So the IIHF suspended him playing in the KHL? I seem to recall the same thing happening to Radulov when he abandoned Nashville. In the end it didn't make any difference.
However, Nail preferring the KHL over Sarnia, where he was under contract to play this season, is the main indicator of why the Oilers might have wanted to draft Murray instead.
Frack, Yakkity-Yak might never come back...
Yakupov's decision to play in the KHL should not affect others' perception of him. After all, had the NHLPA not been locked out, he would not have played in the OHL. He must have felt, without understanding completely, that he had the option to play in another league in the instance there would be no NHL season. In addition, players from overseas and older members of the NHLPA could play wherever they desired. Perhaps he did not understand he was bound to the CHL, regardless of a lockout, until the age of 20. His NHL club had approved Nail's temporary depature to the KHL at Igor Larionov's request, so the 18-year-old must have assumed the legal aspects had been taken care of.
It seems, even with the NHLPA locked out, Yakupov has no choice but to report to the Sting. This is detrimental to both the Oilers and Yakupov, as he has already learned everything he can at the junior level. It only made sense for everyone (except Hockey Canada and the CHL) that Nail develop for a year in a more difficult league as a method of transitioning into the NHL.
I would, without hesitation, expect Nail to be playing for the Oilers when the NHL resumes play. It's likely a very unfortunate misunderstanding. His closest friend, Alex Galchenyuk, has already resumed playing for the Sting. If Nail had to live with the Galchenyuks for another year, I'm sure they would not mind. Nail was unable to play on Galchenyuk's line for much of the year due to the latter's injuries; to have one final chance to play with his best friend would not be something to dread.
Edited by WeatherWise, 26 September 2012 - 11:10 AM.
The greatest segue into a weather segment.