Do the Chicago Blackhawks have interest in Edmonton winger Nail Yakupov?
That was the rumor a Chicago-based blogger, Ryan Brandell of Barstool Sports, tweeted earlier today, and it’s since been validated by the biggest insider in the business, TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
According to McKenzie, the ‘Hawks have indeed had talks with the Oilers about Yakupov; however, no deal is imminent.
McKenzie went on to suggest that if Chicago’s youngsters (Tyler Motte, Vincent Hinostroza, Nick Schmaltz, Alexandre Fortin, Ryan Hartman, etc.) can’t adequately fill all the offseason departures at forward, then perhaps they’ll look closer at Yakupov.
Yakupov, 23, was the first overall draft pick in 2012, but has struggled to fulfill expectations. Last season, he only had eight goals in 60 games.
In March, Yakupov’s agent, Igor Larionov, suggested a “fresh start” with another team could help.
A couple of more tweets to consider…
First from Chicago:
Now here’s the view from Edmonton: