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Yakupov’s growing pains continue with healthy scratches

Minnesota Wild v St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 13: Nail Yakupov #64 of the St. Louis Blues skates during warm ups prior to a game against the Minnesota Wild on October 13, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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The St. Louis Blues received a lot of plaudits and the Edmonton Oilers drew a lot of scorn for the Nail Yakupov trade. Especially when he scored a goal early in his run with St. Louis.

Quietly, Yakupov’s still on a pretty bumpy path to redemption, however.

The top pick of the 2012 NHL Draft has been a healthy scratch since Nov. 3 and has been only averaging about 10:30 minutes per night, something he’s not too happy about.

“It’s not my decision I’m not playing,” Yakupov said after Tuesday’s practice, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Obviously I couldn’t be happy about it. So, it’s a coach’s decision and nothing I can do about it.”

The story is a little amusing at times, as he repeatedly says he won’t complain about it ... while kind of complaining about it.

(Maybe a language barrier thing?)

With Ty Rattie struggling to get into the lineup as well, it’s a good time to note that being benched by the Blues is probably less of an insult that by a lesser team.

That’s probably not much solace for Yakupov, who’s trying to salvage his career with his latest contract set to expire, but all he can do is wait at this point. And try not to gripe too loudly.