Yandle to PHI — 1 year, $900K, NTC. Forgot he has played for Vigneault, so knows the coach.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 27, 2021
Philadelphia Flyers Sign Keith Yandle
Heading into his 16th NHL season, Keith Yandle will suit up for his fourth team. He remains in the Eastern Conference after playing five years with the Florida Panthers and a season-and-half with the New York Rangers. Both of those stints were after he was traded from the Arizona Coyotes, who picked him in the fourth round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
Yandle has been known for two things in his NHL career: offensive production and durability. In 11 of his seasons, Yandle played in every regular-season game. That includes 84 games played in 2014-15 when he was traded from Arizona to New York. During that time, the American D-man has scored 600 points (102g, 498a) over 1,032 games played. However, 2020-21 was the first full season since 2007-08 in which Yandle failed to record over 30 points. It came as Yandle fell out of favour with Panthers head coach, Joel Quenneville, who didn’t initially have the defender in the team’s opening night lineup.
What This Means for the Flyers
Wheeling and dealing is becoming the status quo for the Philadelphia Flyers. As a result, general manager Chuck Fletcher has been among the busiest people in the NHL this offseason. He has essentially blown up the roster, trading away Shayne Gostisbehere, Nolan Patrick, Robert Hagg and Jakub Voracek. In return, Cam Atkinson, Ryan Ellis and Rasmus Ristolainen are coming to Philadelphia along with Yandle.
Up next for Philly is goaltender Carter Hart who needs a new deal as a restricted free agent. Then, fellow RFA Travis Sanheim should be the next point of focus; his signing will round out the team’s defensive unit. Finally, the Flyers will also need a backup goaltender to challenge the young Hart for the starting spot.
Overall, Yandle’s signing will bring another veteran voice into the Philadelphia dressing room, along with some production from the back end. Head coach Alain Vigneault is familiar with Yandle from their time with the New York Rangers and so it’ll likely be an easier transition for the veteran.
It’s been a busy offseason for the Flyers but it looks like the roster is beginning to take shape. With just over $10 million in cap space remaining, look for Philly to target a backup goaltender, depth defenders and a couple more bottom-six forwards.