January 11, 2013 7 Comments
“Yakupov doesn’t do interviews after another quiet game. Kid making people wonder on and off the ice.” – Terry Jones, Edmonton Sun
“It’s time for Igor Larionov to tell his client Nail Yakupov that wearing the ‘C’ means you talk. Kid needs wake-up call.” – Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal
“First time I listened to Nail Yakupov speak at 2012WJC, I thought he had major prima donna potential. Haven’t changed mind …” – Cam Cole, Vancouver Sun
The above tweets came from three prominent sports reporters, based in Canada, following Team Russia’s shootout win over Sweden at the semi-finals of the IIHF World Juniors Tournament in Ufa, Russia. Russian captain Nail Yakupov, the Edmonton Oilers first overall draft pick from the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, was not available to the media following the win, much to the chagrin of the Canadian media contingent.
Players, especially team captains, who do not make themselves available to the media following an important win may upset reporters who need quotes and information to produce content for newspapers. Perhaps Yakupov was meeting with coaches or players, or maybe he was injured. And who knows, maybe this group of reporters was right, and Yakupov just didn’t want to talk. But to make an ill-informed assumption and label him as a bad leader or prima donna is simply irresponsible and misleading journalism.