The International Ice Hockey Federation has refused to issue the transfer card of Edmonton Oilers top-pick Nail Yakupov to HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, which makes him ineligible to play with the team.
Yakupov had reportedly been given permission by the Oilers to play in the KHL while the players are locked out by the owners as part of the on-going collective bargaining negotiations. However, until the IIHF administers his transfer card he will be unable to play.
This could cause problems for other NHL players looking to play overseas during the duration of the NHL lockout.
The director of Neftekhimik, Rafik Yakubov, was quoted by Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov as saying that he believes the IIHF does not want to feud with the NHL and that the federation may be waiting to receive permission from the league before distributing transfer cards for players coming from the NHL. He was not given an official reason for why Yakupov was not given his transfer.
Although the NHL is not a member of the IIHF, the league does hold a considerable amount of sway with the federation. Via Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo!'s Puck Daddy:
No one will officially confirm this within the IIHF, but it is possibly the case that this is yet another way the NHL can stop players from playing altogether. The IIHF's leadership is weak to make independent decisions.
According to the Yahoo! report, foreign outlets are reporting that no player attempting to play overseas has yet to receive transfer cards from the IIHF, which includes the likes of Jaromir Jagr, Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk.
For a full list of confirmed and rumored transfers, click here. For more on the NHL lockout, continue to check out this Storystream and SB Nation's NHL hub, which will have all the latest news and updates.