It would have been an easy switch given that the No. 10 jersey is available. It’s the number Nail Yakupov has had regularly stitched onto his jerseys in the past. Yet he has no intention of making that change now that Shawn Horcoff has been traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Dallas Stars. Yakupov said on Friday he’ll continue to wear 64 chosen last year because the six and four digits add up to 10. The decision was made because he wanted to pay respect to Horcoff’s tenure with the team and because he wanted to carve out his own identity. “He played a lot of years here. Forever ... I want the fans to know Horc for No. 10” Yakupov said after Friday’s training camp scrimmage. Yakupov will play alongside Mark Arcobello and Linus Omark again on Saturday when one group of Oilers plays the Calgary Flames in an exhibition game at Rexall Place while another squad plays in Calgary. “I had 64 in my first year and that was actually good year for me ... so I’ll still wear 64” he said. Despite the signs of maturity there’s still a boyishness that continues to personify the winger. Take his recap of the day he found out he was not one of the three finalists for the rookie of the year honours despite a late-season flourish that pushed him to the top of the rookie scoring list. Yakupov finished the 48-game lockout-shortened season with 17 goals and 14 assists. The Florida Panthers’ Jonathan Huberdeau (14 goals 17 assists) won the Calder Memorial Trophy. “At the time I was with my buddies playing a computer game on-line. There were like seven of us” Yakupov said. “I got the message from the NHL and I thought ‘OK whatever.’ And I went back to playing the game.
Oilers’ Yakupov sticks with No. 64 out of respect for Horcoff
Edmonton Journal | Sep 14