From The Ice

Chiarelli: Yakupov and Oilers ‘needed a fresh start’

(Steven Alkok/Icon Sportswire)

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli made an appearance on Toronto’s SiriusXM NHL Network Radio Monday afternoon.

On Nail Yakupov: “I think both parties needed a fresh start. He’s still young. He’s still got some ability. If you look back in hindsight, he wouldn’t have been the No. 1 pick of that draft. And that happens. It’s happened a lot. I think it was time for him to go to another team. In St. Louis, he’ll be with a more proven team, and we wish him all the best there.”

McKenzie: It’s been a long time since Yakupov has been highly-regarded

On Kris Russell: “It kind of came together really at the end, but I’d been in touch with his agent really starting from the shopping period back toward the end of June, and then into the free agency. It was something that we had entertained, and really we went quiet for a long time. Then toward the end of last week it kind of resurfaced, and so then we kind of talked in earnest about a contract. It happened pretty quickly. I don’t know why it took this long (for Russell to sign a contract with a team). I mean, I know he’s a good player and sometimes these things happen. But we were fortunate to get him signed, and hopefully we can turn a one-year contract into a longer term at some point.”

McKenzie: Russell ‘probably would be a decent fit for the Oilers’

On Adam Larsson: “He’s fit in very well. He’s playing in our top pair. He’ll get anywhere between 22-25 minutes a game. He’s a very smart player. His gap is terrific. He’s a very good passer. Very happy with him. He’s not well-known to everybody and the player we traded was a high-profile guy, so I understand the reaction. But I think he’s going to fit in well with us.”

Chiarelli: ‘I knew I was going to get hammered’ for Hall trade

On Zack Kassian: “He’s in terrific shape. He’s shown a commitment since we got him. He knows it’s his last chance, and he’s embracing it. Right now, he’s actually been killing some penalties and he’s doing quite good at it. He’s been real good since we’ve gotten him here. We had some frank discussions prior to re-signing him, and he’s been good. He’s a useful player for us. He’s another one of those bigger guys that can lean on you, that I think is important in this division.”

Zack Kassian: ‘The love for hockey is back’

Source: SiriusXM/ Transcript: Nichols

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