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Seravalli: “My sense is the Oilers have someone that’ll take Kailer Yamamoto for free”

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Photo credit:Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
9 months ago
The NHL’s buyout window opened on Friday and the Vancouver Canucks grabbed headlines by buying out the final half of Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s eight-year, $66 million contract.
On Monday’s edition of the DFO Rundown, Frank Seravalli and Jason Gregor discussed whether any of the other Canadian teams will use a buyout this summer. Some names that were mentioned as candidates to be bought out are Matt Murray of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Joel Armia and Mike Hoffman of the Montreal Canadiens, and Kailer Yamamoto of the Edmonton Oilers.
When it comes to Yamamoto, Seravalli said that “My sense is the Oilers have in their pocket someone that’ll take Yamamoto for free,” so a buyout ultimately won’t be necessary.
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Yamamoto inked a one-year, show-me deal for the 2021-22 season after his entry-level contract expired and he scored a career-high 20 goals and 41 points over 81 games. That performance earned Yamamoto a raise on his next contract, as he re-signed with the Oilers on a two-year deal worth $3.1 million annually.
The first year of that contract didn’t go as the Oilers hoped. Yamamoto struggled through injuries and scored 10 goals and 25 points over 58 games. Come playoff time, he scored just one goal and four points over 12 games.
With just around $5 million in salary cap room available, the Oilers can’t afford to take a risk and see whether Yamamoto can bounce back next season. They need to open up some more wiggle room so that they can sign restricted free agents Evan Bouchard, Ryan McLeod, and Klim Kostin to new contracts and Yamamoto appears likely to be the one to move.
Buying out Yamamoto would cost the Oilers $433,334 in 2023-24 and $533,334 in 2024-25. That isn’t terrible but it’s something the Oilers would obviously like to avoid given they’re on the hook for $1,916,667 over the next two seasons for James Neal’s buyout.

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