I like Dallas Eakins as the head coach and I’m certain that he and Craig MacTavish will get the good ship Oiler turned around. Eakins has a track record of dealing with talented young players and turning them into talented NHLers. I am pretty sure that Yakupov will end up being a star in the NHL and that he’ll be better for having a coach who insists that he does the things that guys with his talent don’t always do.
With that said, I don’t necessarily believe everything that Eakins tells the media.
Young players are going to be young players and Yakupov’s not the first Oiler we’ve seen cheating for offence this year (which is what he’s doing when he lets Huberdeau go – watch his feet. The feet don’t lie.) If I was a coach or GM, I’d be less than forthright with media all of the time. That said, I’m not entirely sure that I believe that it was a coincidence that this Yakupov’s final shift of the evening beucase Eakins was just in the mood to run with eight forwards.Email Tyler Dellow at firstname.lastname@example.org