The latest chapter of the Nail Yakupov comes courtesy his father, Rail Yakupov.
(Yes, Nail’s dad is named Rail.)
According to Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov, the senior Yakupov says his son won’t return to OHL Sarnia — the club currently holding his rights — essentially ignoring a contract that’s at the crux of a transfer card controversy between the IIHF, Hockey Canada and the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.
The senior Yakupov’s quotes appeared in Gazeta.ru, a Russian online newspaper covering politics and business.
Here’s more, from Chesnokov:
Yesterday, Yahoo!’s Sunaya Sapurji reported that Yakupov is still under contract to Sarnia, which is why Hockey Canada didn’t sign his ITC to play for KHL club Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk.
Despite not having an eligible transfer card, Yakupov played two games for Neftekhimik anyway — a move that resulted in his temporary suspension and a fine for the RIHF.
The bad blood now appears to be between the Yakupov camp and Sarnia, though there could be a third party involved. In an interview with Sport-Express, Rail Yakupov said that “someone’s trying to make money” out of the contract fiasco and alluded to “our Russian-speaking acquaintances from North America.”
Once again, the saga continues…
It seems there will be no NHL comeback attempt by Alex Semin. At least not in 2016-17.
Instead, Semin has inked a one-year extension with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, according to Sport-Express writer Igor Eronko.
At 32 years old, Semin still could have a lot of years left in him as a professional hockey player, but at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if he has played in his last NHL game. Early in his career his talent was clear and demonstrated by some great showings offensively, but he was plagued by inconsistency. In recent years though, he wasn’t so much inconsistent as he was underwhelming.
After being limited to six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, the one-time 40-goal scorer was bought out of his five-year, $35 million contract just two seasons into it. Montreal took a chance on him for 2015-16, but he only appeared in 15 games with the Canadiens before they put him on unconditional waivers on Dec. 9.
He’s fared better in the KHL though, with five goals and 14 points in 20 regular season games followed by another seven markers and 15 points in 23 playoff contests.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Among the 21 NHL.com and NHL Network experts offering their prediction for the Stanley Cup Final, 17 of them are choosing the San Jose Sharks. (NHL.com)
The majority of ESPN’s experts are also picking the Sharks. (ESPN.com)
For CBS Sports, Adam Gretz and Chris Peters are split on the outcome. (CBS Sports)
Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final in San Jose appear to be going for significantly more than their Pittsburgh Penguins counterparts. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Inspired by John Scott‘s comments, here’s the start of a World Cup All-Snubs’ team. (TSN)
Peter DeBoer said that then New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello fired him from the Devils’ head coaching job late at night on Christmas. The news then broke on Dec. 26. (Tom Gulitti)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are Vegas favorites to win the 2016 Stanley Cup, but the odds lean toward a San Jose Sharks player capturing the Conn Smythe.
Bovada released a variety of odds on Sunday after others surfaced on Friday.
Joe Pavelski is pegged as a +400 favorite as a winner, edging some other top candidates such as Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Matt Murray.
Here’s the full list:
Logan Couture +500
Martin Jones +600
Brent Burns +700
Joe Thornton +900
Evgeni Malkin +900
Kris Letang +1400
Bovada also released prop bets, including how long the series might last. Check that out here.