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November 12, 2013 | 11:56am ET
Yakupov would welcome trade
TheFourthPeriod.com

If the Edmonton Oilers are unhappy with his play or feel he's better served learning from the press box, Nail Yakupov is willing to play for another team.

Yakupov's agent, Hall of Famer Igor Larionov, told ESPN's Craig Custance on Monday they would welcome a trade if the Oilers aren't going to use him properly.

"I'm going to Edmonton on Thursday to watch a couple games. Obviously a lot of questions, and I want to have some answers," Larionov said.

Over the weekend, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins told the media the team wasn't shopping Yakupov, despite reports suggesting otherwise. A number of teams have also called to inquire about the 20-year-old's availability with GM Craig MacTavish.

"I asked Craig, I said, 'If you guys [are] not happy with him or you have no room for him ... we're willing to make a move. Any team,' " Larionov said. "That happens and that's part of life. Let's move on."

Yakupov sat out of two consecutive games, as a healthy scratch, last month, and his ice time has been fairly limited this season.

In 17 games, thus far, Yakupov has tallied two goals, two assists and a team-worst minus-14 rating.

"Let the kid play, enjoy the game," Larionov said. "He's a hard-working kid. He's not lazy. He's got to be part of that team. You have to understand he's only 20 years old, he needs some support. He's a goal-scorer. You've got to understand that and let the kid develop and play."

MacTavish is looking to acquire a top-tier defenseman, though it's unclear if any are available for a package that does not include the likes of Yakupov.

The Oilers are also dangling veteran right wing Ales Hemsky.


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