Forward Kailer Yamamoto caught in Edmonton Oilers salary cap grind: 9 things – .

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Forward Kailer Yamamoto caught in Edmonton Oilers salary cap grind: 9 things – .


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The Edmonton Oilers started the offseason with plenty to do.

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While making the playoffs in consecutive seasons is a huge step up from the losing seasons that came before it, the bar has shifted. And this is a good thing. It has to happen by earning franchises.

It’s now mid-August and most of the things to do on Ken Holland’s list are “done”. Success depends on your perspective.

But an important task remains for him: Kailer Yamamoto.

This and more to come in this edition of…

9 things

9. The 2021-22 Edmonton Oilers schedule is out. Of the Oilers’ 41 home dates, 18 of them start at 7:00 p.m. Twelve times it is 8 p.m. 5 times the puck falls at 7:30 p.m. There are a pair of games each at 6:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. 1 game starts at 1:00 p.m., 1 at 5:00 p.m.

8. There is a gap left for an Olympic break. If we’re only using 2 players as the reasons I expect the NHL to go to China, let’s pick Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby. It would be Connor’s 1st, possibly Sidney’s last. The players will not be indifferent. It will be interesting to see how the NHLPA, the NHL and the owners line up.

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7. A first “Team Canada fictitious lineup” from the former NHL general manager Bouton Craig possesses Connor McDavid centering a 1st line of Jonathan huberdeau and Nathan MacKinnon. Sidney Crosby was 2C. Darnell Nurse was at 3LD, paired with Dougie Hamilton. I’m waiting for new Oilers F Zach Hyman to gain consideration as well.

6. The Bakersfield Condors have signed several players as organizational depth. One of them is Matteo Gennaro of Saint-Albert. The 24-year-old scored 26 goals in 61 ECHL games last season. Gennaro was a 2015 Jets 7e Round choice. Prior to that, he spent 2 years at Prince Albert with now the Condors assistant coach. Dave Manson.

6. I expect the Oilers to wait on any PTO until they get close to TC. One need is a # 4 RHS D-man veteran, minimum in the league. A guy who can play in the AHL but be capable of YOU in the NHL. Names to remember perhaps: Michel Pierre, 6’3,210 LBS and Winnipeg. 30 years Sami Vatanen maybe not for $ 750,000, but it has happened in the past. As it was pointed out to me, what’s left in the UFA market for RHD are thin pickins.

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4. Tyler Benson signed a two-way contract extension of $ 750,000. The salary is lower than his eligible offer ($ 913,500). If he’s good enough to make the Oilers, it’s very user-friendly. Otherwise, that makes it an inexpensive pickup of waivers. Benson sees the ice well, thinks well and has a good head. The problem is its medium wheels. I was told that Benson hit the gym especially hard this summer. Fortunately, his career may depend on it.

3. After LHS D Slater Koekkoek signed his 2 year contract with the Oilers (which had been expected in this space and pretty much at the exact AAV) he appeared on Indoor sports with host Reid Wilkins. There, Koekkoek revealed that when he returned for the playoffs last spring, his broken collarbone was only 60% healed and there was a metal plate in place. He’s a player, that’s for sure. Koekkoek and Kris Russell form a very useful 3-4LD on this club. I’m waiting for that to mean Guillaume Lagesson will start in Bakersfield (if he accepts waivers).

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2. The playoffs are not over. But has a team done less to outdo themselves than Anaheim and Calgary? That’s not to say both teams can’t be good. But there will be a lot of pressure on internal growth, etc. The Ducks are rebuilding themselves. But the Flames? This training and this trainer Darryl Sutter reminds me of an old joke from Sesame Street “one of those things is not like the other”. I think we all expected more reshuffle after last season’s underperformance. But like Hockey Hall of Fame writer Jim Matheson was recently mentioned to me, they seem paralyzed.

1. The biggest task left in the off-season working pot for Ken Holland is the RFA status of Kailer Yamamoto. I like a lot of things in Yamamoto’s game. He’s a smart, skillful and quick player who can contribute to both special teams. And he plays a lot bigger than he is, which is admirable. But the jury does not know if Yamamoto can become one of the top 6 and if his small frame can withstand the harshness and offer more than 3:00 p.m. of YOU per night. Because of that and his 8-goal performance in 2020-21, I don’t see Yamamoto getting the contract that others have predicted, or that his agent could have hoped for just a year ago. It was then that things were much better for his client. And because Yamamoto has no arbitration rights, the club is in the driver’s seat.

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The cap for a player like Yamamoto would surely be the 2-year, $ 2.5 million contract Colorado handed over to Valerie Nichushkin. Both are wingers with comparable draft pedigree and offensive production in 2021-2021. But it’s a pre-pandemic contract for Nichushkin. And the Av player is also older and more established in the professional game. As a result, I don’t expect Yamamoto to get that kind of money. It’s just not a precise comparable. And with the crowd on the Oilers RW, I don’t think that’s a guarantee that Yamamoto plays in the Top-6.

Instead, let’s maybe look at young F Maxime Comtois in Anaheim. He’s also a skilled forward, comparable in age to Yamamoto, but with a lower draft pedigree. Comtois presented higher offensive numbers in 2020-21 (16-17-33 in 55GP) for a lower club in Anaheim than Yamamoto did for a much better club (and much better teammates) in Edmonton (8- 13-21 in 52GP). The Ducks? Gave Comtois a 2-year bridge contract with AAV of $ 2.04M. It’s closer, but I still don’t think Yamamoto gets there.

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With that as a guide, I would expect the Oilers to get Yamamoto for less than $ 2 million a year, say 2 years at $ 1.75 million a year. That would work not only for the Oilers cap this year, but also for next year. This is when Ken Holland will have to sign again. Jesse Puljujarvi and get a new goalie … all with around $ 10-11 million in space. And Puljujarvi has a higher cap, it will be a priority.

I hope for the club and the player that Yamamoto’s contract will be concluded soon. We saw last year how Ethan Bear the later start of the preseason (compared to the rest of the club) due to a contract issue did not match good results.

I didn’t want this for the team or Bear. And I hope that the error will not be repeated in the Yamamoto case. Neither side can afford it.

Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins

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