The Florida Panthers have acquired the rights to defenseman Keith Yandle in a trade with the New York Rangers, according to multiple reports. In return the Rangers are getting a 6th round draft pick, as well as a conditional 4th round pick that is reportedly on the condition that Yandle signs in Sunrise.
Yandle was acquired by the New York Rangers in a 2015 trade deadline deal with the Arizona Coyotes. It was rumored throughout the 2015-16 season that the Rangers and Yandle, one way or another, were not going to be able to come together on a deal, whether that was because of a negotiation gap, a lack of interest or a dispute over usage.
Yandle is touted for his ability on the power play and an ability to jump up into the play. He put up just five goals and 47 points through 82 games for the Rangers, with plenty of criticism to be leveled about how the team was using him.
While his exit is not surprising, it doesn’t help bring clarity to what the Rangers will do to solve their issues on the blue line, particularly in light of poor performances from Marc Staal (five more years on his contract) and Dan Girardi (four more years).
paying the price of a draft pick, expect @FlaPanthers to make a push for a long-term deal on Yandle – six years
— gary lawless (@garylawless) June 20, 2016
Getting a puck-moving defenseman makes sense for the Panthers as they look at the possibility of a different look on the blue line this season. They traded away Erik Gudbranson and have signed big Boston College defenseman Ian McCoshen. They’re also likely to lose Willie Mitchell to retirement and Brian Campbell is a pending UFA who they have not yet re-signed.
The Panthers will have until July 1 to sign Yandle before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.