be given the leeway to do what he thinks best in developing each player to his full potential. However, in the case of Yakupov he better be right. If the Oilers blow this, I think everyone should be fired. Seriously.
  17. Why? Your scouts (apparently) didn’t want him, someone stepped in and made the Yakupov selections. THEN as an added bonus the team can’t get on the same development page and ruin the player. I don’t think anyone can defend that sequence of events, should it happen that way.
  18. This kind of thing pisses me off. You’re saying it’s a house divided, but where were you BEFORE the draft? Right here. Right damn here.
  19. At the beginning, you promised an answer to what went wrong with Yakupov’s season. Spill.  Shooting percentage.
  20. What? Please understand there were mistakes, stubbornness, confidence lost, anger, rage, confusion and myriad other things involved, but one of the big elements that impacted his season was a major correction in his shooting perentage.
  21. Walk me through it. Well, as a rookie Yakupov boasted a 20.99% shooting percentage, and that corrected to 9%. It’s a big drop off, and it makes up for most of the difference in my RE/actual factual numbers.
  22. Do the math. Yakupov took 122 shots this season. If he’d maintained a 20.99% shooting percentage, his boxcars would have been 63, 26-13-39 .619, and that’s in the range of my RE.
  23. Didn’t you account for that? Yes, yes I did. However, I didn’t think he’d go back to 9% and felt Yakupov would get many more shots and that his goal-scoring ability was real. Still think so, but he had a difficult season in a lot of ways.
  24. What will his RE be next season? Hmm. I’ll guess 73, 20-19-39. Something like that.
  25. Why this song? Someone suggested it, and it’s a hammer song from a hammer singer for a hammer player.

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89 Responses to "RE 13-14 NAIL YAKUPOV: DOMINO"

  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Does Kingdom Hall have any non JW reference points?

    Also, Charles Taze Russell (great name), was an interesting cat.

    If I could go back to the late 19th century to observe all those compelling millennial groups starting, I’d have a blast.

    ———
    Big Matzo Ball (Happy Passover kids!)…

    Do MacT and Larionov get a 1st OV extension done this offseason?

  2. mumbai max says:

    It breaks my heart when people propose trading Yak. I love the kid. Raw enthusiasm and skill just dying to bust out. PLEASE don’t trade the Yak. Give him however much time it takes. There would be NOTHING worse than watching him score 40 somewhere else, regardless of who we got in return. Gagner, Shultz, Eberle. So long, I will be over you in a couple of days. But not Yak. I want to watch him with that giant goofy genuine grin hoisting the Cup in the new barn.

  3. flyfish1168 says:

    I hope this season is water under the bridge for Eakins and Yak. JMHO I see Yak as someone very passionate about the game and unfortunately he lost his confidence during this season. I really hope MacT keeps his word and develops Yak. He is important for the Oilers to succeed with 2nd line scoring.

  4. Woodguy says:

    I suggested this tune because its about a relationship that is at a turning point.

    Things have gone wrong and neither side understands the other.

    The key though is that the relationship isn’t over.

    I think year 2 on Yak’s resume could just be like year 4 on Smyth’s resume:

    1995-1996 48gp 2g 9a 11pts 3.1SH%
    1996-1997 82gp 39g 22a 61pts 14.7SH%
    1997-1998 65gp 20g 13a 33pts 9.8SH%
    1998-1999 71gp 13g 18a 31pts 8.1SH%
    1999-2000 82gp 28g 26a 54pts 11.8SH%
    2000-2001 82gp 31g 39a 70pts 12.7SH%

    I have half a mind to go and look for some local columns about Smyth in 97/98.

    Wonder what the narratives built around that season sounded like?

    Yak is a very, very talented player.

    There can be a home here for him.

    I really hope they find it together.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Does Kingdom Hall have any non JW reference points?

    Also, Charles Taze Russell (great name), was an interesting cat.

    If I could go back to the late 19th century to observe all those weird millennial groups starting, I’d have a blast.

    ———
    Big Matzo Ball (Happy Passover kids!)…

    Do MacT and Larionov get a 1st OV extension done this offseason?

    I deleted that portion, so for those who didn’t see it I made some comments involving the song Kingdom Hall. I deleted because it’s a tough subject and I didn’t want to get too personal.

    As far as I know, Kingdom Halls are JW exclusive, although I haven’t done any research.

    When I was a kid, the Russell story was framed as a real scholar taking the time to find the ‘truth’ by going back and identifying the actual words written as they appeared. We were taught that the ‘New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures’ found real and massive gaps in what other Bibles taught.

    It’s funny, you never really lose what’s been drilled into your brain as a child. You kind of build brain paths to stay out of the territory, but it’s there all the same.

  6. Woodguy says:

    I hate the way he went to the press to bitch and whine this year.

    Hate it.

    I’m laying all of that at Larionov’s feet.

    A 19 year old is capable of thinking and doing many things.

    I have no idea why Larionov thought that good could come from it and should have stopped him.

    Terrrible, terrible move that may have created a permanent rift between him and his team mates and/or coach.

  7. Numenius says:

    mumbai max:
    It breaks my heart when people propose trading Yak. I love the kid. Raw enthusiasm and skill just dying to bust out. PLEASE don’t trade the Yak. Give him however much time it takes. There would be NOTHING worse than watching him score 40 somewhere else, regardless of who we got in return. Gagner, Shultz, Eberle. So long, I will be over you in a couple of days. But not Yak. I want to watch him with that giant goofy genuine grin hoisting the Cup in the new barn.

    Yes, this all day.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    I hate the way he went to the press to bitch and whine this year.

    Hate it.

    I’m laying all of that at Larionov’s feet.

    A 19 year old is capable of thinking and doing many things.

    I have no idea why Larionov thought that good could come from it and should have stopped him.

    Terrrible, terrible move that may have created a permanent rift between him and his team mates and/or coach.

    Great point, and of course Yakupov will pay for that one all down the line.

  9. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy:
    I hate the way he went to the press to bitch and whine this year.

    Hate it.

    I’m laying all of that at Larionov’s feet.

    A 19 year old is capable of thinking and doing many things.

    I have no idea why Larionov thought that good could come from it and should have stopped him.

    Terrrible, terrible move that may have created a permanent rift between him and his team mates and/or coach.

    That was one of the many low points. Unfortunately there was a few post games by Eakins that didn’t help. I hope both learnt and its water under the bridge. I can’t help but think Yak making another bad decision by running to the KHL.

  10. mumbai max says:

    Woodguy:
    I hate the way he went to the press to bitch and whine this year.

    Hate it.

    I’m laying all of that at Larionov’s feet.

    A 19 year old is capable of thinking and doing many things.

    I have no idea why Larionov thought that good could come from it and should have stopped him.

    Terrrible, terrible move that may have created a permanent rift between him and his team mates and/or coach.

    Because I am permanently wearing ‘red’ tinted glasses, I am putting that down to youth and language. All is forgiven Mr. Yak. 40 goals please.

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: I deleted that portion, so for those who didn’t see it I made some comments involving the song Kingdom Hall. I deleted because it’s a tough subject and I didn’t want to get too personal.

    As far as I know, Kingdom Halls are JW exclusive, although I haven’t done any research.

    When I was a kid, the Russell story was framed as a real scholar taking the time to find the ‘truth’ by going back and identifying the actual words written as they appeared. We were taught that the ‘New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures’ found real and massive gaps in what other Bibles taught.

    It’s funny, you never really lose what’s been drilled into your brain as a child. You kind of build brain paths to stay out of the territory, but it’s there all the same.

    It’s your blog, but I don’t think you said anything off-putting

    FWIW, I went back and changed the word “weird” in my post to “compelling” because that is actually a better description of my take… I don’t sneer at people I find interesting, but I may be a bit of an outlier in that regard. My favorite radio show (after yours) is this:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/01/the-listener/307840/

    Your history of Russell probably isn’t that far off the truth, it’s just been made over in the eyes of revelation. I mean Mary Baker Eddy (another great name), a contemporary of Russell, was something of a “scholar” too. Interesting folks.

    Sidebar… we like to forget that the history of the enlightenment includes side projects from all the great rational minds. from Newton to Kant and on most of these folks held beliefs they wrote about, which today would sounds absurd and are all too easily pruned from the canon.

    Schelling was deeply interested in Mesmerism. Everyone was. Hell, Swedenborg was so popular in the 18th cent. that Kant wrote a very interesting piece on him:

    https://archive.org/details/dreamsofspirits00kant

  12. Zangetsu says:

    I hate the way he was benched, what was it three games in? I know it was the same game Hall got moved back to the wing because he was a walking shitshow. All season long, Eakins was blaming Yakupov, slowly breaking down his confidence. The whole reason Yakupov went to the media (although it wasn’t smart) was because Eakins essentially bullied him to the point where he didn’t feel he could do anything right as an oiler. When yak cost a goal midway through the season-it was about the 4th or 5th goal in a blowout loss-Eakins threw Yak right under the bus, even though other mistakes were possibly more horrendous, and came at worse times. If this were the 1800′s, I would brand Eakins a witch, and burn him at the stake for his crimes.

  13. russ99 says:

    If I had one question I could ask Eakins about this year (and I would have many) it would be: You inherited a 19 year old kid with sheer will to win who as a rookie was on a pace to score 25+ goals had it been a full season last year. So why exactly did you feel there was a need to completely change the way he plays?

    Eakins cookie cutter coached these guys despite his preseason comments to the contrary. Which can be summed up in quote: “Hit someone every shift”.

    Btw: The benching was the tip of the iceberg. The underwater part was trying to turn a talented sniper into a grinder.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Zangetsu:
    I hate the way he was benched, what was it three games in? I know it was the same game Hall got moved back to the wing because he was a walking shitshow. All season long, Eakins was blaming Yakupov, slowly breaking down his confidence. The whole reason Yakupov went to the media (although it wasn’t smart) was because Eakins essentially bullied him to the point where he didn’t feel he could do anything right as an oiler. When yak cost a goal midway through the season-it was about the 4th or 5th goal in a blowout loss-Eakins threw Yak right under the bus, even though other mistakes were possibly more horrendous, and came at worse times. If this were the 1800′s, I would brand Eakins a witch, and burn him at the stake for his crimes.

    I think younger Oiler fans would do well to read up on Glen Sather and the young Oilers. Different era, sure, but the idea that Eakins was free to whip Yakupov about the face and hands daily is flat out wrong.

    One imagines the pressure on a rookie coach to have all of the #1 overalls perform at a high level was/is immense. Ralph and Dallas go about it a different way.

    I’m surprised at how many seem to believe Eakins is alone in these kinds of coaching strategies. I believe they are rife, and that suggests proven.

  15. Zangetsu says:

    Lowetide,

    I’m not saying others don’t practice the strategy, but there are a lot of outdated ideas still abundant in the nhl. +/-, hitting, fighting, don cherry type stuff. The other coaches who are hard asses that I can think of actually implement good defensive systems, Hitchcock and Tortorella for example. That said different players react differently, which is why Vancouver imploded (whiners and babies and finks). The reason I think those teams that have the disciplinarian style are successful is because the coaches actually have good systems, not because they bully their players. I look at Scotty Bowman who changed his coaching style over the years to better suit his players. From what I’ve read in his biography, he was almost a players coach by 02. The second best coach ever should be what we model after.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Zangetsu:
    Lowetide,

    I’m not saying others don’t practice the strategy, but there are a lot of outdated ideas still abundant in the nhl. +/-, hitting, fighting, don cherry type stuff. The other coaches who are hard asses that I can think of actually implement good defensive systems, Hitchcock and Tortorella for example. That said different players react differently, which is why Vancouver imploded (whiners and babies and finks). The reason I think those teams that have the disciplinarian style are successful is because the coaches actually have good systems, not because they bully their players. I look at Scotty Bowman who changed his coaching style over the years to better suit his players. From what I’ve read in his biography, he was almost a players coach by 02. The second best coach ever should be what we model after.

    By ’02 Bowman was coaching veterans who knew their roles by rote. We can’t compare the 2002 Detroit Red wings to the current Oilers. That’s not close to the same.

  17. Ducey says:

    Zangetsu:
    Lowetide,

    I’m not saying others don’t practice the strategy, but there are a lot of outdated ideas still abundant in the nhl. +/-, hitting, fighting, don cherry type stuff. The other coaches who are hard asses that I can think of actually implement good defensive systems, Hitchcock and Tortorella for example. That said different players react differently, which is why Vancouver imploded (whiners and babies and finks). The reason I think those teams that have the disciplinarian style are successful is because the coaches actually have good systems, not because they bully their players. I look at Scotty Bowman who changed his coaching style over the years to better suit his players. From what I’ve read in his biography, he was almost a players coach by 02. The second best coach ever should be what we model after.

    Sorry, but this is ridiculous.

    Please provide a list of all the current NHL coaches that would put up with Yak floating thru the neutral zone on the backcheck or winding it up like in junior only to be stripped of the puck. I am sure there are 29 other coaches that would have been very happy with the -33.

    Hall got thrown under the bus this time last year by Ruff. Ovi got roasted 3 or 4 times very publically by Oates this year for that kind of stuff. Mike Babcock would have sent Yak back to the AHL for doing it. MacT would have fourth lined him for a month. Sather would have bagged skated him for two days and then bragged about it in the paper.

    Eakins spent the whole season breaking these habits from all the stars. By the end of the year he sat down with Yak and showed him some numbers to build up his confidence that he actually was doing fine.

    You can blame the coach all you want but the reality is that Eakins wasn’t asking Yak to do anything he wouldn’t be asked to anywhere else. Better he learn how to play some defense now than be Gagner v.2 in few years.

  18. Zangetsu says:

    We’re just gonna have to agree to disagree. I don’t think eakin’s style is effective, and his systems are weak by my eye. I didn’t particularly love ralph, but the style him and renney brought was better for our situation. If the kid’s new nothing about defence as Eakin’s proposed, then it’s his job to teach it in a way that makes them want to play it. You can’t really work hard at something you don’t want to do. Call the kids spoiled or whatever but I believe they would learn better under a Renney. Another bad decision by Tambo which Lowe let happen.

  19. sliderule says:

    Woodguy:
    I hate the way he went to the press to bitch and whine this year.

    Hate it.

    I’m laying all of that at Larionov’s feet.

    A 19 year old is capable of thinking and doing many things.

    I have no idea why Larionov thought that good could come from it and should have stopped him.

    Terrrible, terrible move that may have created a permanent rift between him and his team mates and/or coach.

    The oilers were warned before the draft that the father was overly involved when Yak was in Sarnia.

    Whether he t had anything to do with going to press I do not know.

    The kid seems so enthusiastic I can’t see him whining.

    He may be a round peg in a square hole with the oilers management but hopefully it can be worked out without giving him away like they have done with some other players.

  20. Zangetsu says:

    Ducey,

    I didn’t mean put up with it. I simply meant deal with it constructively. I feel eakins was too quick to throw a kid under the bus. A few meetings would have been preferable to his treatment of Yak up til the presser. We don’t know if meeting were had or not, but by Yakupov’s statements about not knowing what the coach wants, I think its safe to say eakins took the show don’t tell approach. Actions speak louder than words when there is a language barrier.

  21. flyfish1168 says:

    JMHO. When you draft 3 #1′s overall you should understand what type of player you are getting. They are always the one that leads in points, get away by being excellent in the O-zone and is the headline player that people come out to watch.

    Eakins from the get go should have realize you can’t change these players into sound defensive players overnight, let alone players that are immature and has played this way all there lives. This includes Eberle and Schulz. He should have slowly implemented his system bit by bit. The whole system was way to much to swallow. I believe that was what Ralph was doing.

    I believe what is fair for one player it is fair for the whole team. Being the head cheese you need to be objective and treat everyone the same. People are smart enough to see and feel when they are being treated equally. Just because a player has been around longer does not mean you can get away with more, in fact you should lead by example. This is a team game make every player accountable and feel important, that is how the coach succeeds.

  22. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide,

    24.What will his RE be next season? Hmm. I’ll guess 73, 20-19-39. Something like that.

    That would be a fine season for Yak. I think a lot will depend on who is going to be his center.

    I’m hoping for a break out year for not only Nail but for the oilers as this is his contract year. If he were to have another year like this past one, ie. conflict with coach, healthy scratched, agent is again involved, I do wonder if the KHL comes calling. I think the concern of him bolting is a possibility if the oilers offer him a bridge contract but a KHL team offers him an enormous amount of money.

    I’m not saying that this is going to happen. I hope Yak puts up 30 goals and we have 4 – 30 goal scorers, and this is a non issue, but to me it is something that can not be overlooked.

  23. blainer says:

    Ducey: Sorry, but this is ridiculous.

    Please provide a list of all the current NHL coaches that would put up with Yak floating thru the neutral zone on the backcheck or winding it up like in junior only to be stripped of the puck.I am sure there are 29 other coaches that would have been very happy with the -33.

    Hall got thrown under the bus this time last year by Ruff.Ovi got roasted 3 or 4 times very publically by Oates this year for that kind of stuff.Mike Babcock would have sent Yak back to the AHL for doing it. MacT would have fourth lined him for a month.Sather would have bagged skated him for two days and then bragged about it in the paper.

    Eakins spent the whole season breaking these habits from all the stars.By the end of the year he sat down with Yak and showed him some numbers to build up his confidence that he actually was doing fine.

    You can blame the coach all you want but the reality is that Eakins wasn’t asking Yak to do anything he wouldn’t be asked to anywhere else.Better he learn how to play some defense now than be Gagner v.2 in few years.

    Well Said.

    If LT’s RE for next year is 39 points from Yak..try and move him now. Sorry I know a lot of people have the love for Yak but Ducey is right. I have watched him floating also and not just with oilers. he was floating out there in the WJC also. He is no where near the same level as Hall and RNH.

    Yak also had more time to develop before he played in the NHL as he got to play in the KHL for six months before joining the oilers. I might not like a lot of the things Eakins was doing this past year but in my opinion he wasn’t to blame for Yaks floating and perceived lack of compete. I am of the opinion he will not work out and won’t be disappointed if he is moved. This situation is starting to remind me of the Zheredev and Filatov fiasco and we all know how that turned out.

    There are many people on here who believe in him and I hope they are right as he certainly seems to be working hard in practise. I personally don’t see an elite player there but will try and drink the koolaid. Nothing will make me happier to see me proved wrong on this.

  24. cabbiesmacker says:

    mumbai max:
    It breaks my heart when people propose trading Yak. I love the kid. Raw enthusiasm and skill just dying to bust out. PLEASE don’t trade the Yak. Give him however much time it takes. There would be NOTHING worse than watching him score 40 somewhere else, regardless of who we got in return. Gagner, Shultz, Eberle. So long, I will be over you in a couple of days. But not Yak. I want to watch him with that giant goofy genuine grin hoisting the Cup in the new barn.

    I can’t make sense of this type of commentary.

    “Give him however much time it takes”?…Yes for sure. Take all the time you need at $5M per Yaks

    “Adios Eberle, I’ll be over you in a couple of days” “Hate to see Yak score 40 somewhere else”..??

    Eberle’s already scored 34 and 76 pts. (.62), (.97), (.77) and (.81) per game at 24 years old and is ok to bid adieu to but “We Hope” gets forever.

    We have nothing to say that Yakupov can ever score 34 or 76. One has history. One has “maybe” but you’ll rue seeing the potential vs the already happened leave.

    Bird in hand vs Bird in bush. Wild.

  25. One-Timer says:

    Woodguy:
    I hate the way he went to the press to bitch and whine this year.

    Hate it.

    I’m laying all of that at Larionov’s feet.

    A 19 year old is capable of thinking and doing many things.

    I have no idea why Larionov thought that good could come from it and should have stopped him.

    Terrrible, terrible move that may have created a permanent rift between him and his team mates and/or coach.

    A spat between a rookie player, rookie coach and a rookie agent… it’s all so very, very Oilers.

    With Belov gone (not to mention Bryz), are we already souring on the Oil’s “Russian Experiment”? Sleepy and Yak2 haven’t even set foot in town yet.

  26. Ducey says:

    Zangetsu:
    Ducey,

    I didn’t mean put up with it. I simply meant deal with it constructively. I feel eakins was too quick to throw a kid under the bus. A few meetings would have been preferable to his treatment of Yak up til the presser. We don’t know if meeting were had or not, but by Yakupov’s statements about not knowing what the coach wants, I think its safe to say eakins took the show don’t tell approach. Actions speak louder than words when there is a language barrier.

    Come on, man!

    Show don’t tell?

    Constructively?

    Throw under the bus?

    You go out to the store this morning and buy a bag of catch phrases?

    You admit that you don’t know if any meetings took place. Admit you have no idea how Eakins worked with Yak.

    I don’t either, but it does seem apparent that there was clear message sent to the whole team they were going to play better defensively.

    When you have had the worst goals against in the league for 4 years, that doesn’t seem unreasonable.

    Hall, Ebs and Nuge clearly got the message. Why shouldn’t Yak?

    Yak is going to be asking for big $$ in a year or two. At that point there will not be an option to sit him out to teach him how to play a well rounded game. He will be another failed project like Gagner.

    Better to hurt his feelings now than have to trade him for a 3rd rounder later.

  27. One-Timer says:

    It is way too early to wave goodbye to Yak. I’m sure we’d regret it.

  28. rickithebear says:

    12-13: Yakupov the wander was 561min 2.52GA 2.46 GF
    displayed a clear difference playing with linear forwards
    rather than non structured movement players.

    With MP; Horcoff; Jones; Smyth; Hall.
    237 minutes 4.56 GF/60 1.65 EVGA/60

    With Gagner; Hemsky; RNH Eberle
    258 minutes 1.63GF/60 3.03 GA/60

    This year yakupov 744 min 2.09GF/60 4.03 GA/80

    H largely played with
    gagner 318min;
    RNH 228;
    EBS 194;
    Perron 177
    Hemwky 126
    Hall 112
    Arco 103

    They could not have picked worse players!

    So with linear in a equal zone start he was 3.12GF/60 2.94 GA/60

    Playing with Gagner; RNH; EBS; Hemsky; Arco
    2.17GF/60 4.46 GA/60

    4.68 ga/60 without Scrivens/Fasth in net
    3.34GA/60 with scrivens and fasth in net.

    Hall-XXX-yak
    Perron-XXX-Yak
    hendricks-XXX-Yak

    With Scrivens; Fasth; Narincin; klefbom

    should get him back to his 1styears EVGA.

  29. hunter1909 says:

    Zangetsu: If this were the 1800′s, I would brand Eakins a witch, and burn him at the stake for his crimes.

    Nice sentiment but wrong century – this sort of thing fizzled out in the 1700′s.

    Kerry’s reaction to that Ukrainian hoax exposes the tinderbox of cards they’re living in the West in this 21st century.

    Lowetide: One imagines the pressure on a rookie coach to have all of the #1 overalls perform at a high level was/is immense.

    As a fan, this is hardly my concern. As a GM, this is 100% on MacT, he of compulsive irrational actions.

    Ducey: Hall got thrown under the bus this time last year by Ruff.

    Ruff did to Hall what Eakins did to Yaks. Made a snap judgement, then couldn’t be bothered to see whether or not it actually worked.

    flyfish1168: Just because a player has been around longer does not mean you can get away with more, in fact you should lead by example. This is a team game make every player accountable and feel important, that is how the coach succeeds.

    Ya. And making a newbie captain hardly comes under the “how the coach succeeds” column.

  30. Hammers says:

    McT puts it down to the 2nd year jinx but I don’t think so . Nothing is said about how well he gets along with his teammates or even if he does . The other thing is both Belov & Bryz are gone and you did see Yak talking to both of them even during games . There is still a cultural thing to contend with that shouldn’t be forgotten not only with Yak but all the Euros . This is the key year coming up and if Eakins doesn’t use him /teach him the right way he will be gone before his next contract comes up . If he goes we are the loosers , both team & fans .

  31. RexLibris says:

    Okay, so this is my narrative, but it is one constructed with a fair bit of consideration and taking into account everything I’ve read/heard through the various sources this season and last.

    I believe Yakupov was discovered by Larionov when he was about 15 years old (correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall Larionov reciting this story). One year later Yakupov goes to Sarnia to start his CHL career with the idea of improving his draft stock by playing in North America.

    Larionov described him as a phenom when he was 15, and based on some of the suggestions and off-handed remarks that came out of his time in Sarnia he was more or less in a similar position there.

    My personal opinion is that Yakupov did so much with skill at a young age that he didn’t encounter a heavily structured coaching system, or at least not one to which he was expected to adhere, until he had turned pro. Certainly this would mean the NHL, perhaps his short stint in the KHL early last year as well.

    As such, I believe his sophomore slump (because that is more or less what we are dealing with here) was exacerbated by his attempting to pick up lessons from a systems-heavy coach like Eakins.

    There have been comments, either online or in the MSM, that Yakupov has a tonne of skill but seems to lack the sense of the game (what we now call Hockey IQ) that one might expect from a 1st overall pick and a player with his talent.

    If we want to try and parse down what actually constitutes Hockey IQ (and aside from the draft, what else are Oilers fans going to do this summer?) we could argue that it is a fair mix of nature and nurture, that is athletic sense and education in the game by way of coaching.

    So, here is my take in a nutshell (sorry for preamble), Yakupov is a terrifically gifted young player and has a sense of excitement and passion for the game that is reminiscent of a bygone era. But he is learning at 19/20 the lessons of this game that many of his peers might have picked up five years ago or more.

    I think he comes back next year and has a solid season, probably has disappointing boxcars (LTs seem reasonable, depending on who his C is) but shows improvement in his overall game and, cross my fingers, we stop hearing that he was responsible for a GA in the Eakins’ post-games.

    Again, this is all my personal take on Yakupov, and I think he probably hits his peak around 24 when all this other stuff gets straightened out. Heck of a player, Don Cherry and others be damned.

  32. icecastles says:

    hunter1909: Kerry’s reaction to that Ukrainian hoax exposes the tinderbox of cards they’re living in the West in this 21st century.

    Don’t speak of things you know nothing about.

    By the way: “tinderbox of cards”? Really? That’s garbled even for you.

  33. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris,

    that sounds like a reasonable reconstruction. earlier in the year when Damien Cox (IIRC) tweeted out some BS about “now you know what Sarnia went through” after Yak was healthy scratched or the Larionov deal–I can’t remember which…

    I went back and looked through old beat reports from Sarnia papers and tried to find quotes from his coach and locals.

    Two messages came through:

    1) Yak is a work hound. He’s not remotely lazy. he’s constantly trying to get better.

    2) Sarnia (at least publicly) didn’t make any effort to actually coach him. all the quotes about on-ice play were of this variety: “we just let him do what he does”

    It sounds to me like a kid with a ton of raw talent, an immense drive to work hard and get better mixed with an appalling lack of structure and teaching from external sources.

    Based on the public verbal from RK last year, Yak was told the same thing: “just go out there and score goals”

    When I hear “he’s not committed” it looks like a complete failure of analysis. He’s just not structured. and, structure on a team can’t come from within an individual.

  34. jake70 says:

    Not so much worried about Yakupov as I am about Larionov. Agree with WG, just stupid for that to have happened like that out in the media.

  35. Andy P says:

    Lots of coaching problems, lots of players, lots of HC’s (except for Yak). Krueger avoided the tough approach to maximize Yak’s short term returns. Eakins bit the bullet.

    How much chance of success does Yak, Eakin s, or any of the gifted offensive players have, with a backstabbing, unimaginative grider as Offensive Coach? The only constant in multiple years of suck.

    The biggest positive quantum change this team can make in the offseason, is at least, replace the Offensive Assistant and at best, clean out the assistants and give Eakins his pick of staff.

    Smith and Chabot may be arguably in competent for sure, but neither are coach killers.

  36. mumbai max says:

    cabbiesmacker: I can’t make sense of this type of commentary.

    “Give him however much time it takes”?…Yes for sure. Take all the time you need at $5M per Yaks

    “Adios Eberle, I’ll be over you in a couple of days” “Hate to see Yak score 40 somewhere else”..??

    Eberle’s already scored 34 and 76 pts. (.62), (.97), (.77) and (.81) per game at 24 years old and is ok to bid adieu to but “We Hope” gets forever.

    We have nothing to say that Yakupov can ever score 34 or 76. One has history. One has “maybe” but you’ll rue seeing the potential vs the already happened leave.

    Bird in hand vs Bird in bush. Wild.

    It is not always about the numbers in sports. The best parts defy logic.

    p.s. he does not make 5 M

  37. flyfish1168 says:

    JMHO. I feel the biggest mistake is benching just one player and making him an example so the media and all of the NHL can see, when there are other players making the same mistakes. That is the big head scratcher.

    We can say other coaches in the NHL would do this or do that, but is that any different than me saying Ralph would have been better at handling this year than Eakins. No because we are all speculating.

    Most important is we learn from it and move on and next time handle it better. Treat everyone equally fair, that is a sign of accountability.

  38. Gino says:

    I like to usually search out the positives and not get too infatuated with the negative no matter how glaring they are with players and especially with ones as young as Yakupov. No qualm Yakupov did have a tough year and I believe there will be improvement in his overall game next year and the years ahead. I don’t have facts to back that up with but just the passion, motivation to learn and love of the game that he shows is undeniable. A player of his ability to be a playmaker almost as good as Hall – a one timer nearly as lethal as a Stamkos – the ability to stick handle the puck at full speed and beat guys one on one is awesome to watch. The only way we give up on this young man is if he gives up on his own. Either this man will be Petr Klima 2.0 or amongst the top 10 left / right wingers in the league for years to come.

  39. flyfish1168 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: RexLibris, that sounds like a reasonable reconstruction. earlier in the year when Damien Cox (IIRC) tweeted out some BS about “now you know what Sarnia went through” after Yak was healthy scratched or the Larionov deal–I can’t remember which…I went back and looked through old beat reports from Sarnia papers and tried to find quotes from his coach and locals.Two messages came through:1) Yak is a work hound. He’s not remotely lazy. he’s constantly trying to get better.2) Sarnia (at least publicly) didn’t make any effort to actually coach him. all the quotes about on-ice play were of this variety: “we just let him do what he does”It sounds to me like a kid with a ton of raw talent, an immense drive to work hard and get better mixed with an appalling lack of structure and teaching from external sources.Based on the public verbal from RK last year, Yak was told the same thing: “just go out there and score goals”When I hear “he’s not committed” it looks like a complete failure of analysis. He’s just not structured. and, structure on a team can’t come from within an individual.

    Well put. I believe all #1 players have this same treatment. It probably starts at a young age. They are use to being the top dog all their life and the grow up thinking its ok playing their own game.

    As fans when we look at each years top prospects what stats do we look at 1st?

  40. coolwasabi says:

    Awful season. Unfathomably bad. The worst part is that – by eye – he didn’t even adapt to Eakins’ system. He also wasn’t selected – or really even in the conversation for – the Russian Olympic team.

    I’m still a fan, but he has a lot of work to do to get back on track. That said, a strong couple of weeks to start the next season would probably do it!

  41. cabbiesmacker says:

    mumbai max: It is not always about the numbers in sports. The best parts defy logic.

    p.s. he does not make 5 M

    So in other words..wing and a prayer vs already there. Got it

    I’m aware of what he makes. He has one year left on his E.L. Then what do you think he’ll earn? You’re willing to give him “however long it takes” so at what price? $5M. I think that’s what it takes.

    Maybe he cries on Larionov’s shoulder again if he doesn’t get what RNH, Hall, and Eberle got despite not showing the potential. We don’t know.

    No problem though. However long it takes.

  42. frjohnk says:

    RexLibris:
    Okay, so this is my narrative, but it is one constructed with a fair bit of consideration and taking into account everything I’ve read/heard through the various sources this season and last.

    I believe Yakupov was discovered by Larionov when he was about 15 years old (correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall Larionov reciting this story). One year later Yakupov goes to Sarnia to start his CHL career with the idea of improving his draft stock by playing in North America.

    Larionov described him as a phenom when he was 15, and based on some of the suggestions and off-handed remarks that came out of his time in Sarnia he was more or less in a similar position there.

    My personal opinion is that Yakupov did so much with skill at a young age that he didn’t encounter a heavily structured coaching system, or at least not one to which he was expected to adhere, until he had turned pro. Certainly this would mean the NHL, perhaps his short stint in the KHL early last year as well.

    As such, I believe his sophomore slump (because that is more or less what we are dealing with here) was exacerbated by his attempting to pick up lessons from a systems-heavy coach like Eakins.

    There have been comments, either online or in the MSM, that Yakupov has a tonne of skill but seems to lack the sense of the game (what we now call Hockey IQ) that one might expect from a 1st overall pick and a player with his talent.

    If we want to try and parse down what actually constitutes Hockey IQ (and aside from the draft, what else are Oilers fans going to do this summer?) we could argue that it is a fair mix of nature and nurture, that is athletic sense and education in the game by way of coaching.

    So, here is my take in a nutshell (sorry for preamble), Yakupov is a terrifically gifted young player and has a sense of excitement and passion for the game that is reminiscent of a bygone era. But he is learning at 19/20 the lessons of this game that many of his peers might have picked up five years ago or more.

    I think he comes back next year and has a solid season, probably has disappointing boxcars (LTs seem reasonable, depending on who his C is)but shows improvement in his overall game and, cross my fingers, we stop hearing that he was responsible for a GA in the Eakins’ post-games.

    Again, this is all my personal take on Yakupov, and I think he probably hits his peak around 24 when all this other stuff gets straightened out. Heck of a player, Don Cherry and others be damned.

    Totally agree with you. What I have seen, along with all that skill, I have often wondered if his head, hands and feet are moving at different speeds. Once the oilers and him figure it all out, he will be a beauty.

  43. WeirsBeard says:

    We don’t have access to the club, so I am wary of making too many assumptions on what was said or coached in private to Yakupov over the past season and a half. We don’t really know what’s been communicated.

    I don’t remember Larionov being so vocal as a player. Maybe this is what he feels he needs to be as an agent, but I did find it interesting that we saw and heard from him over the season.

  44. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Yep.

    Compare these four: Hall, Yakupov, Paajarvi and Nugent-Hopkins.

    Paajarvi wasn’t 1st overall, but he was a high pick and highly rated in his draft year. He played professionally against men for a few years before coming over and arguably benefited by being around some good coaching from a very young age (his father, for example).

    Hall was a gunslinger and my understanding is that he was given the green light every shift in junior to just go do what he does because he was so dominant at it.

    Nugent-Hopkins, however, developed under Brent Sutter. Any surprise Eakins loves him as a player?

    Now, Yakupov reminds me a bit of Hall as an offensive force in junior who, on account of pure skill, determination, and perhaps also some language barriers in his first year, was given a fair bit of leeway to go make things happen on the ice.

    Damien Cox. Ugh, things I won’t miss during the off-season.

  45. justDOit says:

    coolwasabi,

    Awful season, yes, but not many 20 yr olds were in the running for any of the upper-tier Oly teams. That is not a reasonable thing to be disappointed with.

  46. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    flyfish1168: JMHO. I feel the biggest mistake is benching just one player and making him an example so the media and all of the NHL can see, when there are other players making the same mistakes. That is the big head scratcher.

    I wasn’t a big fan of the benching.

    But Eakins gave a rational explanation for it: his “re-set the player/see the ice from above/see how much time you have/etc.” is hard to argue with. Or, it wasn’t some flippant, rage-filled decision. He had and articulated a reasonable method to his madness.

    I was more upset with the Petry, Arco and Belov benchings. Because in those cases, the players they were benched for (take your pick; Gager; Nick Schultz and then Fraser) were all demonstrably inferior than the benched player. And in the cases of Arco and Belov, the benching wasn’t an isolated “re-set” rationale.

    Smyth was also benched recall… So, it’s not like Yak was the only one.

  47. Bulging Twine says:

    I am glad that they are trying to teach him how to play responsibly now while he is young. Look at Washington. They didn’t teach Ovechkin while he was young and now they can’t get him to play responsibly.

  48. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    (warning relentless self-pimpery)

    ICYMI: another young russian got benched this year for seemingly dubious reasons and we should try to trade for him

    http://theoilersrig.com/2014/04/bossa-antigua/

  49. Marcus Oilerius says:

    http://pmd.fan960.com/audio_on_demand_2013/Ross-Maclean-with-Dean-Molberg-and-Rhett-Warrener-DM-20140416-Interview.mp3

    Ross Maclean from the ISS talks about the draft and Draisaitl specifically, calls him inconsistent. All-world one game, non-existent the next. “Boom or bust pick.”

  50. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris,

    So, here is my take in a nutshell (sorry for preamble), Yakupov is a terrifically gifted young player and has a sense of excitement and passion for the game that is reminiscent of a bygone era. But he is learning at 19/20 the lessons of this game that many of his peers might have picked up five years ago or more.

    Very well put.

    That’s my take as well.

    By all accounts the extent of his coaching in Sarnia was them opening the bench door and asking him to score.

  51. Henry says:

    The early part of the year was chaos, particularly during the long eastern road trip. Yak wasn’t playing well, but few were. Some of the Oilers got their games straightened pretty well, he did maybe a little, but not to his obvious and dramatic potential. It wasn’t the disaster that Dubnyk’s season was though. Very, very few Oiler losses were because of Yak’s play. I’m really not that worried about him, he’s said to be a hard worker and he’ll improve when he some NHL basics come naturally. DD and to a lesser extent Gagner have their careers in trouble because of this season and this is a disaster for these two good young guys.

    Yak could stand to study video of Mike Bossy and Brett Hull and their ways of finding small soft spots in the slot. He has their quick, hard release but doesn’t make himself as available for his linemates. Ideally a player like him will have consistent linemates so they can know where each other will be in the offensive zone. That goes for everyone, of course, but particularly for a ‘one shot scorer’ like the Yak.

  52. Doc Savage says:

    rickithebear: 12-13: Yakupov the wander was 561min 2.52GA 2.46 GF
    displayed a clear difference playing with linear forwards
    rather than non structured movement players.

    With MP; Horcoff; Jones; Smyth; Hall.
    237 minutes 4.56 GF/60 1.65 EVGA/60

    With Gagner; Hemsky; RNH Eberle
    258 minutes 1.63GF/60 3.03 GA/60

    This year yakupov 744 min 2.09GF/60 4.03 GA/80

    H largely played with
    gagner 318min;
    RNH 228;
    EBS 194;
    Perron 177
    Hemwky 126
    Hall 112
    Arco 103

    They could not have picked worse players!

    So with linear in a equal zone start he was 3.12GF/60 2.94 GA/60

    Playing with Gagner; RNH; EBS; Hemsky; Arco
    2.17GF/60 4.46 GA/60

    4.68 ga/60 without Scrivens/Fasth in net
    3.34GA/60 with scrivens and fasth in net.

    Hall-XXX-yak
    Perron-XXX-Yak
    hendricks-XXX-Yak

    With Scrivens; Fasth; Narincin; klefbom

    should get him back to his 1styears EVGA.

    Yes, I think this is a very key point. I posted something similar, though not as detailed as this, back during one of the Anaheim games. It appears that in 12-13 Yakupov’s effectiveness varied significantly depending with who he played with. This was my comment:

    “Interestingly, I was looking at the Krueger 12/13 season, I noticed that 7/10 (70%) of Yakupov’s even strength goals were scored with Shawn Horcoff on the ice. Yakupov only spent 21% of his time on the ice with Horcoff (118:48 minutes out of 560.51). Small sample set, but look at that GF20 (1.683) and GA20 (0.337). More importantly look at his GF20 (0.633) and GA20 (0.950) without Horcoff.

    I wonder how much Yakupov misses playing with Horcoff, or a similar-type player. We always seem to classify Boyd Gordon as a Shawn Horcoff-type replacement, but I don’t think that’s the case.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1684&withagainst=true&season=2012-13&sit=5v5

    A similar type effect in12-13 can be seen with and without Hall.

  53. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    http://pmd.fan960.com/audio_on_demand_2013/Ross-Maclean-with-Dean-Molberg-and-Rhett-Warrener-DM-20140416-Interview.mp3

    Ross Maclean from the ISS talks about the draft and Draisaitl specifically, calls him inconsistent.All-world one game, non-existent the next.“Boom or bust pick.”

    ahh… balance. a tender thing. let’s have some.

    Button on people slamming his character:

    https://soundcloud.com/630ched/oilers-now-apr-17-2nd-half-hour

    His coach, followed by Reinhart’s:

    https://soundcloud.com/630ched/oilers-now-apr-17-4th-half-hour

  54. flyfish1168 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I wasn’t a big fan of the benching.

    But Eakins gave a rational explanation for it: his “re-set the player/see the ice from above/see how much time you have/etc.” is hard to argue with. Or, it wasn’t some flippant, rage-filled decision. He had and articulated a reasonable method to his madness.

    I was more upset with the Petry, Arco and Belov benchings. Because in those cases, the players they were benched for (take your pick; Gager; Nick Schultz and then Fraser) were all demonstrably inferior than the benched player. And in the cases of Arco and Belov, the benching wasn’t an isolated “re-set” rationale.

    Smyth was also benched recall… So, it’s not like Yak was the only one.

    Yes I remember those players being benched. There was a stretch where Eberle and even Hall were giving away the biscuit or playing alone with the puck, which became the turning point in some games. They could have been benched. JMHO it’s all about who is benched and I believe Yak and some fans were looking at the other prominent players. If Eakins wanted a re-set he should have made the statement 1st and not wait to make his case to cool the upheaval. Timing is everything with social media always on the watch.

  55. justDOit says:

    Woodguy:
    RexLibris,

    So, here is my take in a nutshell (sorry for preamble), Yakupov is a terrifically gifted young player and has a sense of excitement and passion for the game that is reminiscent of a bygone era. But he is learning at 19/20 the lessons of this game that many of his peers might have picked up five years ago or more.

    By all accounts the extent of his coaching in Sarnia was them opening the bench door and asking him to score.

    That would agree with his famous interview after beating Canada in the WJs, “We score more goals…”

  56. VanOil says:

    I agree with Rex thoughtful analysis.

    I have nothing thoughtful to add about Yakupov. Only pure fandom, Yak could end up being my favorite Oiler of all time surpassing Jari Kurri. That would be the highest honor in my personal world of fandom. It is amazing he is even in the running.

    Please, please Oilers do not ruin this player or trade him away.

  57. Marcus Oilerius says:

    I come to bring peace for the Draisaitl vs Bennett folks. What if you could combine the two? Get Draisaitl’s size, Bennett’s speed and age?

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=145014

    Michael Dal Colle. Apparently, according to the ISS, he’s been playing centre most of his season, and has almost two points per game and has been accelerating his scoring throughout the season.

    *sigh*

    I change my mind daily like a kid in the candy store.

  58. Thor762 says:

    Is it not plausible that if Yakupov is traded or left to wander in the desert once again that it will effect the desires of the other Russian prospects to arrive in Edmonton? Yakimov and Slepyshev.

  59. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Thor762,

    It might disappoint them, particularly Yakimov (he’s a fan of Yakupov, they’re from the same city/KHL team), but I don’t think they’d spurn the chance to come to the NHL over that. That just seems silly.

  60. hunter1909 says:

    Katz wants to buy the team – talks big about how wonderful everything’s going to be now that he’s taking over.

    Katz buys the team, keeps his buddies exactly where he finds them…his buddies meanwhile aren’t exactly considered to be the sharpest knives in the NHL management drawer. These buddies are fixated with the 1980′s, when good old Canadians ruled the roost.

    Impossible not to draft, Nail Yakupov offers the Oilers a generational opportunity to attract lots of others from this fertile part of the hockey universe, but since the management doesn’t want anyone established who they can’t control, rookie phenom AHL Dallas Eakins gets hired on a MacT whim and Eakins, in his arrogant laziness can’t so much as be bothered to look at tapes of the players before training camp. Would Scotty Bowman not look at tapes of his new players?

    Yakupov’s currently being ruined. This won’t last for very much longer, before more publicity(bad) happens for Katz. Whether or not the current(ha ha they’re more tenured than popes) management can raise their game to the heights promised and Yaks stays appears to be less than 50%.

  61. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Thor762,

    It might disappoint them, particularly Yakimov (he’s a fan of Yakupov, they’re from the same city/KHL team), but I don’t think they’d spurn the chance to come to the NHL over that.That just seems silly.

    I don’t think it would be because he’s a Yakupov fan. It would be because he perceived that he was entering a firestorm for little reward.

  62. justDOit says:

    hunter1909:

    … they’re more tenured than popes…

    Nice.

  63. justDOit says:

    hunter1909:
    … they’re more tenured than popes…

    I immediately thought of a pointy hat, with six rings. This comes close.

  64. prairieschooner says:

    Yakupov is a diamond in the rough still. He needs to be made to shine.
    The coach and his staff have a job on their hands because Yak has areas of his game that need to be developed.
    From everything I have heard Yak is a rink rat Correy Graham was saying that he hangs out with the Oil Kings at their practices.
    The lad is keen, is he keen to learn? That is the job of the coaching staff, carrot stick cheese mouse etc
    Are the coaching staff capable of developing Yakupov to his potential that is the 6M question

  65. Alpine says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    Yeah, the Dal Colle kid might turn out to be the best of the bunch. He’s got some of Draisaitl’s size, with some of Bennett’s speed, and shoots better than both. I think I’ve seen him higher than Leon in a few rankings somewhere too.

  66. Jasmine says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I wasn’t a big fan of the benching.

    But Eakins gave a rational explanation for it: his “re-set the player/see the ice from above/see how much time you have/etc.” is hard to argue with. Or, it wasn’t some flippant, rage-filled decision. He had and articulated a reasonable method to his madness.

    I was more upset with the Petry, Arco and Belov benchings. Because in those cases, the players they were benched for (take your pick; Gager; Nick Schultz and then Fraser) were all demonstrably inferior than the benched player. And in the cases of Arco and Belov, the benching wasn’t an isolated “re-set” rationale.

    Smyth was also benched recall… So, it’s not like Yak was the only one.

    Petry wasn’t benched. He missed 2 games with a head injury. Time for the MSM to get the right facts and not write untrue stories. Someone from the MSM said Petry played 81 games and he was benched for 1 game. That isn’t true. Petry missed 2 games with a head injury.

  67. gogliano says:

    Some nice thoughts by RexLibris et al. above.

    Just want to add: The likely arrival of Nurse or the #3 should take some of the attention away from Yakupov in the fall. One thing he had to deal with the other #1s didn’t is the non-arrival of a top draft pick. That is like to change in 2014-15.

  68. elpolodiablo says:

    I completely disagree with using statistics on this player as its too early in his career and there are a lot of variables not accounted for, lots of raw talent and the jury is out. As a side note one of the interesting things I heard Taylor Hall say about advanced stats was he asked the stats guy well how do improve such and such number and he shrugged, if the data is not actionable the relevancy of it becomes questionable. I personally think Eakins is lucky to still have a job those who believe otherwise can use whatever arguments they want the results in the future speak for themselves, ultimately you are judged by wins and he has less of them against weaker opponents as the previous year. Eakins threw Nazem Kadri under the bus embarrassed him publicly in the toronto market, you fast forward 3 years in the future and he gets a lot of credit for turning Kadri around. There are 4 possibilities none of these look good unless Yakupov becomes a stellar performer. 1) you trade him and get pennies on the dollar and he performs great on his new team, showing you just wasted a 1st overall pick that you really couldn’t afford to waste
    2) you trade him he turns out to be a dud on the next team showing that you chose the wrong person I don’t think this scenario is likely but its possible, even then you wasted the first overall pick
    3) His game improves and he’s there with Hall, ultimately Eakins career as an NHL coach rests on this one. I don’t think he gets another job as an NHL coach if he has failed 1st overall pick on his resume
    4) Yakupov goes to the KHL because he’s tired of all this crap. I think he’d opt for a trade rather than choose this route but who knows. This scenario you wasted a first overall pick

    If as what is being proposed the management staff didn’t want him and Katz did and they can’t make it work Katz will get rid of the management staff, it’s just more evidence of colossal blundering.

  69. Gerta Rauss says:

    Jasmine: Petry wasn’t benched. He missed 2 games with a head injury. Time for the MSM to get the right facts and not write untrue stories. Someone from the MSM said Petry played 81 games and he was benched for 1 game. That isn’t true. Petry missed 2 games with a head injury.

    You sure about that..? I seem to recall a “reset” in early December and the game logs show he was a healthy scratch Dec 5-the head injury followed shortly after that(missed 1 game)

    from the Hockey News:

    Coach Dallas Eakins is referring to Petry’s seat in the press box as an opportunity to “reset” after some tough outings. He appears to taking the decision in stride, which is a good sign. “Dallas said I have to be accountable and like I’ve said I haven’t been playing well … he wants me to watch and hit the reset button,” said Petry. “I can make this situation frustrating or I can sit out and make a positive out of it. He wants me to be harder to play against.”

  70. jb says:

    A few things I know about Yak..

    He’s been mainly paired with a defensive black hole of a centre in Gagner.. This will change, and help big-time.

    Then there’s the completely overblown “he’s an outsider not fitting in with the young guys narrative”. Well no shit, you need to remember those 4 guys spent a considerable amount of time in OKC bonding, grabbing food together, hanging out, everything really. A guy like Yak is going to come in and get a feel for things in the room, he’s not going to force himself into the middle of the love square developed in OKC. Dude’s focused on his own game. He’s fine, I promise. I mean swap Yak and Nuge’s development.. YaK bonds with the guys in OKC, Nuge comes in as the quiet outsider.. yet this issue wouldn’t be focused on since Nuge isn’t a dirty Russian.

    Like I said before Katz has his plate full with a divorce going. I mean Katz married into wealth from his wife’s father side, kind of a big deal here. Guy’s not as hands on as people think.. yet anyway.

  71. Lowetide says:

    elpolodiablo:
    As a side note one of the interesting things I heard Taylor Hall say about advanced stats was he asked the stats guy well how do improve such and such number and he shrugged, if the data is not actionable the relevancy of it becomes questionable.

    Hall’s a smart guy. Seriously. In hockey terms he’s way smart enough to figure this stuff out. The WAY it’s presented is of course very important, and I do think Hall took some things to heart this season after his chat with Eakins.

    As an aside, why are there so many people on this blog who hate analytics?? This blog LOVES advanced stats.

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I tweeted a bunch of twitter scouts about Dal Colle to try and get a sense of his C vs W status as a pro. I hadn’t heard of him as a center, but that ISS interview posted above seemed to consider him one.

    piqued my interest at any rate. Here’s the only response so far:

    Corey Pronman ‏@coreypronman 1m
    I think he’ll be a winger. RT @RomulusNotNuma: .@coreypronman Does Dal Colle project as a center @ NHL level? Defensive acumen?

    Obviously, if I get more I’ll post them.

    (shouldn’t need stating, but just in case, I wouldn’t take this as definitive… not even close, just another scrap of information.)

  73. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Jasmine: Petry wasn’t benched. He missed 2 games with a head injury. Time for the MSM to get the right facts and not write untrue stories. Someone from the MSM said Petry played 81 games and he was benched for 1 game. That isn’t true. Petry missed 2 games with a head injury.

    greta covered this off already. but I just wanted to note how off the wall this is.

  74. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    I hate the way he went to the press to bitch and whine this year.

    Hate it.

    I’m laying all of that at Larionov’s feet.

    A 19 year old is capable of thinking and doing many things.

    I have no idea why Larionov thought that good could come from it and should have stopped him.

    Terrrible, terrible move that may have created a permanent rift between him and his team mates and/or coach.

    MacT admitted that the organization and team were in chaos early in the season in his season ending PC. That is on MacT and the coach. Not on the agent.

    “Frankly we didn’t function well as a group early on in the year. Our team didn’t function well, with all the change. The coaching change. The personnel change.”

    Why should NOT Larionov come to town?

  75. skidplate says:

    Chicago is a dirty team. So much stick work.
    And why is the game called completely differently during the playoffs?

  76. flyfish1168 says:

    prairieschooner:
    Yakupov is a diamond in the rough still. He needs to be made to shine.
    The coach and his staff have a job on their hands because Yak has areas of his game that need to be developed.
    From everything I have heard Yak is a rink rat Correy Graham was saying that he hangs out with the Oil Kings at their practices.
    The lad is keen, is he keen to learn? That is the job of the coaching staff, carrot stick cheese mouse etc
    Are the coaching staff capable of developing Yakupov to his potential that is the 6M question

    Totally agree. I believe that is true with most lottery players. Myself included always look at the total points of the lottery players drafted. These players are the go to player when the team needs a goal. They are use to the puck on a string and can do what the want on the ice.

    It is the coaches job to teach, be patient and help the player succeed.

  77. godot10 says:

    elpolodiablo:
    I As a side note one of the interesting things I heard Taylor Hall say about advanced stats was he asked the stats guy well how do improve such and such number and he shrugged, if the data is not actionable the relevancy of it becomes questionable.

    Statistics are aggregated data. The actual game is played situationally. Players actually have no need to know about advanced stats in themselves. It is a management and coaching activity to convert aggregated statistical data into practice drills and video study to improve an individual players situational decision making.

    Hall’s comment demonstrates that he understands this fact. An aggregated stat is useless to him unless somebody tells him how he can use it to make a better hockey decision in a given situation on the ice.

  78. flyfish1168 says:

    Just found out Lucic gets fined 5k for trying to castrate Dekeyser, while Quenville gets 25K for grabbing his own junk. Where is the justice in that.

  79. godot10 says:

    WeirsBeard:

    I don’t remember Larionov being so vocal as a player. Maybe this is what he feels he needs to be as an agent, but I did find it interesting that we saw and heard from him over the season.

    Larionov took on the whole Soviet hockey establishment by himself, and won. He is not a man to be trifled with.

  80. skidplate says:

    Shattenkirk had one heck of a game. Could of had a hat trick and 5 points. Very good skater. We could usr a player like that.

  81. Doc Savage says:

    Woodguy: I hate the way he went to the press to bitch and whine this year.

    Hate it.

    I’m laying all of that at Larionov’s feet.

    A 19 year old is capable of thinking and doing many things.

    I have no idea why Larionov thought that good could come from it and should have stopped him.

    Terrrible, terrible move that may have created a permanent rift between him and his team mates and/or coach.

    Well, this was the year that Yakupov was supposed to cash in on his $6 million dollar contract like RNH and Hall before him. Larionov could see early on that something was not right, and that his commission was at stake and there was no way he was going to stand by idly and let the Oilers dysfunctional ineptitude flush that money down the toilet. His goal wasn’t about helping to create a bond with Yakupov and his teammates, it was very likely to get him the hell out of Edmonton, so that he could realize the full potential of his commission. That was the message I got out of it, anyways. I would suspect that Yakupov was also getting an earful, as well as a lot of direction from Larionov.

    With his hopes of a $6 million dollar a year payday likely shot, I would imagine that there will be another strong play by Larionov to get Yakupov out Edmonton one way or another.

  82. elpolodiablo says:

    Lowetide,

    I don’t hate analytics, I do think that sometimes they provide insight however it can be used to make the wrong decisions on multiple levels. These are high performance atheletes that aggregate at the tail of the bell curve. When you take them out do they align like a bell curve again ? I don’t think so. It happens in many fields I’m a physician that works in the US, you hear the insurance industry say it about my field all the time, we’re going to bring moneyball to health care. There are a litany of areas where they’ve caused more harm than good in US healthcare with the approach. I come to the blog because it has good points of view, however sometimes I feel that because people have numbers that back their argument it makes there argument stronger. Not necessarily. When you’re talking about a 1st overall pick how many do you have ? Is a 1st overall in 1981 the same as a first overall in 2012? I do know the talent to get there is tail and extreme

  83. skidplate says:

    flyfish1168:
    Just found out Lucic gets fined 5k for trying to castrate Dekeyser,while Quenville gets 25K for grabbing his own junk. Where is the justice in that.

    Should have been a suspension for sure. The league should be attempting to get these dirty stick work plays out of the game. $5000 is 0.00083% of his salary. Pocket change. I am sure it will make him change his actions in the future.

  84. Lowetide says:

    elpolodiablo:
    Lowetide,

    I don’t hate analytics, I do think that sometimes they provide insight however it can be used to make the wrong decisions on multiple levels. These are high performance atheletes that aggregate at the tail of the bell curve. When you take them out do they align like a bell curve again ? I don’t think so. It happens in many fields I’m a physician that works in the US, you hear the insurance industry say it about my field all the time, we’re going to bring moneyball to health care. There are a litany of areas where they’ve caused more harm than good in US healthcare with the approach. I come to the blog because it has good points of view, however sometimes I feel that because people have numbers that back their argument it makes there argument stronger. Not necessarily. When you’re talking about a 1st overall pick how many do you have ? Is a 1st overall in 1981 the same as a first overall in 2012? I do know the talent to get there is tail and extreme

    I am SO glad Moneyball is branching out. :-)

    I think we use numbers as part of the argument but there’s no one on this or any other Oilogosphere site who will say the visual should be ignored. That’s crazy. Numbers can inform, but as you suggest nuance enters the situation and should be acknowledged.

  85. flyfish1168 says:

    skidplate: Should have been a suspension for sure. The league should be attempting to get these dirty stick work plays out of the game. $5000 is 0.00083% of his salary. Pocket change. I am sure it will make him change his actions in the future.

    The NHL is a league of double standard. So what if you are a star player or of its a playoff game. JMHO If you try to hurt someone you and your team should be hurt also. Bullies rule the game now.

  86. Doc Savage says:

    My biggest concern from this year is around the message coming from some of this year’s players about not wanting to play for this organization anymore. It used to be that players that were let go seemed more bitter about not being retained, like comments from Moreau and Whitney. It always felt like Cogliano and Brodziak were also bitter about the Oilers giving up on them.

    This year, the message seems very different. Hemsky couldn’t hold back how happy he was to be leaving days before his trade. It was quite shocking to read about his comments, and then to hear that he actually said it. Ryan Jones’s response to whether he would be back was an instant “Not here”. This is a person where Edmonton has given him his only real opportunity for a career. I suspect Nick Schultz’s views were somewhat reflected through his brother’s tweets. It seems like the amount of bitterness some players are feeling towards this organization has reached a critical mass where the players for some reason are no longer able to keep it under wraps, and couldn’t be happier to leave and letting everyone know about. We get some strong indication that Gagner and Yakupov might have similar feelings, and I’m sure they are not alone. Up until this season, many veteran players still wanted to re-up with this team.

    Of course, young players and rookies will always go for any opportunity to break into he NHL, and that seems to be the direction the Oilers are taking. Still, this current trend of comments from veteran players is concerning and can’t have a positive effect on trying to recruit UFAs. What’s more disturbing is how many other current players probably feel the same way and aren’t talking about.

  87. WeirsBeard says:

    godot10: Larionov took on the whole Soviet hockey establishment by himself, and won.He is not a man to be trifled with.

    I think we are of the same mind here.

  88. mumbai max says:

    cabbiesmacker: So in other words..wing and a prayer vs already there. Got it

    I’m aware of what he makes. He has one year left on his E.L. Then what do you think he’ll earn? You’re willing to give him “however long it takes” so at what price? $5M. I think that’s what it takes.

    Maybe he cries on Larionov’s shoulder again if he doesn’t get what RNH, Hall, and Eberle got despite not showing the potential. We don’t know.

    No problem though. However long it takes.

    I think you have missed the point of my response. My point was/is that the reason we (I) watch sports is for the human element. The stories. The connection with the players. My point was that in an overly commercialized age where the players are largely spoiled pre-programmed automans, I want to give special attention and space to the special characters. I do not really care what Eberle has PRODUCED. My point was that as individuals, as characters in the drama, I don’t CARE about Shultz Eberle or Gagner. They are faceless characters that will be replaced by others just like them. I CARE about Yak and a few others in hockey because of who they are, not what they have done. That is what makes it interesting. If that is not logical and linear enough for you I will understand.

  89. russ99 says:

    Other than refuting the increasingly loud nonsense that every player has to play a 200 foot game, I also wonder if you want to teach a 19 year old kid to play responsibly with the puck and track back on and cover defense, would the NHL level really be the place to do that?

    Especially in the crucial second adjustment year where most high-end players struggle to change up the way they score goals?

    Maybe Eakins was under pressure from above to try this ill advised tack, but that doesn’t excuse his methods.

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