Offseason questions for Ken Holland

Current Edmonton Oilers General Manager Ken Holland. (Photo by Dave Reginek - Pool/Getty Images)
Current Edmonton Oilers General Manager Ken Holland. (Photo by Dave Reginek - Pool/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Having two major injuries meant that Yamo was inevitably going to have a down year, so it was such that this season he played only 58 games which mathematically is just under 71% of the season. He went through a long scoring drought that stretched into the playoffs at the end of the season. His goal totals were cut in half from 20 to 10 and his point totals decreased from 41 to 25. The only silver lining to Yamo’s season is his +/- went from -1 to +12, an impressive increase. He’s also been a minus player in all four years of playoffs he’s participated in, going to a low of -7 this past season. His offence has never been more than OK in the playoffs, as his top end is seven points in 14 games two playoffs ago and four points in 12 games these past playoffs.

But many fans are only focusing on his offensive totals decreasing and his size, as somehow he seemed to have forgotten how to play hockey this past season (false).

The fans drinking the stupid juice are saying that Yamo should have the final year of his contract bought out.

Trading him is a more palatable option, but even then you should really think long and hard before trading him. Yamo scored 20 goals just two seasons ago, and again he had two major injuries this season so that’s going to hamper him. Smart money says he comes to camp healthy next season and hopefully, those injuries are behind him. There’s also the fact that Connor Mcdavid and Leon Draisaitl both have publicly stated they enjoy playing with him – when the two best players in the league are in your corner, you’ve got to be good.

It’s also important to remember that Yamamoto is only 24 years old – on September 29 he’ll turn 25 which means he’ll be starting his prime producing years. Why would you trade away a player that close to his prime? It doesn’t make sense, even after a bad year. He could easily rebound and improve on two seasons ago.

Even if he struggles again I wouldn’t get rid of him so easily. In order to be cap compliant every team needs cheap scoring help, and that’s exactly what Yamo could be for the Oilers. If he struggles again they could just sign him for $2-2.5 million and save some cap on his current $3.1 million cap hit – and they could lock him up for four or five seasons at that rate.

One bad season does not a career make. Don’t drink the stupid juice and don’t be in such a hurry to trade Yamo.

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t put it past Holland to at least think about it.