Barring a sudden change of heart, it appears as if Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle’s ironman streak of 866 games will come to an end tomorrow as George Richards of Florida Hockey Now relays (Twitter link) that the veteran was once again not skating with the group that’s expected to play. He has clearly fallen out of favor but his contract ($6.35MM through 2022-23 with a no-move clause) will make such a move tricky. Nevertheless, Yandle’s agent Jerry Buckley told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription link) that he views this situation as nothing more than public pressure to get him to accept a trade:
This doesn’t have anything to do with performance. Keith is one of the top offensive defensemen in the NHL. He was last year, he has been over the last three years. And this decision was made a week before training camp. So it doesn’t have to do with performance. This is the general manager’s attempt to pressure Keith and make him uncomfortable and to waive this no-trade clause.
While Yandle has certainly been prolific offensively over the last three seasons – only four blueliners have more points than him in that span – it’s his play in his own end that has deteriorated as well in that span. Panthers GM Bill Zito will have his work cut out for him to try to move Yandle (assuming he’s willing to waive his trade protection).
More from the Central Division:
- While most teams have gotten down to the NHL-mandated maximum roster size of 23, Dallas remains nowhere near that number. Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News examines the composition of their roster which currently has 36 players with various designations on it. They sit just $228 under their LTIR-inflated cap ceiling but with the way their roster is constructed, they’ll have plenty of cap flexibility when they eventually get down to the proper roster size.
- Red Wings winger Bobby Ryan will make his debut with his new team on Saturday, notes MLive’s Ansar Khan. He missed the last few days of training camp and Thursday’s game against Carolina due to an undisclosed injury which he has recovered from. The 33-year-old signed a one-year, $1MM deal with Detroit after being bought out by Ottawa this offseason and is expected to immediately jump onto the number one power play unit.