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Brandon Yip: Who? Oh, him.


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photo courtesy Yahoo Sports

11:18 AM.

January 19, 2012.

Where were you, at exactly this minute?  What were you doing?  Who were you with? What were you wearing?

Like the Kennedy assassination, man’s first step on the moon, and the E’s coverage of the Kardashian wedding, there are certain watershed moments in our society that everyone burns into their mental memory disk.  No matter how many years pass, you’ll always be able to rewind back to that very instant when some momentous event transpired.

The moment that Nashville’s claim of Colorado forward Brandon Yip isn’t going to be one of those moments.

Nonetheless, it merits a little bit of discussion.  The first question that springs to mind for most Predators fans is going to be: why?  The book on Yip is that he’s not a bottom six forward.  Like the Simon Gamaches and Brandon Bochenskis of the past, if he has any chance of succeeding, he needs a top six spot.  With the Predators faring reasonably well in scoring this season, why make this move?  At an immediate glance, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of holes that he could plug into.  While the Preds naturally have needs, I’m not certain that Yip readily fills any of those.  The news that Jerred Smithson has been activated off of IR only makes this claim more confusing.  Where is Yip going to play, and who will sit in his place?  One possibility is that Poile has a trade in the coffers that would see us down a roster forward, but that just brings more questions than answers.

I’ll be completely honest and say that most of the knowledge about Yip that I’m about to pass on is secondhand, culled from reading various profiles and Avalanche messageboards.  He simply hasn’t done enough in the league to have him jump out as someone that is recognizable for anything.  I know who he is, and I even remember him scoring a goal or two against us in the past.  I suspect that’s the case with the majority of Predators fans.

From research, I’ve gathered that he’s a decent offensive player,  but lacks the skating or stickhandling ability to really produce.  He’s weak along the boards, which makes him a power-play liability, and is unspectacular defensively.  He does possess a good wrist shot, and if he scores, it’s usually because he got into a position to use it.  Colorado fans, to a man, seemed somewhat relieved that he was waived due to his inability to really “fit” anywhere in the lineup or in any particular role.

Excited yet?

All in all, he sounds a lot like a guy the Predators took a shot at off waivers approximately a year ago: Marek Svatos.  Like Svatos, I envision Yip’s track taking him through a handful of appearances, maybe a goal or two, and ultimately in a permascratch role before going back on waivers.  Hopefully I’m wrong.

One interesting note: he did play with Colin Wilson at Boston University.  I’m not sure if that had any bearing or not on the Preds’ decision to put in a claim, but a fun factoid nonetheless.

The question that remains will be if he takes on the cursed number 18, used to so little success by Niclas Bergfors, earlier this season.