So maybe they won't miss him if Hockey Canada is able to keep the No. 1 overall pick in last summer's NHL Draft out of Russia during the lockout.
The KHL announced on Tuesday that Yakupov is "temporarily" unable to play for Neftekhimik because of an IIHF investigation into his transfer to the League.
The KHL's Director of Sports Event Management Dmitry Kurbatov told Sportbox.ru that Yakupov temporarily cannot play in Russia until the IIHF determines the legitimacy of his transfer:
"The IIHF initiated this whole process," Kurbatov said. "Currently the IIHF is determining the legitimacy of Yakupov's transfer to the KHL. His current status in the NHL, the AHL and the KHL is raising questions. While the investigation is ongoing, in accordance with the Regulations we cannot allow a player to play in our league. I hope this problem will be resolved in the coming days."
The move by Hockey Canada not to approve the ITC comes from Sarnia, it appears, as the Edmonton Oilers officially assigned Yakupov to play there. It is unclear whether this was done before or after Yakupov's agent Igor Larionov negotiated for the Oilers to allow Yakupov to play in the KHL.
(Buzzing The Net, Yahoo! Sports' Junior Hockey Blog, has more on the Sarnia angle.)
Yakupov has also been very vocal as far as where he wanted to play. This move by Hockey Canada may now trigger KHL's reaction that could affect a lot of young Russian players who want to play in Canada.Read More »from Nail Yakupov locked out of Russia by Hockey Canada?