May 28, 2013
Photo Credit: Sarah FuquaTweet
Yip was a fourth line constant and played o.k. for most of the season. His play at the beginning of the season showed promise, but in this league it’s how you finish that determines your worth…just ask Alain Vigneault.
From Then to Now
A waiver wire pick-up last season, Brandon Yip contributed seven points in 25 games for the Predators in 2011-2012 and earned two points in the playoffs. This season, Brandon Yip pretty much equaled his output from the year before with eight points in 34 games.
Beyond the Stats
Over time with Nashville, Yip’s defensive game has taken a step in the right direction. His -3 plus/minus rating on the year is dramatically better than his -22 with the Avalanche in 2010-2011. Being relegated to the third/fourth lines for much of the season, Yip was called upon to fend off the top two lines of the opponents and give the top lines for the Predators a breather. Chipping in the odd point or two would be great, but Yip found himself the odd-man out and couldn’t seem to gel with any of the line-mates Trotz put with him.
The Best of Yip
Yip started out the season with five points in the first ten games. He plays with an edge when he wants to and can deliver some punishment on the boards, fishing out the puck similar to how Joel Ward did a couple years back. Yip was third among Nashville forwards in hits, proving that he was willing to let the other teams’ forwards know that he is lurking and waiting to delve out some energy and grit.
Where Does Yip Fit?
Yip was supplanted somewhat by the emergence of Bobby Butler, a good offensive forward who provided the spark for the Halischuk/Spaling line. Yip soon found himself shoved further down the lineup. The flashes of brilliance were too soon followed by uninspired play and the hits became fewer and fewer toward the end of the season (as seen in his diminished ice time).
With Yip being a UFA this off-season, Nashville with the influx of youth in their roster, and the newly acquired Filip Forsberg, Yip may be cut loose to test the free agency waters. Having Bobby Butler as an RFA contract doesn’t help Yip’s tenure with the Predators, either.
FINAL GRADE: C-
Yip stayed the same as the year before and his defensive game, albeit better than with a defenseless Colorado squad, wasn’t enough to raise him above the average status so an average grade of C seems sufficient.