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07-11-2013, 07:46 PM
...better... or not
nexttothemoon's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern Alberta
Country: Canada
Posts: 13,332
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In response to the concerns about Yak someday, maybe following in Kovalchuks footsteps and heading back to the KHL... I honestly wouldn't be worried about it.

I have nothing to go on but my gut feel and what I see when I watch Yakupov (on and off the ice)... he lives and breathes hockey and wants to be the very best he can be. He idolizes super skilled players like Bure who played on the biggest stage with the best players in the world... the NHL.

That's still the case as well, the NHL is the place to be if you want to play with the best and excel at the highest levels and push yourself to be the best you can become. Not all players have that drive and attitude but luckily for us and the Oilers I think Yakupov has that extreme burning desire to excel and become the best he can... and that goes far beyond playing just for money and/or fame.

That's not to say that someday just maybe he might head back overseas but I don't get the impression he's just in the NHL for the biggest paycheck... he wants to become a dominant world class player in the world and push his abilities to the limit and I think the NHL is still the only place you can truly do that.

My understanding also is that Yakupov comes from a fairly well to do family and imo it's probably less likely that Yakupov could/would be lured to the KHL by a huge money contract.

Anything is of course possible... so I'd never say never, but risks exist with any players... career ending injuries/sickness could happen to any player (as we've seen before), a player could demand a trade away from the team for any number of reasons (as we've seen before) or a player could just go into a terrible career ending regression and slump of epic proportions (has happened to some players in their primes)... so being able to say there is no risk with ANY certain player is a fantasy.

I actually have a strong belief that Yakupov will be with the Oilers for a long time to come and will become one of the very best players in the NHL. I'm no more worried about him departing than any of the other top players on the Oilers.

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