The Edmonton Oilers reached an agreement with forward Keller Yamamoto on Saturday. This may not be the extension agreement that many people think the two parties will sign, but for a variety of reasons, it is an interesting agreement, and it actually helps the organization in various ways.
Although this contract gives Yamamoto a chance to reinvigorate and prove himself, it also opens up an option for general manager Ken Holland to be creative in the salary cap and create some internal competition without any practical significance. Understand Yamamoto’s promise better.
This transaction is an opportunity for both parties.
The one-year transaction is valid for Yamamoto
The $1.175 million is not a very high number, and it may be a far cry from what Yamamoto hopes to get this season. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you are in the RFA through the off-season, you have no arbitration rights and the NHL is dealing with a fixed salary cap. According to NHL standards, Yamamoto will never get rich through this transaction. In fact, he will never get the $2-2.5 million that some fans think he might get.
However, it is not all bad.
He is betting on himself, he has the opportunity to improve his stats in the 2021-22 season. He is likely to still hope to start the season in the top six of the Oilers (some people may disagree), and if the chips all fall in a positive way, Yamamoto can return to the negotiating table with the Netherlands and try again. He will have better overall production as a lever, and the Oilers will more easily assess the player’s actual situation in a season. Although Yamamoto has no arbitration rights and he will still be an RFA after the new contract expires, he will have better conditions to make more demands than this summer.
At best, signing a two-year contract now means $15-1.75 million per season. If he signs another bridge deal next season and does so after a better season, then these numbers should increase considerably.
The one-year contract is valid for oilers
One-year transition transactions are not very common. It is believed that Edmonton and Yamamoto may sign a two-year contract, which allows the players themselves to enter a more advantageous position. For the Oilers, if Yamamoto breaks out offensively and regains scoring opportunities, a two-year contract will provide some cost certainty. At the same time, if Yamamoto shows that he is not the player the Oilers want him to be, then a two-year contract will bring some risks.
The one-year agreement will not hurt Edmonton. For a year, the Oilers didn’t need to spend too much money to keep this player in the lineup. He will return to the training camp, hoping to have a good start and gain confidence. This is the same money that Jesse Puljujarvi made, and both players will see their current trades expire at the same time. In a way, this is like a friendly internal competition, because the Oilers will definitely give priority to one of the players.
For Oilers, this is an important year. Everyone on the roster will be responsible for ensuring that this team not only enters the playoffs but also goes further. If Yamamoto is not in this equation, the Oilers will not promise, and his trade is very attractive to other teams.
Oiler cap flexibility
Jonathan Willis of The Athletic Pointing out that this Yamamoto deal opened up an interesting scene for the team. He suggested that the Oilers could have defensive player Oscar Klefbom (Oscar Klefbom) appear on the active roster at the beginning of the season, instead of LTIR, which gave them more flexibility and almost allowed them. Make full use of the space opened up by his contract.
In other words, through some paper transactions and by transferring players who meet the exemption conditions and can be relegated to AHL, Edmonton has more working space this season, because Klefbom’s $4.167 million salary cap reached As Willis wrote: “The key is to have room for maneuver.”
If you have heard of the Netherlands Talk about LTI (This is very interesting), you know he is considering how to use Klefbom’s contract for his benefit throughout the season. Yamamoto’s deal gave Oilers more room to do more.
Jim Parsons is THW’s senior freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host. His life, diet, sleep and breathing NHL news and rumors, and also writes about Edmonton oil Special report of the team. For more than five years, he has been a trusted source of The Hockey Writers, but more importantly, his mission is to keep readers informed of the latest NHL rumors and trade negotiations. For readers who want to be “informed”, Jim is a daily must-have.