Yakupov will be coddled and cuddled, not traded

Nail Yakupov became the subject of trade rumours after Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe were spotted...

Nail Yakupov became the subject of trade rumours after Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe were spotted in New York on Tuesday. (USA TODAY)

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:23 PM ET

EDMONTON - Nail Yakupov is not going to be traded.

Nail Yakupov is not going to be sent to the press box tonight in Tampa Bay to be replaced by Linus Omark.

The Edmonton Oilers are going to take all the time in the world to develop the Russian sniper.

The 20-year-old is going to be cuddled and coddled with equal measures of tough love mixed in here and there.

Hear this. Hear this.

The Oilers believe in Nail Yakupov and his future here and are going proceed to try build his spirit rather than kill it.

If you needed GM Craig MacTavish to climb to the top of the Empire State Building and proclaim it, he probablt would have done so.

MacTavish talked to agent Igor Larianov and Yakupov himself by phone Wednesday morning from Manhattan where his presence with Kevin Lowe at a New York Rangers game led to rumors out of the East that the Oilers brass was there to trade Yakupov.


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