Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov has gone minus-54 this offseason.
Yakupov, the first overall selection at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, has ditched the No. 64 he wore for his first two seasons in the NHL in favor of Shawn Horcoff’s old No. 10, per the Edmonton Sun.
Yakupov grew up wearing 10, but it was not available in his first season with the Oilers, taken by then captain Shawn Horcoff.
“Yeah, I’ve always played with the No. 10, it’s my favourite number,” said Yakupov, making a stop at the Oilers hockey school in St. Albert on Tuesday. “Horc said I could wear No. 10, so I’ll take it. If I have a chance to change it I will.
“I don’t want to say too much about it, it’s not like I think changing the number is going to change my game or something, it’s just a number. There may be a different number on my jersey, but the last name is going to be the same.”
The 20-year-old Russian, who experienced the dictionary definition of a sophomore slump last season, scored just 24 points in 63 games and occasionally sat as a healthy scratch, leading to friction with head coach Dallas Eakins. Yakupov also struggled with various injuries, finished a ghastly minus-33 (hence that killer lede) and, as is too often the case with slumping Russian players, got tagged as enigmatic/mercurial/aloof.
This was, of course, before he switched to No. 10. Everything should be great now!
Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.
Per @EliasSports: @LAKings had 9 different skaters score in a game for 5th time in franchise history. Last: Jan. 21, 1987 vs. PIT (10-5 W).
Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.
Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”
Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.