Oilers Running Risk Of Having To Buy Out Contract By June 30

The Edmonton Oilers are one of the teams pushing the cap this summer as they are going to require some moves to properly adjust their roster. Kailer Yamamoto's name has come up the most as he had a disappointing 2022-23 season, topped off by scoring just one goal in the 12 playoffs games.

With a $3.1 million AAV cap hit and one year remaining on his deal, the Oilers are looking to upgrade their second line right wing. By the end of this season, Nick Bjugstad was elevated into this role because Yamamoto just wasn't producing. Bjugstad isn't a viable long-term option for the Oilers and not the level of a player the team's top players should be rewarded with. With players like Connor Brown, Travis Konecny, and more linked to Edmonton, that means the team will need to create cap space.

Yamamoto is the player who's going to be moved here, even if the Oilers get next to no return like the return for Jesse Puljujarvi. Yamamoto has value, but teams will also see just how desperate the Oilers are to free up money with the salary cap going up just $1 million. There is going to be a choice to be made if a deal doesn't present itself. Either the Oilers will have to attach an asset, possibly a decent one, to Yamamoto to trade him, or buy him out. A buyout is an option the Oilers can't afford as they'll need every dollar. But if the price to move Yamamoto is more than a fourth round pick, they might have to bite the bullet.

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