Nail Yakupov’s Freak Accident with an NHL Referee

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Updated: December 3, 2015


On their November 26 game versus the Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers right winger Nail Yakupov can probably categorize the night as one of his best and worst on ice. What started as a great game for Yakupov quickly turned into a disaster.

Thanks to an assist the 22-year-old Russian player made on Benoit Pouliot’s goal, Yakupov recorded his 100th career point. The odds of him playing a better game took a nosedive however, when early in the second period, Yakupov injured his ankle after a collision with linesman Matt MacPherson.

The NHL official stumbled into Yakupov, tripped, and tugged down the Oilers forward as he struggled to brace his fall after a face-off. The Oilers player ended up bending his own left ankle because of the struggle.

When it Rains, It Pours

Game analyst Nick Kypreos reported that Yakupov’s injury appeared to be a minor one. Still, this is a blow for the speedy right winger since the best bookmakers assess that this is his finest season yet, notwithstanding his rookie year. This is even with the Russian player not making a goal in the last 15 games.

When Yakupov left the ice, he was favoring his left leg. Upon the advice of the team’s physician, he no longer returned to the game.

Jim Matheson, a sportswriter from Edmonton Journal, reported that the Russian player, who was the first overall pick in 2012, will miss a maximum of four weeks off the season due to an ankle sprain. This time-off includes several team practices.

It’s safe to say that the team is not having a grand time this season. They are already a man short with Connor McDavid, the first overall pick for 2015 and undoubtedly one of the best NHL picks in recent years, still recovering from his own game injury. McDavid is currently nursing a broken clavicle.

Thanks to the unfortunate accident, the Oilers are without two gifted hockey players. Unless the whole team makes an effort to do better, top bookmakers predict that the remaining players will face tougher games soon.

With this back-to-back injury, the Oilers are somewhat crippled. But the coaching staff led by Todd McLellan seems to take everything in stride.

They lost to the Hurricanes 4 to 1. This season, Yakupov has earned two goals and 12 points in the past 22 games.

The Other Injured Man

Many ice hockey fans send their well wishes to Yukapov through various social media channels. Most are sympathetic toward the young player – and the entire team – and some showed concern for MacPherson, too.

A sport like ice hockey is a physical game. And while other fanatics took to social media to blame MacPherson for Yakupov’s injury, it can be said that the whole thing is just one unfortunate freak accident. No one, especially an NHL on-ice official, wishes for these things to happen.

There are no reports yet if talks have transpired between Yakupov and MacPherson after the game. However, everyone’s hopeful that all parties are doing better now. Fans especially hope that the injury is just a case of looking a lot worse than it actually is.

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