MOSCOW, November 8 (R-Sport) - The KHL needs a dose of North American passion and showmanship to liven up dull games, NHL No. 1 draft pick Nail Yakupov has told R-Sport.
The Edmonton Oilers forward is with his hometown team Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk during the lockout, and said the atmosphere at games was something of a let-down.
“I dream that in Nizhnekamsk they’d give out blue and white rally towels to the fans at the entrance, and that when we score a goal or create a dangerous chance, they’d all hold them up and start twirling them, like in the NHL,” he said.
“We don’t have that, and they don’t know, they haven’t seen how it is.”
“And I’d like different music for a goal, and for the lights to go out. Well, so everything isn’t bland."
Yakupov added that only a handful of KHL teams came close to replicating a true NHL atmosphere, “but it’s all livelier in the NHL anyway.”
The gold standard was last season’s Stanley Cup final series between the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils, he added.
Since joining the KHL in September, Yakupov has scored 14 points in 13 games and is among the top ten goalscorers in the league.