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Yakupov trade rumours untrue: Oilers coach

Nail Yakupov has been struggling offensively this season, and Oilers coaches are working to bring...

Nail Yakupov has been struggling offensively this season, and Oilers coaches are working to bring his defensive game up to NHL standards. (Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency)

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:55 PM ET

EDMONTON - According to Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins, Nail Yakupov is not on the trade block.

It’s likely, however, the Oilers winger won’t be in the lineup Thursday either, when the club takes on the Tampa Bay Lightning (5:30 p.m.) at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

By all indications, Yakupov will be a healthy scratch for the third time this season, having been benched in the latter stages of the Oilers 4-3 overtime win over the Florida Panthers Tuesday night.

Linus Omark has been called up from the Oklahoma City Barons to take his place in the lineup.

“I see Yak trying so hard to be better defensively and to learn this defensive system that we’re trying to implement,” said Eakins. “I thought he made a couple of good plays defensively (Tuesday), I saw the thought process go through his head on the ice. That’s encouraging for me."


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