Oilers coach calls Yakupov trade rumors ‘100% not true’


Hey, remember yesterday when we passed along the trade rumor involving Oilers forward Nail Yakupov and the New York Rangers?

Yeah, that’s part of the reason Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins had to have a chat with his young player today at practice.

“All these reports in the media about him being traded are absolutely 100% not true,” said Eakins, per the club’s Twitter account.

“He’s a young player and we’re not giving up on him.”

Yakupov, 20, only has one goal in 14 games this season. But it’s not just his early-season struggles that have caused the speculation surrounding the 2012 first overall pick. The Oilers (4-10-2) were supposed to make a push for the playoffs, and that seems like a pipe dream now.

There’s also the fact general manager Craig MacTavish promised to do “bold things” when he was hired last spring. Certainly, trading Yakupov would be bold. Problem is, it may also be really dumb.

Related: Russian Olympic scout blasts Yakupov: ‘If he’s not going to change his game, he has no future’

Torres suspended pending hearing

Raffi Torres, Cory Schneider
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According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.

“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

Oilers place Scrivens on waivers

Jordan Martinook, Ben Scrivens
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The Edmonton Oilers placed Ben Scrivens on waivers on Sunday.

Should he go unclaimed, the 29-year-old will be sent to the American Hockey League.

It looks like Edmonton will enter the regular season with Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson as their goaltenders.

Scrivens was the team’s number one goalie last year, but his overall numbers were among the worst for starting goaltenders in the NHL.

He had a 15-26-11 record with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage in 57 games last season.

Scrivens is scheduled to make $2.3 million in the final year of his contract.

If he does end up in the AHL, the Oilers will carry $1.35 million of dead money on the salary cap.

The move comes one day after Edmonton placed Nikita Nikitin on waivers.

The 29-year-old officially cleared on Sunday afternoon.