First things first, do not count on seeing Nail Yakupov in Sarnia Sting colours any time soon while the NHL's No. 1 overall pick is trying to have his transfer to the KHL approved.
The buzz in the hockey world at this hour, as you probably already knew, is that neither the Sting nor the Edmonton Oilers have a problem with Yakupov playing for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, as he vowed to do in the summer. Someone in Canada, though, apparently does; the IIHF statement says he played in two games "without an approved International Transfer Card, ITC. The ITC was not signed by Hockey Canada and was thus not approved by the IIHF ... being that Hockey Canada did not approve Nail Yakupov's ITC, his case is in appeal procedures. Until appeal procedures are complete and a decision regarding his transfer to Russia is made, an ITC will not be approved or denied by the IIHF."
(Update: Ontario Hockey League commissioner David Branch told Sunaya Sapurji that Yakupov is still under contract to the Sting. Yakupov, as per Dmitry Chesnokov, is expecting to play for Nizhnekamsk.)
That only place Yakupov, who's not eligible for the American Hockey League, can play is for the Sting. The ever-unimpeachable Mark Edwards said that might be a non-starter while the appeal is being heard:
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— Mark Edwards (@MarkEdwardsHP) September 26, 2012