The Florida Panthers are reportedly buying out defenceman Keith Yandle. The 15-year veteran will turn 35 in September and carries a $6.35 million cap hit through the 2022-23 season. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman broke the story on Thursday.
Hearing FLA will be buying out Keith Yandle. With a NMC, he does not need to be put on waivers. Fresh start for player and team.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 15, 2021
Keith Yandle Being Bought Out by the Florida Panthers
In buying out the Boston, Massachusetts native, the Panthers will be paying him $4.97 million over the next four years; his seven-year $44.45 million contract has two years left. As a result, they stand to save $2.48 million by buying him out.
Last season Yandle’s production really suffered with him collecting just three goals and 24 assists in 56 games. His on-ice playing time was whittled down to only 17 minutes and 15 seconds per game. What’s more, his lack of effectiveness was apparent when he sat for three of the six games against the Stanley Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning in the First Round of the playoffs.
Yandle’s long career includes 1,032 games with 102 goals and 498 assists for 600 points. His playoff statistics show him playing 58 games with six goals and 31 assists. He has always been an offensive defenceman and has terrific possession numbers. His NHL career Corsi For comes in at 56.2, with a Relative Corsi of 9.3. In Sunrise, he has been the quarterback on the power play and now the team will move on with younger players to take his role.
What This Means Going Forward
Filling the role that Yandle provided won’t be easy. In this flat cap era though teams are scrambling to find money to pay contracts and improve their rosters. For Yandle, he could find work with another team after the buyout. If he feels he can still contribute, then some team will look at him and sign him. Even the newly added Seattle Kraken may take a look at his leadership ability and perhaps sign him to a lower contract. He can certainly be a mentor for the younger players to look up to and emulate.
Yandle spent most of his NHL career playing for the then Phoenix Coyotes where he toiled for seven seasons averaging 0.56 points per game. It now is time for Yandle to move on and see where he may be needed elsewhere.