Nail Yakupov’s struggles in Edmonton have been well documented.
It was even suggested last season that it may be best for the Oilers and Yakupov to cut ties.
Now comes word the Oilers gave the Russian forward permission to explore trade options prior to the Feb. 29 trade deadline.
According to Russian hockey reporter Igor Eronko, Yakupov and his agent, Igor Larionov, have spoken to a number of teams.
“I asked a trade and Oilers gave a permission to speak to other teams, about eight of them were interested, but something went wrong,” Yakupov told Eronko.
Yakupov also said he has no interest going home to Russia to play in the KHL.
The 22-year-old is currently on pace to set career lows for goals and points this season. In 56 games Yakupov has just six goals and 13 assists. He’s even found himself on the team’s fourth line at times.
"We have some players that have underachieved, we have some players that may need a different venue," Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli said prior to the deadline. "Those are the determinations we'll make between now and trade deadline. If certain players are still around, it's because the deal wasn't right or we felt that there was a future for them with us, and we may revisit that situation in the summer."
Originally the first overall selection at the 2012 NHL draft, Yakupov has one year remaining on his two-year, $5 million contract before becoming a restricted free agent after next season.
In 248 career NHL games, over parts of four seasons, Yakupov has 48 goals and 107 points.