What’s Subsequent for Keith Yandle? It is Sophisticated

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Keith Yandle (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports activities)Keith Yandle has quite a bit to be pleased with coming into what is meant to be his 15th NHL season. Since he grew to become a league common in 2007-08, he leads all NHL defensemen in assists and power-play-points. Solely Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson have extra factors. Yandle owns a top-five end in Norris Trophy voting and has performed in three All-Star Video games. He’s additionally one in every of recreation’s most colourful personalities, voted the funniest participant within the league two years working within the NHL Gamers’ Affiliation ballot.Yandle’s best accomplishment: his ironman streak. With the 2020-21 season about to start, he sits at 866 consecutive video games performed. That’s the longest streak by a defenseman in NHL historical past, and it’s the fourth-longest streak total. Enjoying all 56 video games this season would leap Yandle to second all-time at 922, and he’d be on monitor to beat Doug Jarvis’ all-time mark of 964 subsequent season.But it surely seems Yandle’s streak will finish, and never due to an harm or suspension. He is prone to open 2020-21 as a wholesome scratch for the Florida Panthers. As a result of he can’t be positioned on waivers with out his permission, Yandle will stay a part of Florida’s lively roster slightly than the taxi squad. And since he’s an able-bodied, lively participant scratched for a coach’s choice, his ironman streak will halt at 866 barring a last-minute change of coronary heart from Joel Quenneville. For the reason that Panthers don’t open their season till Sunday, there’s technically nonetheless time for issues to alter. However a report from TSN insider Frank Seravalli this week suggests we shouldn’t depend on Yandle’s streak surviving the month. In response to Seravalli, the Panthers have knowledgeable Yandle, 34, that “he doesn’t issue into their plans” for the season. It’s potential he’s within the lineup for the season opener, however the expectation is he’ll be a wholesome scratch someday within the close to future.It was already turning into clear in camp that Yandle had fallen out of favor. He was moved off the highest power-play unit and was working with the secondary group of skaters with out an assigned protection accomplice,. So why are the Panthers performed with him? His power-play output was nonetheless above common as of final season. Amongst 60 blueliners who logged 100 or extra minutes with the person benefit, he was a good 23rd in main assists per 60, proper between Dougie Hamilton and Shea Theodore. Yandle was 22nd in power-play factors per 60, too. Not elite, however he was nonetheless PP1 materials. He was much more productive at 5-on-5 final season, rating 14th in factors per 60 amongst 99 blueliners who performed 1,000 or extra minutes.However these minutes have been sheltered in Yandle’s case. Amongst that group of 99 defensemen, just one began a smaller proportion of shifts within the defensive zone than Yandle did. His commonest forwards confronted have been Pierre Engvall and Pat Maroon. Yandle wasn’t being tasked with dealing with something near elite competitors. The Panthers have been outshot and outchanced with Yandle on the ice regardless of him enjoying these insulated minutes. So the Panthers will attempt to roll with a extra defensively disciplined D-corps this season.Nonetheless, to blacklist a well-established, NHL-caliber puck-moving defenseman so out of the blue when camp opened did not fairly add up. Is it potential the Panthers are nervous about his no-movement clause relating to the enlargement draft subsequent season? The one solution to keep away from utilizing a spot on Yandle is to nudge him out the door now.So what occurs to Yandle subsequent? He might need commerce worth if the Panthers are keen to soak up a few of his $6.35-million AAV for 3 extra seasons together with this one. He’s nonetheless greater than able to serving to a workforce’s energy play, nevertheless it’s a query of whether or not he is keen to waive his NMC. A supply near the state of affairs advised the Hockey Information that Yandle hasn’t been the initiator on any plans to waive the NMC and that the posturing comes solely from the Panthers entrance workplace.When assessing suits, the Bruins are the manifestly apparent workforce to say. Yandle is a Massachusetts native. Maybe he’d be extra prone to waive his NMC to go there than anyplace else. The Bruins, having misplaced left-shot Torey Krug to free company, are giving Matt Grzelcyk the keys to the facility play however may go for Yandle in the event that they most well-liked a veteran presence. They may hand him a lower-leverage position just like the Tampa Bay Lightning did Kevin Shattenkirk final season.As for different potential commerce companions, it’s simple to see the “hockey suits,” however the monetary suits look more difficult. The New York Islanders, as an example, may use a left-shot puck-mover on protection after buying and selling Devon Toews away, nevertheless it was the shortage of cap house that compelled GM Lou Lamoriello to maneuver Toews, so it’s powerful to think about there being room for Yandle. A Canadian workforce could be a tall order as a suitor, too, as a result of Yandle must quarantine for 2 weeks upon crossing the border after a commerce. The Canadian authorities granted quarantine exemptions to determine coaching camps, however groups are subjected to provincial guidelines throughout the common season. It’s additionally powerful to think about Yandle waiving his NMC to cross the border and go away his household behind in the united statesAny commerce, then, will probably be tough to tug off. With Yandle’s defensive play declining, his contract prohibitive, the flat wage cap squeezing groups across the league and COVID-19 complicating participant motion, the percentages are stacked towards a Yandle deal. However right here’s hoping he and the Panthers discover a decision in time to maintain the ironman streak alive, as unlikely as that’s. Superior stats courtesy of naturalstattrick.com

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